More often than not, a brain test is associated with intelligence testing or IQ testing. But what is an IQ test really? In simple terms, an IQ test is a standardized evaluation of the core cognitive abilities which are thought to make up general intelligence. Some of my readers may have heard the term multiple intelligence. Although this term sounds intuitive and clever – is it not true that some people are mathematically smart but may have no common sense or street smarts? – the term multiple intelligence is very simply a way of stating that overall intelligence (G) is made up of different “brain or cognitive skills”.
Before listing some of these core cognitive skills, it is important to distinguish between (1) learned brain test skills – or Crystallized Intelligence (Gc) ; and (2) innate skills of the brain or Fluid intelligence (Gf). Crystallized intelligence relates to what the brain is able to learn, retain and apply in relevant situations over time. In other words, Gc relates to what you are taught in school and further education in addition to what you teach yourself over your lifetime. Assuming that your brain is able to retain even a fraction of the information which it learns, it makes perfect sense to believe that all else being equal, people who pursue higher education for a longer period of time should have higher crystallized intelligence than say a higher school dropout who is not interested in reading. Fluid Intelligence, on the other hand, relates to your brain’s ability to solve novel problems (i.e. problems never seen before). Gf can almost be likened to raw processing power of the brain, as it represents the brain’s logical reasoning and creative responses to new stimuli and novel problems. So the idea of street smarts is really a combination of both fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence, although fluid intelligence will prevail in ‘think fast – life or death situations”.
So let’s come back to the idea of a brain test. Most brain tests on the web are IQ tests of some description. Crystallized intelligence brain tests are normally rather meaningless because you end up testing acquired brain knowledge which is akin to comparing people’s level of education and whether or not some people are more intellectually inclined that others. That is to say, it would be normal to expect someone with two PhDs and who is also an avid reader of the Economist and the New Yorker to do better at the crystallized verbal IQ brain test than someone who graduated from straight As from high school and who is about to embark on a college degree (even if this high school graduate will go on to earn the exact same PhD as the person who already has it).
Brain test of fluid intelligence
But a brain test based on fluid intelligence, on the other hand is much more interesting and relevant as it has been shown that fluid intelligence is not influenced by the level of education that you have. In other words, even though you may have just graduated from high school, you are on a level playing with someone who has a PhD when it comes to fluid intelligence. This is so because obtaining a PhD will not teach you how to respond on a fluid intelligence brain test, which means that people with higher education are not advantaged in a fluid IQ brain test. That said, all else being equal, people with higher fluid intelligence will be more likely to be able to go on and achieve greater things in higher education because their raw processing brain power will help them achieve more.
It’s important to note that even fluid IQ brain tests will test different brain skills including (1) short-term memory or Gsm; (2) visualization or Gv; (3) Processing speed or Gs. A fluid intelligence test is therefore in many ways a multiple intelligence test.
At iq-brain.com, we have developed one of the most reliable fluid IQ brain tests on the web. Your average score on all three of our scientifically validated IQ tests should correlate highly to an IQ score which you might obtain on a professionally-administered group IQ test.
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