IQ and EQ Cannot Measure Intelligence

in intelligence •  last year


 
The human intellect if far too complex to be extrapolated through standardised tests that have been invented over the last century. We are a species with more than 350.000 years of experience. Throughout our evolution we came across different environments that gradually shaped our way of perceiving the world. What we perceive as intelligence today reflects culture as it was shaped from the dawn of the industrial revolution—not our cumulative intellectual blueprint.

Intelligence today is known based on two quotients: IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient). Both quotients have been invented based on standardised western perception. They primarily forcus on western culture and western industries rather than human cognition. Both fail to objectively represent general intelligence as a multifaceted cross-cultural concept that encompasses our entire species.

IQ was invented at the beginning of the last century with the sole purpose of putting people into task-specific categories both in school and at work.

The idea was that every person is good at something but not something else. IQ tests were designed to measure specific skills aimed for labour distribution among the workforce so that industries could be more efficient.

Until today we propagate the myth that a person is good at math but not language, or vice versa. This is partially a post-hoc argument since we educate people for specific tasks, numbing them at everything else. Our education system pushes individuals towards one area of expertise rather than cumulative cognitive growth.
 


IQ is more or less a technical aptitude test that treats the individual as a task-specific robot. It cannot measure general intelligence for the very sole reason that we are creatures that interact in many different ways in our environment. Nature does not care about math, language or technology. These are concepts that humans have invented to improve their lives. In other words, they are tools aimed for efficiency. A brain cannot be "mathematical" more than it can be "linguistic".

We train our brains on those subjects because culture is currently dictating them as essential. Nonetheless, the myth is propagated in our culture until today, even though it is clear we can perform many different tasks and often in rather peculiar ways. People from indigenous societies who have never studied math or languages can still demonstrate spectacular abilities when they interact with their own environment.

EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is a much more modern term but fails based on the same premises. The way our culture has been structured after the industrial revolution requires specific social skills and EQ works as a measurement for those behaviour-specific skills. Much like IQ, it can be trained. Genetics have very little to do with it.

The absurd belief that humans are only good at something rather than something else still perpetuates today and this is why IQ is still popular. We go to college and learn specific subjects. We end up knowing some information about our major and nothing about everything else. We become drones, reading manuals for particular functions and then we spend the rest of our lives making careers out of them.
 


In a similar way, we learn how most people behave in our environment today and we measure those techniques based on EQ. If we behave in ways that are perceived as "better" than most people in our culture, then we are considered to be emotionally intelligent. No wonder why psychopaths, politicians and marketers all have high "emotional intelligence".

EQ is more or less the measure of how much you can manipulate another human being based on a given cultural paradigm. It should be labeled as MH (mind hacking), rather than EQ.

Intelligence as a by-product of the Environment

In the graph below we see an IQ distribution based on a global average. The reason Africa has the lowest markers is because their culture is the least affected from western educational models—not because they are stupid. IQ focuses exclusively on western cultural paradigms that are not better or worse than African ones. Humans in different parts of the planet behave differently based on their culture, history and environment.

 


If we take a westerner and drop them into an African environment, then no matter how high their IQ is, they won’t survive as easily as someone from Africa with a low IQ. If indigenous tribes were to issue an IQ test based on their environment, such as geolocation, animal tracking, weather prediction and other environmental markers, most westerners would most likely score very low because they have little to no exposure to that kind of living. Similarly, people from Africa score very low on IQ tests because they don’t live under western cultural paradigms.

Genetics have little to do with intelligence

Although some people have an inclination towards math, art or languages, this is mostly attributed to their indoctrination, rather than the individuals' genetic blueprint. Also children that have a talent—whether that is sports or playing a musical instrument, lose the advantage by the time they become teens.

 


Individuals who have it easy due to their genetics don’t practise as much. Someone who is gifted will be on equal terms with someone else who has been practising hard by the time they reach adulthood. After that, the hardworking person surpasses the gifted individual. The individual who has been kissed by mother nature cannot start working hard in order to compete when during their whole life they had it easy. When it comes to the game of nature vs nurture the verdict is rather clear; nurture always has an edge in the long run.

Broken by design

Last but not least, a study showed that IQ tests are fundamentally flawed and they cannot measure intelligence. When we see titles in the news such as “X thing increases intelligence” people who do these tests don’t use the same markers for evaluating intelligence. There are hundreds of intelligence markers but each experiment utilises a different variety—often the ones that suit the study. This is also why most psychological studies are not scientific. The word IQ is thrown around but no single study uses the exact same markers.

 


Is All About Practising

Another strong evidence why IQ and EQ do not measure intelligence are the tests themselves. A person can train their IQ or EQ and increase it significantly. Similarly, if they don’t train it by taking tests, it can drop. In other words it is like playing a videogame or solving puzzles. The more you do, the better you become. IQ is nothing more than practising over and over again on a specific task until you become better at it.








image credits: 123456

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The part of the map that makes the point best is Argentina. Supposedly high IQ but a basket case of an economy, much much worse than Brazil's. They're way behind Chile in economic terms too, though the Chilians are supposed to have a lower IQ.

Not sure it is all about practicing. I have been a frustrated musician for years and practice more than most. I will never reach the level of mastery someone with innate talent has. I do agree with your premise that we overvalue IQ tests, they are not an indicator of anything more than potential in academics. I have had students who were special education students with low IQs who with hard work and determination could overcome challenges and do well in class while "smart kids" barely got by. In the end I think it is a combination of potential and hard work, 80% being hard work. Great article.

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@bmwrider

The "masters" you are reffering are the rare exception to the rule that combine practise with talent throughout their entire lives

Upvoted just by seeing the thumbnail of the post. Very good post @kyriacos. Keep sharing.

You forgot the other EQ
Encephalization quotient (EQ), or encephalization level, is a measure of relative brain size defined as the ratio between actual brain mass and predicted brain mass for an animal of a given size, which is hypothesized to be a rough estimate of the intelligence or cognition of the animal.

That aside, I find your argument to be less than convincing.
If something cannot be measured then it does not exist
Obviously some people are smarter than others.
We call that intelligence.
Obviously the tools for measuring it can be improved. What cannot?

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Encephalization quotient (EQ)

This has been long falsified since it doesn't correspond to many other species such as elephants (massive brains) and incects.

That aside, I find your argument to be less than convincing.
If something cannot be measured then it does not exist

No. If somthing cannot be measured then it cannot be measured so far. This is all I am saying. Pretending that it can be measured is massively false.

Obviously some people are smarter than others.

obviously some people are better in doing some tasks in respects to others. You need to read the whole thing again. Here is a summary in one picture in case you don't get it

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This has been long falsified
citation please?

since it doesn't correspond to many other species such as elephants (massive brains) .
EQ is the brain size to the body weight RATIO, as is stated in the links.
The EQ of an elephant is Elephant 1.13–2.36 the elephant is indeed very intelligent but it's ratio of body size to brain size is less than man. Human EQ is 7.4–7.8 Corvids (crow family) is 2.49 strangely enough. Bird brains are organized differently.

and insects
Insects don't have brains as such.

Pretending that it can be measured is massively false
that's obviously incorrect. IQ tests are fairly accurate predictors of job performance AND college performance. The test is measuring something that's directly correlated. That something is measureable.

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@everittdmickey

Q tests are fairly accurate predictors of job performance AND college performance.

you answer your own questions. task specific, cultural paradigms. not intelligence

Insects don't have brains as such.

another human-centric bias. Just because your brain function doesn't resemble the physiology it doesn't mean it doesn't apply.

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btw, you don't need a paper to tell you "water is wet". The amount of neurons has nothing to do with the size.

Read no.4

http://io9.gizmodo.com/5890414/the-4-biggest-myths-about-the-human-brain

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Actually it does.
Crows belong to the family Corvidae, which also includes ravens, magpies, jackdaws, and jays. All corvids display a range of intelligent behaviors that not only surpass that of other birds, but most mammals as well. To the uninitiated, the idea that a bird species could be up there with dolphins and chimps might be pretty surprising, but the evidence is insurmountable.
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-unexpected-genius-of-corvids

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Crows belong to the family Corvidae, which also includes ravens, magpies, jackdaws, and jays. All corvids display a range of intelligent behaviors that not only surpass that of other birds, but most mammals as well. To the uninitiated, the idea that a bird species could be up there with dolphins and chimps might be pretty surprising, but the evidence is insurmountable.

This supports my argument. not yours.

Although some people have an inclination towards math, art or languages, this is mostly attributed to their indoctrination, rather than the individuals' genetic blueprint.

I personally think it is about 50:50 between genes and culture but that is my personal opinion and one of the problems in any kind of research on this is getting enough of a sample size because the normal means of study would be to look at separated identical twins that have different upbringings.

Also your link there doesn't work.

IQ focuses exclusively on western cultural paradigms that are not better or worse than African ones.

IQ tests are heavily biased towards Western culture and languages as well as certain types of intelligence. The only real thing that they test is how good you are at doing IQ tests.

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@thecryptofiend

Indeed the hyperlink doesn't work. I don't know why. Something with the site's policy perhaps.

I personally think it is about 50:50 between genes and culture

You will change your mind after this pile of evidence

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/the-heritability-of-intelligence-not-what-you-think/

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I will see if I can get hold of the actual papers because it might be worth looking at in depth. Thanks for the link:)

As far as I'm concerned intelligence, on a practical level, is the ability to recognize and adopt (or synthesize) new better ways of doing things. This, btw, is environment-agnostic.

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Agreed.

How many I.Q tests have you seen taking place in an African Savanna?

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Zero? :D

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It happens hourly.
The smart live.
The stupid die.

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wrong again.

It is not the smartest or strongest who survive but those who are more adoptable to change .

This is how rats and cockroaches made it after the jurassic extinction.

This is how useless and ["stupid" by your logic ] creatures like peacocks get to survive.

You need to open a book on biological adaptation my friend

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I got one open right now. I'm trying to find out about rats during the jurassic period.
Can't seem to find them. Odd that.

There are hundreds of intelligence markers goal each experiment used a different variety-often the ones that suit the study.

This is why some "preachers" use the ones that suit their conviction and make career of it. But this is not science.

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psychology was never science. it just pretends it is.

Excellent research work required to publish your post, I value his excellent work well deserved my vote materials which have posted thank you very much

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there was an interesting study on geniuses that lasted 40 years. The conclusion was that geniuses are simply smarter than the rest of us 99%. IQ didn't matter.

Totally agree. If you'd like further proof that IQ isn't a measure of intelligence take a look at the Quora website. It's jam packed with people claiming to have monster IQs asking idiotic questions!

Personally, I think 'intelligence' is about being able to connect seemingly unrelated things to your benefit within your own environment. But it's about a balance. Too little of this and you won't be able to improvise solutions to novel situations, too much and you will be tipping over into insanity. Anyway, I don't see how it would be possible to measure such skills from a simple paper based test.

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exactly. far too complicated