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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence      Home login  
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 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 76
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligencePage 4 of 10    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
So the Ellis Island testing developed by Goddard was based on a fork (in development terms).

________Simon-Binet_______________
________///________\\\_______________
_______///__________\\\______________
Ellis Island_________Stanford-Binet
_________________________|||________
_______________________WAIS_______

Thank you for the insight Eternelle, I wasn't aware of how the Ellis Island testing fit into the picture. I do know that the WAIS eventually spawned a couple other, less used IQ tests as well. The WISC test (kinda like WAIS for kids) and the WPPSI (kinda like the WAIS for really little kids) both were just modified off the WAIS. If I'm not mistaken the middle step between the Stanford-Binet and WAIS was a set of tests the US army used to determine if recruits were mentally fit for duty.
 TestyDude
Joined: 9/4/2008
Msg: 77
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/18/2008 6:11:36 AM

^^^Oh sure. Where where you when I lived in Ottawa, huh?
(Can't message you.) I'm the dude who was all over you at Disco Viva. You called me an idiot.
 Eternelle
Joined: 3/11/2007
Msg: 78
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/19/2008 1:54:19 PM
Goddard's tests didn't work particularly well at Ellis Island. He translated the test into English but many of the immigrants didn't speak English well (if at all) - consequently many were labeled as mentally retarded, when in fact they just could not understand the questions and/or could not answer appropriately.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 79
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/19/2008 2:50:56 PM
That's actually still a criticism of the currently used tests (SB5 and WAIS3). The tests assume that everyone learned a certain set of things when they were in school and that they are only testing recall of those things. In practice, many of the questions covered were skipped over completely in some schools (teach to the back of the herd) or weren't covered for cultural differences. For example, a French student won't neccesarily know about Shakespeare because Shakespeare isn't an English playwright. Even if they do, it is testing for a comparatively more obscure fact than they wanted to.
 NoseyNeighbor
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 80
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/19/2008 4:27:26 PM

Goddard's tests didn't work particularly well at Ellis Island. He translated the test into English but many of the immigrants didn't speak English well (if at all) - consequently many were labeled as mentally retarded, when in fact they just could not understand the questions and/or could not answer appropriately.

That is incorrect. And reads like a typical liberal revisionist.

Ellis Island immigrants were administered mental tests using interpreters representing more than a dozen native languages.

Immigration laws enacted in 1891, 1903 and 1907 explicitly stated the rejection of "idiots", "imbeciles", and "feeble minded" persons. The government did not want to pay for their stay in mental institutions and businesses wanted only able bodied and mentally sound workers.

Until Goddard and Knox stepped in....It was physician trained "inspectors" who were pulling people out of line ...based on how "stupid" they looked.

Goddard told government officals that one cannot determine mental deficiency by just visual inspection and eye diseases. So Goddard was allowed to do a research study using revised Binet-Simon as well as Knox using performance tests that required little knowledge of the English language.

Goddard and Knox successfully reduced the number of physician inspector false positives (identified as deficient but in reality not deficient) and created a more equitable testing program to weed out stupidity. It was a much fairer system than visual inspection.
 chrono1985
Joined: 11/20/2004
Msg: 81
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/19/2008 10:50:19 PM
Of course IQ doesn't measure actual intelligence, I don't think it was designed to do so. I think originally it was designed to measure who was worth investing time teaching and who isn't. A sort of measure of potential for a persons intelligence.

It does show though when you have two intelligent people in the same field of study, one with a lower IQ than the other, the real difference involved though. The person with the higher IQ tends to understand underlying concepts better, but the person with the lower IQ tends to understand practical applications better. This statement is of course based off my own personal experience and not to be take as theory.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 82
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/19/2008 11:50:52 PM
IQ is designed specifically to measure intelligence. Or, more accurately, the term "intelligence" as it is used by cognitive psychologists today is derived from what an IQ test measures. What you are referring to is more along the area of overall cognitive ability or a composite measure of each mental faculty or something. That isn't what intelligence means to cognitive psychologists.

To use an analogy that is more common, if you were to ask any random person on the street what a flag is, he will probably say something about a symbol for whatever. The point is that he is describing the thing that waves out on those poles outside on a windy day. However, if you asked a computer programmer what a flag was, while he was debugging code, he would tell you that a flag is a notifier that a certain event has taken place. Yes, the programmer knows what the flag you are talking about is, but that's not what he's referring to when he is debugging code. In the same way, cognitive psychologists don't mean intelligence the way most people do when they are referring to an IQ test, instead they have a specialized meaning for the word.

I'd also like to object to the categorization that high IQ means you understand concepts, but low IQ means you understand applications. A person with a higher IQ actually understands both better. It can be hard to tell because the difference between one person's IQ and the next is usually not big enough to have a large impact. Beyond that, we don't usually care what someone's IQ is. We care about how smart they are, which includes a number of other things.

My point can be more easily demonstrated if we compare the lower end of the spectrum to the middle. If you have two people and ask them to do a simple addition problem which has a number to two decimal places, a person with a higher IQ is more likely than a person with Mental Retardation to do the problem quickly, understand the processes behind solving the problem, be able to make a new problem based on the example, and likely to find a real-world use for this type of problem. However, if one of the people you asked was a genius and one had an average IQ, then both of them would likely show similar results. The reason behind this is that it takes a certain IQ to be able to solve these types of problem, more doesn't really help.

For example, understanding direct cause and effect only requires somewhere between an IQ of 20 and 30, the concept of a distinction between self and others requires closer to 50. The ability to come up with new abstract ideas based on symbolism or metaphor generally requires somewhere around 80. You won't see to much difference between someone with an IQ of 100 and someone with an IQ of 140 in how they explain that (after seeing a stove his hot) that touching the stove makes things hot.
 Eternelle
Joined: 3/11/2007
Msg: 83
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/20/2008 10:34:46 AM
This interpretation of IQ scores is a little different to my understanding...


For example, understanding direct cause and effect only requires somewhere between an IQ of 20 and 30, the concept of a distinction between self and others requires closer to 50. The ability to come up with new abstract ideas based on symbolism or metaphor generally requires somewhere around 80. You won't see to much difference between someone with an IQ of 100 and someone with an IQ of 140 in how they explain that (after seeing a stove his hot) that touching the stove makes things hot.


Approx scores
Below 20 is profound mental retardation - mental age of 2 yrs or less.
20-40 is severe mental retardation
25-55 is moderate mental retardation
55-70 is mild mental retardation
71-84 is borderline intellectual function
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 84
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/20/2008 6:04:02 PM
the use of IQ scores alone to determine levels of mental retardation is actually falling on the way-side as more weight is being put on ability to function, but I've actually seen a number of charts like that and in many school systems that are, umm, more resistant to change, they still use similar charts.

However, an understanding of what the different levels of mental retardation show that our two statements actually are quite reconcilable. The different levels are based upon whether the person who has that level is capable of performing certain functions.

When we measure the IQ of a young child or of an animal, we can't use conventional testing, but we still get the approximation of the scores based on different skills. Things like object permanence, manipulation of objects, etc.
 pw9000
Joined: 6/23/2008
Msg: 85
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/21/2008 9:32:22 AM
IQ tests don't accurately test intelligence. I think if someone gets a high score, then that may indicate that they are intelligent, but a low score does not indicate the opposite, necessarily. Not only are some of the questions related to cultural trivia, but cultural influence can affect how much you care about IQ tests and appearing intelligent. There are groups and areas where stupidity is actually seen as charming and more worthwhile than always trying to come off like a genius.

Look at highschool, for example. I was just doing a sociology project where I had to go to a highschool, and while talking to a 14-year-old in the office, it became super obvious that he was trying to paint himself as not being that smart and not being 'nerdy'. The pride in appearing that way was written all over his face.

Anyways, even outside of highschool, there are a lot of 'proud-to-act-dumb' people out there. And if there are a bunch of people who don't care about IQ who are also taking IQ tests, then that would screw up the averaging process and make the entire thing an invalid test.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 86
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/21/2008 9:10:08 PM
Your statement would be true if just anyone could administer a valid IQ test. However, there is training required before you adminsiter the test. The "acting dumb" routine might be a wonderful facade to put up in public, but if its a good enough facade to the point where it seeps down to the point of affecting your grip strength, then you are a far better actor than psychology can model.

That being said, there are many tests that are in fact skewed in the way you describe. And if IQ tests were administered broadly to high school students, I'd imagine it would have an impact like you describe. However, IQ test aren't that common and the number of students who can fake being "dumb" convincingly enough to fool a doctor specializing in that, is fairly small.

In regards to your final point about people who don't care about them taking them, I'm dubious of the veracity of that statement. IQ tests aren't exactly cheaply administered and generally are done as a result of a doctor saying you need one. I mean, if you walked into a hospital and said you wanted an MRI of your leg then dropped a pile of money on the table, they probably would ask why you want one done. It's true that at the end of the day, you probably can get a test, but unless you convince a doctor it is neccesary, you have to fork over at least a hundred dollars and a couple hours of your life. That seems like alot of effort, just so you can brag about getting a low score. Taking a free test online similar to an IQ test could give you a ballpark and you can always just lie about it too...

Oh, before I forget. I actually thought that some of the questions on the WAIS-III I took were basically just trivia questions. I asked the doctor what the point of them was since what I learned doesn't really indicate how effectively I recall information. She told me that the specific questions she asked are actually essentially irrelevant. The point was to ask me to recall facts that I had a certain exposure to. The question "Who wrote Henry the VIII" for example, is an answer I probably heard a number of times back in middle and high school, but only in a limited context and not since. The question about "Who wrote the story of Faust" is something that I (presumably) had only a passing exposure to (perhaps only hearing the answer once or twice) and was likely never asked to recall that information before. She could have just as easily asked a question along the lines of "which thundercat had yellow hair" since I didn't watch the show much and it hasn't come up in much conversation. However, the question about Faust was chosen because I was supposed to have heard it at least once or twice in high school. It's true that not all schools are equal, however it would be impossible to ask you to name a topic you only heard once or twice and never answered a question about. So, they have to use a guess about what most people are exposed to.
 *emaN resU
Joined: 9/15/2008
Msg: 87
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/21/2008 9:16:10 PM
agreed.... I too think it's too simplistic a notion.... but people do like to define such things so I understand how such a thing came into existence... personally my experience of them tells me they are flawed....I've had conflicting scores of thirty points or so which could obviously relate to the standard of the tests but one even gave me 111.... what the ****....look at my user name it's well clevah
 Irespire
Joined: 7/30/2008
Msg: 88
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/22/2008 11:48:59 PM
Troll? You're confusing 'opinion' with 'fact'. I don't really buy into all the psychological jargon and prefer to think freely and use broad definitions which accurately represent broad terms. I also think that people who try to make psychology into a 'science' other than really basic functioning tend to be pretty narrow minded.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 89
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/23/2008 12:59:08 AM
And I'll stop believing in Auto Mechanics. I'll think freely about what makes my cars run because mechanics have a narrow minded view about it. Auto mechanics isn't a science and anyone who believes it's more than basic functioning is clearly an idiot.

Seriously though. The problem with your claim is that you are taking their jargon out of context. They don't claim that IQ tests represent the colloquial use of the word Intelligence. In fact, any psychologist will tell you point blank that IQ has nothing to do with the broader notions of intelligence. IQ is a garbage term for the colloquial term for intelligence in the sense that someone's temperature is a garbage measurement for overall health. Well, yeah, it's not designed to measure that. It's designed to measure overall health, it doesn't check if you're missing a leg, it doesn't account for psychological conditions, and it won't react to a plethora of conditions.

Simply put: you can't use a test to measure something it doesn't measure, then complain when it does a bad job measuring it.

On a side note, I agree with you about the troll. Reversing letter order is the first cypher that over 90% of people come up with. You don't show you're ahead of the curve by being part of an overwhelming majority...
 tickledancer
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 90
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/23/2008 8:35:58 AM

Would that be a reference to "Moby Richard"?


This is the best part of the whole thread. Moby Richard! I will be laughing for days.

As far as IQ, I find that those with lower IQs are the first ones to rail on the system. Or if not, they will use the rebuttal, "No, my IQ is 145, but it is still not an indicator of intelligence." So, you are not really intelligent, then?

However, I agree that it is not the only way to predict intelligence. Intuition, emotional intelligence and the ability to communicate rank pretty high in intellectual matters as well.
 Irespire
Joined: 7/30/2008
Msg: 91
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/23/2008 9:33:49 AM
Auto mechanics =/= human emotions and psychological processes, which can be interpreted a variety of ways and are based on many factors, some of which we may not understand.

The problem is that most people equate intelligence with 'IQ tests' because psychologists do. There's also the problem that even the 'jargon' definition of intelligence can be subject to environmental factors at that moment, practice, training, etc. But honestly, I think it'd be healthier if psychologists adapted a different term, instead of using a broad, overreaching term to describe something narrow.

I don't think you can even use it to completely accurately measure the narrow area you described, so I'm bothered that it's even used so much.
 Cerebral 1
Joined: 2/16/2008
Msg: 92
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/23/2008 2:41:28 PM
An IQ test really is just a capacity for learning test. The higher your IQ the faster you learn. But IQ is spread among different areas of thought. Everyone is different and you might have a Genius level IQ from math scores, and a mediocre understanding of basic reading. So whereas you might be Einstein in theoretical physics, you read as well as a chimp. These tests really mean nothing. It's the application of what you learn that should be the measure. Not how fast you can do it, IMO.
 father3
Joined: 7/11/2006
Msg: 93
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/24/2008 1:03:22 PM

The point was to ask me to recall facts that I had a certain exposure to.
If she asked you "who lies in Grant's Tomb?". Even if you're not American you should know.
 NoseyNeighbor
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 94
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/25/2008 8:19:55 AM
Using the Cattell-Horn, Wechsler-WAIS model, cognitive abilities come in two flavors. Crystallized and Fluid intelligence. Both are correlated with each other and to "g". Crystallized (gC) means acquired factual knowledge through experience while Fluidized (gF) means the ability to reason, find relationships and use inference to develop strategies to solve problems.

Messick (1995) argues that low scores on gF reflect a lack of interest or motivation. Kinda like this thread rant, short on objective reasoning but high on subjective narcissism.

Moreover, low scorers on gC spent their time in school picking their noses and daydreaming about football rather than paying attention, rehearsing and retaining basic information. Thus, losing the ability to answer simple questions of common knowledge. And then they blame the "IQ" test. Pretty pathetic.

Ability based computer adaptive tests measure gF or gC using calibrated questions based on level of difficulty. Calibration means that if 10,000 out of 15,000 people correctly answered the question, then the difficulty is set low. If only a 100 people out of 15,000 answered a specific question correctly then the difficulty is set high.

The test always starts with moderately low difficultly question. If you answer incorrectly then system delivers an easier question. And if you blow that one, an easier question pops up. If you can't answer the question "Sunshine is to light as Moon is to darkness" your an idiot no matter where you live. And then an easier question pops up "My nose is to my head as my toe is to my foot". Get that wrong and your a candidate for public aid.

In other words, both gF and gC questions are calibrated or weighted by difficulty. If all third graders get a particular question right and your 22 and get it wrong ...your a nose picker. You didn't learn jack shyt and now you blame the test. How lame is that.
 Irespire
Joined: 7/30/2008
Msg: 95
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/26/2008 8:19:37 AM
Your garbage doesn't even bring anything new to the table and is extremely contradictory in light of your behavior in this thread, so I'm not going to make a real response. Well, maybe later, but I'm not in the mood.
 sarsss
Joined: 5/25/2008
Msg: 96
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/26/2008 3:56:20 PM
Well, it does have limitations, and, also, a big issue is how intelligent the person who designed the IQ test was!!
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 97
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/26/2008 11:47:34 PM
I am just wondering how a high IQ individual changes a diaper. Is GQ4 or Sm 3 that determines her/his ability? Or do do these highly ordained individuals always find somebody else to deal with their mechanics, dishes, relationships, walking, turning off the lights, fixing the furnace, plowing their highways, stopping the dripping tap, raking the fallen leaves....you get the point? How about a high fever? Or a very difficult word for a simple one? Yikes, we are so complicated yet so lacking. Human beings I mean, not my cat! Lots of learning occurs when you change a diaper by! the! way!
 zestyvirginia
Joined: 1/14/2008
Msg: 98
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 9/27/2008 10:24:52 AM
IQ is measured by the ability to""" change """"and turn on a dime.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 99
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 10/1/2008 12:36:33 AM
No and yes. IQ should be determined by your ability to appreciate and respect differences and abililities profoundly. No flippancy wanted. I have found that the more facile and intelligent the person is... the less flexibility and empathy they sometimes demonstrate for the less well endowed. They become circles within circles within circles of supposed intelligence.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 100
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 10/1/2008 1:30:09 PM
I asked my Psych prof, Bill Dragon if you want to look him up, today what he thought of IQ tests. He said that he dislikes the way most people think it refers to g (which came up in class today). He said that IQ tests measure exactly what IQ tests are designed to measure, namely IQ. He said that in the psychological community, that intelligence is actually defined, in a very literal way, in terms of IQ. To put it bluntly: how intelligent someone is refers specifically to how well they can do on an IQ test. Using it for any other purpose raises questions of how generalizable an IQ test is. He said that while that doesn't mean IQ tests tell you nothing, it does mean that you need to be careful about correlation and causation and how far you go when generalizing. Trying to use IQ to predict math test scores, for example, is probably not a bad idea. Using it to predict job prefeormance is not as good of an idea.

He did also want to stress the point that IQ tests are only one tool of many. Several analogies later, he came to his point that IQ is only part of g. It is dangerous to assume its all of g, but it is fool hardy to think it isn't part of it either.
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