Thursday, June 21, 2007

IQ testing issues "On Point" radio interview/show

Check out "On Point" radio show today dealing with "IQ testing issues." Host Tom Ashbrook interviews Stephen Murdoch, author of "IQ: A smart history of a failed idea." Below is a description from the web page.

As per usual for a book and discussion directed at the masses from the media, the focus is not complete and balanced...but some good points are mentioned along with the bad. Some of the historical information is accurate and interesting to revisit. Of course, the hot topics of eugenics, hereitability of IQ, etc. are discussed.

New extensions of intelligence theory are mentioned...but are limited, as per usual, to Sternberg and Gardner. Nothing mentioned about the most empirically supported psychometric model - CHC theory. Some of the callers add some needed balance.

For what it is worth. An interesting snapshot of some current popular thinking. Here is the description from the radio web page.
  • For most of human history, we had only words to describe human intelligence -- bright, dim, genius, fool.
  • But in the last century, we've had numbers -- IQ numbers as in "intelligence quotient." IQ testing made intelligence seem measurable, and humans sortable by the numbers. And sort them we have, into schools and sterilization, and even death camps.
  • Today, our understanding of intelligence has expanded. But we're still taking IQ tests. Stephen Murdoch says today it's a failed idea.
  • This hour On Point: the fascinating history of our long romance with IQ.

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Anonymous said...

While the interviewer appeared to know his stuff (he asked good questions, anyway), why in the name of all things psychological did they ask Duckworth to be the "expert" when (a) she has no stated expertise in intelligence/IQ and (b) she didn't even read Murdoch's book. ISIR lists a handful of expets with a web presence and APA's offical report on intelligence/IQ had a whole cadre of authors, most of whom are either still academically active or reachable via email/phone.

TurbineGuy said...

Murcoch himself is only a science writer. My favorite bit from the program.

"IQ tests don't measure intelligence they only measure knowledge, math skills, verbal skills, and abstract problem solving ability."

Aimee said...

Unfortunately, I was cut off before I could mention CHC theory (I was Aimee in Stow MA who called in first, to set the record straight on how and why cognitive testing is actualy done today, and how it benefits individuals, not just organizations). When he said that IQ tests haven't changed in 80 years, I was ready to thwack him pretty hard on that, but they had dropped the connection and wouldn't let me back on when I called back. Sigh.