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Mental age is an intelligence test score, expressed in units of chronological age for which a given level of performance is average or typical when compared to people of the same age.
How mental age is derived
After taking a standardized test, an individual's mental age is divided by his chronological age and multiplied by 100, yielding an intelligence quotient (IQ). Thus, a subject whose mental and chronological ages are identical has an IQ of 100, or average intelligence.
Louis Leon Thurstone was among prominent critics, stating "the mental age concept is a failure in that it leads to ambiguities and inconsistencies."
- Thurstone LL. The Mental Age Concept. Psychological Review 33 (1926): 268-278.
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