Social Question

longgone's avatar

Do you believe in IQ tests?

Asked by longgone (14319points) August 20th, 2018

What do they measure? What do they mean? Is anyone else suspicious?

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34 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I believe they do have a use. However, it’s been shown that the tests are really geared to a certain “type.” For example, a middle class person might score higher on such a test than a person in poverty, due the the education the middle class person might have, and their life experiences.
Some parts of the test, though, measure innate traits, such as locating patterns. I think that people across the spectrum can decipher that with our without education.

I took this quiz about my sense of humor. The end result suggested I didn’t have one, that I was as dead as a fish…the problem is, it kept asking which character I preferred in Seinfeld, which character I preferred in this sit com or that sit com…...well, I’ve never watch Seinfield or those other sit coms. So the test was biased towards those who have.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, I believe that IQ tests are a valid numeric measure.


A high IQ does not make a person smart, savvy, friendly, interesting, or anything else. The person’s personality is much more than the numeric value.

(I am aware, personally, of two VERY HIGH IQ people who committed suicide, so they’re not all that well-adjusted, either.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@elbanditoroso. It’s a measurement, a high IQ actually means a person is smart.

Yellowdog's avatar

They are fair and generally very accurate. There IS some bias in some areas where an individual may have not been exposed to the data. For instance, who wrote Faust? Who has heard of Goethe? What if I learned wrongly it was Spencer or Shakespeare? But I think other areas can reveal lack of educational exposure or opportunity,

They don’t measure everything and not everybody who appears to be super intelligent really is. If I go on a spiel about Gothic architecture, English style homes, or Victorian architecture, you’d think I was a genius. But there is a lot I cannot pass muster in—especially mathematical analytical stuff,

An IQ test DOES measure intelligence. But it could conceivably miss a few areas where a person is exceedingly bright.

Demosthenes's avatar

I’m suspicious, but I’ve never taken one, so that could change if I took one. I’m suspicious not that I think they don’t measure anything useful, but that I keep hearing about different tests producing different results, about IQ tests only measuring certain types of intelligence, etc. So I don’t think it’s as cut-and-dry as it appears. I also do think people put too much importance on IQ. I’m also skeptical when it seems like everyone I meet online who’s taken one has scored at the genius level. I really don’t think they’re all geniuses…but people do tend to exaggerate online.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Practicing taking them makes them easier!

rojo's avatar

I think it serves a purpose and I would even go so far as to propose one be required for running for government office. But, who sets the standard? Ah but therein lies the rub (I believe Dante said that, or was it Linda Lovelace?).

Dutchess_III's avatar

(Maybe Debbie Doing Dallas?)

Jeruba's avatar

It’s often said in certain circles that a high score on an IQ test means you’re really good at taking tests.

I’m pretty sure the tests measure something, although they don’t necessarily all measure exactly the same thing. I believe there’s a high correlation between scoring well on one of those instruments and being intelligent, but the opposite is not necessarily true—that is, to score high, you must have high intelligence (at least of a certain measurable kind), but a low score may not mean low intelligence. Too many other things can account for a low or average score.

(We’re not talking about little magazine or internet quizzes that are just for fun and have no science behind them. Those mean nothing.)

For instance, I always enjoyed taking standardized tests and treated them as a sort of game or puzzle; but my sister, a highly intelligent and resourceful person, suffered from test paralysis and just seemed to freeze up, so she never scored as well as she should have.

I also know a number of people that I consider brilliant in their own way but who are more right- than left-hemisphere types. They are never going to look their best on a measure that depends on verbal proficiency and logical reasoning. (And of course they don’t care.)

I think the standardized tests serve their uses. The danger comes in trying to attach more significance to them than they warrant in the scheme of things.

As has been noted, they say nothing about a person’s personality or character. And being intellectually well endowed is no blessing in itself; in fact, it can lead to a lot of pain.

I don’t see a role for suspicion here, though. Suspicion of what? If an instrument of any kind is misused, that’s the fault of the user, and not the instrument, wouldn’t you say?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I love taking tests too.

ucme's avatar

I mean, you can have an extremely high IQ but lack common sense & have the personality of an amoeba.
Believing in the tests is a double edged sword.

Dutchess_III's avatar

IQ tests do not check for common sense or personality traits, only intelligence.

ucme's avatar

Wow :D

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I only believe in the ones that I score well in.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would also like to have a correlation between I.Q. and flavor of the brain. Are smart peoples brains more salty and whatnot? Also the low hanging fruit. Like visual differences and other simple tests.

Yellowdog's avatar

Diabetics and people with altzheimers have sweeter tasting brains.

Other than that, all brains taste kind of mealy or grainy—if you want to taste one without murdering someone, try pork brains

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I think they’re a useful predictor of academic success within a certain range. I would not base selection into academics on that alone, ever. It’s certainly no predictor of success, happiness or any other measure you choose to look at. Scores on the fringes may indicate problems integrating into society or other issues but for the most part most all of us are in the normal range and it has little to no bearing on our lives. It is just a crude measure on how well we process certain things. It is also something that changes so a particular score is just a snapshot, especially in youth when it is less stable. I’m not a believer in using it to stratify, select or otherwise delineate individuals. Behavior, performance and work ethic… that is.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes. They do have correlations to a person’s ability to get through school and some other things. Higher IQ usually demonstrates a person’s ability to take new information and mesh it with old information to be able to figure out problems they have never specifically seen before or to critically think about information given to them. IQ is partly a measure of logic.

However, in life, working hard and persistence is more important than 10 points here or there on an IQ test. If a genius is lazy and just sits around doing nothing, he accomplishes nothing and learns nothing.

That brings me to knowledge, knowledge is very different than IQ. Knowledge is probably more easily attained by people with higher IQ’s, but again people with average intelligence can be incredibly knowledgeable on a topic or in a field; IQ would not matter much at all.

LostInParadise's avatar

They give some indication of intellectual ability, but should be used with caution. One interesting use is to show historical trends. During the last century, there was a steady rise in test scores, which required the scoring to be changed in order to keep an IQ of 100 as average. This is known as the Flynn effect, after James Flynn, who studied it. According to Flynn, the increased scores resulted from improved abstract reasoning, due to our increased use of technology.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. Only people who can pass an IQ test, or a test on current events, or those with a college education, should be able to vote. (IMHO)

IQ = Intelligence Quotient “A number denoting the intelligence of a person; determined by multiplying his mental age by 100 (to eliminate decimals) and dividing by his chronological age.” -from Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1960 edition…

(But you knew that, didn’t you??)

Yellowdog's avatar

So a ten year old with an IQ of 140 would have the cognitive / mental capabilities of a 14 year old—probably even greater because they have excessively high mental capabilities. A 15 year old with an I.Q. of 66 would be at the mental age of a ten year old—but probably slower because their mental prowness is slow.

What gets confusing are those geniuses who are musical prodigies or exceed in some other area where they perform well—such as arranging all the music for an original orchestral score while still in high school, but whose academic performance was only average.and whose IQ was only around 100–111.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper You can’t be serious about those tests to vote. Can you?

Yellowdog's avatar

@JLeslie Some people really do assume that they are smarter than the people they disagree with and thus people who hold other views have the low IQs

the barometer usually is that these are the ones who should have the power and the privilege to vote. The sixty-six million who voted for Trump are racists, homophobes, xenophobes, rednecks, white trash, deplorables, etc etc and must not be allowed to vote. In fact, some on Fluther seriously (seriously) believe they should be driven out of the public eye or shipped somewhere else.

This is the difference between the kind of social democracies that exist in Scandinavia and the police state here t hat they desire to come to fruitation, Get these Trump loons out of the way and we can have Utopia

raum's avatar

I would consider a person with a high IQ as a person who is good at taking tests. That can mean a number of things depending on the context.

I think there may be some correlation to intelligence. But not necessarily a causation.

JLeslie's avatar

@Yellowdog I don’t know how anyone who knows the history of voting in America could suggest a test to vote. I think a test would have a really big chance of hurting Democrats more than Republicans. I’m not sure though.

I’m on the side of not encouraging disinterested voters to vote, but not allowing people to vote? That’s terrifying.

Anyone who thinks people on the other side are all low intelligence or stupider has another thing coming. Plenty of smart people voted for Trump and plenty of smart people voted for Bernie, Hillary, and Obama.

Put in a test and probably 20–30% of black adults in Memphis fail. The literacy rate in that city is terrible. Then you get all these white people fighting for school vouchers and they don’t care if public schools disappear and the illiteracy rate will start going up again eventually. Sounds like a perfect prescription to keep the poor and the minorities down.

What if the test is in English only? My inlaws won’t pass.

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, I’m serious. Stupid people, uninformed people, ignorant people shouldn’t be allowed to vote. And this POV doesn’t discriminate.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I thought you meant candidates should pass some sort of literacy test before being allowed to run for public office. I would agree with that! It certainly would have bumped trump out early on.

I disagree with testing the population before voting. That’s how we were set up in the early years of our Constitution: ” In the early history of the U.S., most states allowed only white male adult property owners to vote.” Source

If you are a US citizen and you want to vote you should be allowed to vote.

kritiper's avatar

Men vote who never pick up a newspaper or watch the news. But they can tell you who’s playing in the big game this weekend!
Women, too, who sit around and gab about each other, and watch talk shows and soap operas.
I have neighbor who doesn’t know what’s going on, but he’ll vote Republican because he thinks the Democrats are out to take his guns away.
Sure. Let them vote. Makes perfect sense…

Dutchess_III's avatar

If a person is interested enough to get up off their asses and go vote, they should be allowed to vote. It is their right as a US Citizen.
Your stereotypes weren’t cute or even accurate.

chyna's avatar

Just for a throwback, back in the 50’s and 60’s my aunt gave out moonshine and drove voters to the polls to buy votes.

kritiper's avatar

Yeah, the truth hurts…

raum's avatar

Did you read the part about how United States vs Reese was basically the impetus for creating the KKK?

I suppose you are right. The truth about our country’s racist history is hurtful to many.

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