- from Brain
To find out if something’s long or short, you use a ruler. But how do you measure “smart”? Is there a ruler for intelligence? Albert Einstein, the most famous genius of the twentieth century, had more mental might than most. But how much more?
People are smart in far too many ways to measure on a simple scale. Einstein was a genius in physics. But could he keep an audience laughing? Rihanna is a brilliant singer. But can she write a brilliant novel? Poet Maya Angelou had a way with words, but could she multiply five-digit numbers in her head? Probably no better than you can. We use the word genius about many different things. They include language, music, math, visual perception (art, engineering), and psychology. We even use it to describe body movement, such as dance and sports.
“IQ” stands for intelligence quotient. You may have taken an IQ test in school. Someone may have told you that an IQ of 100 is average, and higher scores mean greater intelligence, while lower mean less intelligence. Don’t believe it. Since we can be very smart and skilled in some areas and not in others, measuring overall intelligence is difficult. The value of IQ tests is being challenged. Critics say:
• The questions test only language and math.
• The questions tend to be written for people who are white and not poor.
• The tests don’t allow for changes in intelligence.
• Test givers make mistakes.