Estimating national IQ

This might belong more in the Opinion Forum but I want something straightened out: the basic theory is that the average quality of life of people in a country correlates strongly with national IQ. Is this correct? Is that the basic framework of the latest PISA survey?

“Quality of Life” is measured by so many subjective criteria, it would be easy to make the data match just by selection of what you measure and how you measure it.

Surely the people of Eastern Europe post-WWII had IQ levels comparable to our own, but it would be difficult to defend their quality of life. Sixty years ago, Korea had an extremely impoverished quality of life, botn North and South, but their IQ was probably higher than ours then, as it is now, since for the most part, they are still the same people. The Persian Gulf oil states enjoy a very high quality of life, but they do not rank very high on national IQ test comparisons. Do you think the IQs of China and Taiwan were markedly different a generation ago?

Also how are you going to measure IQ across vastly different cultures? If an African Bushman is unfamiliar with the concept of analogy questions does that mean that he has a lower IQ than a high school student in queens who can’t even track a wounded gazelle.


AFAIK, we have no good way of comparing IQs across entirely different cultures.

nm… worng forum

I’m not previously familiar with the PISA survey, but a little googling suggests that it measures educational achievement, not IQ. It’s not a big stretch to guess that countries with higher “quality of life”, whatever that is, have better schools and therefore better educational results.

As for IQ, poor nutrition and poor health care is known to have a negative effect on cognitive ability. Outside of that, I have a really hard time believing that there’s any significant average IQ difference between counties that’s not the result of cultural test bias.

Exactly my point. National IQ rankings I see on the net look like per capita GDP rankings.

Where are you finding National IQ rankings that aren’t total BS?

I don’t know but here’s an even bigger BS: Chinese trolls in one Philippine forum are capitalizing on their 105 average to put down other nationalities. And they snipe at the Philippine average of 86. The US is at 99 (Ha! Ha!) I know it’s just baiting meant to steer thoughts from the real issue.

For those not familiar, the Chinese in the past months have been part (let’s say they’re not the only cause) of several problems in the West Pacific. Things have come to a head in Vietnam where rioting has caused 3,000 ethnic Chinese to evacuate the country (many of these are actually Taiwanese, Hong Kong and even Korean.) The Philippines has arrested 9 Chinese fishermen in Philippine waters with a ship load of endangered sea turtles. 200 of the 300 turtles are dead, many with their eyes gouged out to accommodate cords looped around their heads. But enough of that. I’m not here to pit.

I think it is probable that Chinese probably score higher on IQ tests than Fillipinos, but mostly because IQs tests put too strong a influence on mathematical patterns, something Chinese are helped with due to their more maths friendly language, and their math-focused education system.

If a Chinese child and Filipino child were raised in the exact same environment, I am not sure; Historically China has given the academically able more status and thus at least a marginal reproductive advantage. Then again, the heavy metal pollution in China must create a whole lotta retarded babies.

If the Chinese trolls are using IQ and the Wealth of Nations as a source, then they truly are 脑残。 That book lists Botswanians as having an IQ of 68. Botswana, with a literacy rate and GDP higher than China and whilst its tertiary enrolment statistics are lower than China, that is partially due to the free trade schools offered by the government giving people a career without the need for university.

All this was accomplished despite many Botswanans being under the yoke of AIDs

No, I am pretty sure that is completely false. There is no such theory, basic or otherwise.

The average IQ is 100, by definition. As you can, presumably, really only standardize IQ tests relative to a particular culture/language, this will mean that every country has an average IQ of 100. If the average derived from tests given deviates much from that, the test needs to be recalibrated.

Not that IQ is a particularly meaningful measure of anything anyway.

Well, often, you do it by pulling numbers out of your ass, or misusing statistics past all reason.

My understanding is that China only allows testing of students in wealthy cities such as Shanghai. They never allow testing of the general population.

So, of course their wealthiest and best educated are going to score higher when compared to the scores of countries that allow testing of the general population.

I have been teaching in China for the past 5 years, and China seems to have both clever and stupid people, same as any other country.

“China has given the OECD test to students only in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau because it doesn’t yet have the “technical capacity” to administer the test nation-wide,”
" Some have criticized China for having only a few select cities participate, saying it is doing so to give the world a better perception of its education system"

You can only compare the IQ within the same nation or the same topic the IQ is designed for.

I would score very poorly in a Spanish IQ test, better in English & German. However would fail completely in a Chinese Test.

If by “good” you mean “unassailable”, of course, we have no “good” way, of comparing any thing cross culturally. but there are some widely accepted indicators.

If it is your position that the IQ of Koreans h as in a couple of generations increased commensurate with their economy, just say so. And cite the tests to show it.

How about you first back up your reason for this :

with a cite that says relative IQs can’t change over time, since we know average IQs in a group can change over time, and at different rates for different population groups.

Such as?

I’m not being coy here. To date, the only cross cultural IQ comparisons I’ve seen hav been direct comparison of test scores. And that is just plain dumb for very obvious reasons.

If there are “widely accepted indicators” that do allow such meaningful cross-cultural comparisons, I’d like to know what they are.

Basically, Doughbag summed up my knowledge of IQ tests and how they can be compared across cultures: