IQ & Creativity

Simply speaking, intelligence or IQ (intelligence quotient) tests are an attempt to assess one’s ability to think and reason. We use the word “attempt” because even the best intelligence tests have limited depth and breadth of coverage. For example, they do not include direct measures of emotional intelligence, musical ability, bodily-kinesthetic ability and inter-/intra-personal awareness. For more information on multiple intelligences, many have found Howard Gardner’s book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (2011) helpful.

While we certainly keep the limitations of IQ tests in mind, they have several strengths, including:

  • Predicting success in a wider variety of human endeavors better than any other measure currently in use
  • Revealing the talents of the individual and improving educational opportunities for gifted students by placing them in more stimulating programs
  • Providing standardized ways of comparing a child’s performance with those of other same-aged children
  • Providing a profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses
  • Providing excellent predictors of scholastic achievement
  • Measuring the effects of changes associated with special programs, treatments, training and recovery from illness
  • Providing valuable tools in working with children with disabilities

Many local private schools refer their prospective students to us intelligence testing as a routine part of their school admission process. However, these test results are only part of a comprehensive set of materials about your child that admissions committees carefully review. We would be happy to consult with you further on this topic, as needed.

Creativity is an important, though often missed, aspect of intelligence assessments. Our creativity assessments assist in the identification of gifted students, as well as monitor progress in the development of a child’s creative thinking. We formally assess creative abilities from four different perspectives, which interact and contribute to creative performance:

  • Cognitive processes: Examines creativity in terms of the mental representations and processes that account for the creative act.
  • Personal characteristics: Examines attributes that enable a person to be creative. It includes a variety of personality traits that have been associated with creativity (e.g., risk taking, attraction to complexity, introversion, drive and tolerance with ambiguity).
  • Social contexts: The focus here is on the diversity of external conditions conducive to a person being creative. An example of an extrinsic social condition that enhances intrinsic motivation (an important component of creativity) includes people and schools that support authentic involvement with one’s work.
  • Life-span development: This perspective hypothesizes that creativity develops over the course of a human life span.

Other Types of Pediatric Assessments