What IQ does not tell us about Pattern-recognition Abilities

For video version go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSXDT0YsdTM

Unless you score above average, you probably do not like IQ tests. Do not be dismayed though, since there are some key aspects they do not measure. On the other hand, if you score above average, do not get cocky, since that test probably did not measure those missing aspects of pattern-recognition. I will now present the argument that we humans have a multidimensional/multileveled pattern-recognition that is insufficiently tested in standard IQ tests.

There is more to pattern-recognition

The remarkable thing about us humans is our urge to find patterns in our surroundings. We immediately look for patterns when we look at the night sky, or even a group of people.  The problem with IQ tests is that they measure an artificial kind of pattern-recognition, which has stripped away the complexity of our natural surroundings. Whether the measurement components are matrices, numerical, or word puzzles, they are irrefutably simplifications of reality. This partly explains why someone with a high IQ can make various inexplicably poor decisions in real life. High IQ scorers like Immanuel Kant (175), Einstein (160), Mozart (165), and Bobby Fischer (187) were highly successful pattern-finders in some aspects, while strikingly dysfunctional in others.

High-complexity pattern-recognition

Let me illustrate with a more detailed example. Many gifted children struggle with bullying in school, and/or other problems related to social conformity. However, given the measurement of their ability for pattern-recognition we would expect them too quickly identify the social dynamics (pattern) that accounts for their sorry state. Bullying does not arise spontaneously, and the social dynamics are similar in many cases. It is peculiar that so many gifted children fail to see these patterns, and manipulate the situation as they would solve a difficult puzzle on an IQ test.

There are many other examples of high-complexity pattern-recognition. Entrepreneurs appear to have some kind of pattern-recognition ability that is almost mystic in nature. Artists also exhibit a peculiar ability, seemingly related to pattern-recognition, however not sufficiently related to IQ.

Pattern-recognition is multidimensional/multileveled

All of this strongly suggest that pattern-recognition is allot more multidimensional than what the unidimensionality of standard IQ tests. The appeal of IQ tests is that they are hitherto the best gig in town; however, nothing is immune to disruption. A challenge is to develop valid tests for these other manifestations of pattern-recognition. EQ (emotional intelligence) and CQ (cultural intelligence) is interesting, and Howard Gardner has his theory about multiple-intelligences.

For more go to: www.cybloom.com

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