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Why IQ Tests Are Bunk

After conducting the largest test of its kind, a group of scientists have concluded that IQ tests are not a fair standard for determining intelligence.

A team led by researchers from the University of Western Ontario found that a single number doesn’t accurately represent a person’s intelligence. The group said three components must be studied to get a full picture of someone’s faculties: short-term memory, reasoning, and a verbal component. Using special imaging, the scientists were able to show that those three abilities run on different circuits in the brain.

The findings, which were published in the science journal Neuron, were based on the 100,000 people who participated in the experiment. The researchers also noted that regular game-playing helped with short-term memory and reasoning, while smokers performed poorly on short-term memory and the verbal component.

Hoping to bolster their sample size even more, researchers will continue varied IQ tests on a Web platform open to people around the world.