Monday, April 19, 2010

IQ measures whaaaaat?!

Pertaining to our discussion in class the last two weeks, I found a recent article published on all about the significance of IQ relative to "real-life" intelligence. Oscar, a two and a half year old boy from England is the subject of this debate. His parents, who suspected that the child was especially bright, decided to get him tested. Based on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, he was rated at an incredible 160 (the highest rating on that specific scale), which is considered "genius" level. But, this does not necessarily mean that Oscar is going to be a future Einstein. "The best thing IQ measures is the ability to do well in school," said Alan Kazdin, professor of psychology and director of the Parenting Center and Child Conduct Council at Yale University. "At this age, consider it potential. But you have to have the right environment to nurture this." This begs the question, what kind of accomplishments will Oscar make in the future?

In my mind, IQ does not determine success. Anyone who thinks their (or their child's) IQ will float them through life and into the higher economic stratosphere is mistaken. Success is related to motivation, work ethic, and the amount of effort given to something. If someone has the motivation for success, the high IQ will be icing on he cake and will help with that success. Someone with high IQ and little to no motivation or desire to put forth work and effort will accomplish zilch. But it seems like little Oscar may be okay. Emotionally, the kid is years ahead of his peers, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he will be as advanced in other areas of life. His parents seem to be giving him the love and care that should support a healthy upbringing and a high IQ (along with everything not covered under IQ, ex: athleticism, artistry, etc.), by controlling his environment.

What this article is trying to say in the long run is, that there's more to life than just being told you're smart. In order to be an intelligent person, you're going to to have to go out an make something of that high IQ. Talking about it will get you nowhere.

No comments: