December 4, 2007

More questions?

I'm in the mood to add to my Frequently Asked Questions about IQ list, so if you have anymore questions you'd like me to answer, please let me know.

Also, I'm thinking of doing an FAQ on race, so any questions would be appreciated.

I won't necessarily answer them, of course! The key to doing an FAQ is not to be comprehensive but to get in a flow where one thing leads to another, so not everything can be covered.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

24 comments:

StephenT said...

In America 2007, which is better (i.e., which is more likely to facilitate personal happiness): To be born with an IQ above average or to be more physically attractive than average?

If you could choose, would you rather be smart or fortunate?

milam command said...

Everyone wants to know, Steve: What's your IQ?

Peter Frost said...

If there has been natural selection for increased 'intelligence' (however we define this concept), wouldn't this selection act on any process or structure that contributes to efficiency in mental processing? And wouldn't such processes and structures be relatively numerous? If so, why is variation in IQ apparently due to variation in one sole factor,i.e., 'G'?

Anonymous said...

Great FAQ - needs a little editing though.

"Q. Are there differences in average SAT scores among racial groups?

A. Yes. Ashkenazi (European) Jews appear to average the highest—maybe around 110-112....."

Also, I've seen higher figures for European Jews (115 and 117). Moreover, aren't their verbal IQ's around 126 or higher, but their general score gets weighed down by having average visual spatial IQ's? - (though their math scores seem to be very high)

dougjn said...

OK Steve, how about this ?

Isn't there something amazingly dysfunctional about a society that feels it's certainly or at least often racist to want to sharply limit the mass immigration of ethnic groups which, far from really believing they don't suffer from persistent "disadvantage" on average, that same society's elites and courts also insist be given (or at least allow) affirmative action in selective colleges, higher level workplaces, and so on? Or am I missing something?

Isn't the fact that a group continues to receive widespread affirmative action a simple and not so arbitrary indicator of whether mass immigration by that group should be sharply curtained - at least until the disadvantage is seen to have disappeared sufficiently to no longer warrant it receiving affirmation action?

Ian Lewis said...

I am not sure if this belongs in an FAQ, but here are a few:

1.) Would you make any major changes to the current slew of IQ tests?

2.) What questions would you add to the common IQ Tests? (Or, what TYPE of questions would you add?)

3.) What questions would you remove?

4.) Are there good tests (IQ, g-Factor, or otherwise) which are good predictors of the Bachs and Einsteins of the world?

Anonymous said...

Could you provide a link to a freely-available meta-survey of IQ tests showing whether or not the black-white IQ gap has narrowed over the last 80 years?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"At least we're smarter than the French" Is european IQ lumpy with the Dutch and German possessing east asian numbers? (I'm not Dutch or German)

Is the Flynn Effect forever? Say the family lived next to the Newtons, and we had an IQ of 70 after 356 years shouldn't we have hit 175?

Thanks Kent Gatewood

Anonymous said...

Do IQ tests meaningfully measure the intelligence of non-neurotypical people who have conditions such as autism?

Rob said...

Q: What biological factors in the environment(heavy metals, viruses, etc) are likely to be important factors in various IQ gaps between populations and within them?

Q: I wish I were smarter, what sort of supplements, activities, etc can I try to raise my IQ?

George said...

Since 100 is taken to be the average IQ, I'd be curious to see a generic intellectual profile of a person with that score. Moving it out one or two standard deviations above and below might be interesting, too.

Rosamund said...

I would like to see a list of the environmental and biological influences that you believe most bring down I.Q. in the next generation.
(For example, I believe alcoholism or severe substance abuse can easily bring down someone with, say, an I.Q. of 145, to a level where they function at a standard deviation or two below their I.Q. As such, they will probably more likely to marry a person with an I.Q. at the level they have been brought down to and their children will be somewhere in between, but, on average, lower than they would otherwise have been if the person had their I.Q. fully realized.)

PhillyGuy said...

Q: Are there any neuro-physiological characteristics associated with IQ and how much do they influence the phenotypic expression of IQ? If yes, what is known about the genetic and environmental factors influencing such neuro-physiological characteristics? To the extent that there are genetic and environmental factors influencing neuro-physiological characteristics associated with IQ, do they differ accross race and ethnicity?

Not Ben Capoeman said...

Could you provide a link to a freely-available meta-survey of IQ tests showing whether or not the black-white IQ gap has narrowed over the last 80 years?

Sure

Is the Flynn Effect forever? Say the family lived next to the Newtons, and we had an IQ of 70 after 356 years shouldn't we have hit 175?

The Flynn Effect affects the average by raising the left hand tail; it's the people who in the early 20th century would have scored a 70 who in the early 21st century have been watching television instead of baling hay, and now score in the low to mid 80s. I don't know what extensive television viewing does to a person with a 130 IQ, but I doubt it is of much benefit.

Anonymous said...

Is the distribution of IQ scores the same across races? I'm not sure how to put this precisely, but are the "extremes"--geniuses and dullards--more pronounced in certain distributions versus a kind of "clumping" around the mean? If so, is it better to have a lower average overall and the ability to produce world-changing geniuses like Newton or Einstein, or to have a higher overall average but produce less intellectual superstars?

jult52 said...

Steve - Thanks for your piece on IQ. I think it will be a very useful platform for discussion. One other item that I think merit some discussion:

IQ changes as an individual ages. What is the degree of variation? What do authorities on the subject attribute the changes to? Is there a consensus?

I think the question ben capoeman addresses should be discussion. The Flynn Effect isn't widely known and, being one of the central processes of the last century, needs to be explored in detail. Also: lead in the environment. Any information on lead's effect on mental function is welcome.

ovid said...

Do you think that the Catholic church has lowered IQ over the centuries by skimming off the brightest of the poor as priests and monks ? This could account for some of the higer Jewish IQ, maybe the Jews are not particularly smart, just that we goy have lowered our IQ.

none of the above said...

Steve,

You used SAT for IQ by mistake in one of your FAQs.

Some discussion of the shape of the distribution would be useful--the difference in standard deviations apparently matters more than the mean in explaining the male/female outcome differences. And the tails are probably fatter than you'd expect from an idealized normal distribution, right?

What information is there on age-related decline in mental faculties. Does that show up on IQ scores? Does "g" change for different ages?

rufus said...

Steve,

In South Africa the terms race and culture were used interchangeably. Yet clearly being around Japanese is less dangerous and distressing than with Africans, even though they are also a non-European race. Many whites who may be nominally western are also insufferable and I could imagine that a few civilized blacks may be pleasant company.

But generally race does say something about what to expect from people. This rule-of-thumb rather than ideology was what motivated systems such as segregation and Apartheid, both of which were abolished against the wishes of the majority of whites within those systems, in contradiction to all the pc-chatter you hear from those whites nowadays. The whites who opposed these systems either lived far away from the practical problems posed by the race-conflicts, or were upper class and could thus easily move out, as Gordimer, Todd and now Suzman are demonstrating in southern Africa.

My question: In what way is the genetic research you keep talking about corroborating this rule-of-thumb we used to have, or are we going to move to a different sort of race-oriented political structure in future, and if so what will it look like?

Anonymous said...

Steve, you've reported that some east asians think europeans have an extra factor that explains white achievement. Have they, the asians, gone into more detail?

Or if there isn't an edge for europeans, when will the superior asian IQ lead to dominance in the major prizes?


Thanks, Kent Gatewood

Mohican said...

Critics of IQ often contend that:

i) people can learn to improve their scores by familiarity with test-style questions. Is there empirical research to support this? One would think any such effect would be limited in range (no more than, say, 10-15 points).

ii) single test scores are unreliable because they can vary between individual sittings of the same test and between different tests. Again, any data on this?

ai_sur said...

George said...

Since 100 is taken to be the average IQ, I'd be curious to see a generic intellectual profile of a person with that score. Moving it out one or two standard deviations above and below might be interesting, too.

Absolutely second this. What are pratctical everyday tasks that are beyond ability of IQ 85 guy? What can IQ 115 do that IQ 100 couldn't even if his life depend on that? And so on..

Actually there are some clues in PISA2006 papers Steve mentioned earlier - they match pupils scoring to problem types, but it's bit confusing there..

Not Ben Capoeman said...

ai_sur asked:
. What are practical everyday tasks that are beyond ability of IQ 85 guy? What can IQ 115 do that IQ 100 couldn't even if his life depend on that? And so on..

Great question. I'd look for a market place answer. American (and Canadian) colleges and universities have adulterated the concept of "higher education" to increase their market share of high school graduates (and drop outs.) Previously, an IQ of 115 was considered the bare minimum to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Currently a BA is required to enter or maintain a middle class lifestyle, netting colleges and universities $40 - 60 K per student, with another $20 - 40 K going to a lending institution. Administrators of academic institutions are hired, retained and promoted entirely on their ability to increase revenue, and will only be dismissed for ethical breeches that are both public and flagrant, and then only if dismissal will guarantee continued revenue. Pournelle's Iron Law applies.

I believe a recent post by Steve showed that 10% or so of college graduates were now in the 90 to 100 IQ range. If they're kicking out $60 to $80 grand they'd damn well better be getting their BA.

It is now possible to earn a BA from any school in the Western Hemisphere without taking first year calculus; I've been looking, and have yet to find an institution that requires high school algebra. Most require a course with "quantitative" content, such as specialized archaeology, sociology or psychology classes designed with this requirement in mind. From online course descriptions of these classes I've yet to find a school that will not graduate a student who tops out their math skills at multiplication and division. I'm guessing those are the IQ 90s. High school algebra would be the IQ 100s, first year calc the IQ 115s and up.

Anonymous said...

1) What ever happened to that "IQ cap" that Thomas Wolfe talked about? What is the youngest age it can be used on? Can the IQs of children or adults be estimated from MRIs, etc.? I know that preemies brains are evaluated about a week after they are born.

2) You gave some interesting info on the ratio of black girls to black boys at higher IQs at one point. Is this true for Hispanics as well, and can this effect be noticed at IQs of 100 to 110, or only when you get above 130, etc.?

Thanks!