Do IQ test really measure intelligence

The invention of the IQ test belongs to the French psychologists Alfred Binet and Théodore Simon. This happened back in 1905. But scientists did not even think of creating a test to determine the general level of intelligence. They developed a test to help identify the level of development of children who needed home education. The idea was liked by other psychologists, who developed it further.

IQ (Intelligence quotient) tests are designed to determine quantitative indicators of a person’s level of mental abilities. They consist of a list of tasks with which it is possible to identify the general abilities of an individual to think logically, solve mathematical, spatial or verbal problems. Anyone can take an online iq test on a computer.

How reliable and objective are IQ tests

Despite the fact that users have long been accustomed to checking their mental level with the help of tests, scientists still argue about their objectivity. Stefan Dombrowski, a psychologist at Ryder University in New Jersey, believes that the first tests were discriminatory in nature and caused the sterilization of a huge number of people by ethnicity.

What has changed in the attitude towards tests since that time? Have they become valid indicators of a person’s overall mental level? Dombrowski believes that when using tests, their correct interpretation is important. According to him, the tests reveal several human skills:

  • Working memory;
  • Speech comprehension;
  • Smooth thinking.

And this is not an exhaustive list. The scientist believes that the tests are not well designed to give assessments of individual skills. They are able to assess only the general level of intelligence.

Scientist Stephen Piantadosi uses the experiments of cross-cultural psychology to identify the general nature of cognition and language. In his opinion, the following factors strongly influence the performance of the test:

  • Motivation. Scientists conducted an experiment to stimulate the solution of tests. It turned out that for incentives, people get more points;
  • Diligence. Not all people take tests with the same responsibility;
  • Strategy. Those who work on them, cope with the tasks better.

Bias and limitation of tests

Do not forget about the cultural characteristics of peoples. The systems of languages of many tribes and nationalities are very different from those adopted in civilized countries, where it is customary to be guided by the results of tests. Accordingly, their way of thinking is different. Developers try to include such tasks in the tests so that representatives of different ethnic groups and races can have fewer problems.

According to Ohio University psychologist Donna Ford, biased IQ tests limit the opportunities of the black population and Hispanics. Although there have been positive changes in the tests in recent years, Donna Ford believes, many small nations students are deprived of opportunities to participate in programs for gifted children.

How IQ tests affect life success

Angela Lee Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and her team conducted studies with 500 boys aged 12.5. After conducting IQ tests with them, they watched them for a long time. At the age of 24, the young people were interviewed. The same questions were asked to those who did not pass the test.

Psychologists set themselves the goal of determining the relationship between three indicators:

  1. Human motivation.
  2. IQ test.
  3. Success in life.

The results showed that motivation along with natural intelligence plays a crucial role in life success.

Drawing a line under the research, Duckworth notes the importance of identifying the level of innate intelligence to determine the directions in social policy. She recommended teachers, psychologists, politicians to be careful about such indicators as the level of intelligence. Other factors, she said, can play an equally important role in achieving success in life.

Most experts find IQ tests useful when interpreted correctly. They also agree that success in later life cannot be based on a high level of intelligence alone. Incentives, efforts, movement towards the goal, self-discipline are important. It’s hard to disagree with that.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here