chapter  8
8 Pages

The future of intelligence

Since our involvement with the Test the Nation: The New Zealand IQ Test television programmes in 2003 and 2004, we have had time to reflect on the programme’s meaning and effect on the broader community. We started out wanting to be a part of a credible form of entertainment that was underpinned by top-flight psychometrics and, above all, remaining true to our academic traditions. We feel we achieved these goals and more, as the debate on intelligence IQ after both screenings of the programme was vigorous and challenging. We both feel that programmes such as Test the Nation: The New Zealand IQ Test are a valid vehicle for presenting contentious issues in a way that is both fun and educational. Further, from an academic perspective, the psychometric qualities of the two tests we worked on are as good as, if not better than, some commercially available tests. The tests we evaluated and made were created for the purpose of ‘edutainment’, and they have also provided us with a snapshot of IQ within the New Zealand context. The entertainment aspect is reflected in the bias towards easier questions based on the 72 questions, but still ending up with a test that had the expected normal distribution curve with a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15.