Learning: Do IQ Tests Matter?

June 11, 2011

Jonah Lehrer has a recent post on his blog, The Frontal Cortex, that recounts some recent research showing that some exercise may boost IQ.  (It’s also the subject of his recent column in the Wall Street Journal.)

I found the post fascinating, but I was especially interested in this towards the end of the piece:

Although the IQ test has been widely used for decades, we still have a poor understanding of what it actually measures. As a result, there’s tremendous debate about it’s overall importance and how much of the individual variation in life success IQ scores can explain. (As one scientist told me, “The IQ test matters. It just doesn’t matter as much as people think.”) So I think it’s worth wondering if this significant increase in fluid intelligence will show significant effects out of the lab. Will it actually lead the children to do better on their algebra homework? Will it lead to more productive employees? Will it improve problem-solving across domains? None of those questions have answers.

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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