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Intelligence Quotient

This page would serve as a good guide for starting a research paper on intelligence quotient.

An intelligence quotient, IQ, is a score that helps identify intelligence in an individual. Different standardized tests are given to help determine an intelligence quotient score. Modern IQ tests, group scores within ages ranges. As a result of modern IQ tests, use of a mean average score of 100 and a standard deviation of 15, a vast majority of the population has an IQ score that falls between 70 and 130. Most IQ tests are designed so that there is not a score discrepancy between the different genders.

Many questions have been raised about the effects of social class and heredity on Intelligence Quotient (IQ) testing. Throughout the middle of the 20th century, schools used standardized tests and IQ tests to place students into tracks. Tracking can be defined in a more general way as grouping students between classes, “offering courses in academic subjects that reflect differences in students’ prior learning”. Distinctions in students were no longer made based on whether students went on to the secondary grades, but rather what curriculum track they were a part of in high school as opposed to the primary grades. The perceived need of the government was to categorize students as officer or soldier caliber, and IQ tests were used as the determinant of which category a person fell into. This translated into the workforce needs, too.

The following are typical IQ tracking categories:

  • Students with higher IQ scores were pushed into the higher tracks to pursue higher education in business and the sciences
  • Students with average IQ scores did not generally pursue higher education but made up much of the skilled labor portion of society. 
  • Students who did not score well on IQ tests were not encouraged to aim for college, or even graduation.

Many left school before graduation and were pushed into manual labor positions or joining the military. However, in the 1980s, these practices began to be seriously questioned. Indeed, the needs of the American economy and workforce indicated that significant numbers of students were not receiving the education that they needed to be successful in the workplace.

Intelligence Quotient

Intelligence Quotient Research

There is some relationship between IQ scores and morbidity and mortality. There is disagreement among researchers about how much of an individuals IQ is biologically based or inherited.

IQ score are used to determine an individual’s capability to succeed in educational situations. Intelligence quotients are also used to help identify special needs, and learning disabilities in learners. Employers sometimes use IQ scores in the hiring process for candidates who do not have previous work experience. IQ scores can also be used to predict performance in the workplace.

The Bell Curve, a controversial publication on genetics and its correlation to intelligence, strongly argued that intelligence was heavily influenced by genetic factors.  This publication was based on its utilization of g, or general factor of cognitive ability, as intelligence.  The subject of g is in itself however, subject to much controversy as the substantial validity of mental ability.  This bears significant importance to the validity of IQ testing which is reportedly the standardized means of rating intelligence.

There is also evidence that class discrimination is practiced in IQ tests in the form of tracking in schools, with preference to the higher tracks given to students from families of a higher socioeconomic status.  Racial discrimination is somewhat less clear.  It has been proposed by some research that racial minority parents do not support heterogeneous groupings any less than white parents. However, further research needs to be conducted to determine whether this is supposition is indeed true.  Regardless, lower tracks have historically been dominantly low-income and minority.  This trend suggests that factors other than intelligence have contributed to tracking in American public schools.

Intelligence Quotient and Standardization

Because policy-makers, administrators, teachers, parents, and students need to have some means of comparing student achievement on a broad level, standardized IQ tests were developed.  Standardized IQ tests, then, are simply tests that have been developed to assess student learning abilities that are expected for specific grade or learning levels.  The same test is administered in an identical manner to all students taking the test.  In collecting test results and student demographics, conclusions can be made as to which geographical area’s students are “smarter” or which socioeconomic group has better performance on the test.  In the end, standardized IQ tests results should indicate which populations of students have lower performance levels and additional educational support can be given to those students to bring them up to the levels of other students in the general test population.

Unfortunately, the overall value of standardized IQ testing is widely debated and is often considered to be severely limited. In many instances, school administration and teachers merely report the data as it is given to them and actually perform no additional analysis on the data particularly if that data is favorable for the school.  As a result, standardized IQ test results rarely tell instructors and administrators much about what is not being done correctly in the classroom and more importantly, standardized testing provides no instruction on how to remedy problems.


The IQ (Intelligence quotient), EQ (Emotional quotient) dilemma.

A high IQ is no guarantee to success in life. On the other hand a high EQ is the hallmark of a successful, intelligent, creative, and a resourceful person.

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