What Is Like To Talk with Someone with an IQ of ~90?

Answered on Quora:
Tell you what. Go to a town where many Hispanic or Latino Americans live. Walk around a bit and talk to some people. Your average US Hispanic has an IQ of 90. So your average person in that town will have about a 90 IQ, and after you talk to a few of them, you should get a feel for how someone at that IQ score thinks.
You can also go find a bunch of White high school dropouts. They also have 89 IQ’s, right around the same. That would be a lot harder to do though.
I don’t want to use Hispanics as an example, but since they have an average IQ of 90, once you have talked to hundreds of them, you get a feel for what people at that IQ level are like.
I hate to say, but the difference between 100 IQ people and 90 IQ is quite noticeable, even dramatic.
My experience is with people who seem to have 90 IQ’s, both Whites and Hispanics. Their ignorance was shocking. They had never heard of labor unions, the Latin language, or artificial respiration.
One told me that Mixteco, an family of Indian languages in Mexico with ~40 different languages in it is a dialect of Spanish! Of course it isn’t. It’s an Amerindian language, as far from Spanish as Chinese. When someone is that preposterously and idiotically wrong, I don’t even argue with them. I just nod my head.
One told me Salinas is right next to San Diego, and he laughed at me when I insisted it wasn’t. On the contrary, they are 400 miles apart. This guy grew up in Salinas, and he had no idea where it was on a map within hundreds of miles!
Starting to get the idea?
They simply have no use for what a lot of us would call book knowledge. They exist at a much simpler level, and I imagine they are probably happier than we brooding brainiacs are.
However, they are certainly intelligent enough to do their jobs as restaurant clerks or servers, supermarket cashiers, secretaries and whatnot. They do very well at those jobs. They’re in their element.
Also their ignorance is not dangerous the way the ignorance of others is. As you move up on the IQ scale towards 100 or 110, you start finding people who are horribly ignorant, can’t think properly, but are just smart enough to get the complete wrong answer and end up reading you the wrong way, interpreting innocent remarks as bizarre, insane, incomprehensible, or dangerous.
In other words, they are too stupid to get the right answer (which is fine) but they are just smart enough to completely misread you and get the absolute wrong answer.
Some are too suspicious due to ignorance, but they are pretty easily ignored. Simply don’t ever speak to them or deal with them at all.
On the other hand, the 90 IQ person just listens to you and either understands you or doesn’t. If you are incomprehensible, they just give you a blank look or ask what you are talking about. They aren’t smart enough to read you the wrong way and get the wrong answer, because they are not coming up with any answer!
90 IQ people are pleasant enough. Most are rather simple people who do not have strong emotions. They breeze through life don’t want to cause a lot of worries, fights or problems. They take life as it is without challenging it, seeing through it, or feeling angry or frustrated with it.
They live for simple good times, conversation about basic life issues and especially people, have some understanding of psychology, and like to gossip. Some of the older ones have some understanding of business, law, taxation, duties as a citizen, how to negotiate around government and insurance bureaucracies, and even medicine, believe it or not.
They don’t expect much out of life, but they don’t cause many problems either because a lot of problems are caused by people thinking too hard and getting the wrong answer.
90 IQ people don’t ever think too hard, so they end up being rather pleasant, happy and enjoyable people.
They like jokes, sex, and food. They love to joke and laugh. There are some who work at stores around here who I joke with, tease, and laugh with all the time. We make fun of each other in the simple, friendly, and non-offensive way of close friends.
I don’t want to have a brain like that, but in a way, I envy them. It must be so much easier to breeze through life. Maybe the less you think, the happier you are.
So there is your 90 IQ person, a mixture of good and bad. The ignorance is not good from my POV. It won’t fly with me, but these people are almost four SD’s below me. I won’t have close friendships with them, but casual acquaintanceship is pleasant enough if you keep the discussion to the basic commonalities of human existence that we all share.
On the other hand, their ignorance could be seen as outset by their many positive qualities in their simple, easy-going, laughing, joking, non-serious, fun-oriented attitude towards life.

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29 thoughts on “What Is Like To Talk with Someone with an IQ of ~90?”

  1. A lot of high IQ are stupid due to the culture. South Koreans, for instance, are not so enlightened even with 100 = IQ, nor other Northeast Asians. Also, Europeans of that range i have met have struck me as elitist and childish. So one irishman would bitch that nobody wanted his accent and then acted like a total douchebag the whole time to get the point across!

  2. The elitism of high IQ Europeans is astounding. Certainly its not wise, but just being an ass. Surely IQ would make people more grown up. All the Irishman would do is mock West Virginia, Jerry Springer, constantly point out others defects – basically be a prick!

  3. I once overheard some one say that Latin was the “root of all languages”. The guy seemed normal. And he seemed White and middle class. It was the most maddeningly stupid thing I ever heard. I didn’t say anything because he was a complete stranger, and it would have been rude.
    Good lord , all languages?—like Mandarin, Tiwi, Arabic, Quechua? It could have been a slip of the tongue but still, saying it’s the root of all European languages is itself already incomprehensibly stupid. I had already heard that one, as if that wasn’t bad enough and had been overwhelmed by the stupidity of it. The lack of basic curiosity (common sense, really) is inconceivable.

    1. “… because he was a complete stranger and it would have been rude (he wasn’t talking to me after all—but I was powerfully tempted”)

    2. Saying it’s the root of all European languages is itself already incomprehensibly stupid (like Russian?, German?, Gaelic? Swedish? Seriously, can anyone really believe that?)

      1. They must think the Romans conquered all of Europe including Russia and Scandinavia—and the man who made the first, even more outrageous, statement would have to think they also ruled over subsaharan Africans, Australian Aborigines, Amerindians, all East Asians and the inhabitants of every South Pacific (and other) island, completely wiping out every single native language (that or perhaps he believes the earth is only a few millennia old and humanity began in ancient Rome). I don’t know, maybe it’s better not to think about it too much, and as you say, when confronted with it, to simply nod (but I’ve always been the type to feel the need to try to explain things, even to the seemingly stupidest people)

        1. *”…must think the Romans conquered all of Europe (including Russia and Scandinavia), and wiped out all native languages (which they did not even do everywhere within the range they did conquer)”
          *”…..Amerindians, all East Asians and the inhabitants of every South Pacific (and other) island, completely wiping out every single native language (or people)”

        2. Yeah, I tell them they’re wrong too, but someone so stupid as to insist that Latin was the root of all the world’s languages would get their back up if you corrected them. They would get standoffish and angry and insist that they are right. At that point, I look at them incredulously and say, “Ok,” and nod my head.
          The problem is that once people get a cool “fact” like “Latin is the root of all the languages in the world,” they think they are really smart for knowing this really cool fact that presumably few people know. You tell them that they are wrong and it just blows up the whole illusion.
          Plus most folks simply don’t like being told that they are wrong. I don’t suffer fools gladly, so yeah, I tend to correct people. But your average person is not wrong all that much. They limit their knowledge to this restricted area and within that area, they are mostly correct about the things they state as facts.
          I probably shouldn’t correct people who are ridiculously wrong, but I often do. I usually try to do it very nicely. I sort of laugh a little bit too, but not in an insulting way. Sort of an amused half-chuckle.
          When I correct them, I do it like I am correcting a kid. When you correct a kid, you are nice because you figure he’s a dumb kid and he hardly knows anything so of course he’s wrong. It’s assumed kids will be wrong all the time anyway, so you have to be gentle when correcting kids as there’s nothing wrong with them being ignorant.

        3. Part of what really bothered me was that the guy (who said the thing about Latin) said it, not so much assertively in an aggressive kind of way, but rather casually and offhandedly as though it was a commonly known and taken for granted fact.

        4. Latin is the root seemingly cause of all the fancy words originating from it. For instance, it’s classy to say “attorney” but Joe the Plumber, LOL to say “lawyer”.

        5. LOL the Mexican who grew up in Salinas and insisted that San Diego was right next to Salinas LAUGHED AT ME WHEN I TOLD HIM HE WAS WRONG.
          LOL if they are so fucked and arrogantly ignorant that they laugh at you when you tell them the facts, you might as well just give up on them.
          My Mom just asked me, “Do you think he meant San Jose?” I think she might be right.
          I deal with ignorant crap like this all the time in this town.

      2. A lot of people probably believe stupid shit like that. I mean if you went around my neighborhood and asked if Latin was the root of all European languages, most people would say, “I don’t know” or “What’s Latin?” Hardly anybody would be able to give you the right answer.
        Even if you went to the smarter side of town and asked some White people, they might not even know either. They would know what Latin was, but they might not know the answer. They would just say, “I don’t know” probably.
        People are really fucking stupid around here, and when it comes to stuff like language families, most people are unbelievably stupid. I have told a lot of people that English was a Germanic language and they had never heard that before. Most people don’t even know there is a language family called Germanic. If I tell them, they say, “Oh how interesting,” like they are hearing it for the first time.
        No you know what it’s like to be me. I have to really dumb myself down everywhere I go. It’s not hard to do, but there are so many things I cannot talk about.

        1. “They would just say, “I don’t know” probably.”
          “Most people don’t even know there is a language family called Germanic. If I tell them, they say, “Oh how interesting,” like they are hearing it for the first time.”
          I’ve encountered that kind of thing too. It doesn’t bother me as much as assertive ignorance.
          “I have to really dumb myself down everywhere I go”
          I had a hard time doing that as a kid (often it just didn’t seem worth it). I usually had few friends. I’ve gotten a bit better at it over the years.
          ” but there are so many things I cannot talk about.”
          I know what you mean. Sometimes (especially when I was younger) I would just talk about them anyway (things like history, archaeology, linguistics), and probably developed a reputation as a pedantic lecturing wierdo, or even as arrogant or stuck up (when my ego was never part of it—not remotely; It was about wanting people to know things that I thought were interesting and good to know).

        2. I wouldn’t get down too much on people for not knowing stuff – even if they average intelligence 90 – 110
          I mean, at university, the Python class (computer programming) was taught by such a nerdy guy it was beyond comprehension. So are average people idiots for thinking the dude was not understandable? What they hell do most people know about NIMPY or some other shit?

        3. Jason Y
          “One Korean – an educated lady, thought Mexicans spoke Mexican.”
          In a sense, some do. The native Amerindian Nahuatl language (is the traditional language of the Mexica (an ethnonym for the Aztecs as well as for the Nahuatl peoples in general—including for the other Nahuatl-speaking subgroups besides just the Aztecs/Aztec descendants specifically) and is the origin of the name of Mexico the country. In Mexico today, the Nahuatl language is sometimes referred to as “Mexicano” (to distinguish it from Spanish, which is known as :”Espanol” or Castellano”)
          I knew an upper middle class (and I think educated) White lady who had never heard of Odysseus, the Iliad, or the Odyssey, or Homer in general—I found out after I made a corny joke about Ithaca New York—(she didn’t seem unintelligent—she was probably at least average in intelligence, maybe above—, so it was probably more ignorance than anything (but I couldn’t—still can’t—imagine how one, especially of her socio-economic background, could get through school without having heard of those things)

        4. I don’t know if all the average or high IQ really have a Wikipedia knowledge of things. Like when I was a kid, I read encyclopedias. So bullies would say “We’re gonna burn your encyclopedias!!” he hee !! 😆
          See why I hate rednecks so much?

        5. The education system probably provides NOBODY with a Wikipedia knowledge of the things. I mean, when I was in school, the lack of history, geography knowledge was astounding. Like i live in Appalachia, but in middle school some average IQ kid thought we lived in The Rockies. Another case in high school, where a girl had no idea about Cuba or that they had animosity toward the US.
          So I really think my mind is another world from average people – who simply don’t have general knowledge mapped out to them like a road map.

  4. The lower IQ are a pain cause you can’t conversate with them, but the higher IQ or maybe same IQ are often elitist cocksuckers, obsessed with status and often feeling they deserve stuff – for which they act like douchebags if they don’t get it.
    One thing I noticed on forums was how some are into correcting grammar – as in being as ass about it. Well, it could be from frustration with Indian writers but I think it’s more than that. I mean, a few mistakes, especially when a blog or forum has no editing button, doesn’t mean somebody isn’t intelligent.

  5. I heard a good comment on the LukeFord.net blog. He was saying the high IQ are demanding special favors due to their race, and that was no different than SJWs demanding favors for the low-iQ and so-called freaks.

  6. The high IQ often seem like sissies or gay to the low IQ because they cannot relate. So that’s one problem I see with homophobia. Has anyone else noticed this? The high IQ seem literally stupid or retarded to the low IQ. That’s the big joke I think.

  7. Robert is trying to say these people are monkeys LOL But that’s not true! Possibly they’re just not very booksmart and they can grasp things but very slower. Kind of like, I’d like to grasp Linear Algebra – but my brain cannot in one semester.

  8. The racism coming from the 90 IQ group might really be from idiots as SJWs would say. That might actually be true. I mean, what good is their racist bullshit when it’s basically slow minds (teenager level minds of a sort) spouting it out? Also, the homophobia is bullshit too and directed of course – usually not at real gays – and this group will do a Donald Trump with the disabled. Real cool !!! Mock the handicapped like a 10-year-old !! har har.

  9. When talking to someone you do not know very well you should do more listening than talking. This is particularly true if the person is less intelligent than you are.
    Do not try to impress him. Try to appeal to him. Do not tell him how great you are, and how much you know. Make him feel good about himself. Ask questions he will enjoy answering. Whenever possible, express appreciation and do so sincerely.

    1. Condescending crap is certainly a problem with the high IQ. It’s like dealing with fucking terminator robots Well, at least, they’re not pulling punches! They’re trying to kill you!

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