Where did IQ tests come from?

The history of IQ tests and the testing of intelligence as such goes hand in hand.

Tip of the Day

Did you know that “IQ” stands for “Intelligence Quotient”?

Intelligence on the scales

Intelligence began to seriously grab scientists‘ interest at the turn of the 19th and 20th century and endeavours aimed at its measurement took various routes. Of course, even before this time, in the mid-19th century for example, attempts were made to measure (this was, from our contemporary view, more an estimation, test your iq » and a rather dubious one at that) people‘s intelligence on the basis of the weight of the brain or physical proportions . An interesting idea, albeit a method that was full of holes from the scientific point of view, was the determination of intelligence based on a person’s fame - performed by adding the number of entries about the person being tested in books and encyclopedias, awards, etc.

You cannot measure your intelligence according to the first online iq test » – as it is impossible to weigh your brain on your kitchen scales and compare the result with the average 1.2 – 1.5 kg. The second method is a lot simpler, but very inaccurate (what if you happen to have a bump on your head). Its credibility is lessened not only by the weight and size difference between a woman‘s and a man’s brain (even if both had the tests iq » same intelligence), as well as ignoring the natural difference in weight and size of a brain depending on age. The third method would be absolutely confusing at a time of there being encyclopedias for everything and the awarding of prizes for the worst performances in a given area.

Unfortunately, none of these methods of testing IQ is relevant according to today’s scientific knowledge.

The first IQ calculations and testing

Over time, the testing of the the average iq » brain progressed from testing using would-be objective methods from the ”outside“ to testing human intelligence from the “inside“ of the brain, i.e. on the basis of its performance. The attention was switched to measuring reaction times or to the quality of the answers to physical stimuli.


The first IQ test was developed by two psychologists - Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon.


Their Binet-Simon test forms the basis for the contemporary intelligence test, as we know mensa iq test » it today, and which we make available to you

on this website.

But the original intelligence tests do vary somewhat to their contemporary versions. Just compare them – a description of today’s IQ tests is available here


Binet and Simon mainly tested how schoolchildren manage to remember certain facts, what practical knowledge they have, what vocabulary they possess, the manner they solve certain problems, etc. They had a good reason for this testing – online iq tests » they wanted to find out which of the children that were getting bad grades at school were failing their studies due to their genetic disposition and which children are simply slacking off at school or lack prior knowledge. A so-called mental age was determined on the basis of the test results, and subsequently compared to the person‘s chronological age . A person whose mental age was greater than his chronological age was seen iq test online » to be more intelligent (these are the children who are „ahead“). On the other hand, anyone with a mental age less than his actual age was less intelligent.

Intelligence started to be recorded as the mental age (MA) , which can be measured using the IQ test compiled by experts, as a share of the chronological age (CA) , i.e. the age of a person as given by the calendar . The resulting value thus takes into consideration on line iq test » both the age differences as well as the objectively measured intelligence and enables it to be compared to the intelligence values of other people.

Then it was simply a matter of compiling the tests so that they could be used to test adults and to slightly mathematically and esthetically improve the formula used to calculate the IQ score – multiply the result by 100, thus getting rid of the take iq test » decimal places.



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