“Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its life thinking it’s stupid”
- The idea that intelligence can be measured by IQ tests alone is a fallacy according to the largest single study into human cognition in 2013, which found that it comprises of at least three distinct mental traits. Instead of a general measure of intelligence epitomized by the intelligence quotient (IQ), intellectual ability consists of short-term memory, reasoning and verbal agility “The results disprove once and for all the idea that a single measure of intelligence, such as IQ, is enough to capture all of the differences in cognitive ability that we see between people,”
- One fundamental problem with the IQ test is that there is no absolute method. There are about 30 odd methods of measuring a person’s intellect each of which vary in their results. Einstein himself faced this problem: The two most popular tests used today are the Weschler and the Standford-Binet. On the latter, Albert scored a now famous 186 as a child. On the former, the same score registers as a 160. Therefore the inconsistency of the methods need to be taken into account.
- Everyone knows da Vinci had his hand in everything. But is that why Einstein scores lower at 160? Einstein is less creative? If you think it’s difficult to measure intellect in terms of the black-and-white mathematics and sciences, imagine measuring a person’s skill in liberal arts. You pick the single genre of the arts. What I’m saying is that trying to reduce all of a person’s skillsets into one standardized generalized comparable single one-size-fits-all numerical value is impossible. It is trying to measure the immeasurable.
- Angela Lee Duckworth, PhD, a psychologist, in her research revealed the effect of motivation on how well people perform on IQ tests and other tests. The study consisted of 2,000 subjects who were given an aptitude test. The results revealed that subjects who are promised monetary rewards for doing well on the test score significantly higher. If something as small as 10 dollars could influence a performance in a test. The amount a person scores shouldn’t be the meter by which we measure the pupils intelligence.
Intelligence is a broad and a comprehensive term, even though it’s been defined in various disciplines and fields it has no universally accepted definition. In such a scenario it would be illogical to quantify the level of intelligence as the term itself varies in its different fields.
But the question is if not through a number how then do we test people’s intelligence?