Mental age

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Mental age is a concept in relation to intelligence, expressed as the age at which a child is performing intellectually. The mental age of the child that is tested is the same as the average age at which normal children achieve a particular score.[1]

However, a mental age result on an intelligence test does not mean that children function at their "mental age level" in all aspects of life. For instance, a gifted six-year-old child can still in some ways function as a three-year-old child.[2] Mental age was once considered a controversial concept.[3]

Mental age and IQ[edit]

Originally, the differences between mental age and chronological age were used to compute the intelligence quotient, or IQ. This was computed using the ratio method, with the following formula:

mental age ÷ chronological age × 100 = IQ

No matter what the child's chronological age, if the mental age is the same as the chronological age, then the IQ will equal 100.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Glossary of Psychological Terms". American Psychological Association (From Gerrig, Richard J. & Philip G. Zimbardo. Psychology And Life, 16/e. Published by Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA. 2002. Pearson Education.). 
  2. ^ L.K. Silverman, 1997. The construct of asynchronous development. Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 72 Issue 3/4
  3. ^ *Thurstone LL. The Mental Age Concept. Psychological Review 33 (1926): 268-278.
  4. ^