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Thread: Average American IQ

  1. #1 Average American IQ 
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    A recent study published showed the top 10 highest average IQ was found to be Germany (107) Netherlands (107) Poland (106) Sweden (104) Italy (102) Austria (101) Switzerland (101) UK (100) Norway (100) Belgium (99) Denmark (99) & Finland (99).

    We know much about IQ in many countries, but what's about IQ in USA ? Nobody mentions average US IQ. 30 years ago American IQ was 100. But what it is nowadays ? Does anybody know ?


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    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    I would be very careful with such comparisons :wink: IQ isn't as reliable as some people may think, and especially for an international comparison there are many ways in which it can become biased. A deviation of 107 to 100 can be insignificant in statistics, depending on the number of observations relative to the total populations involved.


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    I believe the standard deviation is 16. But if the results were achieved with many tests being taken, then I think it should represent a true figure. The thing is, there are many other factors to take account of, including different cultural definitions of what would be pertinent questions in such an IQ test. I presume the same test was given to all the test takers, so that would cause a problem.
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    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    Well i did an IQ test once and got the score of 137, which should prove beyond doubt that it doesn't mean jack. I have had a look around though and the only site i could find was this blog which claimed that the average IQ of an American was 98. Interestingly though, New Hampshire had the highest IQ of the american states with 104, Mississippi and South Carolina had the lowest with a 94 average each. This would suggest that culture and standard of living rather than the education system (which i presume to be similar) would have the highest impacted on a populations IQ score.

    And some other IQ scores from the link which look similar to yours but have some Asian country's incuded.....

    Hong Kong at 107; South Korea, 106; Japan, 105; Taiwan and Singapore, 104; Austria, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands, 102; Sweden and Switzerland at 101; Belgium, China, New Zealand and the United Kingdom at 100; Hungary, Poland and Spain at 99.
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  6. #5  
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    Random explanation time:
    A country has a general populace with an "IQ" of 107 when an inferior country measures them to itself. When they measure it, however, it then becomes 100 on their IQ scores. Since to them "107" to another country is average to them. IQ tests adjust like a bell-curve for these statistics. When the majority is more intelligent, IQ tests adjust so the majority outcome is still "100" (average).

    Because of this, the only way to judge national IQ scores is to do it by examining yourself in comparison to other countries. If some countries gradually appear higher on the bell-curve, there's evidence that your country is getting dumber.

    EDIT: Coincidentally, this also makes claims that "Average US IQ score is 98" utter tripe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    Interestingly though, New Hampshire had the highest IQ of the american states with 104, Mississippi and South Carolina had the lowest with a 94 average each. This would suggest that culture and standard of living rather than the education system (which i presume to be similar) would have the highest impacted on a populations IQ score.
    How did you narrow it down to those causes?
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    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    Heres a wiki link with a list of country's and their IQ.

    --------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    How did you narrow it down to those causes?
    Just an educated guess.
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    As a testament to the inaccuracy of tests, I have taken a few IQ tests, with scores ranging between 122 up to 156. That is a variance of 34, which does not equate to accuracy! One of my friends had scores ranging between 118 and 134. How valid are they considered to be?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    There are so many factors that can influence the outcome of IQ tests.

    Let me just mention one: if every citizen of a country speaks the same native language, their IQ score wont be influenced by language problems. But if a country has several dialects or even separate languages, some of which may not be officially recognised (hence the IQ test is carried out in a language / dialect other then the native language of a group of people), then language problems can blur the results.
    This is not a hypothetical situation, there are a lot of countries (especially among those with low IQ scores in the data) that force a large part of their population to carry out education and all kinds of testing in a non-native language.

    And the standard IQ test only captures a small part of a person's mental capabillities, it doesn't involve creative thinking (coming up with new ideas, etc) and more complicated causality than simple "if A than B" reasoning. .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    How did you narrow it down to those causes?
    Just an educated guess.
    I may be treading on thin ice here but note that the IQ numbers cited correlate pretty well inversely with the black population as listed on this web site. Of course, there could be a number of reasons for that correlation. Make of it what you will.
    http://www.ipoaa.com/us_black_population.htm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I may be treading on thin ice here but note that the IQ numbers cited correlate pretty well inversely with the black population as listed on this web site. Of course, there could be a number of reasons for that correlation. Make of it what you will.
    http://www.ipoaa.com/us_black_population.htm
    Interesting, it would also fit in with peoples standard of living. I presume that the average black American has a lower income than that of a white American. One thing i find strange though is Russia down in 28th place, i always thought that the Russians had one of the better if not the best education systems in the world, which i suppose would fit in with the 'standard of living' idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I may be treading on thin ice here but note that the IQ numbers cited correlate pretty well inversely with the black population as listed on this web site. Of course, there could be a number of reasons for that correlation. Make of it what you will.
    http://www.ipoaa.com/us_black_population.htm
    Thus the conclusion can be reached that states where people averaged a higher intelligence level, indeed, supported Kerry.
    So, states with a large black population voted for Bush. States with a high average IQ went for Kerry. Kerry received 89 percent of the Black vote nationwide in 2004. What can be concluded?
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    More white than black people vote.

    Ok. So the average IQ of Black/Hispanic people is lower that the average white. What could be the reason for it? It’s not genetic; I think is safe to say. It’s probably more the level of education. And by that, I mean that if someone actively try to succeed in school, they would get used to using their minds in a way that would be more attuned to the type of questions that one would encounter in a standard IQ test. As it is, I think they are more worried about “survival” and as such don’t take their studies too seriously. And yes this is an opinion and I don’t have any statistics to back up my claims.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  15. #14 Re: Average American IQ 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siemowit
    A recent study published showed the top 10 highest average IQ...
    I've had an opportunity to examine a number of different IQ "tests" and all of them are total bunk if you want to claim they are any kind of measure for intelligence. So be careful before examining IQ tests for overall meaning.

    Most IQ tests are geared only towards a certain aspect which the test-developers figured are indicative of a feature they're looking for, which they then slap a number on, call it "IQ" and start claiming it's a divider for the population. In their particular band of study, maybe, but does it mean anything outside of that? No.

    Do you have a link to the "recent study published" so we can examine it? I'd be interested in what test they used, and what their weights were.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    Well i did an IQ test once and got the score of 137, which should prove beyond doubt that it doesn't mean jack. I have had a look around though and the only site i could find was this blog which claimed that the average IQ of an American was 98. Interestingly though, New Hampshire had the highest IQ of the american states with 104, Mississippi and South Carolina had the lowest with a 94 average each. This would suggest that culture and standard of living rather than the education system (which i presume to be similar) would have the highest impacted on a populations IQ score.

    And some other IQ scores from the link which look similar to yours but have some Asian country's incuded.....

    Hong Kong at 107; South Korea, 106; Japan, 105; Taiwan and Singapore, 104; Austria, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands, 102; Sweden and Switzerland at 101; Belgium, China, New Zealand and the United Kingdom at 100; Hungary, Poland and Spain at 99.

    yeah, i had a similar result at 135, but if i was a year older, it went up by 10 they dont mean anything
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    It’s not genetic; I think is safe to say.....And yes this is an opinion and I don’t have any statistics to back up my claims.
    Why is it safe to say and why claim anything if you have nothing to back it up?
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  18. #17  
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_intelligence

    Ok, maybe I should have used the word contention instead of claim.

    APA response
    Main article: The Bell Curve

    In response to the controversy surrounding The Bell Curve, the American Psychological Association's Board of Scientific Affairs in 1995 established a special task force to publish an investigative report on the research presented in the book. Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns. Regarding genetic causes, they judged that there is not much direct evidence on this point, but what little there is fails to support the genetic hypothesis. The January 1997 issue of American Psychologist included eleven critical responses to the APA report, most of which criticized the report's failure to examine all of the evidence for or against the partly-genetic interpretation of racial differences in IQ.
    As you can see, the APA says no, and others say yes. In South Africa, English speaking whites have on average better IQ scores than Afrikaans whites, but when you consider that Afrikaans whites are a mixture of Germans, Dutch, French, English and others, there would not be any basis for claims in favor of genetic factors (at least in this case).

    My statements were made as an effort to convey my personal opinion, based on tidbits that I have read here and there and on what makes sense to me. Feel free to challenge and rebut.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  19. #18  
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    Personally I do think the average IQ is very informative regarding the educational development of a nation.

    Educational test programs such as PISA are much more interesting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PISA_%2..._assessment%29

    They go into much more details and a clearer pictures arises of how nations are investing in their future.

    The IQ test just leads to a contest of who has the biggest.

    Unfortunately the PISA test results are restricted to young students. It would be nice to have a similar comprehensive testing of the adult population. To see how they fare after leaving the educational program.

    There is a lot to learn from the PISA results. The wikipedia page is rather short, but there is more to get in the official reports and country specific pages.

    For instance, since Finland did so well, they have put much effort into finding out why they did so well.

    Interestingly, the results do not really seem to correspond to the amount of money poored into education. The USA is spending a lot and not getting that much in return, comparable to the medical infrastructure.
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  20. #19  
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    As far as I know, IQ tests are pretty well standardized internationally, so a comparison should be fair in the sense of absolute equality of measurement, but the interpretation of scores is a different issue. IQ scores are a measure for how well you perform on an IQ test, period. That's the dilemna with all tests. If I had to guess I would say that SAT scores correlate mildly with level of education and smartness, but very strongly with amount of time and money spent on SAT prep classes.
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