Southern New Hampshire University
Some of the most popular psychological tests today are of intelligence. The dictionary’s definition of intelligence is the capacity for learning, reasoning and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc. It also states that, intelligence is the capacity for understanding; ability to perceive, and comprehend meaning. Alfred Binet and his colleague Theodore Simon introduced the first intelligence test called the Binet-Simon Scale. This test was originally designed to help identify those school children who needed extra help. However, Binet himself had doubts on this test and the success of measuring accurate intelligence. The test was soon brought to the United States and revised. Stanford University, along with Binet revised this test and standardized it using American subjects. This revised test was published in 1916 and was then named the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and became the accepted intelligence test used today in the United States. “The Stanford-Binet (SB), the most popular intelligence test is a “cognitive ability assessment used to measure intelligence (IQ). The Stanford-Binet measures five factors of cognitive ability: Fluid Reasoning, Knowledge, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Processing, and Working Memory. Each of these factors is tested in two separate domains, verbal and nonverbal” (Stanford-Binet). This test uses a single number to represent the individual’s score. This is known as the individual’s intelligence quotient (IQ). This score was calculated by dividing the test taker’s mental age by their chronological age, and then multiplying this number by 100. For example, a child with a mental age of 12 and a chronological age of 10 would have an IQ of 120 (12/10 x 100) (Cherry). So what do your scores mean? An IQ score of 130 or higher indicates a high score. From gifted to genius and then extraordinary genius. It is thought that those with a higher IQ score tend to exhibit perseverance, the desire to excel in life and great will power. However, not all individuals with high IQ scores are destined to be great. Creativity and personality traits are not measured and thus can turn a genius into a bum later on in life. It is also known that individuals with higher IQ scores tend to have more social problems and can lead to social isolation, anxiety amongst other issues later in life. Also, research indicates that those that are highly gifted are not necessary gifted in all aspects. These individuals have what is called Domain-Specific Giftedness. For example, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft is a highly gifted individual in his field of study however people assume because he was so successful that he’s generally gifted in all aspects, which is not the case. My step-son has Autism and is gifted in many ways but declines in some academia in other ways. I do not believe an IQ test on my son would not accurately reflect his intelligence. Taking tests creates extreme anxiety for him, therefore, he does not do well. When verbally asking him questions on a test, he gets them all correct. He’s an extremely gifted drummer and has been playing since the age of 3. He learns music by his senses; visually and hearing. He can watch a video of Phil Collins or Neil Peart drumming and then can repeat the same exact drum keys for an entire song. His memory is beyond years and beyond anyone I have ever met. When he was 4 I would read him stories. He would then read them verbatim back to me. I thought he was highly intelligent and could read so well at such a young age when in fact about a year later, I realized he wasn’t actually reading, he had memorized the words from me telling him the story and was just repeating them back to me…word for word. Although there are different types of IQ tests most measure your mathematical, visual, and language ability. It also measures your problem-solving abilities and reasoning and how well you do on this test compared to other’s your age. What this test doesn’t measure or show is your ability to make things work, your curiosity or creativity. Because these tests lack many great qualities and attributes it is said that these high scores can become coupled with social disorders. As mentioned above individuals with higher scores tend to have more social problems. Much like my step-son, these individuals tend to be socially awkward and have a difficult time understanding social cues. This can create stress and anxiety in their life. Every action in their life becomes a challenge. My husband and I constantly coach our son when he is interacting with children his own age. He does not understand facial expressions or social cues and does not know how to properly interact therefore we often tell him what to say, or how to respond in a socially awkward moment. When he gets nervous, mostly around children his own age, he will immediately talk about something that calms him, which is music. To him, this is normal but to others he’s looked at differently and most adults immediately think he has ADD for his sudden change in conversations. Whether or not my son has an extremely high IQ or extremely low IQ, I would discuss this with him, the benefits and downfalls of each. Everyone needs help with things in their life. No one is perfect and I think that this could be a great learning tool – whether good or bad. If it’s a high IQ, then focus could be made on what he’s good at (for future opportunities) and more attention to the things he struggles with. Again, being a learning tool, I would do the same if he had a low IQ score. Focus primarily on what needs to be worked on and appreciate and commend those attributes that are fabulous in his life….the drums. Again, not everyone with a high IQ is destined to be the next Einstein. Your environment, how your raise your children, understanding and becoming aware of those things that need a little extra attention can make a different in any child’s life, with a high or low IQ.
Cherry, Kendra. (n.d.). History of Intelligent Testing. In About.com psychology. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologicaltesting/a/int-history.htm Intelligence. (n.d.). In Dictionary.com online. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intelligence Stanford Binet Test. (n.d.). In IQ Stanford Binet. Retrieved from http://www.stanfordbinet.net/
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