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  • In 1905, psychologists Alfred Binet and Théodore Simon

  • designed a test for children who were struggling in school in France.

  • Designed to determine which children required individualized attention,

  • their method formed the basis of the IQ test.

  • Beginning in the late 19th century,

  • researchers hypothesized that cognitive abilities like verbal reasoning,

  • working memory, and visual-spatial skills

  • reflected an underlying general intelligence, or g factor.

  • Simon and Binet designed a battery of tests to measure each of these abilities

  • and combine the results into a single score.

  • Questions were adjusted for each age group,

  • and a child's score reflected how they performed relative to others their age.

  • Dividing someone's score by their age and multiplying the result by 100

  • yielded the intelligence quotient, or IQ.

  • Today, a score of 100 represents the average of a sample population,

  • with 68% of the population scoring within 15 points of 100.

  • Simon and Binet thought the skills their test assessed

  • would reflect general intelligence.

  • But both then and now,

  • there's no single agreed upon definition of general intelligence.

  • And that left the door open for people to use the test

  • in service of their own preconceived assumptions about intelligence.

  • What started as a way to identify those who needed academic help

  • quickly became used to sort people in other ways,

  • often in service of deeply flawed ideologies.

  • One of the first large-scale implementations

  • occurred in the United States during WWI, when the military used an IQ test

  • to sort recruits and screen them for officer training.

  • At that time, many people believed in eugenics,

  • the idea that desirable and undesirable genetic traits

  • could and should be controlled in humans through selective breeding.

  • There were many problems with this line of thinking,

  • among them the idea that intelligence was not only fixed and inherited,

  • but also linked to a person's race.

  • Under the influence of eugenics,

  • scientists used the results of the military initiative

  • to make erroneous claims that certain racial groups

  • were intellectually superior to others.

  • Without taking into account that many of the recruits tested

  • were new immigrants to the United States

  • who lacked formal education or English language exposure,

  • they created an erroneous intelligence hierarchy of ethnic groups.

  • The intersection of eugenics and IQ testing influenced not only science,

  • but policy as well.

  • In 1924, the state of Virginia created policy

  • allowing for the forced sterilization of people with low IQ scores

  • a decision the United States Supreme Court upheld.

  • In Nazi Germany, the government authorized the murder of children

  • based on low IQ.

  • Following the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement,

  • the discriminatory uses of IQ tests

  • were challenged on both moral and scientific grounds.

  • Scientists began to gather evidence of environmental impacts on IQ.

  • For example, as IQ tests were periodically recalibrated over the 20th century,

  • new generations scored consistently higher on old tests

  • than each previous generation.

  • This phenomenon, known as the Flynn Effect,

  • happened much too fast to be caused by inherited evolutionary traits.

  • Instead, the cause was likely environmental

  • improved education, better healthcare, and better nutrition.

  • In the mid-twentieth century,

  • psychologists also attempted to use IQ tests

  • to evaluate things other than general intelligence,

  • particularly schizophrenia, depression, and other psychiatric conditions.

  • These diagnoses relied in part on the clinical judgment of the evaluators,

  • and used a subset of the tests used to determine IQ

  • a practice later research found does not yield clinically useful information.

  • Today, IQ tests employ many similar design elements and types of questions

  • as the early tests,

  • though we have better techniques for identifying potential bias in the test.

  • They're no longer used to diagnose psychiatric conditions.

  • But a similarly problematic practice using subtest scores

  • is still sometimes used to diagnose learning disabilities,

  • against the advice of many experts.

  • Psychologists around the world still use IQ tests

  • to identify intellectual disability,

  • and the results can be used to determine

  • appropriate educational support, job training, and assisted living.

  • IQ test results have been used to justify horrific policies

  • and scientifically baseless ideologies.

  • That doesn't mean the test itself is worthless

  • in fact, it does a good job of measuring the reasoning and problem-solving skills

  • it sets out to.

  • But that isn't the same thing as measuring a person's potential.

  • Though there are many complicated political, historical, scientific,

  • and cultural issues wrapped up in IQ testing,

  • more and more researchers agree on this point,

  • and reject the notion that individuals can be categorized

  • by a single numerical score.

In 1905, psychologists Alfred Binet and Théodore Simon

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B1 中級 美國腔

智力測試的黑暗歷史--斯特凡-C-鄧布羅夫斯基。 (The dark history of IQ tests - Stefan C. Dombrowski)

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    ally.chang 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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