Remember the IQ tests you took in school? Well, they’re on the way out. Why? Because neuroscientists are learning that there’s a lot more to intelligence than short-term memory, long-term memory, and reasoning – which is what the old IQ test measured.
Psychologist Dr. Adam Hampshire says that in order to accurately gauge intelligence, you have to measure for at least one more component – verbal recall. That’s the ability to remember and use information we hear, which is an important life skill that the IQ standard test doesn’t cover.
So, Dr. Hampshire and his team are now developing separate tests for each component of intelligence. He also believes that averaging the separate tests together will help make IQ results more accurate, because it’ll help compensate for personality and lifestyle differences. For example, people who get anxious taking tests almost always have lower short-term memory scores. And introverts tend to get high marks in reasoning, but low marks in verbal recall.
Still, no need to trash your IQ scores just yet. The old test accurately measures some important aspects of intelligence. It also measures one crucial component: motivation.
A study that followed children from grammar school to adulthood found that the kids who wanted to do well on IQ tests actually got higher scores. They also got better grades throughout school, and they tended to work harder – and become very successful - as adults.