IQ or intelligence quotient is a measure of a person's cognitive ability. IQ is measured with tests that contain cognitive tasks that are very general and do not require specialization/schooling (common sense tasks). It is assumed no training has taken place for the IQ test, but modern IQ tests are also fairly sturdy i.e. resist the training effects by only testing untrainable abilities such as processing speed, bandwidth and logic. One's overall performance in these tasks (the sum of subscores) is then compared to a large, representative sample, and an IQ score is computed such that the population mean is 100 points and one standard deviation is 15 points.
Various physiological measures, such as reaction time, brain volume, cortical surface area, brain glucose metabolism, and color discrimation have been found to correlate with g. Further, much of g has been linked to certain genes, and g is highly heritable (up to 86% in adults, but lower in children). This suggests that general intelligence is explained by more efficient and functional brains at a physiological level, and is not merely determined by social class, schooling, and so forth.
Usefulness of IQ[edit | edit source]
Performance on different IQ tests, school grades, work performance and attained SES all correlate somewhat (r = 0.5 to 0.6) which means IQ tests can predict general intelligence, short g, an overarching factor that is said to predict ability to act intelligently in any cognitive task, even those tasks which haven't been tested. A task in which people's performance correlates with g and hence with all other IQ tests is said to be g-loaded. It has been suggested a battery of at least three tests are necessary to accurately determine g (short-term memory, reasoning and verbal skills).
General intelligence becomes more predictive of task performance the more complex the task is. This means IQ tests can be used for screening. Even though IQ is an imperfect measure, it allows to very reliably decide the chances of achieving certain outcomes. Jensen (1980) claimed that that 115 was the minimum IQ threshold for qualifying for admission to a graduate school, and at the lower end of the intelligence spectrum, 75 was the threshold generally required to complete elementary school, and a minimum of around 83 is the absolute lowest requirement to be able to join any branch of the U.S. military, with the typical score required on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test to join being higher, equivalent to an IQ of around 92. Even social skills are g-loaded, but only things like knowledge about social events, not so much the gossipy socializing aspect.
Abilities that are relevant for all cognitive tasks and that determine g are for example to quickly learn, retrieve and process a maximal amount of information and to quickly consider different hypotheses without losing track of things. These abilities enable one to better find a solution to any given problem and a path to any given goal. Research has indicated that higher IQ individuals generally respond to instruction quicker and more effectively, by learning at a rate of 2-5 times faster than lower IQ individuals.
Colloquially, "IQ" is often conflated with general intelligence, when "IQ" is a test-specific result, typically a number, while "g" is a concept, not a number.
IQ and sexual success[edit | edit source]
High IQ is attractive. One study showed that an IQ of 120 (90th percentile) is the most sexually attractive IQ score, and no gender differences were observed. Both above and below 120 is deemed as less attractive. The sweet spot being way above the mean demonstrates that intelligence is still under positive sexual selection, possibly with positive feedback involved as Geoffrey Miller suggested.
Even though IQ is attractive, intelligent people, especially at universities, tend to have less sex. A German study suggested academics are at least twice as often incels as others (see demographics). A survey about students from MIT suggested incel rates vary considerably between different fields of study, being the highest for biology and the hard sciences, and lowest in humanities and art. Especially women have with one-standard-deviation increase in childhood general intelligence (15 IQ points) decreases their odds of parenthood by 21–25%. It is not entirely clear why this is the case, despite the numerous objective advantages of high IQ, however many factors are conceivable:
- Conscientiousness: Even though IQ and conscientiousness mostly unrelated, intelligent people may be more aware of the dangers and risks of sex (unwanted pregnancy), and thus losing out on opportunities for sex. Prison inmates with higher IQ's are more well behaved. High IQ people have fewer conduct problems in school and higher job performance as well. Some low IQ couples even have sex in school, in the back of the classroom, during the lesson.
- Alienation/mismatch of high IQ tasks: Modern highly specialized high IQ behavior (especially computer work and engineering) may be sexually unattractive being evolutionary novel (mismatch hypothesis), unrelatable, unrelated to communal life, and unrelated to naturally attractive behaviors like dancing, singing, humor and demonstration of physical strength.
- Hard sciences: Harder fields of study may have more incels as they are more evolutionary novel. They are also more time consuming and competitive, reducing time for socializing and hence for sex. Harder courses also tend to have fewer women in them.
- Feminism: Prevalence of feminism may be shaming male academics to be impotent nice guys.
- Hypergamy: Educated foids being reluctant to date less educated men unless they earn substantially more (see hypergamy) may increase incel rates among academics. A singledom crisis has been observed among highly educated foids.
- Environmentalism: Environmentalism making academic men less attractive to women as they are not as materialistic. Also serving to generate overall pessimism. Women actually prefer men who display wealth and eat meat.
- Slow LH: Professional specialization generally favors slow life history speed (LH).
- Polarization with lower class: Status signaling among upper class might distinguish/polarize itself from activities in lower classes where people produce many offspring for economic reasons, hoping one child will make it (favoring fast LH) which may be seen as uncouth behavior in higher class circles.
- Mental illness: High intelligence predicts neuroticism and various mental disorders in Mensa members and mental issues strongly reduce reproductive success. However, Mensans may not be representative as the organization requires a yearly fee in exchange for membership which may attract people who overcompensate for various flaws by boasting about having scored a high IQ. Famously, Stephen Hawking said, “joiners are losers”.
Especially low IQ men have more sex. A study conducted by Halpern et. al (2000) found the most sexually active individuals were in the 75-90 IQ range for males, with these males being found to be the least likely to be virgins as adolescents. An IQ below 70 is generally considered to constitute an intellectual disability. 46.7% of low IQ men were sexually active, while only 18.4% of low IQ women were. Thus, low IQ men were 2.5x as likely as low IQ women to be sexually successful. Overall the science points to substantial dysgenics regarding intelligence. Some also speculate that assortative mating in IQ (spouse correlations ~0.40) will lead to lower social mobility among the less intelligent, perhaps even leading to caste systems based on IQ forming.
IQ and looks[edit | edit source]
A recent meta study of 1,753 identical and fraternal twins and their siblings found no correlation between facial attractiveness and IQ, and suggested studies that previously found a weak correlation suffered from halo effect as they involved attractiveness ratings of acquaintances.
IQ and height[edit | edit source]
Studies have found a weak, but significant correlation between IQ and height (around r = 0.2-0.3 depending on age when tested and type of ability measured). Different explanations for this correlation exist, ranging from superior childhood nutrition increasing both height and IQ, assortative mating for both height and IQ leading to them being genetically linked, or even that taller people have greater cortical volume in the brain, leading to greater intelligence on average, or it may be explained by a general fitness factor due to assortative mating regarding fitness.
Memes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Jensen, R. The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability. 1998. Chaper 6: Biological Correlates of g, pp 157. https://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/The-g-factor-the-science-of-mental-ability-Arthur-R.-Jensen.pdf
- Hapern CT, Joyner K, Udry JR, Suchindran C. 2000. Smart teens don't have sex (or kiss much either). J Adolesc Health. 26(3): 213-25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10706169?dopt