Athletic Intelligence Quotient (AIQ)

Scott Goldman, University of Arizona, USA

Theme: Elite performance

Program ID: SYM-17

Presentation: October 4, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Rosedown


Intelligence, a stable genetic trait and one of the greatest predictors of success, is the ability to learn, process, and apply information. In athletics, intelligence is an innate ability that is essential to skill attainment, decision making, creativity, adaptability, versatility, and the ability to understand and apply tactics and strategy. The Atheltic Intelligence Quotient (AIQ) was developed using the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory. CHC theory has been widely investigated and applied in various fields. Moreover, neurocognitive research has provided additional support for the structure of CHC theory (Horn & Noll, 1997). Perhaps most notably, CHC theory has served as a foundation for significant revisions made to both intelligence tests and academic achievement tests. For instance, a review of changes made in current versions of the most commonly used intelligence tests (e.g., Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children, 4th Edition) reveals the addition of measures tapping abilities newly emphasized in CHC theory. It has been proposed that the Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory of Intelligence includes between 10-12 broad intellectual or cognitive abilities, which are each comprised of several narrow abilities. Based on the Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory of intelligence, specific intellectual abilities directly related to athletic performance exist. The AIQ measures these specific abilities as well as identifies strengths and weaknesses for each athlete tested. Further, previous research has established correlations between specific cognitive abilities and occupational success in a wide range of professions (e.g., architect, lawyer, accountant, etc.; McGrew & Flanagan, 1998). Within the military, Lohman (1994), Horn (1988), and McGrew & Flanagan (1998) discovered individuals with strong visual spatial processing skills are more likely to be successful pilots. Thus, the AIQ provides an in-depth and specific analysis of cognitive abilities that contribute to an athlete's success or failure. Further, it can differentiate between athletes with high and low intellectual abilities.

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