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Frontiers of Architectural Research (2015) 4, 318–329

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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Does the smartest designer design better?
Effect of intelligence quotient on students’
design skills in architectural design studio
Sajjad Nazidizajin, Ana Tomé, Francisco Regateiro
CERIS, DECivil, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa 1049-001, Portugal
Received 14 October 2014; received in revised form 5 August 2015; accepted 13 August 2015

KEYWORDS

Abstract

Architectural design
studio;
Intelligence quotient
(IQ);
Design education;
Human factors;
Design thinking

Understanding the cognitive processes of the human mind is necessary to further learn about design
thinking processes. Cognitive studies are also significant in the research about design studio. The aim
of this study is to examine the effect of designers intelligence quotient (IQ) on their designs.
The statistical population in this study consisted of all Deylaman Institute of Higher Education
architecture graduate students enrolled in 2011. Sixty of these students were selected via simple
random sampling based on the finite population sample size calculation formula. The students’ IQ
was measured using Raven’s Progressive Matrices. The students’ scores in Architecture Design Studio
(ADS) courses from first grade (ADS-1) to fifth grade (ADS-5) and the mean scores of the design
courses were used in determining the students’ design ability. Inferential statistics, as well as
correlation analysis and mean comparison test for independent samples with SPSS, were also
employed to analyze the research data.
Results indicated that the students’ IQ, ADS-1 to ADS-4 scores, and the mean scores of the students’
design courses were not significantly correlated. By contrast, the students’ IQ and ADS-5 scores were
significantly correlated. As the complexity of the design problem and designers’ experience
increased, the effect of IQ on design seemingly intensified.
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CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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Corresponding author. Tel.: +351218418344.
E-mail address: sajjad.nazidizaji@ist.utl.pt (S. Nazidizaji).
Peer review under responsibility of Southeast University.

Introduction

Design studio is considered the core of the design curriculum
(Demirbaş and Demirkan, 2003). Researchers have described
design studio as the center of architecture education (Schön,
1985; Ochsner, 2000; Vyas et al., 2013). Starting from an illdefined problem (Schön, 1983), the development of ideas

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foar.2015.08.002
2095-2635/& 2015 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

2005). problem solving and IQ. Furthermore. These procedures are common in all design studios. effective and measurable predictive mental factors. Allison (2008) concluded that spatial ability is crucial in learning and problem solving. and receive comments from other students and a tutor (Kvan and Jia. . (2013) reviewed different types of critiques in design studio.. and (6) creativity. A set of problem solving skills is among the abilities that design studio students required to manage a growing spectrum of new complex ranges of problems and situations caused by societal changes in students’ future careers. Raven’s Matrices tests are originally developed to measure the “eduction” (from the Latin word educere. Meanwhile. and the functions of design theories support designers’ cognitive abilities (Verma. Raven tests directly measure two major elements of the general cognitive ability (g). and (2) “reproductive ability”. 2009). remember. 2013). According to Gregory and Zangwill (1987). 1996). Papamichael and Protzen (1993)discussed the limits of intelligence in design. and IQ.. Regarding the significance of designers’ experiences compared with regulations and facts (Demirkan. 2010a). Sorby. The IQ indicator is based on Raven’s Progressive Matrices applied to the sample of Deylaman Institute of Higher Education architecture students enrolled in 2011. In design studio. Schön (1985) concluded that the design studio learning process starts with ill-defined problems and is developed through the “reflection-in-action” approach.. Other studies emphasized the significance of spatial ability as a type of intelligence in graphic-based courses (Potter and van der Merwe. which are increasingly prioritized in workplaces and in society as a whole. 1996. 2011) and in design studio (Oxman. 2012). By bridging mental and social abilities. (2) design thinking in design studio. including student–student and student–tutor. easing the manner of dealing with complexity. The importance of collaboration (Vyas et al. Architecture students should also develop a set of design thinking (Dorst 2011) and creative skills (Demirkan and Afacan. 2009). Raven tests have been extensively applied in research and in practice. The g factor assesses the positive correlations among various cognitive abilities and implies that individual performances on a certain type of cognitive task could be compared with those on other types of cognitive tasks (Kamphaus et al. Nguyen and Zeng. “Design generally implies the action of intentional intelligence”. Theoretical framework Design studio in architecture education According to the “learning by doing” philosophy(Schön. 1984. the knowledge learnt in different courses should be applied in the design process to determine an optimal solution for the design of an ill-defined problem. 1983). The architecture design skill indicator is obtained according to scores during the first year of Architecture Design Studio (ADS-1) to the final year (ADS-5). design studio is widely recognized as an indispensable component of the design curriculum(Shih et al.. students communicate with one another. 2004). design studio helps in the free exchange of ideas (Tate. and recreate explicit information.. Design is an openended problem-solving process. 2006) and as the heart of architectural education(Oh et al. Subsequently. 2. the three versions of these tests (Advanced. Considering the importance of design thinking in the design process (Dorst. Learning theories in design studio have also been discussed (Demirbaş and Demirkan. 1997). 1998). and Standard Progressive Matrices) have been among the most widely applied intelligence tests(Brouwers et al. 2005). Schön (1983) also emphasized that the studio-based learning and teaching method can be extended to other professional educations in other disciplines.Given the independence of language skills in Raven tests. namely. 2005. 319 The current study reflects a hypothesis of the correlation between students’ intelligence quotient (IQ) and design abilities in architectural design studio.Effect of intelligence quotient on students’ design skills and solutions is evaluated through different types of critique (Oh et al. 2000). Demirbaş and Demirkan (2007) regarded design studio as the core of the design curriculum. 2001. 2013). (1) “eductive ability”. and a vast “pool of data” has been accumulated thus so far (Raven. hypotheses are formed. namely. However. and noted that all other courses in the curriculum should be related to design studio. design. Cross (1999) introduced the natural intelligence concept in design with the assumption that design itself is a special type of intelligence. Oh et al. Sutton and Williams. 1987)through an information process that may be assumed as a social and organizational method for both tutors and students (Iivari and Hirschheim. (1) a design studio in architecture education. teamwork. and those who communicate interpersonally(Raven. 2013). are significant... In design education. (4) spatial ability and design studio. This study initially considers a theoretical framework that includes six components. 1997). moreover.1. 2003). these tests are some of the best indicators of the g factor (Snow and Kyllonen.. 2013). 2. 2000). Rüedi (1996) viewed design as a “mediator” between invention (mental activity) and realization (social activity). 2007). 2007). Design cognition studies are conducted via experimental and empirical methods (Alexiou et al. In design studio. a design studio in architectural education is the first environment where the initial experiences for future professions can be obtained (Demirbaş and Demirkan. (5) design. Hence. Social interaction and interpersonal interactions among design studio participants. 2010). and tools that can influence the design process in design studio are insufficiently studied. and decision making in design studio has been studied as well (Yang. (3) a cognitive approach in design. 2012) and to view design as a high-level cognitive ability. which is the capacity to “make meaning out of confusion”. which is the capacity to process. Demirbaş and Demirkan (2003) contended that design studio is related to design problems sociologically and to design education relations with other disciplines epistemologically. Kunda et al. which means “to draw out”) of relations(Mackintosh and Bennett. teaching and learning methods are intended to balance critical awareness and the creative process (Demirbaş and Demirkan. Descriptive and inferential statistics are employed to test the hypotheses using the SPSS software. which is a process called critique. Colored. researchers have emphasized the necessity to understand the cognitive processes of the human mind to enhance the understanding of design thinking (Oxman.

cognitive studies are significant because these studies encourage a clear approach in the design pedagogy development (Schön. emphasizes the rational problemsolving process of designers. 1985) (Eastman et al.. Figure 1 shows the connections between the ideas of cognitive approaches of design with intelligence approaches. Nguyen and Zeng (2012) emphasized the importance of understanding design cognitive activities to develop design technologies and provide an effective design. which measure the spatial cognition of designers. Demirkan and Afacan (2012) analyzed creativity factors in design studio. which is the social and educational aspect of design. The major factors that influenced design studio performance were reviewed in our previous work (Nazidizaji et al. 2009). Additionally. Oxman (2001) suggested that the cognitive aspect of design thinking should be regarded as a key educational objective in design education. and numerous computational and empirical studies have focused on design cognition (Alexiou et al. 2015). namely.3. 2004).320 S. Cognition is the study about all forms of human intelligence. such as the spatial ability test. The two major broad directions of this study are experimental and empirical approaches. Bucciarelli. 2001). 2) The situativity approach (SIT). perception. Expanding the knowledge about human cognitive processes is necessary for understanding the nature of the mind. including vision. 1984). Figure 1 Connections between cognitive approaches of design and intelligence approaches. 2011). Schön (1985) highlighted the importance of design thinking. He also emphasized the significance of empirical research and cognitive studies in improving design pedagogy. Aside from the importance of the cognitive ability of design studio students. 1985). systems. and has been considered a new paradigm for addressing design problems in different disciplines (Dorst. (l) design methodology. Oxman (1995) classified different types of design thinking studies into seven categories.. including social interaction and collaboration. focuses on the situational context of designers and on the environment of designers (Schön. Empirical approaches that include protocol analysis in certain special design processes are repeatedly applied. Design thinking in design studio After Rowe (1987) used the term “design thinking” in his 1987 book. Additionally. In investigations on design teaching. language.. 2. which was introduced by Schon. and consequently the nature of design thinking. 1990. (6) artificial intelligence in design. (2) design cognition. 2011). Akin. (4) psychological aspects of mental activities in design. which was introduced by Simon. models. 1995). 2014). Goel. studies about creativity and design cognition have concluded that different types of design cognition in the design process affect the outcomes of both low and high creativity (Lu. In other studies. 1983. These studies are normally related to the clarification of thinking processes in specific activities that formulate problems and generate solutions (Cross. and collaborative design (Vyas et al. Certain cognitive tests are available. encounter with open-ended problems (Schön. and reasoning. Oxman (2004) introduced the concept of think maps to teach design thinking in design education. and technology. Design has been viewed as probably one of the most intelligent human behaviors.2. 2013). and (7) computational methods. 1969. 1994). Nazidizaji et al. Design has a solid connection to cognition. (5) collaboration. 2. with more attention provided to both design problems and designers (Eastman. Cognitive approach in design Design is typically regarded as a high-level cognitive ability. action. the significance of emotion and motivation was considered by Benavides et al. The importance of emotional intelligence for design studio students was also investigated. 2001). Kim and Maher (2008) considered the following two major approaches for the cognitive approach of design: 1) The symbolic information-processing approach (SIP). the other influential factors in design studio are social and interpersonal communication (Cross and Cross. Oxman (1996)concluded that the potential importance of the relationship between cognition and design has received increasing attention among design investigators. . (3) design for problem solving. (2010). the term has been widely used and has been a part of the collective "consciousness of design researchers” (Dorst. Design thinking has received increasing attention and popularity in the research about the cognitive aspects of design as a base for design education (Oxman. memory.

Moreover. In relation to the gender differences in spatial ability and spatial activities (Newcombe et al. (2008) reviewed ideas correlated to problem solving and intelligence. older adults perform at lower accuracy levels than young adults do in each experiment. Süß. 1994). (1) the mental rotation of objects. the distinguishing features of design were more or less established in general. a set of ‘legal’ operations. correlations among these constructs have been frequently demonstrated (Rigas et al. and intelligence quotient Problem solving in design has attracted significant interest among design researchers since the 1960s. and the implications of poor skills on career choices and success rates. (b) large gender differences exist only on “mental rotation” 321 measures. reasoning. 1972). Spatial cognition for designers transpires by constructing internal or external representations. Newell and Simon. 2.. (2007). (2002) applied the Kühlhaus and NEWFIRE scenarios to evaluate problem-solving performance. 2008). and concluded that “With low domain knowledge. Moreover. 1998). (2007) reinvestigated the relationship between spatial ability measured and Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices. 2011.4. certain evidence proposes that the performance required to complete Raven’s Matrices test also depends on spatial ability somehow. 1996). Most “design methodology” works have been influenced by the premise that design establishes a “natural” type of problem solving.and three-dimensional objects” (Clements. Sutton and Williams (2007) introduce delight tests for measuring spatial cognitions. Rigas et al. 2001. Resnick and Glaser (1975) argued that an essential part of intelligence is the ability to solve problems and a careful study of the problem-solving behavior. as well as an evaluation function or stopping criteria for the problem-solving task” (e. the correlation decreases. Kröner et al. Spatial ability may be defined as “the ability to generate. particularly many of the psychological processes that comprise intelligence. when the problem has become a simple task. in which the representations can serve as cognitive support to information processing and memory (Tversky.Effect of intelligence quotient on students’ design skills 2. APM. Lohman (1996) concluded that the hierarchical models of human abilities provide g statistical and logical priority over spatial ability measures and that Raven’s Matrices tests are some of the best measures of g.6.. closure. the correlation is low. Spatial ability and design studio As a cognitive ability. with further increasing knowledge. 2012). 2. 2005. 2010) shows the significance of spatial ability in graphics-based courses. The authors contended that the Raven test does not strictly measure spatial ability but can be considered an on verbal ability test that recognizes the forms of spatial concepts. four scales that represent visualization. regardless if a problem is not particularly spatial (Allison. Although problem solving abilities have been initially assumed to be possibly independent from intelligence. Additionally. The meta-analysis results (Linn and Petersen. Design. design. and (d) gender differences that exist can be detected across a life span. Bühner et al. 2002. The results indicated the existence of convergent validity. problem solving. spatial ability is one of the most significant components related to designers. 1996).43 (Kühlhaus) and r= 0. The literature (Potter and van der Merwe. retrieve. Alexiou et al. the correlation increases. retain. One approach for differentiating design is related to problem space and solution space ideas. Meanwhile. This feature shows that spatial ability is significant in design education. finally. Ernst and Newell. assessments of the spatial nature of tasks are positively correlated with the masculinity evaluated. and mental rotation were also applied to a sample of N= 280 university students. with increasing knowledge. 1985) suggest the following points: (a) gender differences arise in certain types of spatial ability but not in other types. Nevertheless. namely. whereas Schweizer et al. Guttman (1974) pointed out the concerns related to the validity of Raven’s Matrices test with the genetic analysis of spatial ability. 2005). The correlations between intelligence and problem-solving scores (Advanced Progressive Matrices. (2009) indicated that few ambiguities existed on whether design can be a special type of problem solving or a totally distinct style of thinking.. “problem space is a representation of a set of possible states.5. The idea of spatial ability denotes a sophisticated process that designers extensively employ in the design activity (Sutton and Williams.34 (NEWFIRE) when corrected for attenuation.g. this assumption has been insufficiently explored (Goel. In problem-solving theory. 2001) and based on the topic itself (Sarkar and Chakrabarti. Sorby. the correlation is again low”. Problem space signifies a collection of requirements. whereas solution space presents a couple of constructions that satisfy these requirements. one of these tests is Raven’s Matrices test. Demirkan and Afacan. Creativity. 1969. and (3) understanding of how objects relate to one another in space. and transform well-structured visual images” (Lohman. Spatial ability in the design field is vital for both problem solving and learning. 1983).. Leutner (2002) conducted two experiments related to the effect of domain knowledge on the correlation between problem solving and intelligence. Schweizer et al. According to Schweizer et al. and with greater male participation than that of females. 2010b). (2) ability to understand how objects appear at different angles. 1987). (2007) investigated the discriminant and convergent validity of Raven’s Matrices while considering spatial abilities and reasoning. Sutton and Williams. In relation to the influence of age on spatial ability (Salthouse. Raven. (c) minor gender differences exist on spatial perception measures. 2005. spatial ability has been defined as “the ability to understand the relationships among different positions in space or imagined movements of two. and intelligence quotient Creativity in design has been discussed through the problem–solution co-evolution(Dorst and Cross. Sutton and Williams (2007) defined spatial ability as the performance on tasks that require three aspects. Creativity is vital for the . 1976) were r= 0.

from which the sample was selected. process. ADS-4. Squalli and Wilson (2014) argued that the terms intelligence. process.. 184 students were selected as the study sample. Thirteen optional courses are also offered. This hypothesis indicates that creativity requires a high IQ level. ADS assessment is based on the delivered project at the end of the semester (including a 3D model. consensus is lacking regarding the definition of creativity that completely covers the concept and recognizes creative solutions. Several researchers contend that creativity and intelligence originate from the same intellectual cognitive process. 1967). Nazidizaji et al. product. during which students obtain the opinions of a tutor and of fellow students regarding the improvements of the students’ design. This model is acceptable for many researchers. IQ and creativity belong to the same mental processes (conjoint theory). creativity. only having a high IQ is insufficient (Guilford.. 2003). Architecture education in Iran The architecture undergraduate program in Iran universities is no less than a four-year program. and can improve both design and products (Sarkar and Chakrabarti. although a positive correlation exists between creativity and intelligence. and measuring the inter-relationships among these terms are controversial. and internal and external perspectives). 2007). Moreover. Main hypotheses This study started from the following hypotheses: 1) Does any relationship exist between IQ and mean scores for architecture design studio courses? 2) Does any relationship exist between IQ and scores for architecture design studio courses 1 to 5(ADS-1 to ADS-5)? 4. but defining. ADS-2. Finite population sampling was adopted to estimate the sample size (n) as follows: n¼ NZ 2α pq 2 ε2 ðN 1Þ Z 2α pq . major (60 credits). This approach is called the “nothing special” hypothesis (O’Hara and Sternberg. a creative “event” cannot be guaranteed to occur within the design process. In a later study. 2007). Hasirci and Demirkan (2003)considered the four elements of creativity (i. which is beyond the threshold. The program comprises140 course credits. floor plans. the correlation between these two concepts is extremely low that distinguishing the two concepts can be justified (Batey and Furnham. Various researchers have recommended some evidence since the 1950s to prove the correlation between creativity and intelligence. Thus. 1999). In these previous studies. and product) significantly influence the design process differently. and software applications in architecture. Creativity is a natural part of the design process. Given the complex nature of creativity. While criticizing terms such as “creativity test” and “measure of the creative process”. a complete new object is produced through the cognitive process. individual’s IQ score is higher than 120. Test subjects The statistical population in this study consisted of all Deylaman Institute of Higher Education (Lahijan-IRAN) architecture students enrolled in 2011. IQ and creativity represent two separate mental processes (disjoint theory). The authors concluded that three creativity elements (person.322 design of all types of artifacts. Assessing creativity can help recognize innovative products and designers. According to Demirkan (2010). 2. The students start designing by studying some environmental factors and architectural standards and by considering other similarly designed projects. such as ethics in architecture. 3. and ADS-5) with 5 credits each. including 6 credits for the final thesis. In the second theory. ADS-3. research methods. 2006).  Zα/2 = 1. but is also challenging in different cases (Heilman et al. assessing. and professional (27 credits). The courses are divided into general (20 credits).7. “In architectural design process the interaction between person. and innovation are initially assumed to be well understood generally. The Department of Education provided a complete list of students. appropriateness. Semester critique sessions are held. . and can only be interpreted as creativity because of the outcomes of both concepts. 2001). 2011). Consequently. and environment) while selecting two sixth-grade art rooms as the setting. ADS courses begin from the fourth semester (one ADS course in every semester) (Supreme Council for Planning. 2010). and students’ activities during critique sessions. the study on creative design seems problematic (Dorst and Cross. which has been frequently categorized through a “creative leap” that occurs between solution and problem space (Demirkan. For example. 2 where  P=0.e. In the first theory. elevations and sections. design process and methods.96 is the corresponding value with 95% confidence level in a standard normal distribution. The model usually adopted in this type of research is known as the “threshold hypothesis”. Students should pass two optional courses in the program. this correlation would either disappear or lose meaning if an S. Each design studio course begins with a tutor proposing a design project according to the current syllabus of the Ministry of Science. The authors conducted the “first test of the intelligence–innovation hypothesis” that contributed to the creativity–intelligence debate in the psychology literature. ADS courses comprise 5 courses (ADS-1. new structures. basic (29 credits). and impact) constitute a framework that helps define and measure creativity by answering if creativity can be measured. Therefore. creative process and creative product inside a creative environment should be considered as a total act in assessing creativity”. the effects of these three creativity elements have been analyzed by focusing on cognition phases in the creative decision making of design studio students (Hasirci and Demirkan. However. Two different theories exist in terms of the relationship between IQ and creativity in the history of psychological research. person.5 is the estimating ratio for trait in this study (gender ratio is considered the trait ratio in this population). Piffer (2012) indicated that three specific dimensions of creativity (novelty.

collected. Raven in England in 1936 (Raven. identify the fundamental rules by which the cells are constructed. 2008).2. Students’ scores in architecture design studio courses The architecture design studio scores in this study were used as indicators of students’ design competence. and subsequently guess the content of the ninth cell based on these rules.7%) and 23 male students (33. The first booklet contains 12 questions that are solely designed to distinguish among individuals with varying levels of intelligence. 707 individuals were initially selected as samples from a statistical population of students studying in the Khorasgan branch of Azad University (Iran) from school years 2005 to 2008. The final cell in this matrix is always blank. which are particularly designed to distinguish individuals whose intelligence is beyond normal. and analyzed using SPSS. 1936). The reliability and validity of the Raven test in Iran as well as the evaluation and reliability of the design scores are described in the subsequent sections.  N= 184 is the statistical population size. A comparison of the mean raw scores of the subjects studied. and as top and gifted students. 5.1. The average age of the students was 23. showed no difference in the mean scores among individuals over 18 years old. No significant difference (Po0. Moreover.Effect of intelligence quotient on students’ design skills 323  ε = 0. Simple random sampling was adopted because the sampling framework and population members were predetermined. and the data were analyzed collectively. controlled. whereas the oldest was 31 years old. an individual’s ability for abstract reasoning is Figure 2 Illustrative progressive matrices item. The youngest student was 21 years old.3%) comprised the study sample. specifically the individual’s ability to solve/guess the relationship among the components of each question. 5.01).3. whereas the second booklet contains 36 questions that clarify and more precisely distinguish individuals. and  n is the least sample size. The respondents are asked to recognize the piece required to complete the design based on the corresponding options.01) was observed in the raw mean scores of the female and male individuals. 2005). which is the “g factor”. recorded. where n¼ 184  ½1:962  0:5  0:5 2 ð0:1Þ  ð184  1Þ þ ð1:96Þ2  0:5  0:5 ffi 64 This formula shows that the minimum sample size obtained was 64. . An advanced form of this test is employed as a tool form ensuring the intelligence of individuals regarded as brilliant and distinguished people. Six to eight optional answers are designed for every question. A larger sample size of 69 was considered because the confidence level was increased and access to the student population was provided. Rahmani obtained raw data associated with individuals’ IQ. in which a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 were obtained using the standard method to calculate scores (z scores). Research methodology The approach adopted in this research was statistical inference associated with testing statistical hypotheses. and use these rules to recognize the correct answer (Mackintosh and Bennett. The samples were tested using Raven’s Progressive Matrices. The students’ IQ was based on Raven’s Progressive Matrices test. Reliability and validity of Raven test in Iran Raven’s Progressive Matrices are among the IQ tests whose reliability and validity are accepted to measure and evaluate the overall intelligence. and subsequently classified. 5.39. Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices (Figure 2) are specific forms of Raven’s Matrices test. 5.1 is the value of allowable error. Rahmani (2006) investigated the reliability and validity of this test in research in which students’ intelligence was measured. whose age range differed. An individual studied should discover these rules through trial and error. In this form of test. either the simple form or Raven’s Matrices themselves. Raven’s IQ test Raven’s Progressive Matrices. The students’ overall intelligence was measured through IQ equivalents on the Wechsler intelligence scale. The figure contents in the eight other cells are specified based on optional and abstract rules. These tests are among the most extensively used and comprehensive tests that can be used for five-year-old children to elderly people (Kaplan and Saccuzzo. Individuals who participated in this research were assured that the data would only be used for research purposes. Forty-six female students (66. whereas the design talent index was based on the design course scores. evaluated. The students’ scores were prepared. Participation in this research was voluntary. Raven test was created by John C. The results indicated that Raven’s Progressive Matrices were significantly reliable and valid (Po0. All of the questions in the second booklet are designed as rectangular matrices with three columns and rows that contain organized figures and images. This form of the test is designed as two different sets of questions in separate booklets. are classified as non-verbal IQ tests employed for educational purposes.

whether professional or academic. The ADS-3 project is more conceptual and artistic. Table 1 in Iran. increase from ADS-1 to ADS-5. purposes. Table 1 presents the design course titles. Nazidizaji et al. land area. 2013). 6. and numerical standards. These works are designed to identify better assessment methods for design projects. and the means of these scores is questioned. simple fair exhibit site. artistic. climatic and economic conditions Table 2 scores scores scores scores scores scores 2000– 3000 6002 8000 Results of the correlation between the ADS scores and the mean of these scores with the IQ scores. 2004) is examined. Ozkan and Dogan. However. From ADS-1 to ADS-5.02 No correlation No correlation No correlation No correlation No correlation Correlated – – – – – Positive . 4) Based on the syllabus.06 0. Considering every ADS syllabus(Supreme Council for Planning.26 0. 2004.26 0.07  0. and subjects considered in the Deylaman Institute of Higher Education in Iran for the architecture undergraduate program. such as “experts and novices” subject studies (Björklund. Design projects. and required technology increases from ADS-1 to ADS-5. 5) The degree of being ill-defined decreases in the final design projects (ADS-4 and ADS-5). Studies about the reliability of the scores of college design courses are limited. whereas the final design projects (ADS-4 and ADS-5) are highly functional. how the referees’ judgements are affected by the referees’ presumptions (Carmona and Sieh. debates about these issues persist. including a correlation test.13 0. Hypothesis IQ IQ IQ IQ IQ IQ 1000 and and and and and and mean ADS scores ADS-1 scores ADS-2 scores ADS-3 scores ADS-4 scores ADS-5 scores Pearson correlation P-value correlation Type of correlation 0. a 5% confidence level was considered in this study. the following differences among ADS-1 to ADS-5 can be recognized: 1) Normally in design research. cultural center. students transition from novice to experts.56 0. whereas final year students are considered experts. Testing the main hypotheses The existence of a significant relationship between IQ and ADS courses 1 to 5 scores. such as environmental and economic factors. and purposes in the architecture undergraduate program Course Course purpose title Design subject Land area (m2) ADS-1 Fruit market.61 0.21 0. required design constraints. 2007) and some related studies. first year students are regarded as novices. Prasad. monument. Inferential statistical methods. small airports. dialect and semantic dimensions with simplicity in functional system Learning specific and complicated functional systems and paying attention to installations and structural system Micro and macro-scale residential complex designed to suit cultural. Architecture Design Studio (ADS) course titles. special exhibition sites Small hospitals. the first design projects (ADS-1 and ADS-2) are less functional. are examined to answer issues on whether a systematic mechanism can be developed to evaluate architecture designs. subjects. 3) The complexity of a project in terms of the number of spaces and variations. whether students’ final term scores obtained from design course projects and design critiques represent students’ actual design skills. that is. Additionally. the existence or absence of a significant relationship among these variables was studied through these methods. were used in testing the main hypotheses. A difference between ADS-4 and ADS-5 is that ADS-5 students should deal with an urban network design for designed buildings aside from designing buildings. and whether students with high scores in design courses are likely to be better designers in the future. Museum. small passenger terminal Residential units/buildings in urban context for an extended family. 2) Based on the attention to form and function in the syllabus. First.028 0.324 S. port facilities.07 0. 2013.82 0. nursing home for disabled people Forty-floor residential complex based on medium or high population density 1500 ADS-2 ADS-3 ADS-4 ADS-5 Learning simple and tangible functions Paying attention to effective factors in design Learning housing concept and factors affecting it Meeting various cultural.

Descriptive statistics and the t-statistical test for two independent groups (independent t-sample test) are used in this section to recognize the present condition of the population under study. These statistics investigate the difference between the mean IQ scores and the mean architecture design scores in the two student samples examined (i.05.e.05. Gender difference hypotheses 1) Does a significant difference exist between female and male architecture students in terms of intelligence quotient scores? Testing the hypotheses H0 (null hypothesis) μ1 =μ2: No significant difference exists between the IQ scores of female and male students. the P-value of the testing correlation between IQ and ADS-5 is 0. Figure 4 demonstrates the relationships between IQ and the five design courses.. Figure 4 Distributions of the scores of ADS-1 to ADS-5. no correlations exist between IQ and ADS-1. whereas that in the male student group is 111. Evidently. Out of the 69 students studied (46 females and 23 males). H1 (alternative hypothesis) μ1aμ2: A significant difference exists between the IQ scores of female and male students.09 in the female student group and 15. Moreover. Figure 3 shows the mean distribution in every course compared with the IQ scores. female and male individuals). The mean of the architecture design average scores is 16. and a test for equality of means is . the null hypothesis is accepted and the correlation is insignificant for the 95% confidence level (see Table 2). the standard deviation shown in Table 3 indicates that the IQ distribution is wider in the female student group than that in the male student group. Given that the P-value of the testing correlation between IQ and ADS-1 to ADS-4 is more than 0. The correlation value is 0.1.02. Therefore. Descriptive statistics are individually calculated for each group.02 in the female student group.91.Effect of intelligence quotient on students’ design skills 325 Figure 3 Matrix showing the distribution between the IQ scores and the mean of scores from architecture design studio (ADS-1 to ADS-5). Two columns of the 95% confidence interval and the Pvalue are used to conclude whether the means differ from or are similar to each other (significance of the difference in the mean scores). the null hypothesis is rejected and these two variables are correlated. the mean IQ is 111. the relationship among the means is extremely low that this relationship can be disregarded. This value is compared with 0.05. However. and ADS-4. The standard deviation obtained implies that the distribution of the ADS average scores is slightly wider in the male student group than in the female student group. ADS-2. ADS-3. which is lower than 0.35 in the male student group.26. 2) Does a significant difference exist between female and male architecture students regarding the mean ADS scores of both genders? 7. a test for equality of variances is performed. A mean comparison test should be performed to reject or accept this hypothesis. The P-value shows whether the null hypothesis (H0) should be rejected or accepted. First. 7. Obviously. Table 3 shows the data related to both IQ scores and the mean scores for architecture design studio courses of female and male students.

326 S. Moreover. Table 3 Group statistics: IQ and ADS scores based on gender. the influence of IQ on design skills becomes evident.71 1.35 13. median. . the null hypothesis. However. Furthermore. A 0.09 16. Therefore. The correlation between IQ scores and the total GPA is also measured in this study (P-value= 0. According to the explained difference among ADS syllabusses in Section 5. along with data distribution associated with the scores of architecture designing courses and IQ scores in the two groups of male and female students. which indicates that the null hypothesis is accepted in both comparison tests.05% confidence level is taken. which indicates the lack of a significant relationship. Two numbers shown at the 95% confidence interval of the difference are 0. the second row is tested. then the first row of means is tested for equality of means. Given that the P-value for both tests is lower than 0. Furthermore. Therefore. when the complexity of a project and design constraints increase. spatial ability) that indicate that males are better than females (Newcombe et al. which is as follows: Sig =0/7840/05. Moreover.84 10. is not rejected with the 95% confidence level.53 2. IQ and ADS-5 scores are correlated. The implication is that if spatial ability is regarded as an indicator of design abilities. the Pvalue is 0. Thus. no correlation).318 subsequently conducted based on the test for equality of variances. including the maximum and minimum data. the guidance for the future occupation of students in this field can be assured by identifying mental talents that empower design ability. the effect of IQ on expert design skills is better than that on novices (the P-value for IQ and ADS-4 is 0. and a design problem being less ill-defined) that has a larger effect on this correlation cannot be indentified because no continual decrease in Pvalue occurs from ADS-1 to ADS-5 (because of both ADS-2 and an IQ P-value of 0.07 and is close tobeingcorrelated).05. 1983). Testing the second hypothesis about the effect of gender difference on IQ and design scores shows that no significant difference is observed in the IQ and design scores of males and females in this study compared with other predictors (i. According to the P-value obtained from the test for equality of means for the mean scores for ADS courses. and threshold theory about creativity–intelligence is not confirmed in intelligence design.3. no significant difference exists between the mean scores for the architecture design courses associated with female and male students. 8. Conclusion This study examined the correlation between architecture students’ IQs and (1) the students’ ADS-1 to ADS-5scores. then spatial ability contradicts the results in terms of the absence of a significant difference between males and females in the aspect of design scores. Discussion This research demonstrates that no significant relationships exist between students’ IQ and variables that include (1) ADS-1 to ADS-4. According to the P-value obtained from the test for equality of means for the mean IQ scores. the correlation between IQ and the mean ADS is the Pearson correlation = 0. the item (designer experience.184 0. Nazidizaji et al.21 according to the test for equality of variances for the mean scores of the architecture design courses. Further research on the correlation between urban design courses and IQ would help clarify this topic. For students with an IQ above 120. The study reported in this paper should be repeated in other architectural schools to confirm if a correlation only exists in the final year course. quartiles. and (2) mean scores for design courses.56). The results indicate the lack of a significant difference between the average of design scores and students’ GPA. the threshold theory of creativity–intelligence about intelligence design for an IQ above 120 is measured.91 16. which is the equality of means. which is as follows: P-value = 0/7840/05.041 2. If the variances are proven to be equal to each other. the null hypothesis. no significant difference exists between the mean IQ scores associated with female and male students. Intelligence quotient Architecture design studio mean scores Gender N Mean Std.. the null hypothesis for equality of variances is accepted. 9. more productive and effective design programs may be devised in the future.233 0.. the first row of means is considered to test every variable because the variances are equal (see Table 4). is not rejected with the 95% confidence level.25 1. The results indicated that as the degree of complexity of a project increases. moreover. which is equality of means.79. The box charts in Figure 5 show numerous descriptive statistics. the variances of two populations are considered equal for both variables. deviation Std. Pearson correlation = 0. The P-value is 0. particularly talents that can be quantitatively measured. and (2) the mean ADS scores. and the degree of being ill-defined in a design problem decreases. complexity and functionality of design project.217.073 and the P-value= 0. Therefore.e.21 according to the test for equality of variances for the mean IQ variant scores. and range. a designer’s experience may boost the effect of IQ in the design process. error mean Female Male Female Male 46 23 46 23 111.02 111. otherwise.15. As the factors that influence designers’ success are identified.

47  0.89 3.76  0. t df Sig.44  0.95 5.26  0.13 0.26 0. error difference difference 95% Confidence interval of the difference Lower Upper Intelligence quotient Equal variances assumed Equal variances not assumed Mean architecture design Equal variances studio scores assumed Equal variances not assumed Figure 5 1.24 0.343  0.17 0.26 0. Levene’s t-Test for equality of means test for equality of variances F Sig.72 37.02  6.89 3.27 67 0.29  7.46 5. .78  0.47 1.27 0.01 0.29 55.95 0.68  0.58 0.77 67 Box charts of IQ and mean ADS with respect to gender.Effect of intelligence quotient on students’ design skills Table 4 327 Independent sample test results.367  1.41  0. (2tailed) Mean Std.21  0.

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