In simple terms, IQ testing is the measure of intelligence. Alfred Binet, an early clinician, used many previous tests to form the basis for his own standardized tests to identify learning impairments in Parisian children during the 1900’s. Since then, there’s been much debate over what IQ tests should be measuring and if the test results should be used for psychological profiles or learning assessments, or both.
Experts tend to define intelligence from their own perspectives. There are many inconsistencies and overlaps with the definition of intelligence across the board.
What Do IQ Tests Measure?
There are many different types of IQ tests, and each takes a different approach to what they measure. In general, IQ tests measure a child’s ability to learn. Some tests accomplish this by testing what a child is capable of learning and others accomplish it by assessing what they’ve learned in the past. The most common IQ tests measure:
- Verbal comprehension skills
- Aspects of visual-spatial processing
- Short-term memory
- Processing speed
Cognition experts have found that language and cultural issues can impact test scores. Therefore, new versions continually evolve to account for these variables.
Here are some of the common types of IQ tests for teens:
- Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC) – dominates the field, modeled after Army intelligence tests after WWI
- Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test
- Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC)- based on modern theories of brain function
- Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability
- Differential Ability Scales
- Cognitive Assessment System (CAS)-distinguishes between different types of learning disabilities
Other experts argue different theories like emotional intelligence, multiple intelligences, and the triarchic theory of successful intelligence.
Testing experts continue to modify IQ tests. This improves the accuracy of results and to account for diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Other experts are working to broaden the definition of intelligence beyond the scope of current boundaries.
While there’s no clear consensus as to the exact definition of intelligence, the concept of cognition is sure to evolve as cognition science progresses.
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