Page 1 of 3 [ 34 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

starkid
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Feb 2012
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,129
Location: California

08 Dec 2014, 12:23 am

OVER and OVER and OVER again online, I see people posting some version of the following: "IQ tests don't really measure intelligence." This is driving me crazy, so here is a post about why.

There is no universal precise definition of "intelligence." So, unless one specifies the definition of "intelligence" they are talking about, the statement, "IQ tests don't measure intelligence" is MEANINGLESS. It's like saying, "IQ tests don't measure hoggleswath."

However, various people have created working definitions in some official capacity, and various laypeople have their own idea of what intelligence is, although the lay definitions are usually still quite vague and therefore untestable.

Sometimes, when people say this, I assume that they are talking about some specific concept of intelligence such as the Multiple Intelligences idea. However, no IQ test that I know of is based on Multiple Intelligences. The tests are not designed to test anything pertaining to the Multiple Intelligences concept, therefore, it is meaningless to judge their validity in terms of adherence to the Multiple Intelligences concept. It would be like judging a geometry test based on whether or not it tested people on calculus. The IQ tests in use are each based on some specific criteria related to cognition, and the only justifiable and MEANINGFUL basis on which to judge the validity of the tests is whether or not they accurately and precisely test the things they are intended to test, NOT your own personal idea of what intelligence is, which is probably not even known to most people on Earth, let alone something that someone else has based an IQ test on.

Probably in most cases, the "intelligence" in mind is some nebulous jumble of things people do with their minds. This is even less of a legitimate basis on which to judge IQ tests, because IQ tests are composed of concrete tests, each specifically designed (and refined via research) to test one or more specific cognitive functions. There's no way to even begin writing something to test vague concepts of "stuff people can do with their minds." One has to begin with specifics. Therefore, comparing IQ tests to one's own ill-defined idea of intelligence is also meaningless.

IF you have a problem with the skills examined on an IQ test, your issue is not with the test itself; your issue is with the concept of intelligence on which the test is based. However, since there is no single precise universal definition of intelligence, any other definition could be subject to the same objections by someone else. That is, someone else could examine an IQ test based on your idea of intelligence and also say, "this doesn't measure intelligence," because that person has yet another, different idea of what intelligence is. The point is this: do not view ANY IQ test as some sort of ultimate, comprehensive determinant of one's cognitive powers, and do not assume that test creators, administrators, or examinees view them that way. The existing IQ tests are used for a few very specific purposes, yet people talk about them as if they are intended to be the final word on one's cognitive ability. THEY ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE INTERPRETED THAT WAY, so it is not justifiable to judge them on the basis that they don't live up to that.

Finally, a point about cultural bias: EVERYTHING that is, was, or will be considered to be a mark of intelligence is based in some cultural context. That means that the concept of "intelligence" varies by culture. It is therefore impossible to create a "culture-fair" IQ test; people from different cultures wouldn't even agree on what skills should be tested. Therefore, ALL IQ tests are inherently culturally biased, and they SHOULD BE culturally biased, because that which they are testing (intelligence) is culturally specific, and it would be quite impractical for test creators to attempt to incorporate elements from cultures with which they are not familiar. Therefore, the cultural bias of individual IQ tests is NOT a legitimate reason to reject their validity (although it would be perfectly legitimate to reject ALL IQ tests on that basis).


_________________
Assume nothing, question everything.
DX Central Auditory Processing Deficit


btbnnyr
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 May 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,458
Location: Lost Angleles Carmen Santiago

08 Dec 2014, 12:45 am

For myself, I haven't found any use for IQ testing.
They are definitely not the final anything on a person's cognitive ability or human cognition in general.
They measure a few things in an antiquated way of person-to-person question-and-answer that is not a good mode for testing autistic people.
Computerized tests would be better and more able to test specific cognitive abilities in depth.


_________________
Drain and plane and grain and blain your brain, and then again,
Propane and butane out of the gas main, your blain shall sustain!


LoveNotHate
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Oct 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,134
Location: USA

08 Dec 2014, 1:45 am

yes, one my first days in college we were given a lecture about students committing suicide because they got bad grades. These people are sometimes considered "intellectually gifted" based on testing scores - which is why it pains them so much. However, how smart is suicide because of bad grades?

There is an abundance of supposedly intelligent people doing dumb things.



Norny
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Dec 2013
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,486

08 Dec 2014, 8:34 am

I think that intelligence is fussed over too much. It seems to be the ego candida of the social world, and because of that I genuinely prefer hanging out with people that do not obsess over personal, intellectual discourse. I can respect and enjoy a good debate/argument provided the goal isn't to prove and assert one's intelligence.

I agree with OP post.


_________________
Unapologetically, Norny. :rambo:
-chronically drunk


FedUpAsp
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Age: 43
Gender: Female
Posts: 149

08 Dec 2014, 9:25 am

Did I prompt this rant?



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 64,104
Location: Queens, NYC

08 Dec 2014, 9:32 am

IQ tests are only used as a "baseline" assessment these days.

In the old days, they were depended upon too much, and caused lots of harm for many.



starkid
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Feb 2012
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,129
Location: California

08 Dec 2014, 12:55 pm

FedUpAsp wrote:
Did I prompt this rant?


It was multiple people on multiple different websites. I can't remember if you were one of them.


_________________
Assume nothing, question everything.
DX Central Auditory Processing Deficit


FedUpAsp
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Age: 43
Gender: Female
Posts: 149

08 Dec 2014, 1:08 pm

starkid wrote:
FedUpAsp wrote:
Did I prompt this rant?


It was multiple people on multiple different websites. I can't remember if you were one of them.


I hope not. I don't want to upset anyone here.

I was just amazed and posted about it when I found out what my IQ classification meant in numbers. Why it means so much is kind of complicated, but I hope if you saw it that it didn't upset you.



FedUpAsp
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Age: 43
Gender: Female
Posts: 149

08 Dec 2014, 8:00 pm

LoveNotHate wrote:
yes, one my first days in college we were given a lecture about students committing suicide because they got bad grades. These people are sometimes considered "intellectually gifted" based on testing scores - which is why it pains them so much. However, how smart is suicide because of bad grades?

There is an abundance of supposedly intelligent people doing dumb things.


I am like this; I can't bear getting bad grades - not to the point of suicide, but it significantly upsets me. I realize how pathetic it is.

To be honest, hardly anyone in the general population knows what their IQ score is, unless there was a specific reason to test for it (or someone was curious and had one administered to them.) It shouldn't be as important as it is, and, is it really that important in the big, grand scheme of things?

Tell someone you have a high IQ and the following happens; you're expected to 'prove it.' you're not believed. you're believed and people resent you.

Growing up I really felt like being smart was a four letter word. There were no proper gifted programs where I was, teachers refused to let me work ahead, and everything seemed to be all about what was wrong with me. (I had other problems besides undiagnosed ASD.) When life's all about what's wrong with you over and over again, you'll cling to that one thing that's a bright spot in life, even if it's a high IQ. Even if it's not really relevant.



Ganondox
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,807
Location: USA

09 Dec 2014, 1:00 am

Intelligence is not defined by IQ tests, rather the tests were created and refined to test an idea of intelligence the maker had in mind. And yes, the tests can still lack validity.


_________________
Cinnamon and sugary
Softly Spoken lies
You never know just how you look
Through other people's eyes

Autism FAQs http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt186115.html


Jezebel
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 15 May 2010
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Posts: 274
Location: Alabama

09 Dec 2014, 4:38 am

One of my pet peeves is when people say "IQ doesn't mean anything", when in fact, studies have shown that individuals with higher IQs actually have more cortical thickness. Other differences have been proven as well.

And yes, I do believe you're right; generally people who oppose IQ tests are gungho for Gardner's theory (by the way, he says IQ tests test a couple of his proposed "intelligences", such as logical-mathematical and linguistic).

I find the whole intelligence debate fascinating and it's something I plan to research more. I find it pretty stupid how people don't realize that definitions are subjective. I love when people google something and define it to try to use it to back their supposed facts/opinions/claims. It's sad that people don't understand what actual "facts" are nowadays. (I actually had to explain to someone what a fact meant, because he literally did not seem to understand how his opinion of a definition wasn't a fact.)

I do agree that people interpret IQ tests the wrong way. I suppose this is partly because of the U.S. psychologists that really started IQ tests, but mainly it just seems to be that people find out about Gardner's theory or Sternberg's and completely dismiss IQ tests after that. It's ridiculous because they go on making off the wall comments that people actually believe. People are just too gullible and refuse to actually think for themselves and do their own research, sadly. People also don't realize that Alfred Binet (the creator of the first IQ test) actually created his so that teachers wouldn't be able to give subjective evaluations of students. He hoped IQ tests would instead weed out students who were intellectually disabled from those that were able to function in a normal classroom. American psychologists proceeded to adapt them for Americans (Binet was French) and some proposed using them for ridiculous purposes (such as deciding what immigrants should be allowed to stay or whether certain races were competent to perform in the military), while others, such as Wechsler, seem to have wanted to make intelligence assessment more valid.

I also agree about your cultural comments - I was actually thinking about this not too long ago when I was remembering the discussions we had about it in my introductory psychology class. Overall, I don't believe in multiple intelligences (at least the current proposed ones) and I think it's simply because the theories are meant to replace IQ tests, which is a horrible idea. I already pointed out some of the brain differences that people with higher IQs have, signifying that IQs do in fact mean something. What exactly do they mean? I'm not sure if that can exactly be answered right now, but it's stupid for people to try to claim IQ tests mean nothing simply because they're upset they scored average and perceive themselves as "dumb." There's nothing wrong with scoring average. It seems to be more of people having a problem with being able to quantify the fact that some people are smarter than them.

I also don't understand why people, like Gardner are trying to define a universal definition of intelligence, when that's highly unlikely ever to happen. I sincerely doubt everyone will always agree as to what "intelligence" is and what is the best way to measure it. He says he created his theory to apply to other cultures, but I'm not sure if it does. Some critics say that part of his theory simply restates the normal academic sense of intelligence anyway.

Honestly, this whole intelligence debate dates back at least to 1869, which is when Sir Francis Galton published Hereditary Genius. He's actually credited with starting the modern concept of intelligence testing.

Whoops, sorry for the rant. You can probably tell psychology (and especially personality theories) is one of my special interests (hence why it's one of my majors) xD.

EDIT: To the person who brought up giftedness:
Also, yes there is a such thing as being gifted, just as there is a such thing as intellectual disability. I was put into the gifted program in elementary school, but it's a complete incorrect assumption that such placement is based solely off of IQ scores alone. An IQ that is above 130 or so is supposed to be the general requirement, but teachers take other factors into account as well. Not to mention that anyone can make mistakes and do stupid things. I don't know why people always bring up that people with high IQs tend to do stupid things. The argument makes no sense at all if you ask me... what, smart people can't do dumb things? I see it all the time as well, but doing something dumb is more related to human nature or a person's personality traits than it is related to someone's actual intelligence. I'm also not sure what suicide has to do with someone's intelligence level? Obviously anyone contemplating suicide is very depressed, and it's unlikely that bad grades alone contributed to such a deep depression. However, a bad grade very well could put someone over the top and cause them to contemplate or commit suicide. Having experienced both depression and being very specific about grades, I can tell you that from personal experience.

Also, it's another misconception that autistic people can't be measured by IQ tests or that they can't be tailored to us. There are such a thing as nonverbal tests, which autistic people should be given if you ask me. That's why David Wechsler invented them in the first place... he recognized that verbal IQ tests were not a good measure for everyone. My brother and I were proof of that when it came to our gifted assessments - we both scored gifted with nonverbal measures, just as my mother told the school.

@FedUpAsp:
I'm actually pretty similar to you. I can't stand getting bad grades. A "B" is unacceptable in my opinion. I'm pretty strict about those kinds of things :/


_________________
Diagnosed with ADHD combined type (02/09/16) and ASD Level 1 (04/28/16).


Last edited by Jezebel on 09 Dec 2014, 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dylstew2
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 14 Jun 2014
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Posts: 10
Location: The Netherlands

09 Dec 2014, 4:58 am

I'm going to need a TL:DR for this one.
I took an IQ test at my school, turns out my IQ is exactly average, and people kept telling me I was smart when I was young. Now I have proof I'm not...not sure in what other way knowing this was useful...



Jezebel
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 15 May 2010
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Posts: 274
Location: Alabama

09 Dec 2014, 5:09 am

Dylstew2 wrote:
I'm going to need a TL:DR for this one.
I took an IQ test at my school, turns out my IQ is exactly average, and people kept telling me I was smart when I was young. Now I have proof I'm not...not sure in what other way knowing this was useful...

An IQ score does not define you as a person. Only you can do that. Who says someone who scores average on an IQ test cannot be "smart"? And as I mentioned in my earlier post, you may have been given the wrong type of test. If you're shy, introverted, or autistic (which I'm going to assume of course lol), then you probably should've been given a nonverbal test (if you weren't, and you probably weren't). There have been studies that have proved that IQ scores can differ depending on all kinds of factors; for example, one study showed how the type of person you are (morning vs night) can impact your IQ score by up to 7 points. So a night owl might do worse on an IQ test (if taken in the morning) than a morning person. Of course more research needs to be done into it, but it's still pretty fascinating if you ask me.


_________________
Diagnosed with ADHD combined type (02/09/16) and ASD Level 1 (04/28/16).


starkid
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Feb 2012
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,129
Location: California

09 Dec 2014, 1:44 pm

Dylstew2 wrote:
I'm going to need a TL:DR for this one.


TL:DR version:

There are multiple concepts of intelligence; none are universally accepted. It is meaningless to question or reject the validity of IQ tests if the questioning/rejection is based on the cultural bias of the tests or the fact that the tests don't measure up to some concept of intelligence to which they were never meant to measure up.


_________________
Assume nothing, question everything.
DX Central Auditory Processing Deficit


btbnnyr
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 May 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,458
Location: Lost Angleles Carmen Santiago

09 Dec 2014, 2:14 pm

Some kind of IQ test did help identify me as gifted in grade school, which caused the teachers to give me a special education plan of leaving me alone to study 2-3 grades ahead in the mainstream classroom, which helped me a lot. The one thing this did not help me with was learning to pay attention to the teacher or any other person speaking in front of a group, and I still lack this ability. Other than this, I have had no use for IQ testing, but it can be argued that this early IQ testing helped me a lot in my life.


_________________
Drain and plane and grain and blain your brain, and then again,
Propane and butane out of the gas main, your blain shall sustain!