Why IQ tests don't test intelligence
The task of trying to quantify a person's intelligence has been a goal of
psychologists since before the beginning of this century. The Binet-Simon scales were
first proposed in 1905 in Paris, France and various sorts of tests have been evolving ever
since. One of the important questions that always comes up regarding these tools is what
are the tests really measuring? Are they measuring a person's intelligence? Their ability
to 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 the
tests themselves, it becomes apparent that however useful the tests may be for
standardizing 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 for
If anything has been learned from the psychology of perception, it is
clear that a person's environment has a
great deal to do with their cognitive abilities. Is the light
flickering? Is the paint on the walls an unsettling shade? Is the temperature too hot or too
cold? 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's
body is placed in different conditions during the testing, how is it
expected to get standardized results across all the subjects? Because of this assumption
that everyone will perform equally independent of their environment, intelligence test
scores are skewed and cannot be viewed as standardized, and definitely not as an example
of a person's intelligence.
It is obvious that a person's intelligence stems from a variety of...