IQ Articles > What is IQ?

What is IQ?

Simply speaking, IQ (intelligence quotient) is an assessment of your ability to think and reason. However, if you want a fuller definition, you have to try and understand the concept of IQ first with utmost patience as it is not a straightforward one. Although IQ is science, it's a fuzzy one.

All of you probably must have been labeled as dumb, bright, smart, stupid, clever etc. at different times of your life. Isn't it? This is where IQ comes into play as human beings getting influenced by such comments are invariably drawn towards knowing how intelligent they are? Like a kind of school grade, they want to know where their intelligence level stands. For a more intrinsic depiction of their intelligence, they usually turn to their IQ (Intelligence Quotient).

IQ or Intelligence Quotient is simply an attempt to measure intelligence. We use the word "attempt" because intelligence can never be measured accurately. Hence, we have to remain satisfied with 'relative intelligence'.

IQ is a "measure of relative intelligence which is determined by a single or a set of standardized test." IQ is a score derived from one of the several different standardized tests that attempts to measure intelligence. In other words, IQ can be defined as an attempt to measure a person's mental agility. It is a number that measures the people's cognitive abilities (intelligence) in relation to their age group. An Intelligence Quotient indicates a person's mental abilities relative to other persons of approximately the same age.

The IQ is a number that ranges from 0 to 200+ and is a ratio that is derived by comparing mental age to chronological age. The intelligence quotient is defined as 100 times the Mental Age (MA) divided by the Chronological Age (CA).

Hence,  IQ = Mental Age/Chronological Age X 100

So if you are 50 years old, but have the intelligence of an average 44 year old, your IQ is: 100 x 44/50 = 88. This is a low IQ.

An IQ of 100 is usually considered as normal or average for the whole population. An IQ score higher than 100 means that the person is mentally advanced for his age and has high IQ and IQ less than 100 means just the opposite. IQs can be as high as 200 in adults and 250 in children.

I hope the evidences and justifications which I have presented before you must have shattered all the IQ myths and cleared several of your misconceptions regarding IQ. However, it is quite unfortunate that a huge number of people, despite being able to see the differences between myths and realities, are still eager to promote these IQ myths for gaining their selfish ends.

Thus, IQ or Intelligence Quotient is an attempt to measure intelligence or to be precise is the measure of relative intelligence. This may mean many things to many people but generally the attribute of intelligence refers to quickness of mental comprehension (or mental agility). Intelligence should not be confused with knowledge, wisdom, memory or other attributes. The term IQ is always an attempt to measure a person's mental agility. And it is very important for people not to confuse between intelligence and relative intelligence. Intelligence can never be measured and IQ is not the measure of intelligence. IQ is simply the measure of relative intelligence derived by a single or set of standardized tests.

Related Articles

History of IQ Tests?
Technically speaking, the first IQ test was developed by French psychologist, Alfred Binet in 1905. His test has provided the base for all modern IQ tests that are widely used today. However, the interest of scientists and psychologists in intelligence dates back to thousands of years.

How Do You Interpret The IQ Scores?
What is a good IQ score? What is a high IQ score? What is a low IQ score? These are common questions, particularly after someone finds out their score from an IQ test.

Other Resources