Small project grant 2021: Analysis of a study of historical changes of the concept of intelligence

One of the 2021 small project grants has been granted to Malin Hildebrand Karlén, to perform analysis of a study of historical changes of the concept of intelligence.

The historical changes of the concept of intelligence are numerous and can provide important information on what we include within ‘intelligence’ today, as well as how we measure it. In the study by Karlén, historical changes – as well as stability – regarding what the concept of intelligence ‘is’, is investigated. The study will analyze the contents, administration and interpretation of well-known structured intelligence tests during the 20th century within forensic psychiatric investigations. Which cognitive functions have been, and which are still, seen as important enough to the intelligence concept to include in such tests? How should these cognitive functions be assessed and quantified? What does a certain IQ-score mean for the person’s capacity to make rational choices? Overlaps and differences in praxis over the 20th century regarding these questions will be analyzed, including a focus on the perceived relationship between measured intelligence and capacity for reality monitoring.

Malin Hildebrand Karlén is a docent of psychology at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She obtained a PhD in psychology in 2016 on alcohol intoxicated witnesses to violence and a MSc in history of ideas in 2013 on the development of symptoms within psychiatric diagnostic systems. Her focus is on cross-disciplinary research, applying psychological theories and methods to the forensic field as well as how historical development of psychiatric diagnoses and psychological assessment can inform current praxis. Her main research areas are decision-making in forensic psychiatric investigations, history of psychiatric diagnoses and assessment methodology, and addiction assessment and treatment within forensic psychiatric care.