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Evil Economist
11-04-2009, 01:27 PM
Quick question for anyone who might know: were there any studies done on the scores on IQ tests by East v. West Germans (E.g., did East Germans score equivalently to West Germans, or lower)? This is in relation to a discussion I'm having regarding race, IQ, and culture, and I think this might be a good data point.

pan1
11-04-2009, 01:57 PM
How could you assign any validity to a single test given to two such different cultures?
How could you develop two tests, each targetting a given cultural population, that would give comparable results?

GreasyJack
11-04-2009, 02:02 PM
And if you mean while the two states still existed (as opposed to testing former residents sometime in the 1990's), I think getting the East German government to conduct these honestly would be quite an issue-- I'm sure IQ would be an issue of national pride along the same lines as athletic performance.

Evil Economist
11-04-2009, 02:28 PM
How could you assign any validity to a single test given to two such different cultures?
How could you develop two tests, each targetting a given cultural population, that would give comparable results?

My understanding is that IQ tests are supposed to measure general intelligence, independently of cultural background; if they couldn't be administered to different cultural populations that would be a pretty heavy blow to the concept of IQ tests.

Evil Economist
11-04-2009, 02:29 PM
And if you mean while the two states still existed (as opposed to testing former residents sometime in the 1990's), I think getting the East German government to conduct these honestly would be quite an issue-- I'm sure IQ would be an issue of national pride along the same lines as athletic performance.

I'm interested in comparisons even today; lack of difference would also be an interesting result, although not the result I would hope to see.

pan1
11-04-2009, 02:39 PM
My understanding is that IQ tests are supposed to measure general intelligence, independently of cultural background; if they couldn't be administered to different cultural populations that would be a pretty heavy blow to the concept of IQ tests.

They are supposed to be independant of culture, but there is quite a bit of debate over how successful they are at doing so.

Evil Economist
11-04-2009, 02:49 PM
They are supposed to be independant of culture, but there is quite a bit of debate over how successful they are at doing so.

Since that's part of what I'm trying to understand, you can see why I would ask if anyone was familiar with the comparison I mentioned.

code_grey
11-04-2009, 04:10 PM
you certainly cannot now just go measure IQs in different German lands and make conclusions from there, because for the last 20 years there was brain drain with the smart guys from the east were moving west, where the money is. OTOH you could measure IQs of people born 20 years ago or before that and examine their birth towns.

Hypothetically speaking, smarter and higher class people would have been more likely to flee from East Germany to the west back when it was possible, for the first several years after the war (in fact, Communist authorities explicitly noted the brain drain). Nevertheless, that was just a short period of time in the life of a single generation, and I am not sure how much of an effect it would have on evolution of subsequent generations. Also, AFAIK there wasn't much outright Russian persecution of the middle and upper class in East Germany, quite unlike what happened in eastern Poland in 1939. So the smart middle class families that didn't flee west would have stayed and have smart kids.