[ExI] The downsides of high IQ

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Apr 16 15:38:43 UTC 2015

William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> , 16/4/2015 4:38 PM:

Don't bet the house on any three point difference in IQ.  It is well within the range of error.  In fact, if retested, the percentage of people whose scores would change by more than three points is very high.  The standard error of measurement for the Weschler IQ test is about three.  However, that is an average.  In fact, as the score departs more and more from 100 the error gets greater and greater.

Three IQ points is trivial and is likely not to be the cause of anything other than test unreliability. Bill W

You are missing the point. Individual IQ may not be that sharply defined, but that link talked about a population mean. 

The bigger problem with the claim that a 3% increase has a huge effect is simply that extrapolating linearly far from the current mean will not work. Obviously a 10 point increase will not reduce high school drop-outs to zero: the numbers just give a bit of evidence of the sensitivity. Except that untangling causation is *tough*: these are domains where feedbacks go both ways, especially when analysing "national IQs". 

But I think nearly all of the scientific literature supports that if something could give on average a few extra IQ points it would have a measurable positive effect. Not necessarily earth-shattering, but still significant. And the tail effects are fascinating: a small boost would increase the number of 140+ geniuses enormously, with high variance effects depending on what they do. 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

On Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 6:25 AM, rex <rex at nosyntax.net> wrote:
BillK <pharos at gmail.com> [2015-04-14 08:32]:
  The BBC has an article up
 (The summary is that high IQ doesn't help much. It is a tool that can
 be used for good or bad).
 Group social outcomes are very sensitive to IQ. The graphic at the URL
 below shows dramatic differences in various social outcomes associated with
 three-point IQ changes.
 Who would guess that a "mere" 3-point IQ boost is associated with about
 a 30% lower number of high school dropouts, or that a 3-point decline is
 associated with about a 15% increase in the number of men prevented from
 working by health problems?
 "Experience teaches us no less clearly than reason, that men believe
 themselves free, simply because they are conscious of their actions,
 and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined."
   --B de Spinoza

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