Is The I Q Often Misleading?

Do the cases described in this chapter give a reliable picture as to what one

may expect of the various I Q levels? Does the I Q furnish anything like a reliable

index of an individual's general educational possibilities and of his social worth?

Are there not "feeble-minded geniuses," and are there not children of exceptionally

high I Q who are nevertheless fools?

We have no hesitation in saying that there is not o
e case in fifty in

which there is any serious contradiction between the I Q and the child's

performances in and out of school. We cannot deny the existence of

"feeble-minded geniuses," but after a good deal of search we have not

found one. Occasionally, of course, one finds a feeble-minded person

who is an expert penman, who draws skillfully, who plays a musical

instrument tolerably well, or who handles number combinations with

unusual rapidity; but these are not geniuses; they are not authors,

artists, musicians, or mathematicians.

As for exceptionally intelligent children who appear feeble-minded, we

have found but one case, a boy of 10 years with an I Q of about 125.

This boy, whom we have tested several times and whose development we

have followed for five years, was once diagnosed by a physician as

feeble-minded. His behavior among other persons than his familiar

associates is such as to give this impression. Nothing less than an

entire chapter would be adequate for a description of this case, which

is in reality one of disturbed emotional and social development with

superior intelligence.

It should be emphasized, however, that what we have said about the

significance of various I Q's holds only for the I Q's secured by the

use of the Stanford revision. As we have shown elsewhere (p. 62 _ff._)

the I Q yielded by other versions of the Binet tests are often so

inaccurate as to be misleading.

We have not found a single child who tested between 70 and 80 I Q by the

Stanford revision who was able to do satisfactory school work in the

grade where he belonged by chronological age. Such children are usually

from two to three grades retarded by the age of 12 years. On the other

hand, the child with an I Q of 120 or above is almost never found below

the grade for his chronological age, and occasionally he is one or two

grades above. Wherever located, his school work is so superior as to

suggest strongly the desirability of extra promotions. Those who test

between 96 and 105 are almost never more than one grade above or below

where they belong by chronological age, and even the small displacement

of one year is usually determined by illness, age of beginning school,