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Can Intelligence Be Measured? Essay

1064 words - 5 pages

Hannah Villanueva
14 December 2015
Period 3
Can Intelligence really be Measured?
For the past 100 years, intelligence has been considered a thing that can be measured. However, many recent studies have challenged this, in that the tests are not completely reliable. Single tests that measure intelligence quotient, or IQ, may become a thing of the past. Intelligence tests measure basic cognitive problem solving skills and several psychologists have recognized the flaw in the way it is measured. A recent Canadian study concluded the IQ test is “fundamentally flawed” as its questions “oversimplify the abilities of the human brain”. The study found three components of ...view middle of the document...

Eventually IQ tests evolved over time and psychologists offered different ways of measuring intelligence. In 1939, David Wechsler produced an alternative forming IQ test, believing intellect was directly linked to personality, ambition, and personal tastes. He did not conform to the idea that it was possible to create a generic level of intelligence. Thus, his tests did not give a dependable score like the others. However, it did give more components instead of giving a single score based on one component. Raymond B. Cattell created a similar test to David Wechsler’s, but it separated environmental from genetic factors. Cattel argued that general IQ consisted of fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence is the aspect of thinking logically and problem solving while crystallized intelligence is the ability to use skills, knowledge, and experience. He argued that these two types should be free of cultural bias which is a factor that hadn’t been considered in intelligence tests before. This brings us to the present day, in which intelligence tests are given to people who have different cultural upbringings and are not given a fair way of measuring their intelligence if it is created by a certain cultural mentality. Likewise, if one person who has certain brain wiring creates an intelligence test, it is not a fair reflection of the intellect of a person who has the opposite brain wiring.
In the view of Western culture, intelligence has mostly been viewed as how an individual achieves in each category and logical debate. In Eastern culture, on the other hand, it is mostly viewed as a way for a community to recognize problems and to have their social role in place. This is one of the many problems in western IQ testing as it cannot create a single score that takes culture into consideration. Several different types of tests would have to be created to give scores on intelligence, however this would vary among individuals and it could then not be pinpointed. This is the same with experience, someone with the same genetic influences as the kid next door could have very different life experiences such as abuse at home or family struggles. This plays a huge role in their IQ and it isn’t...

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