[Paleopsych] wealth and IQ

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 28 21:10:51 UTC 2004

>>What is scientifically or morally wrong with
gathering data on the correlation between IQ and
national wealth?<<

--I think the issue isn't so much the gathering of
data but the methodology used, assumptions made about
the validity of IQ tests, and the many assumptions
made in interpreting data. 

An IQ test measuring the ability to think in patterns
may not be as neutral as you'd assume. People with
number phobia are terrible at number series, even if
they're intelligent enough to recognize patterns not
involving numbers. An American might understand if he
were forced to take an IQ test with abstract patterns
represented by chinese or arabic characters. Lack of
familiarity alone can produce confusion and
dramatically alter performance. In addition,
"stereotype threat" can cause problems, see this
article and note the study in which white students had
their scores drop when expectations were attached to


There was a study mentioned on CNN making a
correlation between fear of hell and national wealth.
Such studies get a lot of attention until someone
points out the flaws, and there is always someone
crying "political correctness!" when the validity of
the studies is questioned. It's not that there can't
be IQ differences among different populations, it's
that there is so little critical thinking applied to
the studies themselves.


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