General, Research, Technology

Do IQ Tests Really Measure Intelligence?

The first IQ test was not invented to measureIQ in 1905. Then French psychologists developed the Binet-Simon test to identify children who need individual help outside of school. Over time, psychologists refined the Binet-Simon test (and developed many others) and began to attribute performance to "general intelligence." But are IQ tests reliable, objective indicators of general intelligence? Stefan Dombrowski, a psychologist at Ryder University in New Jersey, USA, studies the validity of IQ tests using rigorous statistical methods. He believes that the tests do make sense and are indicators of intelligence - but only when interpreted correctly (in the past, IQ tests were used to discriminate against racial and ethnic groups). So how accurately do IQ scores reflect a person's true ability, and can they be used as a reliable measure of intelligence? Let's figure it out.

Today, many are interested in the question of whether IQ tests can be used as a reliable measure of intellectual ability.


  • 1 How to measure a person's IQ
  • 2 Why do IQ test
  • 3 What is an IQ test?
  • 4 How to take an IQ test

How to measure a person's IQ

Controversy about what it means to be "smart" and isWhether the IQ test is a reliable measurement tool last more than a hundred years. Some researchers say that intelligence is a culture-specific concept. They argue that it looks different depending on the context - just like many cultural patterns of behavior. For example, belching can be seen as an indicator of pleasure in eating, or a sign of praise for the owner in some cultures and impoliteness in others.

Therefore, what can be considered reasonable inone environment may not be considered reasonable in others. For example, herbal knowledge is seen as a form of intelligence in some communities in Africa, but does not correlate with high scores on traditional Western tests of academic intelligence.

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Why do IQ test

Other researchers believe that “culturalthe specificity 'of intelligence makes IQ tests biased towards the environment in which they were designed. Moreover, the application of the same test in different communities will not allow the recognition of various cultural valuesthat shape what each community values ​​as intelligent behavior.

There are at least 100 non-contact tribes living on our planet. Our IQ tests are unlikely to work for them.

As The Conversation writes, given the historyusing the IQ test to further develop questionable and sometimes racially motivated beliefs about what different groups of people are capable of, some researchers suggest that such tests generally can not objectively and equally measure a person's intelligence.

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What is an IQ test?

IQ tests measure a variety of skills such asworking memory, thinking, verbal comprehension and many others, but how accurately do the indicators reflect the true abilities of a person? As Stefan Dombrowski, a psychologist at Ryder University in New Jersey, points out in an article for Discover, there are no guarantees in psychology, as in medicine. There is a code of ethics, but it has not prevented inadequate interpretive practice.

In turn, Stephen Piantadoosi, a cognitive scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, believes it's time to ask the question of whether what the IQ tests actually show... Stephen uses cross-culturalpsychological experiments to study the universal nature of human knowledge and language. One of the biggest problems in his opinion is that someone's IQ can change depending on the context. For example, people from other cultures, like the Zimane people of Bolivia, simply do not have words for shapes and figures that are often found on IQ tests.

The question of how to interpret IQ tests is perhaps one of the main questions in this area of ​​research today.

“We believe that people who have no words forshape notation probably accomplishes this type of task differently than we do. It's just as if the Tsimane asked us to take an IQ test with a bunch of leaf shapes that we don't know the names of, but they do, ”says Piantadosi. Dombrowski, in turn, notes that IQ tests are a tooland they can be used to enhance human well-being or to contribute to human misery.

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Another interesting opinion on this matter was expressed byJoel Schneider, psychologist at the University of Illinois in an article for Scientific American. He believes that on an individual level, most people define intelligence in their own image and likeness: engineers define it in such a way as to describe a good engineer. Artists define it as they describe a great artist. Scientists, entrepreneurs, and athletes are doing the same. There is considerable diversity in these definitions, but also significant overlap.

Exactly redundancy of definitions according to Schneider justifies the use ofthe popular term "intelligence". That said, inconsistencies in the various definitions are real and therefore require that the term "intelligence" remain ambiguous and meet the needs of the people who use it.

How to take an IQ test

Today everyone can pass the test and determine their IQ. And to do IQ test can be free and online. For example, on this site you can not only take a test in Russian, but also study the statistics of other people by subjects, countries and other indicators.

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