Why Iq Tests Don't Test Intelligence

679 words - 3 pages

PsychologyMarch 7,1997Why IQ tests don't test intelligenceThe task of trying to quantify a person's intelligence has been a goal ofpsychologists since before the beginning of this century. The Binet-Simon scales werefirst proposed in 1905 in Paris, France and various sorts of tests have been evolving eversince. One of the important questions that always comes up regarding these tools is whatare the tests really measuring? Are they measuring a person's intelligence? Their abilityto perform well on standardized tests? Or just some arbitrary quantity of the person's IQ?When examining the situations around which these tests are given and the content of thetests themselves, it becomes apparent that however useful the tests may be forstandardizing a group's intellectual ability, they are not a good indicator of intelligence.To issue a truly standardized test, the testing environment should be the same foreveryone involved. If anything has been learned from the psychology of perception, it isclear that a person's environment has agreat deal to do with their cognitive abilities. Is the lightflickering? Is the paint on the walls an unsettling shade? Is the temperature too hot or toocold? Is the chair uncomfortable? Or in the worst case, do they have an illness that day?To test a person's mind, it is necessary to utilize their body in the process. If everyone'sbody is placed in different conditions during the testing, how is itexpected to get standardized results across all the subjects? Because of this assumptionthat everyone will perform equally independent of their environment, intelligence testscores are skewed and cannot be viewed as standardized, and definitely not as an exampleof a person's intelligence.It is obvious that a person's intelligence stems from a variety of traits. A few ofthese that are often tested are reading comprehension, vocabulary, and spatial relations.But this is not all that goes into it. What about physical intelligence, conversationalintelligence, social intel-ligence, survival intelligence, and the slew of others thatgo into everyday life? Why are these important traits not figured into intelligence tests?Granted, normal...

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