IQ and environment It is obvious that a person's intelligence stems from a variety of traits. The task of trying to quantify a person's intelligence has been a goal of psychologists since before the beginning of this century. One of the important questions that always comes up regarding these tools is what are the tests really measuring? Are they measuring a person's intelligence? Their ability to perform well on standardized tests? Or just some arbitrary quantity of the person's IQ? When examining the situations around which these tests are given and the content of the tests themselves, it becomes apparent that however useful the tests may be for standardizing a group's intellectual ability, they are not a good indicator of intelligence. A person's environment has a great impact on cognitive abilities. We all perceive situations differently, which is not the only factor to take in to consideration, but it is a very important one. Is the light flickering? Is the paint on the walls an unsettling shade? Is the temperature too hot or too cold? Is the chair uncomfortable? Or in the worst case, do they have an illness that day? To test a person's mind, it is necessary to utilize their body in the process.
If everyone's body is placed in different conditions during the testing, how is it expected to get standardized results across all the subjects? Everyone has good days and bad days. It is highly unlikely that everyone will be equally prepared for the exam as well as adjusted to the new testing environment. Because of this assumption that everyone will perform equally independent of their environment, intelligence test scores are skewed and cannot be viewed as standardized, and definitely not as an example of a person's intelligence. Although intelligence tests are the same for everyone who takes it, the information that one is being tested on is relative to the environment in which they were raised.
To really gauge a person's intelligence, it would be necessary to put them through a rigorous set of real-life trials and document their performance. Physical intelligence, conversational intelligence, social intelligence, survival intelligence, and the slew of others are apart of our everyday lives. IQ tests are not good indicators for a person's overall intelligence, but as their use has shown, they are extremely helpful in making predictions about how a person will perform in an academic setting. Perhaps the problem comes in the name intelligence tests when it is obvious this is not what they really are. The modern IQ test definitely has its applications in today's society but should be be used to quantify a person's overall intelligence by any means.