Implicit studies of intelligence have been at the heart of psychology for the last two decades or so (Flugel, 1947; Shafer, 1999 in Furnham, 2001). The main concerns have been to look at the explicit theories on one hand and the implicit theories on the other. Sternberg (1990, in Furnham, 2001) differentiated between the two, defining the former as "constructions of psychologists that are based on, or at least tested, on data collected from people performing tasks presumed to measure intellectual functioning- (p.53), and the latter as "constructions of people (psychologists or lay person's or others) that reside in the minds of individuals, whether as definition or otherwise- (p.54). Distinguishing the differences between the two, he argued, would further inform us on how people evaluate their own and other's intelligence. This is the case with theories on gender and cultural differences in intelligence that have informed the lay people and governed their social behaviour (Brownlow & Durham, 1997). .
Issues concerning sex and race differences in intelligence continue to stimulate considerable debate (Furnham et al., 1999). Regardless of most tests having been devised so as not to indicate sex differences, studies on lay self-perceptions of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) show consistent sex differences (ibid.). However, other studies have indicated that with time lay and professional views of intelligence have shifted on a continuum that has men as superior to women on one end, to the end that holds men and women as possessing equal intelligence (Furnham, 2001.). As such, it might seem that perceptions of intelligence have shifted to a place that accommodates the balance between genders. Nevertheless, Eagly (1995, in Furnham et al., 1999) argues that this could be a consequence of the current socio-political climate that leads people to under-report existing differences. .
Lay people realise and appreciate the influence of environmental factors on test scores (Furnham, 2001).