The History of IQ Tests

An intelligence quotient or IQ as we call it for short is derived from one of several standardized tests. The term "IQ" has a German origin – “Intelligenz-Quotient”and it is first used by the psychologist William Stern.Stern was born in Berlin on 29 April 1871. At the age of twenty-six he invented the “tone variator” - an instrument used in the research of human perception of sound. He shared the idea about the practice of dividing the developmental age by the chronological age. He taught at Duke University until his death in 1938.Psychometricians agree that IQ tests have a high statistical reliability. It comes from the fact that scores you get from different IQ tests when you take them at the same age or the various score you can get from taking the same IQ test several times, but the true is that these scores are connected. This conclusion can be explained with the “standard error measurement”. For the modern IQ tests, the error is about 3 points - three points above to three points below. Clinical psychologists think that IQ test can be used for clinical researches and studies because of their sufficient statistical validity.IQ tests are the best way to compare people, nations, etc. Since the early 20th century we observe the rising of scores for many populations to 3 points per ten years and we call this examination the “Flynn effect”. The Flynn effect influences the low to moderate IQ scores with little or zero effect on high IQ scores. Since the last years of 20th century some European nations have noticed the effect is declining. Nowadays, through investigation of differing patterns of increases in IQ scores scientists are making the research on human intelligence.

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