If you were an informed American adult by the early 2000s, there were two big questions you had to answer: “Should we invade Iraq?” and “Was Michael Jackson a child molester?” The first question is biased against conservatives who are more pro-war, regardless of social IQ. The second question is biased against liberals, who are more sympathetic to black and gay seeming people, regardless of social IQ. But the compensate score on both questions might give a quick, very rough proxy for social IQ.

Iraq subscale (seeing through conservative BS)

On the eve of the Iraq War (March 17th, 2003) 66% of Americans supported the war, and 34% did not. If you think of this as a kind of social IQ test, then the the median score of those who opposed it was the 83rd percentile (half of 34% subtracted from 100%), and the medium score of those who supported it was the 33rd percentile (half of 66%).

So if as of March 2003, you believed it was in America’s interests to take out Saddam Hussein, give yourself an IQ of 93 on this subscale, while if you saw through the BS, you get a 114 (U.S. norms). If you knew the real reason for the war back then (whatever that real reason might be), you’d probably get a 138.

Michael Jackson subscale (seeing through liberal BS)

In early July 2009 (shortly after his death) roughly 51% of Americans were Michael Jackson fans (and likely thought he never molested a child) and 49% were not. So if you thought (correctly, in my opinion) that he was a molester in early July 2009, give yourself an IQ of 111 on this sub-scale (76th percentile), if not, give yourself a 90 (26th percentile). If you thought he was a molester before 1993, you probably deserve 150+.

Composite score (seeing through all BS)

Because the angry lynch mob type people who supported the Iraq war are very different from the bleeding heart liberal types who felt sorry for a feminine black man like Michael Jackson, there’s probably a negative correlation between these two subscales. That’s a bad thing for the test’s reliability, but a good thing for extending its range.

If we assume the correlation between subscales is -0.5, then:

Composite Social IQ = [(Iraq IQ + Jackson IQ) – 200] + 100

It’s interesting to ask how commenter philosopher (aka The Social Justice Warrior) would have scored on this test since he fancies himself a social genius. He claims to have known the Iraq war was BS but claims he didn’t understand the motives so he gets a 114 on the Iraq subscale. Meanwhile, until recently he believed Jackson was innocent, so a 90 on the Jackson subscale. Thus his composite social IQ is 104. That’s somewhat above average, but nowhere near social genius level.

By contrast I would have scored an incredible 149 🙂 though I chose the questions (and the right answers) so my score would be greatly inflated by selection bias. I would probably regress precipitously to the mean on randomly selected questions. I also had the unfair advantage of understanding Occam’s razor and having an objective personality that is not easily swayed by groupthink.

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