Because the Indian woman who IQ tested me at age 12 looked like a fortune teller, and had a grab bag full of mysterious jig-saw puzzles, blocks, and cards full of cartoon black people, I always loved the idea of IQ predicting destiny. I loved how years after John Gotti left high school and became a mob boss, a biographer found that he scored 110 on a high school IQ test. As Daniel Seligman noted, smart enough to get vey rich, but only in the crime world where he would end up in jail.
Oprah fascinates me because she was a case where brain size was destiny. Despite having everything against her (poor, illegitimate, abused, dark skinned black, fat, lower class, not considered beautiful) the smarts inside her freakishly huge hat size helped make her one of the richest and most powerful people alive just like the human species, despite having everything against us (weak, small, slow. no fur or fangs) used our freakishly large brains to become the World’s richest and most powerful species, causing some to define intelligence as the adaptability to turn situations to your advantage.
Bill Gates fascinates me because only one in a million Americans could have achieved his self-reported SAT score (equivalent to IQ 170) and he went on to become the World’s first centibillionaire decades before Jeff Bezos became the second one.
A self-fulfilling prophecy?
But my fascination with Gates is tempered by the fact that he achieved his high score on a college admission test instead of a nominal IQ test. Why? Because nominal IQ tests secretly predict your future and then get buried in your school files and only decades later do we see if you lived up (or down) to your score.
By contrast college admission tests are arguably a self-fulfilling prophecy because they allow you to enter the best schools and network with the smartest and richest kids which paves the way to success. If Gates hadn’t scored near perfect on the SAT, he never would have gone to Harvard and met Steve Balmer. Maybe he still would have founded Microsoft without him since he knew Paul Allen from Lakeside high school, but if he hadn’t scored high on Lakeside’s admission test, he never would have met Allen and more importantly, never would have cut his teeth on the school’s computer (which were super rare in those days).
So the question is, did Gates’s intelligence cause his success, or did his intelligence test scores cause it? If we could go back in time and prevent Binet from inventing the first IQ test (which led to the Army IQ tests which led to the SAT and Lakeside’s standardized tests) would Gates still have become the first centibillionaire?
IQ researcher Robert Sternberg has long argued that the predictive validity of IQ tests is illusory because standardized tests serve as gatekeepers to the very success they predict. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. We want to live in a meritocracy, but how do we know if IQ tests measure real world adaptability if we keep rigging the game in favour of high test scoring people?
Dale & Krueger
On the other hand, a famous study by Dale and Krueger found it’s the other way around. Standardized tests don’t get their predictive power because elite schools use them as gate keepers, but rather elite schools get their predictive power by recruiting smart hardworking people who would have been just as successful without said schools (with the exception of minorities and lower class people who really do get a boost from elite schools).
It would be interesting to correlate life time earnings with both one’s SAT and PSAT scores. If after correcting for reliability (the PSAT is shorter), both tests predicted money just as well despite the latter not being used in college admission, it might prove that smart people get ahead because they do better in life (and not because they do better on tests).
Getting rich off failing the LSAT
For every high SAT person who becomes super rich because of the opportunities conferred by good schools, there might be another who is financially stunted by their high college admission scores (think of all the brilliant minds doing academic research for 6 figures when they could have made billions on Wall street).
Or take the case of Sarah Blakely. After failing the LSAT twice, she used her intelligence to get ahead naturally. Her bright idea was inventing a type of pantyhose you could wear with sandals and underwear. She went to a patent attorney but he laughed in her face.
Desperate and disillusioned, she asked the universe for a sign (something Oprah tells viewers to do). Then one day she turned on Oprah and discovered Oprah had independently had the same pantyhose idea. Emboldened by this “sign” she started her business and when Oprah heard, she promoted the product on her show, causing Blakely to become a billionaire. So in Blakely’s case, the gatekeeper to success was not the LSAT, but Oprah’s genuine enthusiasm for the value of her product. Whatever her IQ, Blakely had got ahead naturally, and not because someone had socially engineered smart people to get ahead by demanding test scores but because she had a bright idea in real life.
Echoing Oprah’s metaphysical belief that failure is the universe’s way of telling you you’re moving in the wrong direction, Blakely stated:
I failed the LSAT. Basically, if I had not failed, I’d have been a lawyer and there would be no Spanx. I think failure is nothing more than life’s way of nudging you that you are off course. My attitude to failure is not attached to outcome, but in not trying. It is liberating.https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/sara_blakely_424842
Years later Blakely would meet the woman who helped put her on track to be a billionaire.
Ronnie Candy said:
Just yesterday I came up with a rough heuristic using an SAT score to estimate IQ: just delete the last zero from the SAT score. SAT score of 1200? That’s about an IQ of 120. 1400? About 140. 1590? Etcetera. Also works for 1000. Not perfect, obviously, but ballpark handy.
And humans are neither weak nor small nor slow. What other animal can run 42 km in about 2 hours? None. None such animal.
Bill Gates became a centibillionaire after Bezos, not before.
I had never heard of Sara Blakely but she looks very pretty; could that have played a role? She may well be (very) intelligent, but failing the LSAT (twice) is not a sign of intelligence.
What other animal can run 42 km in about 2 hours?
And what percentage of humans can do that? Very few.
Humans are very weak compared to gorillas and chimps, very small compared to elephants and whales.
Gates was a centibillionaire in the late 1990s briefly but he was never officially declared one by Forbes because their wealth lists are published annually & his wealth declined by the time they took their yearly snapshots.
Some Guy said:
Handy trick. Might’ve bit them in the ass that their scores resemble IQ scores so much though, which seem racist/eugenics-y to progressives.
OT but I’m not sure I shared my rough heuristic for genotypic IQ of Latin American ethnic groups based on admixture here.
It works assuming the genotypic IQ of pure native Americans is about 90 and the genotypic IQ of pure blacks is about 80:
(white admixture % – black admixture %) divided by 10 plus 90.
For example: (50% white – 0% black) divided by 10 is 5, plus 90 is 95.
You could also use white fraction 0.5 minus black fraction 0.0 multiplied by 10.
i received a 710 verbal and 730 math on the third attempt i made. my first attempt was a 730 verbal 510 math. my second attempt was a 720 verbal 610 math.
all in 2013-2014. ive posted my act scores here too. anyone who thinks i am not semi-intelligent is ridiculous.
I scored 1471 but it wasn’t the actual SAT I took. It was New Mexico Standardized Assessment. But if it is similar to the SAT I should still be considered way up. I never studied for it. My family is poor so I never knew the SAT existed to study for.
My social IQ is a 120-125. I make most of you look like social idiots.
Teffec P. said:
You’re the only one who posted his face on here.
Yes because I am the face of the blog Teffec. Also arent you autistic? stop talking to me.
Teffec P. said:
Borderline autistic, probably – but posting your face here is profoundly autistic. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all have unique skills and perspectives. Keep going!
I am easily the most neurotypical person on the internet what ae you talking about?
Teffec P. said:
Neurotypical people don’t know what neurotypical means
wow what a high iq comment. wow. im guessing you really think that too in which case i feel bad for you!
Akatsuki Red Dawn said:
Wait didn’t the SATs get reworked a couple years ago to the point that IQ groups like Mensa started to refuse them as evidence of high IQ because the g factor was much lower than the SATs of the 1990s?
There’s no evidence the g loading changed. MENSA could have dropped it because the college board no longer wanted to be associated with IQ testing.
Thought is an algorithm. It puts stuff together to see what works. Abstraction is simply a hierarchy of associations that gives context.
smart people put it all together to get results. They see patterns on top of patterns (context).
Really smart people form abstractions so that associations gain a new order of association. This means they form a whole new layer of contexts others don’t form.
This layer of context can be used to run mental experiments. Hypotheses are confirmed or denied.
A drawback is seeing patterns where they don’t exist but that is a symptom of lack of context / disorganized context. smart people organize context better.
if x they y
the european nose is also an adaptation to cold. said:
selection for beauty isn’t why some peoples are thicker than others. thickness of peoples living in cold climates follows from allen’s rule and bergmann’s rule. it’s only the polynesians who are thick for no apparent reason. tulsi gabbard is actually 75% european but she’s thick. she’d break your child’s bicycle. not every man has mugabe’s taste. pill likes women with the bodies of 12 year old boys. sad. but in general indian women are more attractive than china women. mugabe claims that even the peoples who invaded europe from anatolia lived in a climate colder than most of china. 10,000 years ago turkey was very cold. and the most commonly supported indo-european urheimat is the steeps of russia. but as peepee says most europeans are only a smidgen indo-european, the rest being european hunter gatherers and ancient anatolian.
Teffec P. said:
Tulsi is Samoan. https://gizmodo.com/how-a-powerful-obesity-gene-helped-samoans-conquer-the-1784266550
“Starting around 3,500 years ago, ancestors of Samoans began the arduous task of settling the 24 major island groups of Polynesia. This colonization process—one of the most extreme examples in all of human history—took possibly thousands of years to complete. ‘They had to endure voyages between islands and subsequently survive on those islands,’ study co-author Ryan Minster told New Scientist.”
white on white crime and its rarity must mean that whites are heavily ethnocentric in every way.
tulsi inside me. said:
tulsi did her genome with that black guy on pbs and she was 75% european, 25% european.
Her mother was born in Indiana and grew up in Michigan. Her father was born in American Samoa and lived in Hawaii and Florida as a child; he is of Samoan and European ancestry.
His name is Henry Louis Gates jr. Mug of Tard & according to one of of Oprah’s biographies, he would secretly take iphone photos of her when they hung out so he could brag to his colleagues.
Victor Torvich said:
How that story (https://www.legends.report/how-thomas-edisons-mother-was-the-making-of-him/) fit into the picture?
That is a wonderful story. In a somewhat antithetical variation, shortly before his death, my father confided that I was the smartest person he’d ever known (no, he didn’t reside in a cave ;O) he was a successful chemical engineer and inventor). Frankly, through much of my life, I’d gotten the impression he considered me somewhat doltish, despite what may have been an occasional blur of a hint to the contrary. Nevertheless, as a kid, I looked up to him believing he was the epitome of intelligence. Unwittingly (from both perspectives), he gave me a sense of wonder…of what is possible. It served me well.
Dualism is everything. it defines my philosophical outlooks completely.
My head circumference is 23 and a quarter inches. Basically it grew from 22.9″ a few years back if thats possible i dunno?
Btw I am not autistic like any of you idiots here.
dude. you’re measuring it wrong.
it sould be 19″ at most.
you fucking idiot do you not know how to read a tape measure. its literally in the middle of my forehead. are you spatially or numerically retarded?
The Philosopher said:
So Puppys world fell apart today. A man from 150,000 years ago had actually evolved a bigger head than modern humans. Does that mean he had a bigger brain? Probably. Which means puppys head size = IQ theory is nullified. Sad. Puppy is crying into his ice cream.
1420 cc is tiny. Average adult male brain size in today’s young adult America is around 1500 cc:
I’m disappointed in the Gaurdian’s fact checking.
what does brain size actually measure in terms of cognitive skills Pumpkin?
It measures overall cognition. That’s the beauty of it. Different abilities use different brain regions so if the overall brain is large, the combined size of every region is large. Some research also suggests that the more g loaded a subtest, the more it correlates with brain size.
Link to the research showing that g-loading correlates with brain size?
pill can't read. sad. said:
read beyong the headline pill-tard.
and has ample room, at 1,420ml, for a modern human brain.
that’s smaller than average for many human populations.
pill can't read. sad. said:
some neanderthals had 1600+ mls. mls and ccs are the same thing.
Pumpkin, do you not find merit in selective schools on their own? Access to precise education for high achieving, and an inculcation of a certain quality of productivity.
A 130 IQ person who went to mediocre schools all his life, with average conscientiousness, would probably not be as successful as a 130 IQ person who consistently went to elite/prestigious schools. And idiosyncrasies deleterious to productivity would be beaten out by the time they’re 12. It’s the regimen of that lifestyle that causes someone to maximize their potential, and selective schools are good for that.
If Conscientiousness is a trait as heritable as IQ, selective high schools probably have a négligeable impact (1-2%) on that one.
Mostly it can help people from lower background learn higher up cultural idiosyncrasies and widens their horizon by giving them concrete examples of success on top of building up a better CV and maybe some useful long lasting friendships (for those who have the social aptitude to build that).
I heard Robert Plomin saying it’s marginal in the UK where you would have imagined it was maximal among all places in the world with those powerful forever public schools Boys clubs.
The Philosopher said:
Plomin has autism if he said that.
You have autism Pill! When are you going to learn!
This is a nature 2018 Plomin study in the UK that backs it up.
Same results have been found in the USA. If you take scholastic scores of students that were a little short of’entering prestigious selective schools and this slightly above, you don’t see a difference three years after neither in their SAT not in the quantity and quality of their university admission. Meaning the environement of this school didn’t change anything in terms of those 2 outcomes.
I went to a very prestigious high school and I know still today that it makes a strong impression on French person. So I also find in hard to believe I wouldn’t get a strong advantage just because of the brand, even not considering the content and the socialization which are two big positive aspects.
I don’t have an enough interest to check the data and methods even if I could. Because I would sent my children to the most selective school possible not far from my house.
Click to access s41539-018-0019-8.pdf
The Philosopher said:
Your intution is correct Bruno. The study must be flawed or measuring the wrong things. Nobody really cares about exam results in the real world, people look at where you went to school when offering jobs and entrance to the elite.
this article describes many of you perfectly. absolutely worthless trolls.
JimBob McGee said:
PP, how can Ashkenazis have high verbal IQ without being higher in all domains if verbal IQ is the most g-loaded? They’re mediocre spatially, and their working memory/processing speed isn’t that much higher than average either.
"stop playing chess and read chess books." --- jewish mother said:
high V and mediocre non-V characterizes chillens from higher SES backgrounds according to the bell curve iirc for one. but also jewish culture values high V more than any other and a lot more than high non-V.
thoughts on god? satan? life after death? preexistence? dualism? anything i missed?
maybe the nt is above LOADED's reading level. said:
read the new testament and convert.
To Mugism or dualism or what. be specific like the new testament or vague like the old your choice.
PP would you say you have a sadistic humor?
I scored a 183 on my first PSAT and 188 on my second time IIRC. PSAT in 2012/13 was highly g-loaded. I did very well on my AP tests as well like a 5 in AP Bio in 2012 a 4 in AP World in 2012/4 in AP Art History 2013 and a 5 on AP US in 2013 as well as a 5 in AP Eng Language in 2014. High g-loadings for all these tests.
i was probably between three and seven iq points smarter in high school but multiple alcohol poisonings and many other bad decisions later i ended up losing some for sure.