IQ Test Validity

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The validity of Intelligence Tests in predicting life success On the surface, measuring ‘intelligence’ seems like a relatively simple task. Conventionally, one would take a psychometric intelligence test that is normed against scores for his age group, and then be given a score where 100 is the average for that group. This appears logical, using an intelligence test to measure intelligence. However, the validity, and specifically, the theoretic framework behind such tests needs to be examined. It is the position of this paper that standard intelligence tests merely measure one aspect of intelligence; this being academic ability in a timed, exam setting. Consequently, these tests are valid for predicting academic performance but not necessarily success in life. This is because intelligence is not limited to just academic ability, as illustrated in Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (Neisser, 1996). Gardner ascertains that standard psychometric tests of intelligence merely measure intelligence within a limited number of domains. These being linguistic, logical and some factors of spatial intelligence. Other aspects of intelligence included in his theory, which intelligence tests allegedly ignore, include; musical, logical-mathematic, bodily-kinaesthetic, personal, and more familiar linguistic intelligence (Neisser, 1996). Gardner even goes as far to claim that although current psychometric tests measure linguistic, logical and spatial intelligence, the fact that they are pencil and paper tests limit the scope of the measurement. This means that the tests may not measure a persons actual ability in the real world, such as their ability to navigate around a town (spatial ability), or to give a speech (linguistic ability) (Neisser, 1996). Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence also questions the scope of standard intelligence tests (Neisser, 1996).

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