Minggu, 06 Februari 2011

High IQ - So What?

Does a high IQ (intelligence quotient) mean better grades in school? Does it mean a better life? Is your IQ score even a valid measurement of your intelligence? Let's take a look at these questions one-by-one.

High IQ - Intelligence

There is almost certainly a correlation between a high IQ score and being more intelligent. These test are imperfect, though, and you can find examples of cultural biases on many IQ tests. Also, there are specific test-taking skills that have been proven to raise scores on many tests, including IQ tests.

The last point makes sense, doesn't it? When you know how to efficiently "work" a test, you are likely to score higher. For that matter, even a cup of coffee may boost your score. Even the fact that your score can vary from test to test shows there are factors which can be manipulated to raise your score. There may be a general correlation between IQ score and intelligence, but certainly it's an imperfect one.

High IQ - Better Life

What evidence is there that people with higher intelligence have better lives or are happier? None that I am aware of, and how do you scientifically measure "better life?" How about a negative correlation? Many with a high IQ have committed suicide, such as Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and Sylvia Plath, but this is just anecdotal. Various studies have shown that people with a high IQ AND a low IQ are slightly more likely to commit suicide, but even if these studies prove true, this doesn't prove causation, only correlation.

High IQ - Academic Performance

A study reported in the journal 'Psychological Science' found that IQ level correlated with academic performance, but there was a much stronger correlation with self discipline. Students with high self-discipline have better grades than high-IQ students. They found no correlation between IQ and discipline, meaning they are traits that vary independently.

High IQ - What Does It Mean?

Intelligence is an important tool, but it is just one of the tools we have to shape our lives with. As are money or power or abilities, it is beneficial in the abstract, but it only becomes beneficial in reality if applied in ways that better our lives. Raw computing capacity doesn't make a computer or a human more effective if they don't have the other necessary components.

Consider what people of average intelligence, like Henry Ford, have accomplished, before you place too much emphasis on a high IQ.

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