Intelligence Tests - Essay Example

A good intelligence test must be valid, reliable and standard. Validity refers to how well the test accurately capture what it attempts to measure. For intelligence tests, that Is “Intelligence”. For example, a test measuring language proficiency In Itself cannot be considered an Intelligence test because not all people proficient In a certain language are “Intelligent”, In a sense. Similarly, a test measuring mathematical ability need not include instructions using cryptic English.

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Validity can be established in two ways. First, there should be a representative sample of items across the entire domain of intelligence (I. E. , not Just mathematical abilities, but verbal skills as well). This is where Heckler scales seem to fare better than the Stanford-Bines test. Second, the results should match an external criterion. Common external criteria are educational achievements, career success, and wealth; that is, intelligent people are often achievers, whether in school, work, or finances.

Reliability refers to the stability and consistency of scores the intelligence test produces. For example, Peter took a random 50% sample of an Intelligence test on his first year, and answered 75% of the test Items correctly. Thereafter, Peter took the test year after year. Surprisingly, the results were Inconsistent. He correctly answered 90% of the items In his second year. 40% of the Items In his third year, and 60% In his flirts year. Meanwhile, Annie took the intelligence test every month in her first year, and the results seemed nonsense.

Because the results vary significantly every retake, then the test loses its ability to be predictive of what it attempts to measure. Standardization refers to the uniformity of administering and scoring the test. An intelligence test does not consist only of the test items; it includes the process in which the test is given and interpreted. For example, if the test requires an interview, all the interviewers should ask the same questions in the same way. Ideal standardization is, of course, impossible, but the test should attempt to eliminate certain factors that can compromise the test’s reliability.

Cultural Bias In Intelligence Tests Intelligence tests are traditionally biased with the dominant culture. Early intelligence tests consistently showed that urban testes scored better than rural testes, that middle-income test-takers fare better than low-income test-takers, and that White Americans get higher scores than African-Americans. For example, an early intelligence test asks children what would be the best thing to do when one finds a 3-year old child alone in the street.

The correct answer then was to call the police. This is where the minority’s perception differ. Most rural children have negative impressions about authority figures, including the police; most low-income hillier know where to look for a security guard, but not a policeman; and, the African-American culture allows children as young as 3 years old to roam about and explore their environment alone, and so most African-American children might not even understand what the question Is all about.

Intelligence tests today attempt to minimize cultural blabs by administering the test and adjusting the norms to and for a large and more representative sample of the population. However, intelligence tests attempt to go beyond “norms” adjustment, and actually modify or include test items room the minority group’s domain expertise. These attempts make up the culture-fair tests – intelligence tests intended to be culturally unbiased.

Two popular culture-fair tests are the Raven Progressive Matrices and the System of Multicultural Pluralistic Assessment (SOMA). The Raven Progressive Matrices attempts to eradicate language barrier and cultural factors inherent to the language of the test by making the test simply nonverbal; however, results still show that the educated consistently score better than the illiterate. So far, the SOMA is considered to be the most impressive of the culture-fair tests today.

The SOMA measures both verbal and nonverbal intelligence by utilizing WISE-III; it takes into consideration the tsetse’s social and economic background by conducting a I-hour interview with the parents; it factors in the tsetse’s social adjustment in school by administering questionnaires to parents; and, it also identifies the tsetse’s physical health by means of a medical examination. Culture-fair tests today seem to reveal that intelligence tests do not accurately capture the notion of intelligence; rather, they simply reflect the priorities of the dominant culture.