A high IQ does not guarantee the slightest success, with scientists explaining that what we knew as an intelligence test is not enough to assess how developed intelligence we have.
In some countries of the world, students take an IQ test when they are still in high school. And the result they ‘get’ largely determines the rest of their lives. It would be good not to do this anymore, as scientists point out that what was created at the beginning of the 20th century is proven to no longer correspond to what is valid.
How IQ tests came about
IQ refers to the words intelligence quotient (see quotient of intelligence). It was created by the French psychologist Alfret Binet in the 1900s, following an order from his country’s government to develop a ‘tool’ that could identify children with learning disabilities or special needs at school.
The aim of Binet’s work was to be able to assess the mental abilities of the children and on this basis he ‘made’ the various tests. He was not interested in being able to evaluate his performance in mathematics or reading, but that in attention and memory. Thus arose the Binet-Simon intelligence scale which is the basis of tests that exist to date. And that is a problem. It is not the only one.
In 1916, American psychologist Lewis Terman took over Binet’s work and undertook a general review, using a sample of research he had done before completing a standardized test called the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. The excellent one was 100. It is one of the most widely used to date. Yes, and that is a problem. There is one more.
From the beginning, Terman argued that the test had nothing to do with academic performance, but ‘measured’ different abilities. The truth was that what he did was aimed at identifying the ‘weak’ students – in the broader context of eugenics.
As the years went by and everything changed in the society, the inability to understand the term ‘intelligence’ / ‘intelligence’ was found in the narrow framework that was initially set and operated until the previous decade. That is, when it was found that there is more than one way to be smart. As we can be smart, but never become successful – at least in the way society defines success.
The BBC has given the most up-to-date information on IQ tests, with experts pointing out that existing tests are not enough to assess mental ability.
It is becoming clear that the conception of human intelligence has changed many times over the years, and the following questions have been asked:
a) how the way we view intelligence affects our society and
b) expanding the boundaries of evaluating what it means to be smart changes the way we see human potential and ultimately makes us more successful in solving the problems that people face.
These are answered by two psychologists. First, Scott Barry Kaufman, a 41-year-old American graduate of Yale and Cambridge, explained that “we traditionally measure human intelligence through IQ tests, which we manage as mental buffets. We put visual reasoning on a plate, with a little vocabulary, a little rearrangement of blocks, etc. I believe that society needs to take an extra step, in order for the mental capacity to fully respond to intelligence. The set of possibilities that are important for our navigation in life and in the complexity of everyday life, does not fully correspond to the intelligence that anyone has. “There are many ways in which one can have a higher mental capacity, without being able to be ‘identified’ in the context of tests.”
The American psychologist, psychometer, professor of Human Evolution at Cornell, Robert Sternberg agreed that it is time to use a broader evaluation model that he calls ‘successful intelligence’. He has also done the relevant study.
As he says “it is the ability to set essential and pro-society goals and then find ways to achieve them – as well as change them, as our lives change.
There are four key points in evaluating successful intelligence.
The first is what the IQ tests measure and is the analytical skills. That is, the ability we have to analyze, judge, compare, compare and evaluate.
The second is creative intelligence, ie the ability to find innovative and useful ideas. In life you need creative intelligence and analytical intelligence to know if your ideas are good.
The third key is practical intelligence (common sense), so you can apply your ideas and convince others of their value.
The fourth is wisdom, so be sure that the ideas will help you achieve a type of common good.
He also gave an example, so that we can better understand what he means. “If you grew up in the countryside of Kenya, one of the most important things you need to learn is how to deal with parasitic diseases. What we found in our research is that if we do a test that measures the practical intelligence of children – in the use of herbal medicines – they will show their success in this society. The correlation with IQ was negative: the better they did in the practical tests, the worse the results of the academic tests. The reason is that in this society smart children leave school early, because someone takes them to work. “Only children who are not considered smart stay in school.”
Nevertheless, the way society treats the IQ and the value it gives it has a huge impact on how it (society) defines and measures what is “success”.
“Society gives us great value in general mental ability and in what some psychologists call ‘shotgun approach to intelligence’. Imagine someone puts a gun to your head and orders you to be smart. I think we were nervous in this situation, “says Kaufman.” Certainly our intelligence would not be at its best. Nevertheless, many students still fall victim to the anachronistic notion of what success is in life.
General mental ability is part of how smart we are. There is mental commitment, mental curiosity, as important parts of human intelligence. Surely there are many intelligent people in the sense of general mental ability. People who perceive and understand logic / cause to a point. “There are people who want to understand the perspective of other people, who really want to get to the truth – regardless of their ideology and what they believe until then.” Kaufman concluded that “mental humility and curiosity can make society a much better place.”