CHFAM 1500 Human Development PrevNext
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IQ .. What does it mean?

Let's try to make this complicated issue as little more simple to understand. Assume that all knowledge could be lined up from simple to complex knowledge along a line. Assume also that the line represents age growth, and that any given point on the age line indicates where the individual would be chronologically (CA) and where they should be mentally (MA).

CA = Chronological Age
MA = Mental Age

An IQ test is given to an individual to determine where they are on the knowledge line (to determine a Mental Age) and compares that with where they are on the age line (Chronological Age). In other words, by the time a child is 10 years old, he/she should also be at the 10 mark on the knowledge line to be considered average. As the child grows older, he/she should also acquire additional knowledge and skills consistent with the Mental Knowledge (MA) for that age, as compared with other children of that particular age. IQ tests like the Wechsler help us understand a persons cognitive skills as compared to others of the same age. See your text for information on what the IQ test would include as measures of intelligence.

FORMULA: IQ could be calculated by this simple formula...
of course it is more complicated than this, but this formula will work for our purposes at this level.

Remember: To be considered normal intelligence, the individual should have a Mental Age consistent with their Chronological Age.


That is Mental Age divided by Chronological Age times 100

John has a mental age of 12 .... MA= 12 (determined by test)
John is 11 years old.... CA= 11 (by birthdate)

His IQ would be: 12/11*100 ... or 109... that would be considered an average IQ.

An IQ score between 85 and 115 would be considered average. Of course 100 is average (or normal), and 85 would be low average, and 115 high average. Scores between 70 -85 are considered "Slow" and below 70 would be "retarded". These comparisons are based on where the child stands cognitively as compared to the thousands of other children who have also taken the standardized IQ test.

CONSIDER THIS: Sally has a mental age of 14 and is 12 years old. What would be her IQ approximately?? Is she slow, average, or above average?

Answer? ... Click Here