Monday, July 20, 2009

Why do we give standardized tests to "right brained" people?

Question: if "right brain people" demonstrate their intelligence by thinking abstractly, by creating new combinations of things or by possibly communicating concepts through music or art – how can it be fair to give them a left brained test (traditional IQ test) as an objective measure of their intelligence!! Furthermore, how can you objectively compare their scores to the "left brained" population when the test will likely favor left-brained people?!

In other words, is it fair to give right brain people left-brain oriented IQ tests and college entrance exams like the SAT?

Thus, the new study shows that basic differences in brain activity between creative and methodical problem solvers exist and are evident even when these individuals are not working on a problem. According to Kounios, “Problem solving, whether creative or methodical, doesn’t begin from scratch when a person starts to work on a problem. His or her pre-existing brain-state biases a person to use a creative or a methodical strategy.”

Take a look at this last line. One way to interpret this is that a right brain person taking a standardized test will naturally try to be creative in answering a question. The only problem is that on many of these problems, it’s not necessary and will probably slow you down!

Solution: begin work on creating a whole brain standardized test or consider giving different types of tests to people who classify themselves as “right brained.”

Source: posted by Rebecca Sato on The Daily Galaxy (link is on the title of this post).

Study: Kounios, J., Fleck, J.I., Green, D.L., Payne, L., Stevenson, J.L., Bowden, M., & Jung- Beeman, M. (2008). The origins of insight in resting-state brain activity. Neuropsychologia, 46, 281-291.
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