According to a new study recently published in the journal Neuron, IQ is not just a faulty concept, it is a myth.
Thus, this research argues that measuring an individual's general intelligence is an impossible thing to do, and that stating that it can be done only harms the educational systems in various parts of the world.
In order to reach this conclusion, a team of researchers led by specialists working with the University of Western Ontario asked roughly 100,000 volunteers to sit through 12 cognitive tests, and scanned the brain of several others.
After analyzing the information obtained in this manner, they found that, rather than IQ, people possess a so-called cognitive profile that is largely made up of three constants: reasoning, verbal abilities and short-term memory.
The Star quotes Dr. Adrian Owen, who was the senior investigator for this study and who made a case of how, “If there is something in the brain that is IQ, we should be able to find it by scanning. But it turns out there is no one area in the brain that accounts for people’s so-called IQ.”
“In fact, there are three completely different networks that respond — verbal abilities, reasoning abilities and short-term memory abilities — that are in quite different parts of the brain,” this specialist went on to add.
It is these researchers' belief that their findings go to show that intelligence is far too complex to be measured or characterized with the help of IQ tests.
As they explain, it may very well be that one person is extraordinarily gifted when it comes to just one of said three constants, yet not so gifted as far as the other two are concerned.
“When you take 100,000 people and tested their brain function, we couldn’t find any evidence for a single uniform concept of intelligence,” Dr. Adrian Owen said.
Therefore, “IQ tests are pretty meaningless - if you are not good at them, all it proves is that you are not good at IQ tests.”