IQ, Environment, and Consciousness

Matthew D. Joanis (x8h1@MUSIC.STLAWU.EDU)
Tue, 8 Oct 1996 12:30:07 -0400

I think I need to clarify what I am trying to say about "IQ" testing. It
does not measure the whole of one's "smarts, abilities, talents, or skills"
Only those related to academics and in a severely limited fashion. IQ can
change and fluctuate and as such it is not accurate or constant in a way
that would be useful for science. It should be used in conjunction with
other methods or ways of observation when it is used to get an idea of a
person's ability. It cannot stand alone. Many if not all IQ test have
significant shortcomings. ie when I took it they asked: who wrote Faust? I
responded: which one? beside that error which was a culturally oriented
question and knowing the answer or that there were two possibilities had
little to do with intelligence. I think we can, depending on who hard we
try to weed out certain problematic things on such tests, use them
legitimately and they are in many cases. But, I think we need to learn more
and rethink intelligence and how it varies before we finally get a test
that is fair. Which means taking the environment into account. Further,
such tests cannot be given in a standard form or language because knowing a
standard has little to do with intelligence and only to do with ease of
communication between two entities that have differences in their L1. As
for other stnadardized tests like the SAT which are not meant for
intelligence measuring, they should be standardized because they measure
what one has learned in school not your "IQ." We need to differentiate what
a test, tests.


Matthew D. Joanis '98
St. Lawrence University
"Ipsa scientia potestas est"