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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday's Psychology Trivia Answer: Why Doesn't IQ Predict Success?

Thought for the Day: Today's trivia answer raises some serious questions. If you were baking a pie & only put in 10% of the ingredients, the pie would not be very tasty. Are we making a similar mistake in how we are educating our children? On Tuesday, I told you that parents & teachers might want to come back for the answer to the Psychology Trivia Question. Tuesday's Trivia Question was:

Psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success:

        a)  IQ counts for roughly 10%, 
        b)  IQ counts for roughly 50%,
        c)   IQ counts for roughly 80%, or
        d)  IQ counts for roughly 90%

What did you think the answer was? Be honest. Even I was surprised by the answer. IQ accounts for a) roughly 10% of a person's success. If you thought it was more like 50 or 80%, there may be some good reasons for the mistake. IQ or your Intelligence Quota is a very good predictor of academic success & even for future salary; however, when other factors are taken into account, it is not the best predictor of overall success. Studies have found that other variables lead to successful careers. People tend to prefer to work with people whom they like more than with those who may be more intelligent. The IQ tests measure parts of intelligence, but have no bearing on others. 

In the book, Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman describes some of the attributes fnot covered well in IQ tests which may be better predictors of success, such as self awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, & social skills. How much time is spent in our schools fostering emotional intelligence? 

If 90% of success is not reflected in the variables measured by IQ tests, are schools missing the mark by focusing on standardized testing of reading, writing & math skills? Why are we not designing more programs that will build Emotional Intelligence? Would we be better off spending more time enhancing our children's social & emotional skills? The importance of teaching children how to deal with differences & learning how to respect one another may not only be important for reducing bullying in our schools, but also promoting our children's overall success in life. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this finding.

You can read more about Emotional Intelligence from these resources:
Wayne Payne tends to be credited for coining the term in his doctoral thesisA Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence from 1985 [1]. However, prior to this, it had appeared in Leuner (1966).[2]Stanley Greenspan (1989) also developed an EI model, as did Peter Salovey and John Mayer (1989),[3] and Daniel Goleman (1995).

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