Is IQ an Important Factor in your Life and Career?
Do you know your Intelligence Quotient or IQ? You may have tried some of those quizzes online that claim they can rate your IQ. Perhaps you have resorted to some popular measures to boost your IQ by this and that percent. Some of these brain boosters include games like crossword puzzles and Sudoku. General knowledge dictates that a high IQ is 130 or above, while the average ranges from 85 to 114. But what exactly constitutes IQ?
Some people have a misconception that students who excel academically—those who get straight As most of the time—automatically have high IQs. However, by standard definition, this is not always the case. While one’s encyclopedic knowledge may partially be a component of a high IQ, IQ primarily focuses on a person’s cognitive abilities. As such, IQ tests are designed to assess a person’s aptitude for solving problems and understanding concepts. Thus, these tests are normally divided into four parts that test spatial ability, mathematical ability, language ability, and memory ability; what does these mean?
You may know classmates or friends who can talk endlessly about the Aztec or Mayan civilization as if they are history professors, but ask them a riddle and they might find themselves stumped. Or you may know people who can spot grammatical errors in your essay a mile away, but they can’t tell the difference between a trapezoid and a rhombus. Or you may know people who can recite poems by Dylan Thomas or Robert Frost, but give them directions to a new hot spot, and they end up calling you, requesting you to pick them up because they are lost.
The situations above sound familiar, right? Simply put, extensive book knowledge does not always equate high IQ. Now that you have a good idea of what IQ is, do you think that it is still an important thing to measure in today’s society?
A study done by the Ohio State University’s Center for Human Research suggests that you don’t have to fret if you have an average IQ or below average IQ. It’s not the end of the world, as they say. This particular study asserts that IQ does not have a link to one’s success. There are other factors that determine success including one’s personality and talent. For instance, you may have tons of creative talent, like in art or music.
Some experts say that IQ does not hold the same weight as EQ or emotional quotient. EQ is people’s ability to keep their emotions in check, interact with their environment, and cope with pressures and demands of everyday life. You may know someone who is smart and excels in all his subjects but lacks the social skills or grace to help others in need, such as a classmate who may need tutoring.
In an article in HuffingtonPost.com, UC Berkeley teacher Seth Roberts shares an interesting story about a term project where he asked his students to do anything related to depression- except that library research did not count. Roberts writes that one particular student impressed him, especially since this was one who struggled with writing assignments and class participation most of the term. This student conquered her fears of public speaking and spoke to a high school class about depression. Roberts concluded that resourcefulness and courage do hold more weight than academic excellence.
So the next time someone mentions they have a high IQ, just let them be. Don’t be hard on yourself. You know that it’s not going to be the sole factor that will determine their success in life, or yours.