#1 Full form of IQ
IQ is a score that is commonly used as an indicator of a person’s intelligence or the ability to solve challenging problems effectively. Different standardized tests are used to determine said score. The test aims to asses a person’s skills in solving the problems in a given amount of time.
What is Intelligence?
A proper definition for intelligence can be hard to find but there is a general consensus that intelligence is the ability of a person to think, act and apply knowledge in an effective manner. A common misconception about intelligence is that it is thought to be the same as knowledge.
Intelligence can be said to be an indicator of how clever a person is while knowledge is the information that you have in your mind. An intelligent person with good knowledge is said to be the best of both worlds. One can say knowledge in itself is far less effective than knowledge and intelligence combined.
Knowledge is the stuff (information, facts, etc.) that you put in your mind while intelligence is knowing when and how to use said knowledge well and to your best benefit.
Intelligence is the ability to think clearly and properly which is why we are seeing the term “artificial intelligence” being used more and more everyday in the tech world when it comes to describing the ability of a machine to make decisions on its own without any outside help from humans.
It is worth mentioning that intelligence is beyond what IQ tests can measure. IQ tests only test a person’s ability in a handful of topics while intelligence is a very wide-ranging topic.
All the factors affecting intelligence can probably never be truly measured as it is influenced by a number of factors ranging from society to education and culture. What may be thought of as an intelligent move in a certain culture may not be seen to be the same in other cultures.
History of IQ
There have been attempts to test a person’s intelligence for centuries by observing how a person behaves in a given situation. Tests were developed to measure a person’s problem-solving ability but the ability of a person outside the testing also matters. And still today, behavior outside the testing room is taken into account to properly estimate a person’s intelligence.
The term IQ was first used by psychologist William Stern in the early 1910s. It was abbreviated from the German term “Counterintelligence”. Before Stern, there were attempts made by Francis Dalton, an English statistician who theorized that intelligence was due to heredity.
He tested his theory in a mental testing center in 1882 and in 1883 he published his book “Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development” but was unable to prove his theories.
In 1905, Alfred Binet, a French psychologist along with Victor Henri and Theodore Simon, published called “Binet-Simon test” to test the mental capabilities of school children. The test was primarily based on verbal abilities.
The test was meant to measure the “mental age” of a student and any student failing the test was removed from the school and put in asylums for care. A modified version of the test was introduced in the United States by Lewis Terman at Stanford University and was later called the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales. This test became popular in the US and was used for decades to come until the 1960s.
The test was used to test people’s intelligence while hiring them for jobs in the US for a lot of years. Even the US military used mass-produced intelligence tests to test 1.75 million men during World War I. Later it was proposed that a test with several unrelated disciplines be used to more accurately test intelligence by L.L. Thurstone.
He suggested other aspects such as spatial visualization, associative memory, perceptual speed, verbal comprehension, number facility, word fluency, reasoning, and induction be used in the tests. The first version of this test was introduced in 1939 by David Wechsler. This test gained popularity and eventually replaced Stanford-Binet in the early 1960s.
Currently, IQ tests are common in the world although a vast majority of those are based on the English language. IQ tests in the Nepali language have seen no official existence which is the case with the majority of other languages around the world. IQ tests with a majority of the questions based on visual information rather than lingual skills are generally adopted for testing those with English as a second language.
For the English-speaking world, the test used currently is the one based on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale abbreviated to WAIS. This test is based on the one proposed by David Wechsler as mentioned earlier. Revised versions of the test have been released and are currently in the fifth version WAIS 5.
In addition to the Wechsler test, there are other tests too that measure intelligence that include:
- Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales
- Cattell Culture Fair III
- Raven’s Progressive Matrices
- Multidimensional Aptitude Battery II
- Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test
How IQ is measured
IQ tests are conducted by giving the person a set of questions to answer or problems to solve within a given time period. The most common test is based upon the aforementioned WAIS system which tests a person’s ability across a variety of aspects like verbal skills, numerical skills, visual skills, etc. Based on the performance in those tests a number is assigned to the person representing said person’s IQ. The general classification can be summed up as follows:
A score of below 70 represents a low score, usually meaning the person maybe feeble-minded.
A score of 70-80 although a little bit better still represents low intelligence.
A score of 80-90 is considered to be little below average.
90-110 is considered to be average. This is the range where most people’s scores lie.
110-120 represents score above average. The person is said to be of superior intelligence.
120-140 is a very superior category.
A score of above 140 means the person is a genius.
Based on the IQ scores, people having high IQ are often thought to be very distinct and are usually preferred in the workspace. There are some groups or societies that include specifically only the people with very high IQ scores. The Triple Nine Society and Mensa International are the most well-known. Mensa International only offers memberships to the top 2% of the IQ scores. Triple Nine Society is even more exclusive offering memberships to only the to 0.01%. According to Mensa, its three purposes are “to identify and to foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity; to encourage research into nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence; and to provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members”.
Examples of IQ questions:
- Complete the following pattern: 47,43,39 and ?
- Which two words out of the following are closest in meaning to one another: voluble, domineering, garrulous, botched.
- Rearrange the following letters into a meaningful word: G M A A N Z I
- Which option best completes the analogy: Tree is to Leaves as Hand is to? : a) Palm b) Wrist c) Fingers d) Nails
- Which month has 28 days?
- Garrulous and voluble
- All months have at least 28 days
Drawbacks of IQ testing
Despite of the wide usage of IQ tests around the world to determine a person’s intelligence, there are some drawbacks of the tests.
IQ tests can often end up testing a person’s test-taking abilities instead of the intelligence itself. A person who has taking IQ tests or other such tests has an advantage over a person who is new to such tests. Also, a person may be intelligent but may perform poorly under the testing conditions. These variables aren’t incorporated in the tests and can end up creating unfair results.
Another drawback of such testing is the way these tests are perceived. IQ centric studies may skew the results unfairly in a person’s favor. These days, IQ scores have seen a rise due to the preparedness of the test takers. The tests also don’t take the mental state of the taker into account.
A highly motivated test taker performs very well in the test when compared to a person who is less motivated or is going through a tough personal time. The motivation to score high in IQ tests does not correlate with higher intelligence overall but shows a person’s eagerness to get a high score.
IQ tests have a fixed set of questions coming from a fixed set of topics such as linguistics, mathematics, etc. It is clear that such questions only reveal a person’s ability to solve the problems of those natures only. A question set consisting of questions from lingual and mathematical aspects will not test a person’s ability in other aspects such as quick thinking or innovative problem-solving.
More inclusive tests have been developed in recent times but the inclusion of questions from all aspects in life is a long shot. The fact that questions from a certain aspect can measure ability in the said aspect only must never be forgotten.
Another major drawback of the IQ test is the language and cultural barrier that comes with it. IQ tests, as mentioned earlier, have been developed with the English-speaking demographic in mind. The test was made to serve the western culture.
This acts as a huge barrier as a person with English as a second language has an unfair disadvantage. Tests having questions in English are tough for people who don’t have English as their native language. The cultural barrier is similar to the lingual barrier. The questions have been made with the western population in mind and don’t necessarily apply to people of other cultures.
People raised in different cultures have a different way of thinking and a different way of solving problems. This is not included in the IQ tests. A person raised in a different culture with low IQ score is not necessarily a person with low intelligence but a person with different ideas and problem-solving skills.
Some Facts about IQ
- Intelligence isn’t genetic. A person with a low IQ score doesn’t mean his children will have low IQ scores too.
- According to research done in Sweden, lower IQ scores have been linked with people with suicidal intentions.
- A person with an IQ score of above 115 is assumed to be able to perform any task with relative ease.
- Between men and women, men have been observed to have higher IQs although the difference is very small.
- People with higher IQ are often more confident than people with a lower IQ.
- People with higher IQ are often more creative, innovative and more successful.
- IQ tests were used to identify people with mental retardation in the early periods. This is not done nowadays.
- Breastfed kids have been found to have higher IQs than bottle-fed kids.
- The environment a person comes from affects his IQ. A person from a clean environment having good social and economic background often has a higher IQ than a person without such influences.
- It has often been thought that the oldest sibling is the most intelligent but no correlation has been found between IQ score and birth order.
Countries with High IQ Scores
As stated above, IQ varies from place to place and culture to culture. Not every country has the same IQ. IQ score may even vary from place to place in a country itself.
Hong Kong and Singapore are tied for first place with an average score of 108 in both countries. South Korea comes in second place with an average score of 106 followed by Japan and China in third place with an average score of 105.
Close behind is Taiwan with an average score of 104. Nepal has an average score of 78 and is at 29th place along with Qatar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Equatorial Guinea is believed to be the country with the lowest IQ score of 59.