How to Measure Intelligence?

As many of us know, intelligence is an important factor in life. Without it, we could have lived in an awkward world. There are times that I ask myself how can I measure someone’s intelligence, but I cannot find an exclusive way. However, “Scientists generally agree that intelligence can be captured by psychometric tests. But the study of intelligence is dogged by questions of just how much IQ contributes to an individual's success and well-being, how genes and environment interact to generate smarts and why the average IQ score rose throughout the world during the twentieth century,” as stated in the article titled What Is Intelligence in Psychology today. As a matter of fact, I have found that there are many possible ways that intelligence can be measured. The intelligence of someone can be measured by his or her IQ score. It can also be measured by the way that he or she disciplines himself or herself. For example,as stated in the free dictionary, “Intelligence discipline is a well-defined area of intelligence collection, processing, exploitation, and reporting using a specific category of technical or human resources. There are seven major disciplines: human intelligence, imagery intelligence, measurement and signature intelligence, signals intelligence, open-source intelligence, technical intelligence, and counterintelligence.” Scientists have been analyzed some tests that can help measuring intelligence. “Intelligence tests are one of the most popular types of psychological tests in use today. On the majority of modern IQ tests, the average (or mean) score is set at 100 with a standard deviation of 15 so that scores conform to a normal distribution curve. This means that 68 percent of scores fall within one standard deviation of the mean (that is, between 85 and 115), and 95 percent of scores fall within two standard deviations (between 70 and 130)”(Cherry). Additionally, as a matter of fact, those scientists have been substantiated or found why the average score of the test is 100 by using the standardization process. As it is explained by the scientists, “Psychometritians utilize a process known as standardization in order to make it possible to compare and interpret the meaning of IQ scores. This process is accomplished by administering the test to a representative sample and using these scores to establish standards, usually referred to as norms, by which all individual scores can be compared. Since the average score is 100, experts can quickly assess individual test scores against the average to determine where these scores fall on the normal distribution,”as stated in the article titled What Is the Average IQ by Kendra Cherry. The way that someone communicates can determine his or her level of intelligence. Intelligence can also be measured by the way that someone performs in school. “Intelligence is a person's capacity to acquire knowledge (i.e. learn and understand), apply knowledge (solve problems), and engage in abstract reasoning. It is the power of one's intellect, and as such is clearly a very important aspect of one's overall well-being. Its quotient (IQ) is the score you get on an intelligence test. Originally, it was a quotient (a ratio): IQ= MA/CA x 100 [MA is mental age, CA is chronological age],” according to Dr. C. George Boeree. In the following paragraphs, we will acknowledge how that it has been proven that intelligence can be measured by the factors that have been stated above. After all, not at all, intelligence can also be measured by someone’s cognitive ability. And does life satisfaction, rarely, if ever, have relations with intelligence?

Intelligence can be measured by IQ score.

“The impact of IQ level on educational achievement can be understood in terms of a useful statistic called a correlation (r) -a measure from 0 to 1.0 of the ‘link’ or strength of a relationship between two variables – e.g. IQ level and combined SAT score. A correlation of r = 0 means there is no link. If the correlation between IQ and SAT was zero, it would mean that knowing someone’s IQ would give you no clue as to how well they will do on their SATs – the one doesn’t predict the other. This scenario can be seen in the left plot below. Each point in this imaginary case is an individual’s scores on IQ and SAT combined. A correlation of >.50 is considered a moderate to strong link. A correlation of r > .70 is considered very strong. Knowing a person’s IQ with a correlation this strong would strongly predict how they will do on their SATs. This kind of relationship is shown on the right plot below” … (IQ Predicts Academic Achievement).

Additionally, scientists have tried to find out what is the correlation between IQ and GPA scores and SAT scores. The recent study by Treena Rohde and Lee Anne Thompson shows a correlation. Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall shows in the article titled IQ and School Achievement, “Modern intelligence tests have been designed with Binet’s original purpose in mind: to predict how well individual students are likely to perform in the classroom and similar situations. Studies repeatedly show that performance on intelligence tests is correlated with school achievement (N. Brody, 1997; Gustafsson&Undheim, 1996; Sattler, 2001). Students with higher IQ scores do better on standardized achievement tests, have higher school grades, and complete more years of education.”Treena Rohde and Lee Anne Thompson show in their study:

“While the link between crystallized intelligence and SAT combined scores is obviously very striking, crystallized intelligence is not significantly linked to GPA. And we are more interested here in the link between fluid intelligence and SAT and GPA, since our HighIQPro training causes fluid intelligence to improve substantially. The correlation of SAT combined performance and fluid intelligence is close to 0.40 for both SAT combined and GPA. Here is a plot that shows what this degree of correlation looks like – you can see there is quite a close link. If you know that someone has a certain Gf score, you know they are likely to do better in their SAT score and their GPA…”

“Data strongly suggest that if you can improve your fluid intelligence by40% or more, the effect will translate directly into higher SAT scores,” according to Treena Rohde and Lee Anne Thompson.

Intelligence has a relation with cognitive flexibility. According to the article titled Intelligence And Cognitive Flexibility: Fluid Intelligence Correlates with Feature "Unbinding" Across Perception And Action by Colzato LS1, van Wouwe NC, Lavender TJ,and Hommel B, “People integrate the features of perceived events and of action plans, as well as of episodic stimulus-response relations, into event files. We investigated whether the management of event files, and particularly the speed of updating the binding between the task-relevant stimulus feature and the response, correlates with fluid intelligence. Indeed, the performance of participants scoring high on Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices test was less impaired by a mismatch between the stimulus-response relation in the current and the previous trial.” The study substantiates that the more intelligent that someone is is the more flexible that he or she is cognitively. Not only this study shows that correlation, but other experts also conceivably show that correlation in the study titled Sub-threshold Autism Traits: The role of Trait Emotional Intelligence And Cognitive Flexibility. As it is stated, “The present research first investigated the relationship of autism traits with trait emotional intelligence and empathy in a sample of 163 adults aged between 18 and 51 years (44% male). It then examined performance on a set of tasks assessing social cognition and cognitive flexibility in 69 participants with either high or low scores on ASD traits. Results confirm that there is pronounced variation within the general population relating to ASD traits, which reflect similar (though less severe) social-cognitive and emotional features to those observed in ASDs” (ElifGökçen, Konstantinos V. Petrides, KristelleHudry, Norah Frederickson, and Luke D. Smillie).

According to many members of the University of Alabama in the article titled Cognitive Flexibility Theory in the online learning laboratory, “Cognitive flexibility is the ability to restructure knowledge in multiple ways depending on the changing situational demands (i.e. difficulty or complexity of the situation) (Spiro, 1995). The major goal of cognitive flexibility is to help develop the learner’s ability to understand various situations (Graddy, 2001).”

Does intelligence have a relation with behavior, communication, and life satisfaction? As it is stated in the article titled The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Life Satisfaction and Determining their Communication Skill Test Effectiveness, ShohrehGhorbanshiroudi, JavadKhalatbari, Mohammad Salehi, SonaBahari, Mohammad MojtabaKeikhayfarzaneh try to determine how emotional intelligence and life satisfaction and communication skill test effectiveness are correlated. In order to do the studies, ShohrehGhorbanshiroudi, JavadKhalatbari, Mohammad Salehi, SonaBahari, Mohammad MojtabaKeikhayfarzaneh survey many students at Islamic Azad University, Sarab branch in the years of 2008 to 2009. “The statistical sample consists of 40 students who had a low score in life satisfaction and emotional intelligence and are randomly involved in a two groups including 20 people of test and control. Communication skills training program has been conducted for the test group in 1-5 hours 8 sessions and post-test is done on both groups after training. The Bar-On emotional intelligence and life satisfaction questionnaire were used.” Ghorbanshiroudi, JavadKhalatbari, Mohammad Salehi, SonaBahari, and Mohammad MojtabaKeikhayfarzanehalso used the Pearson test. They used the T test. They analyzed the results in a covariant manner. “The results have shown that there is a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and life satisfaction. Communication skill training significantly enhanced the emotional intelligence and life satisfaction. Thus, this study confirms the effectiveness of communication skills in increasing emotional intelligence and life satisfaction” (Ghorbanshiroudi, JavadKhalatbari, Mohammad Salehi, SonaBahari, and Mohammad MojtabaKeikhayfarzaneh).

Additionally, as I infer from the study titled Teacher Perceptions of the Relationships between Intelligence, Student Behavior, and Academic Performance by Anthony Imbrosciano and Richard Berlach in the article titled What Causes Many College Students to Fail or Drop Out, “Schools where students have a better IQ score have better academic performance than those where students have lesser IQ scores, or schools where students have better IQ scores do not have but mostly have better general behavior rate than those where students do not have a better academic performance because of only exception.”

Intelligence is an important concept in life. “It is a term that is difficult to define, and it can mean many different things to different people. In fact, it has divided the scientific community for decades and controversies still rage over its exact definition and form of measurement,” according to Hsin-Yi Cohen, BSc, MA, Mst. There are different types of intelligence. As a result, it is possibly hard to measure intelligence in general in an exclusive way. To measure intelligence, it is crucial that we use a concept that is appropriate to the type of intelligence. As Hsin-Yi Cohen, BSc, MA, Mst states, “Like the definitions of intelligence, the measurement of intelligence is dogged by controversy and disagreement. While there are a number of different methods for measuring intelligence, the standard and most widely accepted method is by measuring a person’s ‘intelligence quotient’ or IQ. Based on a series of tests which assess various types of abilities, such a mathematical, spatial, verbal, logic, and memory, the results from such tests done on a group that is representative of the wider popular shows the classic ‘bell-shape’ distribution, meaning that most people are of average intelligence with a few at the extreme ends of the scale…”(Cohen). There are two main types of intelligences according to Hsin-Yi Cohen. The two paramount types of intelligence are multiple Intelligences and general Intelligence. “The concept of intelligence as a single entity was first put forth by an English psychologist named Charles Spearmen in the early 20th century. Spearman coined the term ‘General Intelligence’ or ‘g’ which was based on measure of people’s performance across a variety of mental tests”(Cohen). Cohen goes on to indicate how scientists contradict with other scientists, regarding single intelligence belief, for example. He shows that “more recently, scientist dissatisfied with the traditional idea of a single intelligence have postulated alternate theories of ‘multiple intelligences’ – that is, intelligence is the result of several independent abilities which combine to contribute to the total performance of an individual.” Cohen talks about Howard Gardner’s theory and Robert Sternberg’s theory. He shows that “Psychologist Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences states that intelligence can be broken down into 8 distinct components: logical, spatial, linguistic, interpersonal, naturalist, kinaesthetic, musical, and intrapersonal. Thus he believes that standard IQ tests and psychometric tests focus on certain components, such as logical and linguistic, while completely ignoring other components which may be equally important.” Cohen argues that intelligence has more than one aspects. To substantiate his idea, he mentions Robert Sternberg. He says that “Robert Sternberg, proposes that there are 3 fundamental aspects to intelligence: analytical, practical, and creative. Like Gardener, he also believes that traditional intelligence tests only focus one aspect – analytical – and does not address the necessary balance from the other two aspects.” Chohen goes on to indicate that there is another type of intelligence, but it is not a main one but is alternative because the two paramount ones are multiple intelligence and single intelligence. He mentions, “One alternate type of intelligence often mentioned in popular media is ‘emotional intelligence’, developed by Daniel Goleman and several other researchers. This refers to an individual’s ability to understand and be aware of your own emotions, as well as those of people around you. This ability enables you to handle social interactions and relationships better.” Chohen also illustrates many ways that we can measure intelligence. He indicates, “Researchers asked about the aspects of intelligence felt that factors like problem-solving ability, mental speed, general knowledge, creativity, abstract thinking, and memory all played important roles in the measure and standard of intelligence. Most agree that intelligence is an umbrella term which covers a variety of related mental abilities.”

Works Cited

Intelligence and IQ , Dr. C. George BoereeShippensburg University by Copyright 2003, C. George Boeree. June 17, 2014.

What Is the Average IQ By Kendra Cherry in PsychologyToday.“N.D” 06, 17, 2014.

What is Intelligence in Psychology Today.“N.D” 06, 17, 2014.

IQ Predicts Academic Achievement: http://www.highiqpro.com/iq-academic-success/iq-predicts-academic-achievement. “N.D” June 17, 2014.

Ormrod Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall in IQ and School Achievement in education.com, “ND. “ June 17, 2014.

Intelligence and cognitive flexibility: fluid intelligence correlates with feature "unbinding" across perception and action by Colzato LS1, van Wouwe NC, Lavender TJ, Hommel B. in Psychon Bull Rev. 2006 Dec;13(6):1043-8. June 17, 2014.

The Free Dictionnary by Farlex: Intelligence Discipline. “N.D” 6/17/ 2014.

What is Intelligence and How is it Measured by Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt.26 February. 2013 June 17, 2014.

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Comments 3 comments

Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Duh - what? (LOL!)

Actually, the most important thing is to exercise your brain. Keep learning, and applying your new knowledge; keep pushing your limits. The highest IQ is worthless if the person doesn't use it. On the other hand, mentally handicapped people can do all sorts of things. I have a client who can do basic car and machine maintenance. He knows more about these things than I do!


vkwok profile image

vkwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

This is an excellent, well-researched hub, Paul! Voted up!


rebelogilbert profile image

rebelogilbert 2 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

Interesting topic, paulynice. Your article includes many opinions. But I think we all agree that there are several aspects of learning that contribute to positive intelligence.

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