Home   » The idea of g

  » Types of Intelligence

  » Intelligence, Heredity, and Environment
        Evidence for Nature
        Evidence for Nurture
        Comments on Research

  » Neuropsychological Testing
        Normal Intelligence
        Abnormal Examination             and Brain Trauma

  » Spectroscopy Data

  » Disorders related to Intelligence

  »  Gender Differences
       Self-Estimated              Intelligence
       Anatomical Differences
       Gray vs. White Matter

  » Artificial Intelligence
        A Timeline of AI
        Ancient History of AI
        Modern History of AI
        The Future of AI

  » Age and Intelligence
        Areas of Function
        Effects of Lesions

  » References

Comments on the Extent and Quality of Intelligence Research

All this research about the nature vs. nurture debate uses psychometric, statistical, quantitative tests of intelligence, which we know from common sense, corresponds only to a certain extent, but not entirely, with our conceptions of what intelligence is. Thus, the main criticism of the research in this debate is that the psychometric tests do not actually capture the true meaning of intelligence. People with better education can score higher on IQ tests even though they might not actually be smarter than other people who have scored lower.

In sum, the critics of this debate do not attack either side of the debate, but instead they attack the IQ test, which is the primary measure of intelligence used by either side of the debate. Critics attack the IQ test itself as being too narrow, arbitrary, and unrelated to anything in the real world. Cognitive abilities such as memory, speech, vision, spatial abilities, attention, verbal fluency, and so forth, which are measured by IQ tests, are related to intelligence, but they are not the thing in itself. This fact about IQ tests, according to experts, causes pseudo analysis of the effects of environment and heredity on intelligence. Experts believe that because IQ tests do not actually represent intelligence, they should not be the chief method of measuring intelligence.

"Measures of intelligence have reliable statistical relationships with important social phenomena, but they are a limited tool for deciding what to make of any given individual. Repeat it we must, for one of the problems of writing about intelligence is how to remind readers often enough how little an IQ score tells you about whether the human being next to you is someone whom you will admire or cherish." Herrnstein and Murray (1994, p. 21)