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IQ testing


Definition:

IQ (intelligence quotient) testing is a series of exams used to determine your general intelligence in relation to other people the same age.

Alternative Names:

Intelligence testing

Information:

Many IQ tests are used today. Whether they measure actual intelligence or simply certain abilities is controversial. IQ tests measure a specific functioning ability and may not accurately assess a person's talents or future potential. Results of any intelligence test may be culturally biased.

The more widely used tests include:

  • Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales
  • Differential Ability Scales
  • Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children.

Functioning abilities that are measured by these tests include language, mathematical, analytical, spatial (for example, reading a map), among others. Each test has its own scoring system.

In general, IQ tests are only one way to measure how well a person functions. Other factors, such as genetics and environment, should be considered.

References:

Tager-Flusberg H, Plesa-Skwerer D. Assessment of intelligence. In: Carey WB, Crocker AC, Coleman WL, Elias ER, Feldman HM. Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2009:chap 81.


Review Date: 10/31/2014
Reviewed By: Fred K. Berger, MD, Addiction and Forensic Psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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