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How IQ Test Measures Human Intelligence?

Intelligence is a little understood concept like love. While we all know intuitively if a person is intelligent of not, yet it is very difficul to define intelligence in precise words. A distinguished panel of experts defined intelligence as the individual’s ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning to overcome obstacles by careful thoughts.

However, most of the experts have their own definition of intelligence. Goleman, one of the international experts on emotional intelligence, believes that the intelligence means how successful a person would be in school and in various kind of jobs, or how will they get along with others.

Yet, it is impossible to measure such ability in a person as it is hard to measure how one would get along with others. Still some people believe that emotional intelligence is most important for the success of the person. It is often said “A high IQ makes a person good managers while a high EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) makes a person good leader”.

The quest for the true meaning of intelligence led Gardner to conclude that Intelligence is not a unitary trait. He concluded that man have multiple intelligences (MI). He identified as many as eight intelligence viz. Linguistic (syntax, phonology, semantics, pragmatics); Musical (pitch, rhythm, timbre), Logical (Mathematical number, categorization, relations); Spatial (accurate mental visualization, mental transformation of images); Bodily (kinesthetic control of one’s own body, control in handling objects); Interpersonal ( awareness of others’ feelings, emotions, goals, motivations); Intra-personal (awareness of one’s own feelings, emotions, goals, motivations) and Naturalist( recognition and classification of objects in the environment).

Stenberg’s gave another theory of multi-intelligence which he called Triarchich theory of intelligence where he divided the intelligence into three categories . These three intelligences are, analytical (or componential); experimental or creative intelligence and practical intelligence. Thus even after centuries of research, we are yet to arrive at the common definition of intelligence.

When we don’t have even a single definition of intelligence, what is the relevance of the IQ tests which are so popular in all countries that a common man identifies intelligence with IQ test score.


Despite of the existence of numerous definitions of intelligence, there is only one common method to measure intelligence which is typically known as Intelligent Quotient (IQ) test. It is also called Binet and Simon test that was published in 1905. This test has withstood the test of time even after a century. The IQ test continues to be the only universally accepted method of measuring human intelligence.

IQ tests do not measure the absolute intelligence of a person but they measure the person’s intelligence in respect of the other person. The average IQ score is taken as 100. The higher than 100 score indicates that he person is more intelligent than the average person and less than 100 score indicate below normal intelligence.

These IQ tests have become extremely popular over the years and almost universally applied for selection of the graduates and postgraduate students by the examinations like SAT or GRE tests. In most of the countries similar tests are conducted for college and university admissions. Even for selection of the candidates for jobs, often the IQ score is the most important criterion for selection.

The reason why IQ scores are such a universally accepted criterion for deciding the suitability of a person for a job or a higher course of study is not without any basis. There have been several studies which have confirmed that the people with high IQ score have much better chances of success in life. For example in an study conducted in 1925 by Lewis Terman followed the lives of the people who had IQ of 130 or more to find the relationship between the high intelligence and occupational success and social adjustment. The study established that on the average, the people with high IQ have earned more degrees, attained higher occupational success and salaries, experienced better personal and social adjustments and were healthier at each age than the average adult.

However no psychologists can explain how such a simple test which can be completed within few minutes, can so easily measure the intelligence of the person which includes so many diverse trait of human personality? How can one’ ability to remember words, solve mathematical problems, fill in the blanks or reading comprehension skill has anything to do with the person’s ability to make friends, get along with people, provide leadership, adjust to social environment and succeed in life.


Aatmic science forum defines intelligence in the following words.
Intelligence is the capability of an individual to understand another entity (living or not) more completely from one or few physical manifestation of the entity like face, signature, writings, texture of the skin, voice, walking style.

Broadly speaking, we can say that the intelligence of a person is the ability of the person to know another person more completely from one of his external manifestations. It means that if you read an article, how accurately you understand the mind of the person? If you see the face of the person, how accurately you make out if the person is truthful or a fraud, honest or dishonest, sad or happy? It means how accurately you identify the personality of the person by knowing only little about him or by observing his body movements, his gestures, and his walking style?

Aatmic science believes that the physical self (body) is the material manifestation of the imperceptible self of the person (soul). The soul is the source of all the non material aspects of the human personality like, love, emotion, intelligence, habits etc which can be felt by all of us but can’t be measured. However the signature of the soul is inscribed on all the physical aspect of the person which can be understood by the soul of another person. Hence a person is intelligent if he can identify the soul and the mind of the person through his external manifestation.


The IQ tests are often divided into different categories like quantitative test, verbal ability and analytical tests. Each test measures the intelligence of the person. A typical quantitative test question may be as following.

Q. Please answer the following question as YES or NO

John has only forty-eight dollars. Can he buy a bicycle that costs one hundred twenty dollars if he borrows fifty-seven dollars from Tom and fifteen dollars from Harry?

The above problem is a simple problem for the students of mathematics, which may be solved even by a child. You have to simply find out if (48 +57+ 15) is more than 120 or not. If the amount is 120 or more, John can buy the bicycle otherwise he can’t. As we see here that the sum is 120 so he can buy the bicycle hence the answer is YES. However, if you type this simple question to any computer, it simply can’t tell you whether the answer is Yes or No. Why even the best computer in the world can’t solve this simple problem which even a small child of ten years can do? The answer is because the computer can’t understand the mind of the person who framed the problem.

We are able to understand the problem because after reading this problem we are able to understand the mind of the person who has prepared this problem. We understand what the thinking in his mind was when he framed this question? Since in this case, his mind is unambiguous, we understand the problem and provide the “right” answer that he would be expecting from us. Thus what we are reality doing by answering this question is that we are understanding the mind and logic of the person and discover the same answer by using the same logic which was in the mind of the person who framed the question.

Let us now take another example.

Q. Identify the missing number?

2, 5, ? , 17

(a) 9

(b) 10

(C) 11

(d) 12

Now when I framed this question, I had logic in my mind. These numbers were decided by the series n2 + 1 where n is the serial no of the term. However, when you come to answer this question, you have no idea, who I am; neither you know how I think and what logic was in my mind when I framed this question. Yet by reading the numbers, if you are intelligent, you can understand the logic in my mind through my external manifestation (the number series) and discover the same logic that was there in my mind. Therefore, if you (like me) have concluded that the missing number is 10 then you got the right answer.

In a typical reading comprehension test, a person has to read an article and then answer some questions relating to the contents of the articles. Now suppose that I framed the question paper. I am likely to read this article from a book or newspaper and understand the article. I would then frame some question and give multiple alternatives to the reader. As per my understanding there is only one “right” answer of the question. Now suppose that you are taking the IQ test. You read the article written by some unknown author yet you capture the message or meaning of the article. Now when you want to answer the question, you are given multiple alternatives where only one is correct. If you can understand the mind of the person who framed the question, then you will also find the same answer as the right answer. If you fail to understand the mind of the person you may choose the “wrong” answer. If we understand the content of the paragraph properly, we can answer the problem else we can’t. In reality we understand the thoughts of the person who has drafted those paragraphs and then answer the questions which the examiner had thought in his mind.

In another type of IQ tests we may see some figures and asked to choose which figure could be the next figure in the sequence. Here also the examiner has designed the problem, which provides a clear answer as per his understanding, reasoning and logic. If you can understand his mind from the figures then you can answer the question (which he is expecting) then you are intelligent. If you can’t understand his mind then you can’t see the pattern or consistency in the figures and may choose the wrong option. Thus if you fail to understand the mind of the person who framed the question through his external manifestation (like the set of figures), then you are not intelligent.

Hence all the IQ tests, measure our ability of the person to understand the thought or mind of the person who framed the question. If we can do that we are intelligent else we are not.


The scientists have always measured the invisible and imperceptible phenomenon by the measurement of its material and visible manifestations. For example, no can see the gravitational field, yet we measure gravity. How? What we do is to take a mass of unit quantity and measure the force that is acted on it by the gravity. Then using the formula F=mg (here m=1) the force become equal to gravity (g). Similarity no one has seen the electric waves, magnetic waves but we measure these fields and waves by measuring the force on the unit quantity of charge or magnet.

The IQ test is also a similar test, which is designed to test the ability of the person to solve the problems of a particular type. In fact all the examinations are nothing but a test for providing the solutions for the problems of life. The typical IQ test measures the ability to solve analytical problems. The competitions like GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test the person’s intellectual ability in three areas, which are verbal ability, quantitative ability and analytical ability.

Emotional Intelligence is thus the capacity of (the soul of) the person to understand the emotions of (the soul) of another person. This is another ability of the person to understand the emotional state of the soul by the external manifestation of the body. Even when the person is faking his emotions, an emotionally intelligent person can know the true emotions of the person from his external behavior. Similarly the spiritual Intelligence is the ability of the person to understand the spiritual or divine nature of the soul of the man.


In this article it was explained that human intelligence is a complex concepts and there is no agreement on the definition and understanding of intelligence. Yet the IQ test measures the intelligence more accurately than any other method. It was discussed how an IQ test is designed to measure the capability of the person to discover and understand the mind of another person from his external manifestations like the written articles, analytical questions etc. The Aatmic Science believes that the intelligence of a person is synonymous to the soul of the person and the body is the external manifestation of the soul. Hence the signature of the soul is visible in all the physical manifestation of the body. An intelligent person is able to understand the soul of the person from the external action of the body in the same way as a person can identify the person though his signature Thus the article clearly establishes that the Aatmic science definition of intelligence is the complete definition of human intelligence.

Awdhesh K Singh