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Controversial topic: what does IQ tell us (if anything)

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by Domen, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    It has been known for a while that for example African-Americans score on average lower in IQ tests than European-Americans.

    Usually it is said that average score for African-Americans is 85, one standard deviation (SD) below European-Americans (100).

    However, in Europe there is one group who score two SDs below continental average, and as much as one SD below African-Americans.

    These are the Roma, whose average IQ score (at least for Balkan Gypsies) is perhaps as low as 70, much lower than African-American:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289606001097

    Low average Roma IQ correlates with their social problems across Europe, but it is hard to say which is the cause and which is the effect:

    Documentary on the Roma people in Bulgaria:


    Link to video.

    Short documentary on the Roma in Slovakia:


    Link to video.

    Roma people in Britain - On Benefits & Proud:


    Link to video.

    So, what are the possible causes of such low (much lower than African-American) average IQ scores among European Gypsies?

    And what is the cause-effect relation between their problems and their IQ scores, if there is one.

    Do their poverty and their social problems cause their low performance in IQ tests, or inversely?
     
  2. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

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    Poverty is the prime cause. Poverty historically goes hand in hand with disease, poor education, low life expectancy and all manner of other stuff. IQ test scores adjusted for confounding variables like lack of education are consistent across ethnic and cultural groups.
     
  3. dusters

    dusters Loves cats

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    /offt There is a huge controversy around C Langan who has oficially verified 200 IQ. Controversy in a sense that he has written a theory about "everything" which haven't been properly verified by scientific community afaik.

    I belong to some high IQ societies, and i won't reveal my IQ since it doesn't make me a better person. My accomplishments in bridge, chess are much more worth than some number on a paper.

    As for topic - nutrition and nourishment.
     
  4. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

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    Mr Langan appears to have been infected by a memetic virus of the sort that makes otherwise intelligent people fail to realise their full potential.
     
  5. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    High IQ is an advantage the same as for example good looks. It can help but it doesn't make you a better person, nor does it determine that you will be successful in what you do. For the latter thing, being bright helps but first and foremost you need other personality traits:

    Binet and Simson - "For success in scholastic studies there is need for qualities that depend above all on attention, will, character (for instance, a certain docility), a regularity of habits, and especially on continuity of effort."

    Which is for example why even people with 200 IQ can fail to have a university graduate diploma (example: mentioned above Mr C. Langan).

    Knight - "A high degree of cognitive ability is often accompanied by a temperamental aversion from continuous work, by a lack of persistence and perseverance."

    Spearman - "Obviously intelligence alone would never make a big man of any sort. For it measures only the cognitive aspect of mental activity."

    That's why Spearman invented "general intelligence" which "appears to indicate something in addition to cognitive ability (IQ)":

    "General intelligence is the ability to perceive, comprehend, and reason, combined with the capacity to choose worth-while subjects for study, eagerness to acquire, use, transmit, and if possible add to knowledge and understanding, and the faculty for sustained effort towards these ends. A person is intelligent in so far as his cognitive ability and personality tend towards productiveness through mental activity. One of the most obvious effects of general intelligence is the ability to succeed in ordinary examinations at school or university, or in the similar ones that psychologists call achievement tests but for which the term attainment tests is preferred here. If all the testees subjected to such tests had experienced the same environments throughout life, the results would give some indication of their relative general intelligences."

    ========================================

    Some other definitions of intelligence I found:

    E. G. Boring - "Intelligence, by definition, is what intelligence tests measure."

    Binet - "Intelligence reveals itself by the best possible adaptation of the individual to his environment."

    "Intelligence is conscious adaptation to new situations."

    "The ability to utilize previous experience in meeting new situations."

    "The ability to act effectively under given conditions."

    "The ability to learn and to utilize in new situations knowledge or skill acquired by learning."

    "Selective adaptation through acquired knowledge."

    William Stern - "The general ability of an individual to engage his thought consciously on new requirements; it is general mental ability to adapt to new tasks and conditions of life."

    "The power of attention."

    "The ability to reason well and to form sound judgements."

    "The ability to think in abstract terms."
     
  6. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    In case of African-Americans it seems that IQ scores is not their main problem.

    One study found that even African-Americans with very high IQ often tend to fail in life:

    So probably there is something wrong with their "culture" (?), if even with IQ of 140+ they often end up being poor.
     
  7. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Hadn't heard of this 'American autodidact' ( :eek: ) before. Read through the wiki on him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Langan

    Sounds underwhelming? A "theory of the relationship between mind and reality" which he calls the "Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe"?? Isn't that a bit late considering this is a main topic of philosophy since at least 2500 years now?

    Anyway, an IQ around 200, right? Just goes on to prove that an IQ of 200 still is dumb territory. Why hasn't he solved any of the millenium (math centered prize) problems? Why publish some intro to his 'attempt' to solve the P equals/doesn't equal NP problem?

    I may try to find some text by him, but the article does seem underwhelming. Moreover his views on keeping in mind that the bible has 'full truth, but allegorically' are also not that good an idea, although of course given this is wiki the description may be off by a mile. ("since Biblical accounts of the genesis of our world and species are true but metaphorical, our task is to correctly decipher the metaphor in light of scientific evidence also given to us by God".)
     
  8. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    So you don't check my threads!: :)

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=13432454


    Link to video.

    Nope. 200 is extremely rare. There are very few people with IQ higher than 200.

    Only one out of 1000 people in Europe has a measured IQ of 145 or higher.
     
  9. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Moderator

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    IQ tests measure the ability to test well on IQ tests.

    Blaming a group's "culture" for failing to help them perform well on IQ tests or succeed in life is dangerously close to racism which, I'll remind everyone in the thread, is a touchy subject here at CFC and will be monitored closely.

    Seems to me that poverty / wealth is the strongest correlating factor in predicting both success in life (whatever that is), and IQ test performance. That's not to say there aren't other factors, but the economic variable is the most potent of them all.
     
  10. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Well the video itself does not have any info on his actual thoughts, apart from bits here and there which i think are even more misleading in this way (eg where he says- we don't see the context - that there is a continuation of 'essence' after death).
    Like i noted, though, the title/topic of his study on a mind-objects of examination relation... is nothing new. It is called Idealism. That is why objects usually are termed as 'phenomena', cause they "appear" as something (from greek phainomai, to appear), to a specific observer (eg human). It exists at least since the late 6th century BC. I do support it, but it is not a new idea (not that this is negative by itself, it just is not really something to mention of someone so as to make another learn much of his particular/ IQ of 200 thinking).

    That said, his tone seems that of someone who is thinking constantly and has a nice balance. "Iq of 200" is always going to be a bad byword for a person, though. How did they establish in the video (very scientifically ;) ) that Einstein had an IQ of around 160, and Darwin of 165? I am sure it is not really established and though the video itself is not the fault of this person, the video is indeed in low IQ territory :D
     
  11. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I was also under the impression that IQ tests don't really do a great job of quantifying levels of intelligence or smartness or whatever.

    I mean, someone who got 200 on an IQ test is probably smarter than someone who got 70, but how useful is the system really?
     
  12. Bugfatty300

    Bugfatty300 Buddha Squirrel

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    The only "quotient" from an IQ test that should mean anything is the time it takes for an above average score to be prominently posted on social media.

    People who score highly in that area should be inducted into an even betterer club called PENDJO. As a proud new member they will be booked, fingerprinted, photographed and publicly registered as a certified PENDJO for the rest of their life.
     
  13. Truronian

    Truronian Quite unfamiliar Retired Moderator

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    Indeed. I score quite highly on them generally (haven't done a proper one in years), while one of my friends from (Oxford) University scored 87 on the one IQ test he took. He got a better degree than me, and is clearly an intelligent guy. As such, I do not believe IQ is an in any way reliable measure of intelligence.

    As for the question of why certain races have lower average IQs, it's because of the well documented link between level and quality of education and IQ. As brennen mentioned, normalised IQ scores show no connection between race and IQ.
     
  14. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    There is a strong correlation between avg. national educational achievements (mostly TIMSS/PISA scores) and avg. national IQs.

    The problem, however, is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_or_the_egg

    I assume that he is a determined and hardworking guy but he probably needed to study for each exam much longer than you?

    The amount of effort and time he put into learning and into his degree could be disproportionately higher than what you put into yours.

    There is also no way that a well educated Oxford graduate would appear as someone not clearly intelligent.
     
  15. dusters

    dusters Loves cats

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    there is x amout of information. To digest, average Joe neeeds 30 minutes. Average genius, probably 15 minutes. Guys like Langan, maybe 5 minutes.

    In other words - how fast can you read a book? How long does it take for you to digest 100 pages of Wittgenstein or any other similar upper class philosopher. Wittgenstein supposedly had 190 iq himself.
     
  16. Truronian

    Truronian Quite unfamiliar Retired Moderator

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    I'm not sure that is a problem here. There has been a lot of research indicating that quality and level of education directly impacts performance in IQ tests.

    We put in similar amount of time to our degrees (I know this as we lived together for three years): it's not really possible to slack off at Oxford without ending up rusticated. The main difference was his degree was theology and mine was mathematics. I wouldn't be surprised if there is good correlation between achievement in mathematical subjects and IQ, as many IQ test questions rely upon mathematical reasoning.
     
  17. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    This is pretty much it. I did well the last test I took, but then I noticed that a lot of the questions were the sort found in the Dell word/math/abstract reasoning puzzle books. Since I've been into those for over 30 years, I had a lot of practice already.

    I have a problem digesting philosophy, no matter how fast I read. It's more important to understand the material than to read it fast.
     
  18. Harv

    Harv Chieftain

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    Did you spell that correctly or did you purposefully misspell?

    EDIT: :lmao:
     
  19. dusters

    dusters Loves cats

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    Mea culpa for not expressing myself correctly. I meant digest as a metaphor for "comprehend to the level you can explain information with your own words".
     
  20. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    :rolleyes:

    I understood that, thank you. Your post gave the impression that you think the speed at which people "digest" (comprehend) philosophy means they're smarter than if people take their time to digest/comprehend the material. Comprehension is more important than speed.
     

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