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IQ Tests In Education

Updated on December 14, 2014

About This Lens

This Squidoo Lens addresses the notion that an individual√Ęs intelligence cannot be solely determined by using the Intelligence Quotient, more commonly referred to as the IQ. After reviewing the definitions, and the historical background of the intelligence quotient, the criticisms and deficiencies of the IQ tests are evaluated. Why these tests fail to actually measure an individual√Ęs intelligence, as against the common belief and how the tests fail to account for the overall areas generally accepted to comprise intelligence, are also covered. Lastly, conclusions are drawn based on all the arguments presented.

IQ Tests are not accurate measurements of a Person's Intelligence

Intelligence is a complex and an abstract concept. In very simplistic terms, it can be defined as the ability to learn about, learn from, understand and interact with one's environment. This general ability can be broken into specific abilities including adaptability to changing environments, capacity for knowledge and ability for acquiring it, capacity for reasoning and abstract thought as well as original and productive thoughts, and ability to evaluate and judge. Environment here encompasses an individual's immediate surroundings. Towards the early twentieth century, scientists focused their research towards identifying the differences in the learning patterns of different individuals and quantifying the results. However, the first of such test was devised by Alfred Binet and Theophile Simon in early twentieth century. The development of the test scale, as it later came to be known as the Simon ? Binet scale, was the result of the assignment given to Alfred Binet by the French government to develop a technique which will enable to differentiate between ?intellectually normal? and ?inferior? children. The idea was to emphasize more on children with slower learning abilities so as to avoid disruption in classrooms caused by such children. The whole purpose of this exercise was to be able to quantify the concept and use it to predict the future learning abilities of the children. However, Binet also pointed out at that time that intelligence is not something linear, that is to say that one's intelligence is x or y units. Consequently, using Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as a definite single score describing a child's intellectual capability would be a ?serious mistake.? Addressing what Intelligence Quotient really is and mean, the definition needs to be discussed. Bainbridge defined Intelligence Quotient (more commonly referred to as IQ) as a measure of an individual's relative intelligence with the assistance of a standardized test. The individual being tested is evaluated on a number of analytical, mathematical and spatial tests and the success rate against these assessments will generate the IQ score. Today there are a number of tests which are available that can be used to ascertain one's intelligence. The important question is what do these test results mean?

IQ Test's Real Effectiveness

It will not be incorrect to state that a person's intelligence is based on a number of aspects of his or her personality. As stated above, the IQ tests, normally examine candidates on vocabulary, reading comprehensions and spatial relations as argued by Tyson. However, these examinations fail to take into account physical, conversational, social, survival and many other forms of intelligence, that are used for daily survival of an individual. For almost a century, learning disabilities are identified using the IQ tests, where children with a low standard deviation IQ scores are identified as learning disabled. At the same time, these test results never direct or pinpoint towards what would help and in which areas will improve the child's learning abilities. It is also argued by Patti Harrison, PhD, a professor of school psychology at the University of Alabama, that the actual behavior exhibited by a child at home or school is a better indicator of the "child's ability." One of the intelligence measuring tests is the WISC (the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) which very clearly specifies as to what is a correct answer to a particular problem. This specification in turn leads to another important constraint of this testing mechanism: the judgmental bias of the test examiner. Also, it fails to take into account the cultural factors, which do come into play as well. Another important area which a typical IQ test overlooks in general is that of emotional intelligence. It was observed that some individuals who excelled in a particular profession or field performed badly in life. This was explained by Peter Salovey and John Mayer who introduced the term "emotional intelligence." There are instances where a successful business person with excellent business acumen had a bad marriage, to explain the concept. Another cause of deviation of results of these IQ tests is the environment. To fully comprehend "environment", each individual being tested should be evaluated under identical circumstances. This could only result in a truly standardized test but there are factors like the individual's health condition (if for instance (s)he is suffering from a runny nose and could not concentrate on the test), (s)he has suffered an emotional trauma (was robbed on the way to the test), or has problems with the immediate physical environment (lighting of the room) can result in varying results. Hence, these factors will influence the individuals test results and cannot be used appropriately for determining one's intelligence. Based on the above arguments, it is concluded that neither IQ tests measure an individual's true intelligence as the term itself has no definition on which all social scientists and psychologists are in agreement, rest aside a testing mechanism which can measure the ability in totality. Also, using IQ tests for quantifying an individual's intelligence is a sheer disregard for an individual's full potential, as there are so other important aspects of personality that can not be quantified.

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      Pete007 4 years ago

      Great lens, fun quiz and very good videos. I'm not a bog fan of IQ tests but enjoyed your lens.

    • profile image

      Pete007 4 years ago

      Great lens, fun quiz and very good videos. I'm not a bog fan of IQ tests but enjoyed your lens.