Role of Total Vocabulary in IQ Testing
Total vocabulary has
the highest correlation (0.8) with overall IQ of any individual measure
of intelligence. This seems surprising in the light of the observations
In spite of their known
shortcomings, testing vocabulary would seem to me to offer some advantages
it measures only vocabulary, as opposed to
logical/mathematical, spatial visualization, and other specialized aptitudes;
it measures only crystallized intelligence
as opposed to fluid intelligence;
it is extremely culturally dependent; and
it isn't clear whether one's vocabulary repertoire
increases with age, and/or the extent to which one can increase one's
vocabulary through study.
tests.would be tests of word usage like those found on SAT's and GRE's.
Generally, either you know a word or you don't.
Tests can be adminstered with generous time limits or even with virtually
no time limits.. i. e., they're "power tests" rather than mental efficiency
We can present vocabulary items that can probably
exceed the capabilities of even the most brilliant mentalities. We needn't
bump up against a ceiling with a total vocabulary test.
If a sufficiently large selection of words
can be normed (e. g., all the more-challenging words in the language) ,
we may be able to generate cheat-proof tests that will never have to be
retired. This would be particulary true if we let a computer randomly select
words at specified levels of difficulty (or rarity).
Vocabulary tests can be computer-administered-and-graded
group tests (although they would have to be proctored to prevent cheating).