On the post IQ Is a Meaningful Construct, two commenters make some interesting comments. First cursed and then tulio comment, then my comments follow:
cursed: I have no problems believing that Blacks are stupid, but one thing that puzzles me is how a guy like Mohamed Ali (before he got punch drunk) summoned forth dazzlingly quick witted rhetoric, yet on his armed forces enlistment test he registered an 80 IQ.
White guys with an 80 IQ can in no way shape or form talk like Ali could. I’m not trying to let blacks off the hook for performing poorly on standardized test, but I think those guys brains work a little differently.
tulio: What cursed said is why I think we aren’t even close to conclusions about race and intelligence. I can think of many instances where a Black person who scored low on an IQ test didn’t necessarily come across as unintelligent. Also tests show IQ’s of 70 for Black Africa and I’ve even seen some groups with scores in the 60s, I think the Australian Aborigines score 62.
Now think about it, someone with an IQ in the 60s would be functionally retarded. They wouldn’t even be capable of normal activities like driving a car.
Yet the average African or Aborigine can operate a vehicle just fine and they are perfectly functional. So I do think there are some questions to be asked of how useful these tests are in gauging one’s intelligence, or at least the intelligence of groups that grossly-underperform on them.
I’m sorry, I have a seriously hard time believing that the average African or Aborigine is functionally retarded. Also, IQ is only one component of intelligence. And I think its importance in society and good desirable behavior is very overrated.
A person with a high IQ will probably be good at things like math, winning chess matches and solving computer programming bugs.
However, IQ doesn’t measure more esoteric but possibly more crucial survival skills such as “common sense” or just general “life wisdom”. I’m willing to bet that the people who run the flat earth society are intelligent and probably would do well on an IQ test, yet they have no common sense if they believe in such nonsense.
Look at Bobby Fischer, the late chess champion, guy’s IQ was probably off the charts, yet if you read any of his social commentary after 9/11 the dude was a complete moron.
The Mohammed Ali bit is interesting. It reminds of some of the freestyle rappers that I’ve heard. If you’re not familiar with that, “freestyle rap” is when a rapper has no pre-written lyrics but is making up rhyming verses on the fly that not only rhyme and make sense but can also be quite witty.
I’ve tried it myself once just to see if I could do it, and found it extremely difficult. It takes intelligence.
But who knows, if you gave these same guys an IQ test, they may not do too well. Maybe there is something to the multiple intelligences theory. Maybe we don’t know enough about the nature of intelligence to draw any conclusions of this time.
On the original post, Robert Lindsay wrote: The lower the IQ, the more likely the person is to do stupid things – go to jail or prison, commit crimes or lots of crimes, have kids out of wedlock or as a teenager, parent multiple children by multiple partners, be a lousy parent to your child if you’re female or refuse to support the kid if you’re male, go on welfare, engage in domestic violence, have poor to low morals, join a street gang, shoot someone or get shot, refuse to plan for the future, drink or take drugs, die young, never go to the doctor, engage in extremely risky behaviors, fall victim to injurious or life-threatening accidents, refuse to engage in healthy behaviors such as eating properly and exercising, etc.
I’m not convinced at all that low IQ leads to pathological behavior. I think this is a values issue, not an intelligence/genetic one. For example, yes people in jail will probably have lower IQ’s, but I think a more accurate way of reading this is that people with low IQ’s are simply more likely to get caught because they commit more petty crimes.
The leaders of crime rings are quite intelligent, they are the least likely to end up in prison. They are smart enough to cover their tracks, use lower IQ pawns to do their dirty work, work the system to their advantage and evade capture. I really don’t like assigning low-intelligence rationales to behaviors that could better be explained by low VALUES.
The commenters raise some interesting questions for which there are no good answers. It doesn’t really make sense.
The Black Africans with IQ’s of 70 or 65 or so are not retarded in the same way that a White person with an IQ that low would be. So in a way, those scores don’t make sense.
I have a Yahoo group where we fight scammers in Nigeria.
These guys probably have IQ’s of ~67 . Yet we had some White victims who were low IQ (I figure maybe ~72 IQ) and these Nigerians just danced circles around them for months on end and cleaned them out for $10,000’s. They were so much smarter than these women it was not even funny.
Your average African or Aborigine is not functionally retarded in the same way that a White with a below 70 IQ is. However, we spent a lot of time dealing with these African scammers, talking to them, etc. In some ways, these guys were dumb as rocks.
They can’t spell or construct a meaningful sentence, and their intellectual processes are just stupid in a lot of ways. Nevertheless, they were able to survive, and they were brilliant at reading people psychologically and manipulating them. They had a genius “Con Artist IQ.” They also often had excellent social skills. They are able to work and function in their societies, they have friends, they date, marry, and raise kids, all the things that below 70 IQ Whites often cannot do.
I have not dealt much with Aborigines, but I suspect that a similar thing is going on. I have seen some of them commenting on Youtube videos, and their writing reminded me of the Africans. They can’t spell to save their lives, can’t construct a sentence, and their writing comes across as stupid. Yet they can function in that they are sociable, can make friends, date, marry, raise families, etc. and even work at jobs concordant with their culture.
The White nationalists and scientific racist types have some argument that tries to explain this, but it never made sense to me. They argue that a 65 IQ in a Black is not the same as a 65 IQ in a White. Well, ok, but if not, why not? Nevertheless, they still argue that the 65 IQ Black is still retarded.
I suppose the point is that in our modern society, IQ tests do indeed measure all sorts of important things, such as ability to succeed in the workplace of a modern society. Societies with low IQ’s don’t do very well. Those with high IQ’s do better. IQ tests also predict very well how one does in school, and even how one does on the job.
They also predict all sorts of other things. The list of pathological behaviors that tulio is saying have no basis in IQ in fact do have such a basis.
The lower the IQ, the more likely people are to do what I call above stupid things. The higher the IQ, the less likely they are to do those stupid things. The notion that high-IQ types lack common sense is also not true. It’s hard to imagine a more commonsensical behavior than keeping healthy or living a long time. The higher the IQ, the longer you live and the healthier you are.
There just flat out are not a whole lot of ways in which high IQ people act stupid. It’s said that some of them have poor social skills, but I think that this is often due to neurosis, shyness, introversion, etc. They come across as strange because their heads are in the clouds all the time.
I don’t think that neurotics, shy people, introverts, etc. are social retards or lack social skills. A neurotic is ill, and in many cases, I think they can’t help it. Introverts and shy people are not social idiots; they’re just introverts.
If you subtract that stuff, I’ve found that most high IQ people have pretty good social skills. They are often very careful about what they say, they monitor conversational attributes, verbal and nonverbal, very well, and are constantly adjusting their verbal and nonverbal behaviors based on those cues.
Some of them are “deliberately eccentric” in that they just don’t give a damn about social rules that much and seem to delight in breaking them on purpose just to thumb their noses at society. The notion of the high-IQ social retard is dubious.
Much has been made of “emotional intelligence,” and some books have even been written on it. People love this stuff because everyone hates IQ, mostly because they don’t have a very high one, and they are jealous. EQ was a way to get back at all those uppity brainiac nerds. The problem is that EQ is highly correlated with IQ, so the argument starts going round in circles.
So you can go on all you want about how IQ doesn’t matter, but bottom line is that low-IQ folks in modern societies tend to not do so well. That’s just all there is to it. So right there, that implies that the tests are indeed measuring something meaningful, or at least something meaningful in our modern societies.