IQ Tests – Worthy or Not Worthy

‘IQ’ is the short form of ‘Intelligence Quotient’: Quotient is a mathematical term used to indicate the result obtained by dividing one number by another number. However, in the so-called psychological context, quotient means a method for evaluation:  In that sense IQ test is purportedly used to evaluate the standard of intelligence of a person with reference to age, skill, aptitude and knowledge. Depending upon these parameters mental prowess of a person is assessed. The assessment is made on the basis of answers to certain set of questions formulated by the test-conducting psychologists. The questions are focused on the skills of verbal communication, mathematical acumen, spatial concepts, visualization, classification, logic and recognition.

IQ test was introduced in the early twentieth century by a German Psychologist called William Stern. As is well known, what psychologists decide need not necessarily be fault-free conclusions because their findings are based on phenomena without looking into the material factors that generate the phenomena. IQ tests for arriving at the standard and scale of intelligence of a person cannot therefore be fault free.

In most cases, IQ tests are conducted to select individuals for the purpose of education and employment. Even in the case of small children, counselors and psychologists carry out IQ tests to determine whether the child is fit enough for admission to nursery and kindergarten schools of reputed educational institutions. In the case of grownups and educated persons IQ tests are conducted to find out whether the person concerned is suitable for a particular job, for higher education and professional courses. Since IQ tests cannot measure the depth of knowledge and mental abilities of a person in different areas of operations on the basis of some formal questions and answers, whether the person concerned is a child or a grown up one, the tests turn out to be fancy predictions. The predictions seldom help detect a person’s depth of knowledge, skills and abilities in the expected field of operation.

Intelligence is the ability of human brain to reach correct conclusions about what is true and real for resolving problems being faced by individuals. Intelligence can further be explained as the capability of the human mind to know generality and intricacies of situations and thereby to decide the course of action required of the individual to deal with the situation. Intelligence, thus, evolves itself through knowledge gained from various sources. They include experiences gained through social and cultural encounters and interactions made with the environs where the individuals are born and brought up.

The very principle of intelligence revolves around conditions responsible for sensations, perceptions, conceptions and judgments. They decide intellectual prowess of an individual. Human beings of normal health who have no deformities or damages in their nerve cells are therefore bound to be of proper intelligence and adequate memory skills.

What is being touted as ‘IQ tests for assessing credence’ cannot measure creativity, sensitivity, emotions, competency and skills. A child who is born and brought up by illiterate parents who belong to ordinary working class family cannot, despite being healthy, shine in the present style of IQ tests as compared to a child born and brought up in rich, well to do and educated families. Such a situation does not, at any stretch of imagination, make the child of the poor working class family pass the intelligent quotient tests. Hence efforts for selecting persons for admission to schools and colleges or for jobs on the basis of answers to certain questions composed for the IQ test remain as fancy dress rehearsals.

Intelligence is not an inborn gift. Intelligence is acquired by and through conditioning. Conditioning depends on environs. Schools, colleges, training institutions, offices, factories, production and sales centres, and the persons who are connected with these establishments constitute environs. Once a new comer enters the premises, establishes contacts, and engages in operations, the environs prepare the new entrant fit enough for the assignment. The new comer becomes competent. The newcomer starts knowing generality and intricacies of situations and thereby starts deciding the required course of action. Efforts to predetermine intelligence before engagement, therefore, turn out to be improper.

The IQ Tests are no more relevant: IQ tests do not recognize depth of intelligence; IQ tests limit opportunities; IQ tests deny opportunities for the deserving.

Let the glamour-filled balloon of IQ tests be burst in the air, never allowing it to take a rebirth: While at it, let the IQ test performers do whatever they like but they shall not use their psychology kit to cheat others in the guise of IQ Tests.