Intelligence as potentiality and actuality

In two seminal articles, David Wechsler emphasized the importance of non-ability determinants of adult intelligence, and called for a more inclusive consideration of traits beyond that which is assessed by traditional intelligence quotient (IQ)-type measures. Wechsler’s main point was that in order to predict an individual’s ability to “understand the world about him and his resourcefulness to cope with its challenges”, one needs to have a much broader understanding of the individual beyond a single IQ score. A second issue with modern intelligence assessment is that at various times, an IQ score has been seen to reflect an individual’s ‘capacity’ for intellectual competence, rather than a snapshot of the individual’s performance from which inferences can be made, such as the likelihood that a child will succeed academically. In the current chapter, an effort will be made to explicitly distinguish between the concept of intelligence as a ‘potentiality’ from intelligence as an ‘actuality,’ and inclusion of non-ability constructs, especially with respect to the abilities of older adolescents and adults.