S02E04: Can you measure intelligence?
Some researchers have suggested that intelligence is a single, general ability. Others believe that intelligence encompasses a range of aptitudes, skills and talents. Is it a philosophical question, a neurological question, or both? If you can pinpoint what intelligence is, can you then measure it? It’s certainly controversial and the question of measuring intelligence has quite a dark underbelly, with IQ tests used by regimes such as Nazi Germany as a justification for sterilisation or eugenics. We asked the experts:Mike Rennie, the secretary of the Defence and Security Psychology section of the British Psychological Society, tells us the history of military IQ testing, how it became important in recruitment in the World War II and why it has been almost discarded today.Michael Ruse, a philosopher of science at the University of Florida, tells us why empathy is just as important in the measure of intelligence as maths or scientific ability.Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive scientist and the founder of the Center for the Science of Human Potential, explains why lateral thinking must also be considered as a mark of intelligence.Finally, Lynn Kendall, an education analyst and psychologist who works in early learning with gifted children, believes that the intelligence of some children has been missed due to cultural backgrounds and that IQ tests can help to identify intelligence early.