Are you a female victim of biased stereotyping when it comes to intelligence testing?
Did you ever think that your success in life was determined by a testing score from some intelligence test you took years ago?
I remember just before our class was scheduled for testing, my counselor said not to worry and to expect my scores to be lower in math and technical aptitude skills than the boys. Well, no surprises. I did score lower than the boys, but as an adult my math and technical skills hold up well to all the men around me.
When and how did I suddenly get more intelligent than the carved in stone scores that were suppose to be predictive of my potential success in college and in life?
That intelligence or achievement test you took had sections that measured your aptitude level in math, technical, verbal and perception skills. The scores were used as predictive indicators of your future success in school and job performance. Test results in general show males scoring higher in math and technical aptitude and females higher in perception and verbal aptitude.
According to Frank Schmidt conducting research at the University of Iowa, there is no significant difference between men and women and their male and female brain in terms of general intelligence. But, when technical skills aptitude scores are included in the final general intelligence score, women will score lower on general intelligence. Consequently, the technical skill aptitude segment creates a “biased indicator” of lower general intelligence towards women and girls.
If you were one of those predisposed to certain interests or skills it was likely set early on in life.
For those of us not so predisposed, Schmidt along with others argues that job success is more about general intelligence than specific aptitudes. According to Schmidt, general intelligence and motivation are more than enough for learning any new job skill.
If you feel that your female brain may have been victimized by an intelligence test and you’re dissatisfied with the level of success in your life, you only need to know two things – You can still be anything you want to be and it’s never too late to start.
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Helene Poulakou says
Another dreadful habit is the way we (women and men) stereotype ourselves into something we *think* is our image or destination — and then get trapped in a plan that doesn’t work for us.
We should be ready to re-invent ourselves, our business, our goals — any time.