Are IQ tests accurate and should we rely on them?
Are IQ tests accurate and should we rely on them to measure intelligence? In this dragonanswer we look at the effectiveness of IQ tests, their plus-points and shortcomings.
The modern IQ test comes from the German Intelligenz Quotient and while it is not a perfect method of measuring intelligence it is the most widely used.
The vast majority of people score within a range of 70 to 130 points. Below this is considered by some to be sub normal. Above is considerd to be genius. So much faith is placed in iq tests that IQ score is routinely used to categorise learning disabilities, such as to categorise between autism and high-functioning autism or Asperger’s.
The highest IQ score ever recorded was by an American Woman Marilyn Vos Savant who scored 190 on the test.
So, Are IQ tests accurate?
A major problem with IQ testing is obviously that it doesn’t take into account acquired intelligence. Many very intelligent and learned people do not score very highly on IQ tests.
At the same time people who can be ignorant about many important subjects can score very highly on IQ test. That does not make them intelligent or wise. It simply means they scored highly on an IQ test.
Although IQ testing undoubtedly has good points. It has a concrete feel that we can’t improve. That goes against the grain of most modern educational values of self improvement through learning, emotional intelligence and applied intelligence. Are IQ tests accurate at measuring all of these intelligence types? Certainly not.
The IQ test inadvertantly states that we are what we are and that no amount of studying and learning can make us anymore intelligent.
Most of us believe in the power of intellectual advancement through education, which makes the IQ test helpful, but certainly not a definitively right answer of our intelligence.
Some remarkably knowledgable well read men and women do not score well on the testing of problem solving.
A historical problem with IQ testing is that it has in the past been used to categorise people who score low marks as Educationally and intellectually sub normal. There have at various times in Countries such as Germany and the USA been plans to sterilise people who score below 70.
In reality there is no standardised intelligence that doesn’t take account of cultural and social factors. Most of us are intelligent in different ways: Are IQ tests accurate? Yes, but they only measure what they measure – rather like a barometer only measures air pressure but might tell you it’s dry when it’s raining outside!