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The wealth of nations is mapped by their IQ

  1. Dec 18, 2003 #1
    November 10, 2003

    The wealth of nations is mapped by their IQ
    By Glen Owen
    Research says that intelligence is the largest factor behind economic success

    A COUNTRY’S prosperity is closely related to the average IQ of its population, according to research that has mapped global intelligence levels.

    The study of 60 countries identified a clear correlation between assessments of national mental ability and real gross domestic product, or GDP.

    Complete text at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8122-888798,00.html
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2003 #2
    Yeah, but what's thier fashion IQ?

    BTW...Im fairly certain equivilent conclusions regarding this have been esblished over and over throughout history. The lack of IQ ceterus paribus, should always hinder ones compeitiveness in the long run.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2003
  4. Dec 18, 2003 #3


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    Is there anything in the article disproving the inverse - that the IQ of nations is determined by their wealth?

  5. Dec 18, 2003 #4

    So when can we expect the political changes in China to enable them to overtake the rest of the world?
  6. Dec 18, 2003 #5


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    Hear hear.

    Perhaps because the IQ tests are created by people from wealthier nations, or because educated/well fed/physically healthy people do better on IQ tests?
  7. Dec 18, 2003 #6
    Perhaps? Many people have used that argument to dispute IQ testing but it isn't just one test that is given world-wide. The intelligent tests are based on the cultural aspects of the testee. Even people who don't know the difference between an "a" or a "z" and can't read are given tests they can understand orally (or sign language for the hearing impaired) based on their culture.

    People who have never had a day in school and live in what the Western world defines as uncivilized have been found to be geniuses at the same rate as those who live in "civilization".
  8. Dec 18, 2003 #7


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    Because it's unclear what IQ tests measure and how to scientifcally identify cultures, it's almost impossible to demonstrate that the tests do (or do not) have strong cultural biases.

    It is certain that any particular IQ test is culturally biased since, for example, people speak different languages, but the literature argues that there is a 'fundemental quantity' that has a correlation to their results.

    I expect that todays notions of IQ will be something like Alchemy in a few hunderd years -- a catalog of experiments and ideas that eventually lead to a science.
  9. Dec 18, 2003 #8
    There's always a problem establishing causality from a raw correlation. To my understanding, the authors believe that IQ boosts wealth as well as vice versa. However, the "vice-versa" is more likely to be the secondary effect, for two reasons.

    1. Within nations, intelligence is largely hereditary, and highly resistent to environmental influence.

    2. Within nations,, a child's IQ better predicts his future Socio-Economic-Status than the SES under which he is born.

    This suggests that average IQ has a greater impact on national wealth than the reverse.

    I'm sorry - this is untrue.

    Lynn used Raven's Progressive Matrices to test for national IQs in his study. The Raven is a non verbal test which uses simple and universal geometric shapes to test for intelligence. While it is possible that there is some cultural loading on the Raven, most people find it difficult to imagine what is so culturally loaded about triangles and circles.

  10. Dec 19, 2003 #9


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    One factor that can affect it is age demographics. Because of high reproduction rates and short expected life times, many sub saharan African countries have populations heavily skewed towar the very young. The "average" member of such a population has not reached maturity. And IQ is known to increase during childhood and youth.
  11. Dec 19, 2003 #10
    What is this "fashion" thing you speak of?
  12. Dec 19, 2003 #11


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    Re: Re: The wealth of nations is mapped by their IQ

    The US economists are already looking nervously over their shoulders. Have you any idea how many US manufacturing companies have switched their operations to China? Just this week the switch story was Etch-a-Sketch. when they get down to that level, you know it's endemic.
  13. Dec 19, 2003 #12


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    You can't equate IQ to success.

    Yes, a person with a high IQ will normally have greater reasoning abilities and may comprehend, retain and utilize information easier than a person with a lower IQ, but, in my opinion, it is motivation, not IQ that determines how successful a person becomes academically or professionally.

    A highly motivated person with a normal IQ may have to put more time and effort into learning, but they can still achieve as much or more than a person with a high IQ that is not motivated.

    Years ago the TV show "60 Minutes" did a report on special schools for the "Academically Able", (elementary school age children with IQ's in excess of 140).

    Although a few of these students went on to be doctors or lawyers, (nothing notable) most never achieved anything significant. Some were housewives, one was a belly dancer, another a short order cook, and so on.

    Although they had high IQ's, they had no motivation.
  14. Dec 20, 2003 #13
    No one is equating IQ with success. Instead Lynn is simply stating that more intelligent nations tend to be more successful, and his research solidly supports this.

    This is much like saying "it is velocity, not mass, which determines an object's kinetic energy." Clearly it's both, in the case of KE and in the case of success. Motivation without ability does not result in success, and to suggest otherwise is frankly absurd.

    I presume you are referring to Lewis Terman's study. Let me stress that even the 100 least successful individuals in his study earned slightly above the national average income. These are Terman's "failures," and they were still successful.

  15. Dec 20, 2003 #14


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    I don't disagree with that. Perhaps I should have more correctly stated that IQ "alone" does not equate to success.

    it is motivation, not IQ that determines how successful a person becomes academically or professionally.

    late night postings=poor wording. edit that to say "it is motivation combined with IQ"

    quote -Motivation without ability does not result in success, and to suggest otherwise is frankly absurd.

    I didn't say that. I said "A highly motivated person with a normal IQ may have to put more time and effort into learning, but they can still achieve as much or more than a person with a high IQ that is NOT MOTIVATED."

    It is motivation in addition to IQ that determines how successful a person becomes. I am saying that there are other factors in addition to IQ that will determine what a person accomplishes. Just having a high IQ doesn’t mean much unless you use it. I know of a lot of people with high IQ’s that wasted their lives.
  16. Dec 20, 2003 #15
    You might find this article interesting:

    http://www.childrenofmillennium.org/essays.htm --> The Outsiders

    It explains why superhigh IQ types don't adjust well to modern society - they are isolated, alienated, and lonely. The optimum IQ for an individual is probably around 130, because it allows him to be successful without distancing him to the point where he feels cut off from humanity.

    Also on the same site there is a discussion on personality factors and how they relate to behavior and success:

    http://www.childrenofmillennium.org/eugenics.htm --> Psychometrics --> The Big Five

    The psychometric trait of Conscientiousness includes motivation or "achievement striving," and it has a great deal to do with success in academia and in the workforce; for instance, Conscientiousness explains why women get better grades even though their SAT scores aren't any better than mens' scores. Women score better on tests of Conscientiousness.

  17. Dec 20, 2003 #16


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    "Wasted their lives"? I think this exhibits a narrow view of why we live. Terman studied people who had scored extra high on IQ tests as teens. None of them was "successful" in the sense of being famous or important, or even rich. But they were ALL happy and satisfied with their lives. Based on that, maybe the "optimal" IQ 130 is just not smart enough to figure out what really counts.
  18. Dec 20, 2003 #17
    I don't want to get into a semantics war but "on the average" those with a higher IQ will be more economically successful. That is a fact.

    But to measure "success" is impossible because you would have to define success. IMO success means happiness not the amount of money you earn. The poster in general is right about very high IQ folks having difficulties being successful economically, socially, or politically. Many of these people are utopian dreamers and lack the ability to accept the reality of human nature. They can’t lead because they can’t equate with the common man. The last I heard the highest IQ scoring individual in the US is a bouncer in a bar in California. He is a loner and reads every science type book he can get his hands on but how do we judge his "success"? He seems to be happy in his own way, has little use for socialization, lives decently, and although "odd" to most of us he may be happier than most us.

    I know someone with a very high IQ who was a go-getter, succeeded early in life economically, sold his business at 41 and then just “quit” the BS world and became a campaigner for a return to the family values of old with public speaking and conservative political activism. He decided that money didn’t buy happiness but personal values did.

    The attack on the validity of IQ scores is very evident on this forum by people who want to talk about exceptions instead of “on average”. IQ testing is probably the best way to foresee a young teen’s future success, a nation’s success, and cultural success. It may not be PC but it is fact and unless genetic engineering can come up with a better way it’s the only way we now have.
  19. Dec 20, 2003 #18


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    SelfAdjoint, I agree with all that you say, so I probably am not making my meaning clear.

    Yes, from my personal experience, I've seen too many brilliant minds wasted. One is serving a life sentence for dealing heroin, he was class president, voted "most likely to succeed", several others became drug addicts and last I heard were in pretty bad shape, unable to hold steady jobs. Another commited suicide.

    I have issues with what Carlos Hernandez and some others have been posting, implying that selective breeding to attain a larger population of individuals with high IQ's in the hopes of diminishing the ratio of "low IQ" people is the hope for the world.

    I say that IQ alone doesn't guarantee anything. Does someone with a high IQ statistically have an advantage over someone with a low IQ? Of course.

    Does a high IQ statistically result in a higher academic level and higher social & economic status? Of course.

    Does this mean that a person of AVERAGE intelligence through perserverance, studying hard, and a will to learn and understand is incapable of achieving more than what would be expected of them? I don't think so. Obviously, they will not be able to attain the levels that a person with a higher IQ can achieve, but I do not think we need to selectively breed these people out of extinction.

    This is what I have a problem with.
  20. Dec 20, 2003 #19
    In a democratic society which most of us believe in, it would be a voluntary eugenics program. Do you have a problem with that?

    Nature's own eugenics program works well as long as society lets it work on its own. In every society on Earth, the most intelligent group rules in the long term, some democratically, most unfortunately not. Legalized abortion is a eugenics program created by society, which may or may not accomplish this goal but it does appear to be lessening the numbers of leftists in the future. :smile:
  21. Dec 20, 2003 #20
    Careful - "conservatism of social views" has been found to correlate inversely with psychometric g. I think it's clear that eugenics on a humane or even a purely voluntary scale is a good thing, but if eugenics successfully increases intelligence, it will increase the number of liberals, the number of small business owners, and the number of physics majors.

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