Why IQ Tests are broken, outdated and dumb! (...how to really measure intelligence)

In this post I share with you my point of view (with the help of Howard Gardner's work), on the theory of multple intellegneces. We are stuck in the past and still labelling children and others as 'learnin disabled' or 'dumb' with the need for special attention if they do not pass an IQ test.

IQ tests were origianlly created (in 1921 by Alfred Binet) to discover within the schooling system who needed special attention.

But times have changed and we need to realise that mathmatetics and grammar/linguistics aren't the only skills we need to have in thi world. There are 8 in total and I take you through them today.




Listen to the Podcast


Contact Hayden:

Full Transcription Below

Ladies and Gentlemen, Hayden Wilson here for Learn Share Grow live. I’ve got a terrific episode that I’m extremely passionate about. Today, we’re talking about intelligence and the different forms of intelligence that we are quite often forgetting about.

This is Howard Gardner’s work by the way. He is a brilliant man. I’ve just finished his book called Multiple Intelligences and this is where a lot of this work stems from – years and decades of Howard investigating how our intelligences are affecting our everyday lives.

In 1921, a guy by the name of Alfred Binet, B i n e t, he’s a Frenchman and he invented what is now known as the IQ test, the Intelligence Quotient. I’m going to tell you why this is broken. This is a broken system because it was originally created to decipher children in the schooling system into two different zones – children that needed special attention and children that were going to be fine. So immediately, from a very young age, whoever took this test was labelled as having a learning difficulty or they struggled, they were boxed into this certain area that they needed additional help, and you can imagine what that does to someone young or someone in their developing stages. What this does, if you’re told that you’re dumb, say your IQ is only 80 or your IQ is 140, whatever it’s going to be, we immediately put these children into boxes and this is ultimately going to determine what they’re going to do. But, would you agree that over the past 100 years – that was 1921 – over the past nearly 100 years, 95 years, that things have changed. Now that we have computers and now that we have a bunch of other tools, mobile phones, the internet, how much times have changed. You would have to agree that there’s more to it than looking at someone’s IQ because all the IQ does is take into account two of our intelligences, our mathematical / logical intelligence and our linguistic intelligence.

What Gardner has produced is a series of intelligences that we really need to look at that really determine what someone is intelligent in. Intelligence is just the ability to comprehend and contextualise something. It’s not based on whether you can work out a problem, it is in one situation, with your logical, mathematical brain – you can work out a problem and look at the dimensions and graphics and whatnot. But if you’re wanting to excel in other areas, or maybe you’re gifted in another area then we need to look at the different aspects and the different intelligences.

So what I want to do with you today is take you through the eight different intelligences we actually have. This will really open your eyes.

So the first one, is musical intelligence. If you’re really great at listening at sounds or maybe you‘re able to decipher different sound effects or you know the beat of things, this means you’re high on the musical intelligence.

Kinesthetics, this means how well you move your body. Maybe you can squat really well, maybe you can do weights, maybe you can jump really high, you have a great awareness of how your body is in time.

The next one, logical and mathematical, like I took you through – it’s all about how someone can work out problems and work through formulations. It’s very common for us to measure someone’s intelligence based on logical, and how they can work out a problem and decipher something, but there’s a bunch of other stuff I can go into.

Linguistic, the other side of the IQ test, apart from mathematical. Linguistics is how well you put sentences together, your grammar, what sort of conversations you spark up.

Spacial awareness. This is all about how well you know your surroundings, everything around you. You might be very good at reading maps. I believe I’m a zero in spacial intelligence as far as reading a map or knowing where I am at a certain point in time. If I go into the woods, don’t follow me, because I have zero idea on where I’m moving in space in time. Someone can say that’s north, I have zero idea. But you might be really good, some people have a terrific sense of direction and they know how to navigate situations. My friend Sean is unbelievable – he knows where north and south are. So some people have a really good spacial awareness.

The next one, interpersonal. If you have a good interpersonal intelligence that means you’re terrific with people. You completely understand how to interact with other people and speak to them in their language, you’re a great communicator.

The next one, intrapersonal. This means how well you know yourself which is extremely important in my opinion. It’s extremely important to understand how well you know yourself, your self confidence, your self awareness, self concept, and all these different things about ourselves. I believe that if you can master that, you can do anything because if you have good self awareness but didn’t have some of these other intelligences, you can work at strategies that I can show you, at how you can build up the different intelligences, so you become better at them. It’s one of the more important intelligences yet we don’t even measure it. It’s not taught in schools, when was the last time you remember a class in school where you were taught about self concept and self confidence? This is all going to change hopefully. It is going to change.

The last one I have here, was added because Gardner has been doing research in the field for 40+ years, and after 25 – 30 years he decided that spiritual needed to be one of the intelligences. Times have changed, he originally had the first seven I mentioned. He’d had feedback from more people and more research. He’s such a humble person, it takes such humility to say ‘my life’s research has been based around these seven, but I’m adding an eighth, because this is required’. So what we find is that spiritual awareness is extremely important. The ability to decipher little things, like where north is, where south is, and the ability to decipher and understand a situation almost on a spiritual level – we know those people, those natural readers. I have a great friend who just knows what’s happening in my life, she looks at me and knows deep inside what’s going on with me. Not everyone has that intelligence, but some people do – we all know someone who has that ability.

So these are the eight different intelligences that we need to be teaching, that we need to be bringing out into the world, that we need to start measuring people on, and accepting people for who they are in their own intelligence, rather than boxing people in and deciding ‘okay, you’re not smart, you’ve only got an IQ of 75 so you’ve got extreme learning difficulties’. Someone who has an IQ of 75 may be an unbelievable genius at music. They might really understand how music works, the beat and the rhythm. Or we might have someone who has an IQ of 150 but they completely struggle with spacial awareness, they can’t even fit into a car parking space. All this needs to be taken into account. We need to stop boxing people in.

So what I want you to do, is take this knowledge that I’ve gone through and look at the eight different intelligences and really understand that if you or your children are having struggles, have a look at these and decide ‘okay, I’ve been pushing them, or myself, to be really good in a certain area, I need to wake up and decide well what I or my child is really good is in this area’. There are so many opportunities.

In tomorrow’s video I’m going to take you through some of the career paths that we can follow within these different intelligences that are really going to make a difference.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this video. If you have any questions, jump over to haydenwilson.com.au. Ciao.