I.Q. scores mostly reveal the test-taker’s motivation to do well on the exam, particularly for low-scorers, suggests a series of experiments.
“One of the most robust social science findings of the 20th century is that intelligence quotient (IQ) scores predict a broad range of life outcomes, including academic performance, years of education, physical health and longevity, and job performance,” begins the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study, led by psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
However, researchers have also long known that rather than measuring intelligence directly, I.Q. test scores, “in contrast, measure the performance of individuals on tests designed to assess intelligence,” write the study authors. In other words, they reveal how good folks are at taking I.Q. tests, which different test-takers may, or may not, care about. “We hypothesize that individual differences in low-stakes test motivation are, in fact, much greater than currently assumed in the social science literature.”
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