What makes a person intelligent? It’s a question which has been asked for centuries, and scientists have yet to come up with a solid or reliable answer which truly reveals the nature of intelligence. Despite this, certified IQ tests have allowed social scientists, psychologists, and other clinical specialists to draw a wide range of conclusions about the nature of intelligence, and other factors which may or may not contribute to an individual’s intelligence.
Some of them are interesting, some are thought-provoking, and others have been highly controversial. In this blog, we’re going to be taking a closer look at how age and gender may play a part in IQ test results.
Does Gender Have a Role in IQ Test Results?
When looking across IQ test results on a broad spectrum and in larger sample sizes, it has been noted that men do tend to score slightly higher than women when it comes to international IQ tests.
This is something which has caused no end of controversy, especially in an age of gender equality. However, many scientists have pointed out that the difference in men’s and women’s IQ test results may come down to an inherent bias in IQ tests themselves; they tend to measure things which, traditionally, men are better at than women on the whole.
Both spatial insight and mathematics have long since been thought of as subjects which men excel at over women. Whether this is due to a cognitive difference between male and female brains, or the result of institutionalised sexism in the education sector – or due to something else entirely – is open to debate. Many have called for the IQ test system to be reformed, in order to reflect intelligence factors which are more balanced across the gender divide.
IQ Test Scores and Age Differences
Compared to the population as a whole, an individual’s IQ test score will consistently increase until around the age of 18, at which point it will stabilise throughout adulthood. For the majority of people, this situation will remain the same until around the age of 65, when most people’s IQ test results will begin to drop.
The reason for the initial increase comes solely down to the maturation of the brain, and an individual’s increasing vocabulary and general intelligence, as tied to overall experience and growth. The decline of cognitive function reflects a gradual loss of memory function in old age, and a common difficulty in focusing on particular tasks and problem solving questions. The overall decrease is often quite minor, and some people will find that their IQ test results don’t decrease at all!