High IQ scores as much a measure of motivation as of mental ability

April 26th, 2011 - 3:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 26 (ANI): University of Pennsylvania researchers have revealed that getting a high score in an IQ test requires both high intelligence and competitive tendencies to motivate the test-taker to perform to the best of their ability.

They found that intelligence tests are as much a measure of motivation as they are of mental ability.

Incentives were also found to increase IQ scores by a noticeable margin.

For the findings, the researchers first analyzed previous studies of how material incentives affected the performance of more than 2,000 people in intelligence tests.

They found that incentives increased all IQ scores, but particularly for those of individuals with lower baseline IQ scores.

Then the researchers tested how motivation impacted on the results of IQ tests and also on predictions of intelligence and performance in later life.

By using data from a long-term study of 250 boys from adolescence to early adulthood, they were able to conclude that some individuals try harder than others in conditions where the stakes are low.

Therefore, the study said, “relying on IQ scores as a measure of intelligence may overestimate the predictive validity of intelligence.”

The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)

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