Paper: A Statement on Why IQ Tests do not Test Intelligence of a Person

To really gauge a person s intelligence, it would be necessary to put them through a rigorous set of real-life trials and document their performance. Otherwise the standardized IQ tests of today are testing an extremely limited quality of a person s character that can hardly be referred to as intelligence. For the sake of brevity, | will quickly mention a few other common criticisms of modern IQ tests. They have no way to compensate for cultural differences. People use different methods to solve problems. People s reading strategies differ. Speed is not always the best way to tackle a problem. There is often too much emphasis placed on vocabulary. Each of these points warrants individual treatment, and for more information refer to The Triarchic Mind by RJ Sternberg (Penguin Books, 1988, p18-36). It is possible to classify all the reasons that IQ tests fail at their task into two main groups. The first grouping is where the tests assume too much. Examples of this flaw are the assumption that speed is always good, vocabulary is a good indicator of intelligence, and that different test taking environments won t affect the outcome. The second grouping comes because the tests gauge the wrong items. Examples of this are different culture groups being asked to take the same tests as everyone else, and the fact that the tests ignore so many types of intelligence (like physical, social, etc). These two groupings illustrate where the major failings of popular IQ tests occur and can be used as tools for judging others....