In some college class, I remember being introduced to a six- or seven-axis intelligence schema. That is, there were half a dozen types of intelligence, each of which was orthogonal to the others, with no implied positive or negative correlation. They were, IIRC:
6b. Internal/ psychological/ self-knowledge (can’t remember what this one’s really called)
The number six entry was ambiguous since some people say self-knowing and knowing about others are inextricably related, and some say they’re not.
The point of my bringing this up is, do you think it would be possible to come up with a multi-axis intelligence test, replacing the simplistic one-number result with six or seven? It would be kind of like the Meyers-Briggs or the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, but for intelligence.
Potential problems I see: I don’t know how you’d distinguish between intelligence and knowledge on a test, whether it was one axis or six. The folks who do this probably have figured out something, but I think that having more axes would complicate this process.
Another question I have, and one that I don’t think the academics agree on, is whether or not there is any value to an overall assessment. Is it legit to add all your values together to form a “general mental abilities” thang? I mean, some people suck at all six, right? Nobody is likely to be a genius in all of them, but being a great math thinker doesn’t mean you have no interpersonal skills, high school stereotypes notwithstanding.
If you did come up with a “general mental abilities” thang, would it be the same, roughly, as IQ? I don’t think so, since I think IQ tests concentrate on numbers 1 and 3.
Last question. What would happen if some demographic group had really low average scores? Would this invalidate the test? I don’t think so. I’ve heard that women have a significantly tougher time with a particular spatial skill (specifically, three-dimensional mental rotation). That might drag down the average score of women, but I don’t think it would necessarily mean anything negative. Men would have crappy interpersonal scores since we don’t even know the sexual orientations of our best friends (that was a joke, although I’ve actually known it to be true in a few cases).
Screaming at a wall is certainly futile.
It can also be very satisfying, particularly if it involves a lot of profanity.