22 - IQ advent calendar

IQ: what does it say about you?

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Psychologist Stuart Ritchie is keen to help IQ tests shed their controversial nature

US president Donald Trump has a long history of challenging his opponents to IQ tests. Knowing that he is a huge fan of these intelligence tests might be enough for many people to dismiss their value. But what do they actually tell us? Are they only useful for determining how good we are at doing the tests, or is there more to it than that?

Psychologist Stuart Ritchie thinks these tests can tell us a lot about individuals, from academic achievement to life expectancy. He also argues that they are important because they reduce bias and increase representation of minority groups on programmes for gifted children.

Stuart Ritchie discusses the usefulness of these tests in understanding the mind and also different levels of ability.

“IQ tests can level the social playing field”

– Stuart Ritchie,
Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive Ageing at the University of Edinburgh

In defense of IQ testing

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