Intelligence Tests Essay, Research Paper
It s a sad but true fact that people are constantly being measured and tested everyday. This testing is not necessarily for themselves, but for others to rate and categorize the subjectee. That person is then placed and stereotyped based on the result of a test. This is unfair. However, unfair as it may be, it is still a reality today that everyone encounters during their lifetime. The job market uses tests to see where people will fit in the most with what company. Colleges use tests to help determine who is selected to go to their school, and psychologists use tests to help determine if someone needs help or not. Using tests to place someone in a certain category is unfair, unjust, and biased.
People are raised and brought up to their own custom, which doesn t always fit in with other s customs. People experience different situations throughout their life and often cannot relate similar experiences together. It has been shown that certain races of a culture score higher than certain races of another culture. This is not due to that one race is smarter than the other; it could be the fact that the test asked questions that favored one group or another. If you give a group of American students a test on the history of North America and compare the scores to the scores of some students from Ethiopia, of course the Americans would score higher. But you can easily reverse that effect by having the test on a topic the Ethiopians know quite a bit about and then compare it to the Americans (Kasschau, 1995). My point is the tests have to be equal and fair to each and every person who will take the test, which is impossible to do. Everyone will have different experiences throughout their life and there is no way preventing that from happening. Another discrepancy has come up with intelligence testing, and that is of sex bias. In the widely-taken SAT, the ratio of men to women mentioned was 4 to 1 (Kasschau, 1995). The men which were mentioned were highly recognizable names and the women mentioned was fictional. This can have an impact on the scores of the men and women. There is no possibility of having a test in which everybody taking it will begin the test equally, nor will there ever will be.
Based on their customs and way of being brought up, people think differently. This brings up the question of are the tests which are being used valid? Do they ask questions in which everyone will think the same way to come up with the same answer? This is a highly controversial and disputed topic on intelligence testing. Neither opinion of the tests validity has been confirmed, or proven to be correct, but it makes you think. Take a simple question of grouping items together. A sample question may be, Which 3 objects out of the 5 can be best related together: sword, dagger, bullet, club, and arrow. Someone could pair the sword, dagger, and the arrow together because they have a sharp end. Someone could say a sword, dagger, and a bullet because they are made out of metal and not wood. While the questions on the tests are more complex and logical, the main idea is still the same. Anyone can come up with any answer as long as they have a logical explanation for their reasoning. Someone could just as easily say a club, arrow, and bullet belong together simply because they have all three objects or have used them before (Jensen, 1980).
The meaning of taking these tests is to compare your score to somebody else s and see how you measure up to everyone else. This is yet again, unfair. Take for example, the SAT, which has been rewritten and questions are added and deleted yearly to try to make it more fair. If you change the test in any way, you can t compare scores because it will be invalid results. Not everybody has taken the same test and that can have an affect on the way people compare them. You hear on TV of how the SAT scores are higher or lower than they were 20 years ago, and of how that supposedly represents the next generation. But if the tests taken have any slight differences in them any way, then the results and conclusions made based on those tests have to be considered inconclusive because the factors of testing were not the same. These intelligence tests are made so that they can compare the results, but they shouldn t because of the inconclusive results. So if you can t compare the results of these tests, and that s what they re made to do, then what s the point of taking these tests?
In the term intelligence test, what do they mean by intelligence? People have many different kinds of intelligence, yet these tests only measure one kind of intelligence. People can have intelligence on music, cars, sports teams, mathematical equations, vocabulary, and so on. So shouldn t an IQ test test on all the different kinds of intelligence to find their true intelligence quotient (Carroll, 2000)?
The use of a test measuring one specific area and then placing them on the result of that test is blatantly wrong. People don t have just one specific skill or knowledge, nor should they be tested on one area of skill. Intelligence testing is unjust and unfair, and it always will be in one way or another.