Single tests that measure intelligence quotient, or IQ, may become a thing of the past.
A study of more than 100,000 participants suggests that there may be at least three distinct components of intelligence. So you could not give a single, unified score for all of them.
Researchers' understanding of the complexities of the human brain has evolved, and so too has the notion of IQ, what it really means, and how it is most accurately captured.
“There are multiple types of intelligence,” says researcher Adam Hampshire, PhD. He is a psychologist at the Brain and Mind Institute Natural Sciences Centre in London, Ontario, Canada. “It is time to move on to using a more comprehensive set of tests that can measure separate scores for each type of intelligence.”
It is interesting. It can give some degree of insight.
Speaking from personal experience I "raised" my IQ by about 20 points in the span of half a week by simple studying. Since practically all IQ tests measure spatial intelligence and the patterns are reasonably standard it is an easy thing to do. This realistically means that if people cared about it we'd all score in the genius percentile with some training. Rendering it utterly useless.
Now it does matter in the sense that most IQ tests still measure somewhat useful traits. And generally speaking a sharp difference in IQ is a good indicator of ability - but a very unreliable one. More often than not someone scoring well on IQ tests would perform better in mental exercises than someone performing poorly. It is however far from a safe bet.
What I do like about IQ is the non-practiced results and what we can learn from them. By comparison, my grandmother's generation (or maybe her mother's) would have all been considered mentally challenged by today's standards of IQ. Of course that is not actually the case, my grandmother was sharp as a knife, but it is a relevant sign of our overall academic progress and while not reliable it remains interesting.