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Friday, 27 June 2014

"IQ Tests Exclude Part of What I Consider Intelligence"

The following is quoted from an article by psychologist Bruce Levine:

In graduate school, psychologists receive training in administering, scoring and evaluating intelligence tests. I immediately noticed that these IQ tests excluded a good part of what I considered intelligence. On the most respected IQ tests, there were no tasks that assessed someone's ability to read between the lines, see truth beyond obfuscation, and detect bullshit. Ernest Hemingway said, 
"The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector." I had always thought that such a "shockproof shit detector" was a significant aspect of intelligence -- but not according to these IQ tests.
 
In 1994 Richard Herrnstein, another Harvard psychologist, co-authored The Bell Curve, an influential book celebrating the value of these intelligence tests. Herrnstein wrote, "The identification of IQ with attractive human qualities in general is unfortunate and wrong. ... For example, a person can have a terrific sense of humor without giving you a clue about where he is within thirty points on the IQ scale. ... Many witty people do not have unusually high test scores."
 
Thus, if we trust this Harvard psychologist, we conclude that Jon Stewart as well as George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Mark Twain could all conceivably have low IQs and be classified as unintelligent.

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