Application of Theory: IQ Testing

Prepare a recommendations report about your particular point of view regarding whether or not we should test children’s intelligence.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 1: Apply scholarly literature in the study of history and systems to topics in psychology.
Analyze IQ testing issues to inform decisions about school policy.
Competency 2: Analyze the major events, schools of thought, and cultural influences that have affected the development of psychology as a discipline and science.
Describe IQ testing, including the history of it, what it measures, and how it measures.
Competency 3: Analyze how theory and knowledge from scholarly literature in the study of history and systems informs professional behavior and guides social thinking.
Evaluate validity points involved with using IQ testing, such as cultural factors, administration, et cetera.
Provide recommendations (for or against) intelligence testing.
Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for professionals in the field of psychology.
Write coherently to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a psychology professional.
Use APA format and style.
Competency Map
Use this online tool to track your performance and progress through your course.
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The area of psychology that focuses on interpretations of behavior to give estimates of human intelligence begins with Francis Galton. Galton, an Englishman, had an aristocratic lineage that may have predisposed him to the view that intelligence is largely inherited and that only the most intelligent among us should be allowed to have children. Despite these views, his work initiated a testing movement that looks for individual differences, that is, differences among people on a given dimension (such as intelligence) and such personality traits as extroversion, mood, agreeableness, and so on.

In France, Alfred Binet took a different approach to measuring intelligence. Binet assigned very different tasks to the child participants in his studies than the ones Galton gave to his adult subjects. Today, Binet’s test (known in the United States as the Stanford-Binet test) is not often used because of its length and the extensive training needed to administer the exam. However, it is still the standard that creators of new intelligence tests use to evaluate their tests. Typically, if the intelligence scores from the new test do not match those that come from the Stanford-Binet, the new test goes back to the drawing board or is abandoned.

Intelligence tests have generated a good deal of controversy, especially when researchers have used results from the tests to compare average intelligence levels among different groups of people (by race, gender, class, and so on). Tests are biased, and, perhaps, there is no way for them not to be, since human beings, limited in their exposures to different cultures and ways of life, create the tests. Attempts to create culture-free or culture-fair tests have not universally succeeded, to date. It is worth considering if it is even possible to be culture free?

Questions to Consider
As you prepare to complete this assessment, you may want to think about other related issues to deepen your understanding or broaden your viewpoint. You are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of your professional community. Note that these questions are for your own development and exploration and do not need to be completed or submitted as part of your assessment.

How does the nature-versus-nurture debate impact discussions on the outcome of IQ testing?
What are some of the ways that bias—both intentional and unintentional—can be introduced into psychological testing? How can that bias be neutralized, if at all?
What is the controversy around race and IQ testing, as first presented in 1969 by Arthur Jenson, through modern day?
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APA Resources
Because this is a psychology course, you need to format this assessment according to APA guidelines. Additional resources about APA can be found in the Research Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom. Use the resources to guide your work as needed.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. Available from the bookstore.
APA Paper Template [DOCX].
Suggested Resources
The resources provided here are optional and support the assessment. They provide helpful information about the topics. You may use other resources of your choice to prepare for this assessment; however, you will need to ensure that they are appropriate, credible, and valid. The PSYC-FP4100 – History and Modern Systems of Psychology Library Guide can help direct your research. The Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked from the left navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional resources to help support you.

History and Uses of IQ Assessments
Benjamin, L. T. (2014). A brief history of modern psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Available from the bookstore.
In Chapter 9, “The role of Psychological Assessments,” pages 168–174.
Philip, R. (2016). Revisiting ideas of assessment through the work of Alfred Binet. Educational Quest, 7(2), 79–85.
Sternberg, R. J., & Williams, W. M. (1998). Intelligence, instruction, and assessment: Theory into practice. Mahway, NJ: L. Erlbaum.
Sternberg, R. J. (2015). Successful intelligence: A model for testing intelligence beyond IQ tests [PDF]. European Journal of Education & Psychology, 8, 76–84.
IQ Test Bias
Benjamin, L. T. (2014). A brief history of modern psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Available from the bookstore.
In Chapter 10, “Race Differences in Intelligence,” pages 195–198
Tabery, J. (2015). Why is studying the genetics of intelligence so controversial? Hastings Center Report, 45, S9–S14.
Test Interpretation
van der Linden, D., Pekaar, K. A., Bakker, A. B., Schermer, J. A., Vernon, P. A., Dunkel, C. S., & Petrides, K. V. (2017). Overlap between the general factor of personality and emotional intelligence: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 143(1), 36–52.
Warne, R. T., Yoon, M., & Price, C. J. (2014). Exploring the various interpretations of ‘test bias’. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 20(4), 570–582.
Assessment Instructions
For this assessment, you have just been engaged by a school district to research intelligence testing for middle schoolers. Your task is to research intelligence testing and look for resources to help you understand the history of IQ testing, as well as reasons for and against its use today. Then, complete the following:

Write a report with recommendations to school administrators about whether or not we should test children’s intelligence.
Keep in mind that, to make the strongest argument, you need to acknowledge both sides of the IQ testing issue and answer the overriding question: Should we test children’s intelligence at all? The aim of your report should be to inform the administrators of your particular point of view.
In your report, address the following areas:
What intelligence tests measure.
How IQ tests measure intelligence.
Historical perspective on IQ tests.
Whether intelligence tests are culturally biased.
Whether or not your school will be administering intelligence testing and why that decision was made. Provide an explanation of your decision.
Cite relevant research to support the details you include. Be sure to reference at least three scholarly articles.
Additional Requirements
Written communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
APA formatting: Ensure that resources and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting guidelines.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
Length of assessment: 3–4 pages (excluding title and reference pages, abstract not required).

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