IQ: It’s Your Learning Potential, Not Your Intelligence

 November 30, 2018

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The subject of a person’s IQ has been hotly debated over the years. Some argue that it is a strict measure of intelligence. In other words, it displays how smart someone is and can be directly compared to another IQ to compare intelligence.

However, a newer train of thought follows the idea that IQ isn’t a simple measure of intelligence but rather a representation of a person’s potential.

 

What Is IQ and How Is It Measured?

Most people generally know that IQ stands for intelligence quotient but when it comes to the numbers and the meaning behind them, it can be a mystery.

A person’s IQ is meant to measure a person’s ability to reason with a number. The average IQ score measures in at 100 and most people test in a range of 85 to 115. The higher the number achieved on the IQ test, the higher the test considers a person’s intelligence.

So, how is IQ measured? Well, IQ is measured through a test administered by a licensed psychologist. It isn’t the kind of test you study for, though. While a student might depend on writing a paper on a topic that should be researched and hours of studying to pass a test at school, an IQ test depends on skills rather than facts a person needs to know.

The first thing to know is that the test is changed every couple years by psychologists. This is done to keep the test modern and keep 100 as the average. The test comes in a few forms but the basic idea is to use problem-solving questions to test a person’s reasoning skills. These are done in the forms of math, language, memory, speed of information processing, and reasoning problems.

 

The Controversies of IQ

Many use the measurement of IQ to argue that individuals that differ in races, sexes, etc. have differing IQs even though the American Psychological Association has proved otherwise. However, the test was made from a European view, so it does leave a gap in accommodating different beliefs and cultural ways of thinking.

Environmental factors can also cause a person to score low on the IQ test such as not getting enough nutrition or lack of other basic needs. Alternatively, someone who received good schooling and come from a higher socioeconomic status are likely to score higher.

Because of factors like this, many people are looking at IQ as something that can give a person an idea of their potential but can’t tell them exactly how intelligent they are.

 

IQ Isn’t Set in Stone

Another thing to know is that IQ isn’t set in stone. This is true even if someone has a high score when they take the test, this doesn’t mean that they have capped out their potential at that point. There are many cases of IQ changing over time.

Children, specifically, have very flexible IQs. In fact, one behavior therapist worked with children on the autism spectrum and saw increases as high as 20 IQ points after careful teaching and the use of multimodal techniques. To put this in perspective, this brought one child’s IQ from a low 80 into the sphere of standard IQ.

 

How Does Someone Improve Cognitive Function?

It has been proven over the years that there are certain activities and exercises that can be done to improve general cognitive function. If you want to improve your cognitive function, which of these exercises actually hold water?

To put it simply, puzzles that challenge your problem-solving skills are always a great choice. Whether you like Sudoku or word problems, as long as you’re challenging yourself, it’s helping improve cognitive function.

On the other hand, there are things you can do outside of simple pen and paper activities. Make sure to try new things and find ways to think creatively. Never take the easy route and welcome challenge.

 

Final Takeaway

For a long time, IQ has been viewed as a measure of what a person was: this number means that you are this smart.

As time has gone on, though, IQ is starting to be viewed in a more accurate and encouraging light. Rather than showing someone how intelligent they are now and forever, it is more a measure of the potential that a person has.

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