Psychologist Stuart Ritchie dispels popular misconceptions.
Stuart Ritchie (Stuart Ritchie)
Psychologist, lecturer, king’s College London. The author of the book “the Most important thing about intelligence” (Intelligence: All That Matters).
1. A person’s worth can be summed up in one number
No one claims that IQ fully describes a person. The researchers of this phenomenon with readiness recognise that the future success of each individual is influenced by his character, motivation and many other factors, including luck.
2. IQ tests only demonstrate the ability to pass these same tests
IQ is a complex indicator composed of the results of tests on the logical and spatial thinking, the ability to correlate and synthesize facts, verification of working memory, vocabulary, thinking speed. And people, gaining more points in a single test, usually get a lot of points in the other. Psychologists call this factor General intelligence (eng. general factor, g-factor).
Scientists have established a link of IQ with various values in life. The most significant interdependence, which is not surprising — between the test results on the intellect and school performance. According to one study, the IQ scores of participants at 11 years of age are directly correlated Intelligence and educational achievement with their scores at 16.
But that’s not all. Higher scores IQ predict greater success Fact and Fiction in Cognitive Ability Testing for Admissions and Hiring Decisions in the workplace, higher income Intelligence and socioeconomic success: A meta-analytic review of longitudinal research , the best physical Early life intelligence and adult health and mental Intelligence in early adulthood and subsequent hospitalisation and admission rates for the whole range of mental disorders: longitudinal study of 1,049,663 men health. And even a long life Intelligence in young adulthood and cause-specific mortality in the Danish Conscription Database — A cohort study of 728,160 men .
3. IQ is only a reflection of social conditions
Intelligence is a complex phenomenon, which is due to genetics, and the environment. Environmental conditions can to some extent suppress intellectual potential hidden in the child’s genes.
For example, in cases when brain development is insufficient food. Or when the brain does not receive the necessary resources, because a part of them absorb the parasites in the body, which is still found in developing countries.
But studies of twins and directly confirmed by DNA Genetics and intelligence differences: five special findings that intelligence is inherited. A significant part of the variation in IQ is due to genetics. Scientists have already begun identifying specific genes Genetic contributions to variation in general cognitive function: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in the CHARGE consortium , responsible for these differences. Therefore, it is impossible to claim that IQ only reflects the conditions of the social environment.
4. There are several interrelated types of intelligence
In 1983 came the theory of multiple intelligence. Its Creator, Howard Gardner distinguishes independent from each other modules, including musical, bodily-kinetic, intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. But his theory, not enough evidence. Research, on the contrary, confirm Neuromythologies in education is that all mental abilities are linked.
Success in life trying to predict using the different quality and inclinations of the person. For example, the so-called emotional intelligence. But by and large it’s just another name for IQ in combination with character. That is the new name of psychological qualities, which we already knew.
Moreover, emotional intelligence correlated with the General factor of intelligence (g-factor). That is, people with high IQ usually also a high indicator of emotional intelligence.
5. The IQ of one man’s unshakable
Heritability does not necessarily mean stability. The results of the tests on the IQ of one person to change when new passages. This is not surprising, because mental ability is influenced by many external factors.
At the moment there is evidence that cognitive abilities have a positive impact education How much does education improve intelligence? A meta-analysis . Each additional year of education adds about one to five points to IQ. The effect persists throughout life.
In the developing countries to raise IQ significantly contributed to improved nutrition, namely the introduction of food supplements with iodine. According Iodine status worldwide, world health organization, every third person in the world not getting enough of this element. The result is mental retardation, and iodine deficiency during pregnancy results in Iodine Deficiency in Pregnancy: The Effect on Neurodevelopment in the Child to decrease the IQ of the fetus by 10-15 points.
In principle, nothing speaks of the impossibility of increasing the IQ. However, there are certain limits. Having average intelligence, it is impossible to become a genius.
6. Researchers IQ — supporters of elitism, sexism or racism
There are people who believe in the mental superiority of one class, one gender or one race. They distort the facts and use the results of IQ tests to confirm their beliefs. Therefore, there is a misconception that any researchers IQ support such views.
But the facts themselves do not have the moral or political background. Just depends on the people how to use them. The IQ tests are one of the tools by which psychologists investigate the human intellect. They need to find ways to develop your mental skills and productivity, and to better understand the aging process of the brain and relieve it.
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