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Does IQ matter? The murky history of intelligence tests


Still Waters

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In the public imagination, IQ is often considered the gold standard for measuring intelligence – a cast-iron, bullet-proof measure of a person’s brain power. However, not everyone is wholly convinced of the promise it offers.

Some argue it runs the risk of being reductive and is incapable of accounting for the rich diversity of human minds. Conversations around IQ can also be prone to emit the stench of pseudoscientific BS. At its very worst, IQ scores can be – and have been – weaponized by racist ideologies to spread hate and discrimination. So, do IQ scores have any merit at all?

https://www.iflscience.com/does-iq-matter-the-murky-history-of-intelligence-tests-72671

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IQ tests have more relevance than university degrees. Take our present government- they went to the most expensive private schools which have close links to Oxford and Cambridge University, and most ended up with a 2:2  or a 3 in an arts or humanities degree (you don't have to demonstrate any originality or reason to get a 2:2 once you are in university.) Jacob Rees Mogg, Nadine Dories, Liz Truss, Ben Habib, Danial Hannan, Priti Patel, Suella Braverman, John Redwood, Boris Johnson, etc, - the list is endless. The stupidest people you are likely to see in public life. 

 

Edited by pellinore
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Speaking as a person who regularly aces IQ tests, I know exactly what is wrong with them as a test of intelligence.  The best measure of intelligence is the ability to adapt under pressure.  While the stress of an IQ test is a decent partial measure, most of the time the problems are far too mathematical, and there are better forms of testing adaptability than mathematical aptitude.  I would prefer to test candidates over a series of interactive video game puzzles where each death represents a loss of a certain amount of progress, and the game has a time limit.  Obviously there would have to me a good deal of consultation on the form the tests would take and much tweaking of Eigen Values. 

It should also be noted that IQ tests were adopted by Eugenicists for racist purposes for a long time, and there were large problems with fraudulent IQ statistics for a long time.

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20 minutes ago, pellinore said:

IQ tests have more relevance than university degrees. Take our present government- they went to the most expensive private schools which have close links to Oxford and Cambridge University, and most ended up with a 2:2  or a 3 in an arts or humanities degree (you don't have to demonstrate any originality or reason to get a 2:2 once you are in university.) Jacob Rees Mogg, Nadine Dories, Liz Truss, Ben Habib, Danial Hannan, Priti Patel, Suella Braverman, John Redwood, Boris Johnson, etc, - the list is endless. The stupidest people you are likely to see in public life. 

(Our own Cookie Monster ( @Electric Scooter) claims to have two degrees- I don't know if that is the exception proving the rule or is the proof of the pudding.)

I agree that college degrees don't prove intelligence but I have had a few stupid men insist they have high IQ's, I think trying to impress me.  Unfortunately for them, it made me laugh and I had even less respect for them.   You can get high scores on an IQ test and still be stupid, and I think those men were all lying anyway.

The IQ test results means very little when it comes to making life choices.  For many reasons people with high intelligence do not become leaders and we should not expect them to.   The only time I saw IQ tests have any effect was when my daughter was in grade school, bored out of her mind.   The test got her into a special ed program for "gifted" students which gave her more advanced classes.   I am convinced that my younger daughter is even more intelligent but she has dyslexia that the teachers had no idea how to help her.  And the stigma of kids in the gifted progams at school caused her to insist I not have her tested in the school system.   

For measuring potential the IQ test may be useful for children but it means nothing once you are an adult.

In the state I live in all students were given an IQ test in 5th grade until the 1970's.   Now a parent and teacher have to badger the school system to  give them to specific children, or the parent has to pay a company to administer it.   I suspect it is because it has proven nothing in the long run, except that some children can read well, like math, and are taught critical thinking.   Critical thinking is the enemy of the current education systems.

 

Edited by Desertrat56
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I think IQ is one test and it does matter. There is a positive correlation between higher scores and being a better more successful person.

That is my opinion and proving anything like that I know would end in forever debate.

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50 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

I think IQ is one test and it does matter. There is a positive correlation between higher scores and being a better more successful person.

That is my opinion and proving anything like that I know would end in forever debate.

Maybe it depends on the family.   My family has a lot of people with "high IQs" who are major screw ups.   It does not correlate.   There is more to intelligence than what is measured in an IQ test which includes emotional intelligence and common sense.   Not to mention "successful" is a subjective measure.

Edited by Desertrat56
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2 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

Maybe it depends on the family.   My family has a lot of people with "high IQs" who are major screw ups.   It does not correlate.   There is more to intelligence that what is measured in an IQ test which includes emotional intelligence and common sense.   Not to mention "successful" is a subjective measure.

My point was if we looked at the IQ of everyone in the world, there would be a correlation between those living good productive normal lives and higher IQs. Lower IQ people would correlate to less professional success and more social problems.

So, my answer to the OP question is 'Yes, IQ matters'.

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10 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

Maybe it depends on the family.   My family has a lot of people with "high IQs" who are major screw ups.   It does not correlate.   There is more to intelligence that what is measured in an IQ test which includes emotional intelligence and common sense.   Not to mention "successful" is a subjective measure.

Being able to reason and see correlations between objects and actions doesn't mean you will make the right judgments because our emotions and values often cloud our judgment.

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33 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

My point was if we looked at the IQ of everyone in the world, there would be a correlation between those living good productive normal lives and higher IQs. Lower IQ people would correlate to less professional success and more social problems.

So, my answer to the OP question is 'Yes, IQ matters'.

I understood what your point was and I disagree.   I already stated that I beileve IQ does not matter.   It is an indication of potential in children, but has no relevance to adulthood.  If you spent time getting clean a bunch of homeless drug addicts and then gave them IQ tests, I suspect the percentage of high IQ's would be higher in that group than in a group of high paid executives.   That is not to say that I think all people who score high on those tests are all people unable to function in society, that is to say that your criteria for success has less to do with IQ than you think.

Edited by Desertrat56
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I took a proper IQ test at school when I was 13.   It was about 145 (can't remember the exact figure +/-2 but I know it would be less today!) 

As a result I was advanced a year and started taking my O Levels a year early.  Then I moved and went to a different school so started all over again -  no wonder I found them easy 😁

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What is far more important than IQ is understanding of context.  And common sense. Both of which have been seriously repressed in modern society.  If you don't understand context and you follow "the book" then it doesn't matter what your IQ is, you are a useless fukwit.  Which is why so many supposedly intelligent people are so inept these days. 

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20 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

 I understood what your point was and I disagree.   I already stated that I beileve IQ does not matter.   It is an indication of potential in children, but has no relevance to adulthood.  If you spent time getting clean a bunch of homeless drug addicts and then gave them IQ tests, I suspect the percentage of high IQ's would be higher in that group than in a group of high paid executives.   That is not to say that I think all people who score high on those tests are all people unable to function in society, that is to say that your criteria for success has less to do with IQ than you think.

I was thinking more in terms of people who work in the medical field or IT field with lower birthrates or whatnot versus short term Taco Bell employees with illegitimate children and whatnot. I would say there is a correlation between higher and lower IQs into which group one most likely falls in. I realize I am pushing people's buttons by saying that, but I think it is true anyway,

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32 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

I understood what your point was and I disagree.   I already stated that I beileve IQ does not matter.   It is an indication of potential in children, but has no relevance to adulthood.  If you spent time getting clean a bunch of homeless drug addicts and then gave them IQ tests, I suspect the percentage of high IQ's would be higher in that group than in a group of high paid executives.   That is not to say that I think all people who score high on those tests are all people unable to function in society, that is to say that your criteria for success has less to do with IQ than you think.

The main criteria for success is having money to start with.  Most Top Execs don't  get there just by being clever.... 

Edited by Essan
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2 hours ago, pellinore said:

IQ tests have more relevance than university degrees. Take our present government- they went to the most expensive private schools which have close links to Oxford and Cambridge University, and most ended up with a 2:2  or a 3 in an arts or humanities degree (you don't have to demonstrate any originality or reason to get a 2:2 once you are in university.) Jacob Rees Mogg, Nadine Dories, Liz Truss, Ben Habib, Danial Hannan, Priti Patel, Suella Braverman, John Redwood, Boris Johnson, etc, - the list is endless. The stupidest people you are likely to see in public life. 

 

There is nothing wrong with a 2.2 and a lot of companies accept them.

Anything less and no one will touch them.

Edited by Electric Scooter
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1 hour ago, Essan said:

The main criteria for success is having money to start with.  Most Top Execs don't  get there just by being clever.... 

I’ll add the thought that having money to start with is correlated with higher IQ of parents and grandparents. And so IQ matters.  And it also genetically influences the next generation.

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6 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

I’ll add the thought that having money to start with is correlated with higher IQ of parents and grandparents. And so IQ matters.  And it also genetically influences the next generation.

I don't think IQ is necessarily genetic   And there are plenty of people who have become successful due to wealth without being very intelligent.  A certain POTUS condender for example (and sone would argue most, if not all, recent incumbants) 

But I do think wealth overrides IQ. If mummy and daddy are rich, you don't need to be able to tie your shoe laces to rule the world.

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As a aside, it would be interesting to look at how many world leaders came from a poor, working class, background.   

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1 hour ago, papageorge1 said:

I was thinking more in terms of people who work in the medical field or IT field with lower birthrates or whatnot versus short term Taco Bell employees with illegitimate children and whatnot. I would say there is a correlation between higher and lower IQs into which group one most likely falls in. I realize I am pushing people's buttons by saying that, but I think it is true anyway,

WOW!   That sounds so bigotted.   A lot of those people who work in IT with a degree worked at Taco Bell when they were in high school.  You can't make judgments about anyone's IQ, as if that is even a real measure of "success", based on the job they currently have.   And the number of children and whether the parents were married or not has NOTHING to do with anything in this thread.   You live in a tower sitting on a very comfy recliner and think you can see the world from there but your veiw is very narrow.  I have worked with doctors who are not very intelligent, they just had a talent for memorizing difficult medical texts, but no ability to actually practice medicine in a way that helped anyone.   And people with college degrees are not necessarily intelligent.

Edited by Desertrat56
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1 hour ago, Essan said:

The main criteria for success is having money to start with.  Most Top Execs don't  get there just by being clever.... 

I think for the most part that is true, you don't get to the higher echelons of leadership without some financial advantage whether you are intelligent or not.  

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20 minutes ago, Essan said:

I don't think IQ is necessarily genetic   And there are plenty of people who have become successful due to wealth without being very intelligent.  A certain POTUS condender for example (and sone would argue most, if not all, recent incumbants) 

But I do think wealth overrides IQ. If mummy and daddy are rich, you don't need to be able to tie your shoe laces to rule the world.

What I was getting at was the average medical/IT professional has a higher IQ than your average Taco Bell worker. So IQ matters.

I also recognize your bitterness towards aristocracy but that is another issue. And that POTUS has a far higher IQ than the average Taco Bell worker despite your disdain for him.

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13 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

WOW!   That sounds so bigotted.   A lot of those people who work in IT with a degree worked at Taco Bell when they were in high school.  You can't make judgments about anyone's IQ, as if that is even a real measure of "success", based on the job they currently have.   And the number of children and whether the parents were married or not has NOTHING to do with anything in this thread.   You live in a tower sitting on a very comfy recliner and think you can see the world from there but your veiw is very narrow.  I have worked with doctors who are not very intelligent, they just had a talent for memorizing difficult medical texts, but no ability to actually practice medicine in a way that helped anyone.   And people with college degrees are not necessarily intelligent.

And there is a correlation in higher/lower IQ between those that move on from Taco Bell to higher things and those that don’t. So IQ matters (the OP question).

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5 hours ago, pellinore said:

IQ tests have more relevance than university degrees. Take our present government- they went to the most expensive private schools which have close links to Oxford and Cambridge University, and most ended up with a 2:2  or a 3 in an arts or humanities degree (you don't have to demonstrate any originality or reason to get a 2:2 once you are in university.) Jacob Rees Mogg, Nadine Dories, Liz Truss, Ben Habib, Danial Hannan, Priti Patel, Suella Braverman, John Redwood, Boris Johnson, etc, - the list is endless. The stupidest people you are likely to see in public life. 

 

While Labour has about 20% of its entourage who went to Oxbridge. A few percentage points less than the Tories and the Lib Dems... no wonder Labour haven't been bright enough to get elected.

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3 hours ago, Electric Scooter said:

There is nothing wrong with a 2.2 and a lot of companies accept them.

Anything less and no one will touch them.

I agree. I'm just saying that if you go to a top private school, you are much, much more likely to go to university than someone in a state school because of the almost 1:1 tuition, and the quality of teaching is likely to be better in a top university. In those circumstances a 2:2 in humanities is not great shakes. In a sense it would be hard not to get a decent degree (though Therese Coffey dropped out).

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46 minutes ago, OpenMindedSceptic said:

While Labour has about 20% of its entourage who went to Oxbridge. A few percentage points less than the Tories and the Lib Dems... no wonder Labour haven't been bright enough to get elected.

I think charisma and personality are the characteristics that make a politician successful, not intelligence. These can be learnt. Hitler used to practise his hand gestures during speeches in a mirror. Boris Johnson boasts that he confuses opponents by being vague and "boosterish" without making any mental effort (he is recorded as asking colleagues what a "customs union" was while negotiating the TCA with the EU). Farage is immensly popular because his xenophobia chimes with so many people as a reason why they are not doing well in life.

Starmer (and Ed Miliband) have zero charisma. 

Appearance is important- Rory Stewart has said his looks make him unappealing and he is right. Farage cultivates a "image of an ordinary bloke in a pub with a pint and a ciggie (his GBN show is called "Talking Pints").

So I don't think brightness is that important.

Physical stature is important- Rishi Sunak brought David Cameron back into the government so he can sit on his lap in cabinet meetings and see over the table.

Edited by pellinore
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