Other Science

IQ (intelligence Quotient). Is It Relevant?

Is IQ Relevant? I think intelligence is very relevant when people have it and use it.  IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient – it is simply a numerical measure purported to represent the approximate intelligence of a person.

It can be broken into two components, intelligence and quotient. The first part, intelligence, is about ease or difficulty in learning, as opposed to the sum of facts one knows. Most of us have had the experience of having known someone who was truly bright. They were the person who always seemed to learn more easily and score the highest grades.

Is there anyone who does not think intelligence is good? Who wishes they had a lack of intelligence?

The greater one’s intelligence, the greater the potential to create, invent, design and sometimes see the resolution to complex issues, BUT intelligence must be applied.

Albert Einstein - IqIntelligence is distributed across a range from high to low. Not all have the same intellect. In society, there are some people who are very intelligent, most of us are ranged in the middle, and unfortunately some are far less able to learn and struggle with it. SOME of those people have low intelligence.

So what’s the big issue? The recent controversy over IQ comes from questions about the validity of assigning someone a score, especially if it is low and categorizing them, as well as the way intelligence is tested. I mean by this, the tests themselves as well as the accuracy of the results. Do the tests capture the essence of intelligence?

Here, what we are really asking is about is the Quotient part of an IQ test score? Does it accurately and numerically reflect a person’s intelligence? The answer is sometimes, within a range, but not always.

Think of it this way. We have all had blood tests, urine tests, x-rays, maybe MRI’s or Cat scans – a whole variety of medical tests. Do they always work? No. Do they always tell the doctor what they need to know? No. Sometimes we have to repeat a test, or maybe even take a different test. So it is also with IQ. The results of tests vary and there are some of us where the tests don’t measure us well.

There are also lots of different IQ tests and they don’t all measure us the same way. There are many highly intelligent people who have not scored well on IQ tests. Guess what? They are still highly intelligent. So, IQ testing is a way to measure certain aspects of ability, but not ALL aspects of ability.

How often are they accurate? How accurate are they? Do they miss often? I am sure to draw some flak on this, but I IQ - Intelligence Quotientbelieve most standardized tests when given to a test group from a western educated nation produce accurate scores plus or minus about 5%, most of the time. I say western educated nation because those students received an education that is similar to what we receive here in the United States. They are literate, they have a good grasp of language and vocabulary, and they are more used to being tested.

Does the revelation that IQ tests don’t always give an accurate assessment make them irrelevant? Not at all. They still work well enough to use them. Much of Newtonian Physics is wrong but we still use it. It gives answers that are close enough to get us to the moon and back.

To replace the current IQ tests would require some other standardized measure, or you run the risk of “custom” treatment skewing the results. We’ve already seen this in school districts that have decided their students should have performed better than they did on their standardized tests, and so the teachers erased and change their students’ answers. That doesn’t work and that would create results far worse than the current situation.

Any test such as doing a puzzle, will result in a dispersion of the results from high to low. Let’s say we timed how long it took to put the puzzle together. Some would complete it quickly and some would take longer. Some might not be able to do it at all.

Any standardized test given to a large number of people results in some type of dispersion. More accuracy of the results come from different ways of testing, having a large number of individuals and giving those different tests to all of those to be tested.

Personally, I think the best bet is to continue to work on a better, more accurate series of intellectual ability tests given together over several days. This also avoids one of us from having a bad day or feeling poorly on a test day.  But this is not the current climate currently taught about IQ testing. Many current academics, and now their student offspring do not like IQ tests at all. They believe the tests have become politically incorrect.

Most recent objections come from a study in England which condemned trying to label and stereotype people because they scored below average. I don’t disagree. Some might be bright but not test well. Some might be bright and have a particular type of disability such as dyslexia. Others, frankly are not bright. This points out to me that we need better tests and different tests and better assessment before suggesting a quotient range for people. It does not mean to me that you condemn all of the results from the tests.

There is far less controversy for persons who score well on IQ tests. Most people who score well are bright, especially if they score well repeatedly. I haven’t found anyone who seems to mind being thought of as intelligent.

There is a caveat here as well, but it doesn’t concern the accuracy of the score.

Most students who learn quickly know they are bright. My hope is that their teachers and parents make sure those young people apply themselves. Knowledge is not absorbed from the air, it is learned from voracious reading and hard work. Intelligent young people need to be encouraged to work hard.

As a brief aside here, who do you think is more likely to succeed: the very hardworking average student or the lazy higher intelligence student? Usually, it is the person who applies themselves the most. Hard work goes a LONG way to mitigate less intelligence. Several of those I have met at Mensa functions are underachievers and have joined Mensa to validate their self-worth. A high IQ does not guarantee success, not without work. Hard work and not giving up on your dream is what helps guarantee success.

That said, intellect should be nurtured, and opportunities for education given to those that possess it. We as a society spend a lot of money trying to help remedial learners. An equal amount needs to be spent on gifted students who show our greatest potential. Intellect needs to be identified early in life.  If you are fortunate to be, or are a parent of one of those with intellect, don’t waste it, help to use it. Make our world a better place.

What are your thoughts on IQ?

Originally posted 2015-07-27 08:12:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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