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What Good Is IQ?
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Author Topic: What Good Is IQ?  (Read 6549 times)
Bringerofpie
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« on: February 25, 2009, 15:36:40 EST »

I was just reading  the new Free Market thread and got to the post where Wodan discusses his IQ. Now, i don't mean to imply that Wodan is not intelligent (I really don't), but what does IQ actually mean? Is someone with a high IQ more intelligent than someone who is adept at interpersonal interaction?

The same question applies to standardized testing. I have a friend who didn't get into her top choice college because she has subpar SAT scores even though she is one of the most intelligent people I know. What do these tests or any others prove about intelligence?

Thoughts?
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Ihlosi
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 16:27:54 EST »

Thoughts?

Well, high IQ is positively and negatively statistically correlated with various things (standardized test scores, certain diseases, etc) to certain degrees. It's not a 100% correlation, though ... for example it has a correlation factor of about 0.8 with "high standardized test scores". That means it's still possible to do poorly on the tests, even with a high IQ (for example if you're not familiar with the type of questions you're likely to encounter).
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wodan46
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 17:58:26 EST »

I was just reading  the new Free Market thread and got to the post where Wodan discusses his IQ. Now, i don't mean to imply that Wodan is not intelligent (I really don't), but what does IQ actually mean? Is someone with a high IQ more intelligent than someone who is adept at interpersonal interaction?
IQ correlates with various other measurements of academic achievement, which in turn correlates with ability to get jobs, income, and success in life.  It has nothing to do with social mettle or creativity, but then again, those are not as commonly a source of job as academic talent is.  IQ measures a facet of intelligence that would be considered to be close to the "primary" in that it deals directly with things like critical thinking.

The same question applies to standardized testing. I have a friend who didn't get into her top choice college because she has subpar SAT scores even though she is one of the most intelligent people I know. What do these tests or any others prove about intelligence?
They reflect academic ability, which is of interest to colleges.  People who do well academically tend to have good SAT scores, after all.

Granted, I might be biased, given that my High School had the average SAT score (old system) of 1478, highest out of all public schools in the country.  My score was 1520 (790 Verbal, 730 Math).  I am admittedly lacking in the social skills department, though not for creativity.
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Medivh
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 18:40:41 EST »

I was just reading  the new Free Market thread and got to the post where Wodan discusses his IQ. Now, i don't mean to imply that Wodan is not intelligent (I really don't), but what does IQ actually mean? Is someone with a high IQ more intelligent than someone who is adept at interpersonal interaction?

The same question applies to standardized testing. I have a friend who didn't get into her top choice college because she has subpar SAT scores even though she is one of the most intelligent people I know. What do these tests or any others prove about intelligence?

Thoughts?

IQ is a poor measure of ability to learn. Unfortunately, "poor measure" is as good as we can make it so far.

Standardised tests are a half-arsed attempt to gauge both ability to learn and amount learned. They're a very poor way of doing both.

I am admittedly lacking in the social skills department, though not for creativity.

Probably because most of what passes for "social skills" involves superfluous meandering with words in order to make your point less forceful. Most intelligent people see that, and many intelligent people dispense with things that make their points less forceful. Many intelligent people, though, prefer to fit in with society and sacrifice impact for this "fit in" aspect.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
wodan46
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 19:41:06 EST »

Probably because most of what passes for "social skills" involves superfluous meandering with words in order to make your point less forceful. Most intelligent people see that, and many intelligent people dispense with things that make their points less forceful. Many intelligent people, though, prefer to fit in with society and sacrifice impact for this "fit in" aspect.
Meandering, I can do.  I speak in a vaguely lawyerish manner with lots of maybes.  More of, I tend to speak before thinking, and have learned from experience that the best option is simply to not speak at all.  Plus, I'm quite introverted and gain little from social gatherings anyways.
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Bringerofpie
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 21:15:57 EST »

See, I don't necessarily view academic achievement as a better way to get a job than social skills.

I've always done well in school and I got a 2250 SAT (new system, obviously), but i didn't really consider myself intelligent until I let up on the intensity of schoolwork and started to focus more on my social life, music, fitness, and other non-academic, but valuable pursuits.
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Does anyone else get more liberal every time they take the political compass test?
Medivh
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2009, 22:09:05 EST »

Probably because most of what passes for "social skills" involves superfluous meandering with words in order to make your point less forceful. Most intelligent people see that, and many intelligent people dispense with things that make their points less forceful. Many intelligent people, though, prefer to fit in with society and sacrifice impact for this "fit in" aspect.
Meandering, I can do.  I speak in a vaguely lawyerish manner with lots of maybes.  More of, I tend to speak before thinking, and have learned from experience that the best option is simply to not speak at all.  Plus, I'm quite introverted and gain little from social gatherings anyways.

Yeah, so can I. Apparently "lawyerish" is the exact opposite of what you want to do. People want definite answers, but spoken softly. Lawyers tend to give nebulous answers spoken harshly.

I've not mastered the "spoken softly" bit yet, but I can fake the "definite answers" part convincingly.

See, I don't necessarily view academic achievement as a better way to get a job than social skills.

I've always done well in school and I got a 2250 SAT (new system, obviously), but i didn't really consider myself intelligent until I let up on the intensity of schoolwork and started to focus more on my social life, music, fitness, and other non-academic, but valuable pursuits.

I never had an intense concentration on schoolwork. Then again, the point at which I realised that I was intelligent was that I was cruising through first year uni subjects and scoring Ds and HDs, when friends were putting in hours more of work and ending up with Cs and Ds. Or were cruising and ending up with a mash of Fs, Ps and Cs.

At this point, I realised that these were people who, in all likelihood, wanted to learn and were still having trouble. This in contrast to the kids I went to high school with; they didn't want to learn, for the most part, and were having trouble doing so.

To the other side of your point: social skills are hard work for some of us. Gaining the kind of skill required to get people to overlook social deficiencies is a lot easier. For me, at least. Worse still, there are situations where above-average skill and super social skills gets you into trouble where the reverse wouldn't. Psychopaths in the workplace is one that would trip up someone with high social skills where someone with low social skills wouldn't be affected.



Since people are bandying around measures of intelligence, I'll get in on that action. I can't tell you anything about SATs, because I've never sat one. But my high school certificate tells me that I beat 93.2% of my state, without actually studying for exams. And with glandular fever. People tell me this is impressive, but I'm not so sure. This puts me somewhere north of 1380 on the old SAT scale, without having any prep, if that helps.

Also, by comparison, both Bringer and Wodan would have rated ~98.95% on my scale.

I'm not sure how valid these comparisons are, though, as my score is modified by whether or not the student took a foreign language, and includes such things as advanced calculus, stoichiometry and programming languages, assuming the student in question took the appropriate subjects.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 22:12:43 EST by Medivh » Logged

And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2009, 10:38:29 EST »

I've never had an IQ test, so I don't know what my IQ is.  I think that intelligence is important, as are many other things.
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Heq
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2009, 10:56:56 EST »

Well, it does show how well one can work within a given system.

It's not a really good gauge for "life" but a lot of life are little systems.  We don't have SATs in Canada, but having worked for the government I have been forced to take several tests (and when I was in the International Bacceloriate program), and they really are systematic and work on a certain underlying logic.  Once you realize how the tests "think" they are pretty easy to Ace.
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Ibian
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2009, 15:51:19 EST »

I took a mensa test for the hell of it when i was younger, about 5 years ago. They placed me in the top 10%.

Didnt help me much in college. I got everything from flunk grades (lack of interest, i flunked 2 classes on purpose (3, actually, but French doesnt count)) to what i believe americans call straight A's (a natural talent for math and, to my surprise, sociology), but on the whole it averaged out to nothing noteworthy. This was largely due to a lack of interest, which is something IQ tests (at least this kind) dont take into account.

I find IQ tests in their current form worthless. Intelligence is nothing without interest and motivation. Wonder how we would go about measuring that.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 16:37:33 EST by Ibian » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2009, 06:46:10 EST »

I find IQ tests in their current form worthless. Intelligence is nothing without interest and motivation. Wonder how we would go about measuring that.
Yes, it reveals the modern tendency to concentrate on what can be measured numerically at the expense of what can't.
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Heq
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2009, 23:23:05 EDT »

I'm actually willing to say the are a neccessary but not sufficent condition.

While many people with hi IQs are fucking useless, very few people with measured IQs of 60 really grasp advanced concepts.
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Andrei
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2009, 11:44:24 EDT »

Quote from: Heq
I'm actually willing to say they(IQ) are a neccessary but not sufficent condition.
How about idiot-savants?

One of my grandmothers knew a guy like that. He was capable of doing research in theoretical computer science, but had tested as retarded... to the point of being excused from military service.
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Heq
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2009, 13:07:40 EDT »

Ah, but they are (to my knowledge) savants in one field.

Really high level concepts (Sense-Datum Supervention in light of String Theory, Chicago Politics) require combining more then one often seemingly unrelated theories.

At this point I'm just guessing though.
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Medivh
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2009, 19:09:43 EDT »

The thing is that idiot-savants can usually see the links way before anyone else can. It depends on exactly how narrow their savantism goes.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
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