article on intelligence tests

Three Heads are Better Than One: Response Robert J. Trotter, in this article on intelligence tests, focuses on the recent work of Sternberg (an IBM Professor of Psychology and Education at Yale University). Sternberg recalls at the beginning how his test scores on standardized tests were terrible as a child in the fifth grade because he was always nervous and ended up freaking out mid test. This continued until one year he had to retake a test with the grade below him where he noticed he was not near as nervous because he was around “babies”. This strange occurrence in his life lead Sternberg to study

Psychology and attend Princeton for his graduate degree. He focused mainly on IQ tests and how IQ directly can influence people’s ability to decide how successful or unsuccessful someone can be at a certain occupation. While he was working as at Yale University he noticed how the graduate students that applied with exemplary grades, test scores, recommendations and accommodations were fought over by the I’vy League schools. Yet these same students would graduate statistically lower than their test scores and undergraduate grades would assume.

Secondly, he noticed that tudents with quite low-test scores and grades, for Yale, with great recommendations when given a chance would succeed with flying colors. Finally a third group with mediocre test scores recommendations and grades managed to have great Job placement opportunities. These case studies lead to his creation of the Triarchic Theory of intelligence. Sternberg hypothesized that there are three types of intelligence each with an important role in academic studies and in the work force. Componential intelligence revolves around analytical thinking and is great for test taking and undergraduate studies.

Experiential intelligence surrounds around using your experiences to think creatively. Lastly, contextual intelligence is the ability to be able to recognize the world around you and how to come out on top in any situation. The most interesting part of this article was that it stated as Sternberg was conducting his study and asking both psychologists and Fortune 500 executives if they felt prepared for their Jobs from college and graduate school, they almost all answered that graduate school did not prepare them well at all.

Today in Society College is not an option for people who want to get high paying Jobs later in life. Although they were only looking at people who had IQ’s between 110 and 150, the differences in IQ scores had almost no effect on the performance or the merit based promotions an individual received. Intelligence will never take the place of creativity in graduate school, or real life Job environments. Sternberg argues “There are three ways to be smart but ultimately what you want to do is take the components, apply them to your experience, and use them to adapt to and shape your environment. The origin of basic intelligence testing as argued by Richard J. Gerig was originally ypothesized by Plato as he stated in the Republic “no two people are born exactly alike; but each differs from one and other in natural endowments, one being suited for one occupation and one for another. ” The next important researcher for the creation of intelligence testing was Francis Galton in England. Galton had a Darwin was his cousin. Galton tested over 10,000 different people at the 1884 London Exposition based on reaction time, sensory acuity, physical strength, and body proportions.

His test however did not lead to any correlated answers and he was left ith almost no understanding of intelligence. Although he failed, he did however leave us with a good idea of hereditary intelligence as he hypothesized that genius was transferred through generations. The modern analytical based testing for intelligence was started by Alfred Binet at the turn of the twentieth century in France. Binet started these tests to give schools a way to know if a student had mental deficiencies at a young age in order for students with special needs to receive help.