What’s the average IQ for a XX-year-old?
Article presented in QUORA in May 2, 2017
Theoretically, the average IQ for most people, whatever its age, is 100.
Because with the years and universal attendance to school, since the times Lewis Terman since 1916, the IQ test had been increasing 0.5 points per year. That means an average of 15 points in 30 years. But 15 or 16 points is approximately 1 “standard deviation”. Look for standard deviation if you are not sure what it means in an IQ test.
Just to avoid you to look at, I will tell you that if the average IQ is 100 points. More or less, some 62% of people has an IQ of 85 to 115 points. Thus, people below 85 points is 19% of the population, and a little dull. People over 115 points is also 19% and is more intelligent.
To keep the average values of the test on 100 the results of a test are multiplied by a number smaller than 1 that is changed every four years.
Since the times of Lewis Terman in 1916 when he presented the IQ test it had passed 100 years.
Thus, 100 years by 0.5 makes 50 points. This mean the average IQ of people living today would not be 100 but 150 points now; if were not for some corrections that periodically are applied to the results of the tests.
Compared to the average people in 1916 the people today is sort of genial. This question is called the Flynn Effect and most people that believe the intelligence is determined by genetics should start to think how the genetics is changing so fast. If those that believe in Evolution would hear idea they would be amazed. Genetics cannot change so fast, but schooling improves a lot intelligence.
In some well educated nations the increase in IQ is very small, in poor countries that are just now improving on the general education of people the increase of IQ is a lot greater: like 20 or 24 points per 30 years (0.7 or 0.8 points per year)
A REPLY from
May 2, 2017
The likely explanation for the Flynn effect would be nutrition (or so I’ve heard)
A REPLY from
May 2, 2017
This question of IQ is at least controverted.
The main reason to be controverted is the IQ was meant to be genetic since it started. It was meant to justify social classes and to oppose public free education for the poor that was a socialist argument. Thus you can bet it exists a strong resistance to change the paradigm of the fixed genetic intelligence. Since the start, the proponents of the IQ tests were arguing that to expend money to educate the poor was a waste of money and time.
Just imagine that Richard Feynman that won a Nobel prize of physics was not only lower class he was the son of a family of poor Jews. Jews were traditionally been considered typical lower social class in Europe and America. But Feynman had a time in which a part of America was feeling liberal and less conscious about lower social classes should live in the shit.
For reasons typical of many Jewish families, Richard was very intelligent. Some Jews develop high levels of verbal intelligence, and language is a powerful carrier of intelligence. Then, amazing thing, he got some economic help and went to study in the MIT. Those were not the times of the Republican party but of FDR as a president.
A while later, he was also admitted in Princeton University. It took a while for the dean to accept R. Feynman. The director of the MIT had to phone several times to convince the dean to accept Feynman for he was really good.
The dean of Princeton was fearing to being accused of having too many Jews in his university. You see? Can you discern the roots about being poor meant to be stupid and higher class children meant to be intelligent? This ideas came from the tests of IQ. and the arguments of Lewis Terman and other proponents of the intelligence tests. Poor means stupid, the children of the rich means to be more intelligent, for intelligence was genetic. Intelligence to Lewis Terman was like wealth, it was inheritable.
They had softened a bit the argument of the generic intelligence and accepted the environment was also playing a bit, like 50% of the cause of intelligence. To change totally the paradigm was offensive to conservatives pundits.
My opinion is implicit in the detailed narrative of the Flynn effect. The Flynn effect is most remarked or higher among the poor classes after a period of education. And the poor classes traditionally had a very low IQ. In part is determined by the language. The poor develop little the language at home. Then, thanks to the school, the poor are improving slowly the intelligence. If you check the items of the Standford test you can see that basically it measures how good is the language skill of the child or person passing the test. If your child are bad with language, it is bad as well for reasoning. To reason is in some way like playing with words. There are some rules permitted in this play with words. So, basically reasoning is a part of language. A little advanced.
According to the Flynn effect, the upper classes that traditionally are considered the intelligent people… they were improving little their IQ with modern education; in the last three decades.
My interpretation of this fact is that to increase the intelligence is a costly process. The more intelligent you are already the most difficult is to increase your intelligence. It follows the lower classes have the most potential to increase intelligence. We can say they had more space in their brain to improved it.
By example, I was from a family of rat poor people, most of my family do not went to primary school or only went for a couple of years. My relatives were goat herders or cow herders, boxers, very poor tenant farmers, or low rank construction workers. I was a sort of autistic with little social abilities, except to speak a lot. I started working without qualification in constructions sites. But as I was not a social person, and loved a lot to talk, the only way to talk was to read books. This is reverse talking. As a reader you are only a receptor of the talk. Slowly, I went reading all sort of books, for the sake of it. Later, I learned French, and English, and I was reading books of science on my own, including psychology.
This must be the reason I believe so firmly that intelligence is not genetic. But something that you learn. For I had learned on my own all I know. And I could do it because I was a sort of solitary, nearly an autistic person.
Nevertheless, it can exist something genetic in intelligence and it must be related to the endocrine system, not to the brain itself.
The endocrine system controls the levels of adrenaline, and its power can be genetically determined. Then, a person with high levels of adrenaline, must have an ass of bad sitting. They do not tolerate well a situation of staying long hours sitting in a class in school. Their brain can easily flee the classroom and began to think about doing some sportive or athletic. The person with high levels of adrenaline need a lot of exercise. These types cannot be good students, but good athletes and fighters. They have not patience to develop high degrees of intelligence. On the opposing corner are people with very low levels of adrenaline. These people are sleepy most of the time, and can get even more sleepy while hearing something complex, like a long speech. The intelligent people is average, they must have not high, not low, levels of adrenaline, and can be awake while hearing complex arguments that require attention. But basically, the intelligence is the accumulation of abilities of a class or the other. Abilities that make sense as a means to earn a life. So, the academic intelligence is useless for a hunter gatherer, or an Eskimo or Inuit in the Arctic. The academic intelligence is not any good if you are a Chukchi herder in northeast Siberia, not any good if you are yak herder in the Tibet or the Indo-Kush mountains. Academic intelligence is only valid on some academic related environment.
If you read the Flynn effect you would see that some very high educated nations like Nordic European nations had not improved much in the last 30 years. While nations that were in retard developing the public school system had improved a lot more higher. This was proved in Spain comparing the IQ of people in a private high class school, for elite families, and it was compared with a public school in a poor quarter of Seville. After 30 years the poor school of Seville improved an average of nearly 30 points, while the elite school improved only 10 or 12 points. I do not recall the exact figures.
Poor nations had been improving IQ much faster than educated rich nations. But this can be interpreted with the paradigm “more is less” or its opposite, “less is more”. This idea suggest the brain has a limited capacity. When you need to study a lot of matters, you are exhausting the available time. You must have less time per item to dig deeper into each question. The brain reacts working lightly on a paradigm like “garbage in, garbage out”. You only remember a little the questions you had recently studied.
To have an intelligence must have to be something different.