Samstag, 23. April 2011

IQ ranges and real-life functioning

Quoting from
120-129 - Borderline gifted
Capable of gathering and inferring own information. Master degrees. Attorney, chemist, executive. About 93 % of high-range candidates score I.Q. 120 or higher. 
130-139 - "Gifted"
May just be able to write a legible piece of text like an article or modest novel. Minor literary figures. Ph.D. in the "soft" sciences. In this range lies the mode of scores on high-range tests, and almost 80 % of high-range candidates score I.Q. 130 or higher. Regular psychology's I.Q. tests should not be trusted beyond this range as their validity breaks down here, if such scores are given at all. 
140-149 - Intelligent
Capable of rational communication and scientific work. From this range on, only specific high-range tests should be considered. Important scientific discoveries and advancement are possible from the upper part of this range on.
We do not know if intelligence from about this range on is simply the extreme end of a normal distribution centered at 100 and largely formed by heredity, or if high intelligence in some cases has other causes (non-inherited or non-genetic) which make it deviate from the normal curve centered at 100 and form a "bump" in the far right tail, similar to the bump in the retarded range (which has non-inherited and non-genetic causes). And since we possess no physical, absolute scale of intelligence, these questions are hitherto meaningless altogether.
About one in two high-range test candidates score I.Q. 140 or higher.
This article was discussed in a forum. A reader speculated that this was not supposed to be serious. The author answered that it should be obvious whether it is serious. I believe it IS supposed to be serious, although it is perhaps not grounded on a scientific basis.

Still, let's think what this implies concerning my own potential:

I took two serious "culture-fair" intelligence tests at a psychologist's. In one test I scored around 135 and in another test I scored around 145 (both scales SD 16). The difference may be due to the norming of the test: The former test was normed around 2000 while the latter test was normed in the 1970s. There has been the so-called "Flynn effect", which means that the average IQ has increased by 3 points per decade. This Flynn effect explains the difference of 10 IQ points quite well (assuming that the increase of IQ per decade has been global, and not just the average IQ or the IQ within a particular range have been affected).

The question that remains open, therefore, is whether the ranges Cooijmans present are related to the IQ tests of the 1970s or to the IQ tests of today. From a logical point of view, somebody who would have been capable of becoming a scientist in the 1970s should actually be capable of becoming a scientist in the 2000s as well. At least I do not believe that the intellectual challenges of being a scientist have increased - or have they?

As long as this question remains open, it is not possible to determine whether I have the potential to become a person "capable of rational communication and scientific work".

But I definitely should be able to match the qualifications of IQ 130-139, the "gifted" range. "May just be able to write a legible piece of text like an article or modest novel. Minor literary figures. Ph.D. in the 'soft' sciences." As a matter of fact, I am a writer, and I have written more than 400 articles so far. I have also tried to write a novel, but the reason why I did not finish it is mainly due to the fact that it definitely IS a lot of work which requires time, patience, good ideas and so on. But in theory, I could definitely write a novel. It is not on top of my priority list, however.

So I could have become a Ph.D. in the "soft" sciences. Great - but I did not study soft sciences.

The Flynn effect has supposedly stopped in the 1990s. Therefore, I am certainly still at least in the "gifted" range. But taking a look at the description of the "borderline gifted", I see what I could, in theory, achieve in addition, as having a higher IQ than necessary of course allows you to achieve the goals for the intellectually less gifted, too. "Capable of gathering and inferring own information. Master degrees. Attorney, chemist, executive." So a master degree should be possible to achieve. Well, that is not much of a surprise.

One question that remains open is whether all novelists actually have an IQ >= 130, and whether all researchers actually have an IQ >= 140, or whether Cooijmans' estimations are rubbish. Cooijmans himself writes that "the exact cut-offs for the ranges are arbitrary", so maybe borderline cases are not too rare.

Freitag, 22. April 2011

Politische Reifung

Zum Liberalismus bin ich nun auch etwas kritischer geworden, weil ich die Erkenntnis gewonnen habe, dass es die meisten Menschen in Österreich der Umverteilung zu verdanken haben, dass es ihnen so gut geht: Sie arbeiten als Angestellte oder als Beamte, sind also unselbständig erwerbstätig und oftmals nicht einmal direkt am Wertschöpfungsprozess beteiligt, etwa wenn sie in der Verwaltung tätig sind. Ein völlig liberales System würde vielen Menschen in unserem Land einen anderen Lebensstil aufZWINGEN - und gerade der Zwang, sein Leben nach irgendwelchen gesellschaftlichen oder wirtschaftlichen Notwendigkeiten ausrichten zu müssen, ist es doch, der mir nicht gefällt und dessentwegen ich mich ursprünglich für den Liberalismus (der ja Freiheit von Zwängen verspricht) zu interessieren begonnen habe.

Nicht umsonst ist auch das Liberale Forum eher sozialliberal eingestellt. Aber ich meine: Wenn die Leute gerne wirtschaftsliberale Parolen hören wollen, warum gibt man ihnen dann nicht diese Parolen? Wenn es Wählerstimmen bringt, warum nicht? Wenn man dann ins Parlament gewählt worden ist, kann man ja immer noch vernünftige Politik betreiben. ("Vernünftige Politik"! Wenn das wenigstens von den etablierten Parteien betrieben würde... Aber selbst die sind unberechenbar und haben manchmal äußerst problematische Ideen, wie etwa Ganztagsschule, verpflichtendes Uni-Studium für Kindergärtner und Volksschullehrer usw.)