My Thoughts About IQ / Intelligence Quotient

By Dean Thorpe

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What is Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and do IQ tests really mean anything at all in the real world?

I personally think there is a lot more to being intelligent than having a high score in a Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test. Some of the smartest people I know can do some of the most stupid things! Some of my friends who would do badly on an IQ test do come up with some of the smartest suggestions, so never feel bad about your IQ level.

what is Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

Computer brain or computer error

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests are a way of measuring a person's IQ. They are calculated by using the formula IQ = 100 MA (Mental Age) / CA (Chronological Age).

The first Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test was created over 100 years ago in 1905 by a Psychologist from France called Alfred Binet (1857 - 1911) and his physician research partner Dr. Theodore Simon (1873 - 1961). The original Binet-Simon Scale was very different from the modern IQ tests, it contained:

(01) "Le Regard" (coordination in the movement of the head and the eyes)
(02) Prehension Provoked by a Tactile Stimulus
(03) Prehension Provoked by a Visual Perception
(04) Recognition of Food
(05) Quest of Food Complicated by a Slight Mechanical Difficulty
(06) Execution of Simple Commands and Imitation of Simple Gestures
(07) Verbal Knowledge of Objects
(08) Verbal Knowledge of Pictures
(09) Naming of Designated Objects
(10) Immediate Comparison of Two Lines of Unequal Lengths
(11) Repetition of Three Figures
(12) Comparison of Two Weights
(13) Suggestibility
(14) Verbal Definition of Known Objects
(15) Repetition of Sentences of Fifteen Words
(16) Comparison of Known Objects from Memory
(17) Exercise of Memory on Pictures
(18) Drawing a Design from Memory
(19) Immediate Repetition of Figures
(20) Resemblances of Several Known Objects Given from Memory
(21) Comparison of Lengths
(22) Five Weights to be Placed in Order
(23) Gap in Weights
(24) Exercise upon Rhymes
(25) Verbal Gaps to be Filled
(26) Synthesis of Three Words in One Sentence
(27) Reply to an Abstract Question
(28) Reversal of the Hands of a Clock
(29) Paper Cutting
(30) Definitions of Abstract Terms

The test was based upon several basic theories.

Children grow more mentally capable as they grow older.

Some children perform at higher grade and age levels than their actual grade and age level. While other children are just the opposite.

The MA (mental age) part of the formula is the actual age level that the child is according to the tests. So, if a 5 year old got results that would be right for a 10 year old, that would be:

(100*10)/5 giving an IQ of 200 (above average Intelligence Quotient (IQ))

On the other hand if the child was 10 and his mental age was 5 then it would be:

(100*5)/10 giving an IQ of 50 (below average Intelligence Quotient (IQ))

A typical child should have a physical age the same as their mental age, so if they were 10 than would be:

(100*10)/10 giving an IQ of 100 (average Intelligence Quotient (IQ))

Binet and Simpson also discovered that these gaps between MA and CA grew wider as the children got older. 

So for instance a low IQ child could have progress like this:

MA 2 CA 3 (1 year difference, IQ 67)
MA 4 CA 6
MA 6 CA 9
MA 8 CA 12
MA 10 CA 15 (5 year difference, IQ 67)

A high IQ child could have progress like this:

MA 3 CA 2 (1 year difference, IQ 150)
MA 6 CA 4
MA 9 CA 6
MA 12 CA 8
MA 15 CA 10 (5 year difference, IQ 150)

With both of the above children their IQ test results would actually stay the same due to the way the gap gets wider. This constant ratio was called the "Intelligence Quotient".

The modern Intelligence Quotient (IQ) quiz, or IQ test, was developed as a way of determining the MA:CA ratio of any person at any age.

Of course this does cause problems with adults, I'm sure a lot of 50 year old people would rather have the brain of a 25 year old than a 100 year old! This means that the calculation is different, but still expresses the "superior" level of intelligence that person has.

Does Someones IQ actually Change anything?

Here are abstracts from an article called "The General Intelligence Factor", by Linda Gottfredson that was printed in Scientific American Presents "Exploring Intelligence" in 1999.

"Adults in the bottom 5% of the IQ distribution (below 75) are very difficult to train and are not competitive for any occupation on the basis of ability. Serious problems in training low-IQ military recruits during World War II led Congress to ban enlistment from the lowest 10% (below 80) of the population, and no civilian occupation in modern economies routinely recruits its workers from that below 80 range."

"Current military enlistment standards exclude any individual whose IQ is below about 85."

"Persons of average IQ (between 90 and 100) are not competitive for most professional and executive-level work but are easily trained for the bulk of jobs in the American economy. By contrast, individuals in the top 5 percent of the adult population can essentially train themselves, and few occupations are beyond their reach mentally."

"People with IQs between 75 and 90 are 88 times more likely to drop out of high school, seven times more likely to be jailed, and five times more likely as adults to live in poverty than people with IQs between 110 and 125. The 75-to-90 IQ woman is eight times more likely to become a chronic welfare recipient, and four times as likely to bear an illegitimate child than the 110-to-125-IQ woman."

Please note that is what she said, not what I think!!!

Do I think IQ is really important

I do think there is a LOT more to it. An IQ of 150 is not much use if you have no common sense and a person with an IQ of 75 that knows a lot about other things will in many ways be more intelligent. My IQ is officially 145, but I know plenty of people with lower IQ's that in my opinion are actually smarter or as smart as me. All people are different and have very different strengths and weaknesses.

To do a physically active job such as a builder requires a certain level of physical fitness, but is more flexible about levels of intelligence, there is no reason why those people cannot have a very high IQ, it's just less of a requirement. High mentally active jobs are the opposite, there is no reason why a super fit person can't be an IT expert or whatever, but it is much less important to their ability to do the job than that persons level of intelligence.

Find your strengths and use them, also work out your weaknesses and try to avoid those!

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