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IQ: find out what the Intelligence Quotient is and how the test works

You may have heard about Intelligence Quotient (IQ) at some point in your life and perhaps even took part in a test at school.

Also known as IC (Intelligence Coefficient) in some languages, this is a numerical measurement associated with people’s intelligence.

Brazil has a mark of 2 thousand Brazilians considered super intelligent – ​​people with an IQ well above average.

However, despite its great fame for detecting geniuses, it should not be considered as the only measure of a person’s potential.

Understand more about the topic below.

What is Intelligence Quotient (IQ)?

IQ is a measure that aims to quantify a person’s intelligence compared to the population average.

It is a way of quantifying an individual’s cognitive capacity in relation to skills such as logical reasoning, problem solving, verbal ability, mathematical skills and other intellectual abilities.

Generally, the calculation is made based on standardized intelligence tests. These tests are designed to assess various facets of intelligence, such as verbal reasoning, mathematical skills, memory, visual-spatial understanding, and problem solving.

Correct answers on a test are converted into a standardized score that is then compared to the population average of the same age group. The higher the result in relation to the average, the higher the IQ.

There are several types of IQ tests, with the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) being some of the best known.

These tests are often divided into subtests that assess different areas of intelligence. The results of these subtests are combined to determine a person’s overall IQ.

How did the IQ test come about?

The IQ test emerged thanks to the pioneering work of Alfred Binet, a French psychologist. All of this was based on an educational demand: the French government wanted to develop a tool that could identify children with learning difficulties in schools.

In 1905, he and his collaborator, Theodore Simon, developed the first intelligence test, known as the “Binet-Simon Scales.”

This test consisted of a series of tasks and questions designed to assess children’s mental abilities, such as memory, language, logical reasoning and problem solving.

The test result provided a score that reflected the child’s mental age compared to their chronological age.

How do IQ tests work?

How IQ tests work

IQ tests are usually administered individually by a qualified professional, such as a psychologist or an educator.

They can be carried out in an office setting, school or other appropriate locations to ensure a calm and distraction-free environment.

Assessments consist of a series of subtests or sections, each designed to assess a specific ability or aspect of intelligence.

Subtests can vary depending on the specific test used, but generally include questions of different types, such as:

  • Verbal reasoning : May include questions on synonyms, antonyms, analogies, reading comprehension and problem solving related to language;
  • Mathematical reasoning : Involves questions that assess mathematical skills, such as calculations, arithmetic problem solving and mathematical logic;
  • Visual-spatial understanding : tests the ability to interpret visual information, such as solving spatial puzzles, patterns and figure recognition;
  • Memory : assesses the ability to remember information after a period of time;
  • Logical reasoning : includes questions that challenge the ability to deduce, identify patterns and solve logical problems.

Most IQ tests are timed, meaning test takers have a limited amount of time to complete each subtest.

This is done to assess not only the accuracy of responses, but also the speed of cognitive processing.

Correct answers on each subtest are scored and then added together to obtain a total score.

This score is compared to the average of the population of the same age group to determine the person’s IQ.

Furthermore, the tests are adapted for different age groups, so the subtests and assessment criteria may vary according to the age of the individual being tested.

This helps ensure that the results are appropriate for the person’s age.

When to take the test?

“As early as possible, identifying IQ can be beneficial for the child. It is important to carefully assess potential in order to develop skills and not have socialization problems at this stage of life”, explains the vice-president of Associação Mensa Brasil, Carlos Eduardo Fonseca.

He explains that from the age of two and a half, there are tests that can help identify high potential to evaluate people who are super intelligent, for example.

Check out the full interview in the video below:

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IQ Test Score

How to know your IQ level? The Terman classification defines the score as follows:

  • Higher than 140 means genius intelligence;
  • Between 120 and 140 represents much higher intelligence;
  • Between 110 and 120 indicates superior intelligence;
  • Between 90 and 110 expresses normal or average intelligence;
  • Between 80 and 90 manifests clumsiness, rarely qualified as mental weakness;
  • Between 70 and 80 denotes borderline mental weakness;
  • Below 70 reveals definite mental weakness.

However, IQ is not a fixed and immutable characteristic of a person, but rather a measure of cognitive abilities at a given point in time.

Is people’s IQ decreasing?

One study found that IQ scores have steadily declined in the last decades.

They analyzed the IQ scores of Norwegian men born between 1962 and 1991 and in the research found that scores increased by almost 3 percentage points every decade for those born between 1962 and 1975.

However, they later observed a steady decline among those born after 1975.

This means that people born more recently have, on average, lower IQ scores compared to previous generations.

Contrary to the belief that genetic factors could be contributing to this trend, researchers argue that the causes of the decline in IQ scores are primarily environmental.

This means that it is not a change in people’s genetics, but rather influences from the environment in which they live.

“The previous increase in IQ scores follows the “Flynn effect,” a term for the long-term increase in intelligence levels that occurred during the 20th century, possibly the result of better access to education,” according to Stuart Ritchie, a postdoctoral fellow in cognition. aging at the University of Edinburgh.

Main criticisms of the IQ test

Main criticisms of the IQ test

Intelligence Quotient tests have been the target of various criticisms over the years. Although these tests have been widely used to measure cognitive abilities, they are seen as limited.

Many IQ tests are based, for example, on cultural and social elements that may favor specific groups.

This can result in lower scores for people from different cultural backgrounds or with less access to certain types of education.

In fact, a study based on the largest online survey ever carried out on the subject revealed that standardized Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests can provide misleading results.

Published in Neuron magazine, the research involved the participation of more than 100,000 people who responded to a survey about their habits and life history, as well as 12 cognitive tests.

It involved thousands of participants from diverse cultures, age groups, beliefs and nationalities.

According to one of the study’s authors, Adam Hampshire, from the University of Western Ontario, there are different types of intelligence that are related to various areas of the brain, which makes measuring intellectual capacity inappropriate.

They are not able to adequately assess aspects such as emotional intelligence, creativity or practical skills.

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Source: CNN Brasil

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