Intelligence Tests

By Dr. Monique Marie Chouraeshkenazi  Photo Source: Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders

By Dr. Monique Marie Chouraeshkenazi

Photo Source: Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders

For this research project, I chose the following intelligence tests:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/tests/iq/classical-iq-test

http://www.myiqtested.com/

What was your experience with the tests?

            Intelligence testing became one of the primary responsibilities of psychologist among research and teaching. Additionally, developing intelligence tests were based on assessing one’s cognitive and academic abilities through standardized testing (Aiken & Groth-Marnat, 2006). The Psychology Today test was very difficult. I have taken IQ tests before and this made me work harder or maybe it is because I took it as soon as I started my day without anything to eat. I found myself rushing through answers and those I did not know, I did not even try to solve because there are 57 questions, which is time-consuming on a test schedule. Plus, there was a 30-minute limit, so you are somewhat forced to rush. 

            My IQ test was a little nerve-wracking. I like the fact that the first test gave you a test limit overall, but did not rush you per question. Some questions on MY IQ test only gave 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and five minutes. It changed depending on the instructions and type of problem that had to be answered. I felt rushed and compelled to just answer what I knew, because in the end, if I did not finish, it would automatically move to the next question.       

What are your impressions of the tests?

            As I previously mentioned, I believe the test was difficult than IQ tests I have taken before (with the most recent being a couple of years ago). I understand the intent is to assess an individual’s aptitude, but I believe there were many problems on the Psychology Test IQ test that require additional critical and analytical thinking, which there was not sufficient time because of the 30-minute time limit (which I am not sure how long it took me to complete it). To understand one’s cognitive and aptitude capabilities, I believe it should be streamlined based on age groups. This test was all-encompassing, meaning that possibly this test go be given to 12, 34, and 60 year. When Binet and Simon produced the first practical intelligence, they had age groups compartmentalized from ages 3-15 and then adults (Aiken & Groth-Marnat, 2006, pp. 112-113). 

            The second test was rushed, which made it difficult to comprehend sequences because once you started, the timer was on. However, before a new section started, instructions were given and then practice problems were offered. If the problem was wrong or right then explained the answer. I found that to be intuitive, but once you started, the instructions did not really matter because the timer was more of concern than answering the problems. 

Were the tests easy to use? 

            The Psychology Today and My IQ tests were easy to use. However, there were some problems I believe the questions or instructions were not necessarily clear.

How many items were on the test? 

            The first items for the Psychology Test were patterns and determining what pattern would be next based on the pattern sequence given. Additionally, there were problem-solving, comprehension, vocabulary, and fundamental mathematical equations. A total of 57 questions were given. For My IQ test, I cannot remember how many problems there were, but I believe it was less than 20. 

Did you have any questions about the items? 

            I do not understand the purpose of the determining pattern sequence. It is apparent that pattern sequence could be used to determine one’s memory skills and how well information is retained. But do memory capabilities affect a person’s intelligence? Especially, if one has a memory deficiency, but is considered to have a high knowledge aptitude? I believe this when standardized testing becomes controversial. 

Did the items appear to be testing what they said they were testing? 

            The testing appeared to be what it said it would include. The Psychological Today website stated the classical IQ test “measures several factors of intelligence, logical reasoning, math skills, language abilities, spatial relation skills, knowledge retained and the ability to solve novel problem, excluding emotion intelligence” (2018, para. 1). However, if you do not have a background with assessments and testing in psychology, it may be difficult to understand how the elements tested is vital information to academic aptitudes. My IQ test appeared to state that it had the same characteristics like the first test, but answering them is a different story. 

On which theory of intelligence does the test appear to be based? 

            As for the Psychology Today test, I believe the questions were predicated on Psychometric and Information-Processing theories. The Psychometric theory is based on statistic and numerical data and analyzes the scores of such test. Additionally, under this theory, psychologists examine individuals’ cognitive abilities and determine the cause of it (Aiken & Groth-Marnet, 2006). This test had different sections from memory, vocabulary, comprehension, and problem-solving. Though this theoretical framework, psychologists are studying the psychological measures of intelligence or academic aptitudes. Referring to MY IQ test, I believe the test was based on Information-Processing theory because most questions were based on sequence and memorization, therefore, I believe the test was focused on how well an individual processes information. 

What are the benefits and limitations of online intelligence tests versus traditional intelligence tests?

            The benefits of utilizing online IQ tests provides a cost-effective process for people who are interested; most IQ tests online are free and people can complete them and know where they stand by obtaining results immediately after completion. Additionally, completing tests online saves time and mitigates a process that might be encountered if going to take such test at an academic institution or testing site. Some of the limiting factors may be that people cannot decipher if they are taking a credible test that has been created by certified and trained experts. Information can be inflated and questions to testing academic aptitude may not be appropriate to accurately give an assessment. Additionally, IQ test do not give the full picture of a person’s intelligence and an online test does not assess, what I would call the “whole person concept” with understanding an individual academic intelligence. 

When discussing the information processing model, psychologists are interested in an individual's centralization of specific characteristic. In other words, they are interested on why an individual (or species) focuses on one thing over another. The short-term memory stage is predicated on three factors: limited capacity, limited duration, and encoding (McLeod, 2009). I found an article that discusses memory health and there are examples that experts use to test one’s memory. Examples of checking memory health on assessment would be simple questions/statements on the following:

  • Recalling the conversation that happened earlier within the day 

  • Remembering to take a new medication 

  • Remember what you ate yesterday (“What is Short Term Memory Loss,” n.d.).

When an elderly person is going through rehabilitation and therapy, it is common for nurses specialized therapists to ask short-term memory questions like “What month are we in?” “Do you know who is currently president?” “What day is today?” to test their memory. The short-term memory of the model is based on the sensory memory, which categorizes each part of sensory stimuli. Some experts theorize that information that is not transferred to advance stages will not be parts of the memory stage that can be recalled. Therefore, the transfer of new data should be processed quickly to the next stage or short term memory is the result (Lutz & Huitt, 2003). 

Another article I found offered a short-term memory test, which I completed. It is interesting because it was only one question. There was a set of 12 questions, which the instructions told to concentrate on each word for a few seconds and once completed, click next. Individuals were to type the words that they could remember. I remembered 10 out of 12 words. The website states that Harvard psychologist, George A. Miller believes that within one’s short term memory that bulk of information that can be stored is 7, + or -2 (Short Term Memory Test, n.d.). As a result, those who score between 5 and 9 of the words on the list, short memory is capabilities are about average. For those who would like to check out the test, click here.

It would be interesting to know if there is special data used to determine other factors with IQ tests. It could possibly be of value and the fact you mentioned it has me intrigued. There was not a disclaimer on whether demographic information would be used. Therefore, if it is used in a company's analysis, do they have permission to do so? And what are our rights if we do not want our information used? That is where is goes back to the Code of Ethics and the responsibility to give such information before those are willing to take the test. 

The IQ test (MyIQ) did not give any information on how many questions there would be and the timer was nerve-wracking because each problem had a different time setting. Some were 30 seconds, some one minute, and some five minutes. I do not know if this was done purposely, but at the same time, I assumed IQ tests would be based on how many answers were right versus speed. I understand memorization skills are important, but it did not give me enough time to process the information. By the middle of the test, I was over it, and did not care what was considered the right answer :) Something happened at the end of the test and I was not able to get my score due to an error. 

Because there are so many online IQ tests, I “Googled” “legitimate online IQ tests” and Mensa appeared. I’ve heard of Mensa before and knew it was a program for extremely intelligent individuals or what I call “the elite minded.” According to the Mensa website, the program was founded in England in the mid-1940s. Founders Roland Berrill and Dr. Lance Ware wanted to have an exclusive society for intelligent people which aimed for an all-inclusive group for the top 2 percent of the world’s brightest (2018). The Mensa website has an IQ test, but it is not the basis of earning member within the society; instead, it is a tool used to determine if an individual has a good chance of passing the Mensa IQ test (Mensa Luxembourg, 2018). The organization has specific rules on how to take the free, online IQ test and if an individual takes it in good faith, it assesses whether the individual should take the next step and prepare for the Mensa IQ test. I have provided the link below for the free online test for those who are interested. In your opinion, do you believe that online IQ tests should be taken seriously?

Overall, I could not identify the difficulty of either test I completed because I was so focused on the timer. The first one I took had to be completed in 30 minutes with 57 questions to cover and the timer was set for each problem for the second test. I was so focused on ensuring the problems were right with time to spare that I did not realize if it was difficult. During this week's experience, do you believe IQ tests are primarily based on cognitive abilities? I ask because though the purpose is to focus of the "intellectual" aspect of an individual, there is much focus on the cognitive. Aiken and Groth-Marnat (2006) discuss the cognitive abilities test, which is responsible for assessing individual's abilities to "reason and solve problems by using verbal, quantitative, and spatial symbols" (p. 137). If you look at the example on page 137, you will find that the practice test questions are similar to those asked on the IQ test. Should there be more of these questions or intellectual abilities with possibly a longer timeframe to complete the work? I shall find out.

References

Aiken, L. R. & Groth-Marnat, G. (2006). Psychological Testing and    

            Assessment. Boston, MA: Pearson Education Group, Inc. 

Aiken, L. & Groth-Marnat, G. (2006). Psychological testing and assessment. (12th ed). Boston: Pearson Education Group, Inc. 137.

Lutz, S. T. & Huitt, W. G. (2003). Information processing and memory: Theory and applications.

            Valdosta State University. Retrieved from 

            http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/papers/infoproc.pdf (accessed on 29 July 2018). 

Mensa International Limited. (2018). About Mensa. Retrieved from 

            https://www.mensa.org/about-us (accessed on 25 July 2018). 

Mensa Luxembourg. (2018). Online IQ test. Retrieved from 

            https://www.mensa.lu/en/mensa/online-iq-test.html (accessed on 25 July 2018). 

McLeod, S. (2009). Short term memory. Retrieved from 

            https://www.simplypsychology.org/short-term-memory.html (accessed on 29 

            July 2018). 

“Short Term Memory Loss Test.” (n.d.). Retrieved from 

            https://www.psychologistworld.com/memory/test-2 (accessed on 29 July 2018). 

Psychology Today. (2018). Classical IQ test. Retrieved from 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/iq/classical-iq-test (accessed on 23 July 2018). 

“What is Short Term Memory Loss.” (n.d.). Retrieved from 

            https://www.memorylosstest.com/what-is-short-term-memory-loss-definition/

            (accessed on 29 July 2018). 

Dr. Monique Chouraeshkenazi