Un-IQs

June 9, 2008 at 6:01 pm 2 comments

I don’t always agree with Malcolm Gladwell’s viewpoints but he wrote an interesting article about IQ scores. Seems that instead of being absolute and non-changing, as we were once told, IQ scores have been rising over the generations. Who’da thunk it, huh?

We’ve heard discussions for a long time about standardized tests being written so that certain demographics – white upper/middle class male – have a higher chance of passing, and now facts are being publicized about the tests that are given to children to measure IQ. Seems that IQ scores have been rising – about 3 points per decade on average – since the tests were first created. And, the frequently used WISC test has been renormed, or updated to be harder, three times since it was created in 1949, the last update in 2003.

Think about the implications to those testing with an IQ of borderline mental retardation. I’m reading that an IQ of 70 or below is generally considered mentally retarded. So, if a child was tested in 2002, and tested in the low 70’s but above 70, that child made the cut. But if a child of the same intelligence and abilities was tested two years later, that child could be branded mentally retarded with all the baggage that goes along with that. Unbelievable.

Not to mention that the WISC seems to test a certain kind of intelligence, a more abstract thinking.

Now I was never, as far as I know, given the WISC. The only IQ tests that I’ve taken are the popular ones on websites, and – in another era – at my local bookstore. And while I always wanted to be able to join Mensa, I never made the grade. Maybe that’s a good thing.

What do you think, readers? Any off-the-charts IQ out there? Know of folks with low IQs that are high performers?

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Ramblings Blue Haze

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Katie Dewees  |  June 30, 2008 at 11:40 am

    We learned about this in grad school – the one semester I survived. :-/ IQs are renormed every so often because people are getting book-smarter. Education is improving. Television spreads norms and allows for more people to know the same information. Things like that. Plus, perhaps our minds are evolving?

    Reply
  • 2. letsxplor  |  June 30, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Good point, Katie, I guess we’re always evolving – and, kids are getting different kinds of input earlier. Not nearly as much sending the kids out to entertain themselves as in earlier generations.

    Reply

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