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Thread: Why does IQ cluster around 100 points?

  1. Top | #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    So it's possible that all of the issues we see with people and strange beliefs is a feature, not a bug, of our species.
    This was actually the most interesting point, to me, in the OP.

    Odd beliefs and cultural customs are innate and an imperative of our psychology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    "When controlling for education and socioeconomic status, the relationship between intelligence and number of children, intelligence and number of siblings, and intelligence and ideal number of children reduces to statistical insignificance" - your link.

    ' In considering these results along with those from earlier researchers, Vining wrote that "in periods of rising birth rates, persons with higher intelligence tend to have fertility equal to, if not exceeding, that of the population as a whole,"' - also your link.

    In other words, it's not that intelligence is negatively selected for, but that subpopulations of lower socio-economic status (which correlates with lower IQ, though to which degree this is a genotypic rather than merely phenotypic effect is highly debatable) are slightly lagging behind in the society-wide trend of declining fertility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    So it's possible that all of the issues we see with people and strange beliefs is a feature, not a bug, of our species.
    This was actually the most interesting point, to me, in the OP.

    Odd beliefs and cultural customs are innate and an imperative of our psychology.
    You need to read more Stephen J. Gould!

  3. Top | #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post

    "When controlling for education and socioeconomic status, the relationship between intelligence and number of children, intelligence and number of siblings, and intelligence and ideal number of children reduces to statistical insignificance" - your link.

    ' In considering these results along with those from earlier researchers, Vining wrote that "in periods of rising birth rates, persons with higher intelligence tend to have fertility equal to, if not exceeding, that of the population as a whole,"' - also your link.

    In other words, it's not that intelligence is negatively selected for, but that subpopulations of lower socio-economic status (which correlates with lower IQ, though to which degree this is a genotypic rather than merely phenotypic effect is highly debatable) are slightly lagging behind in the society-wide trend of declining fertility.
    Yea it sounds like some of the evidence doesn't make the issue completely clear. I didn't reply to your post above because I think some of your comments are off-base, but I don't want to spend the time trying to convince you, so we can agree to disagree.

  4. Top | #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I've been running through some ideas lately about why the IQ of most populations clusters around 100. It seems strange to me that if intelligence, reason, and problem solving skill are generally considered positive traits, why the population doesn't drift to the right. Instead it seems like there is some kind of reproductive advantage of not being too smart.

    But to take it a bit further I've been asking myself: well, what is a person like that's not too smart? Some thoughts:

    - They're more likely to take social norms for granted
    - They're less likely to question ideologies that act as social bonds
    - They may be worse at family planning so reproduce more at the expense of their future
    - High IQ might come at the expense of EQ, which is more critical to forming relationships

    It's an interesting point to consider because it suggests that, in some ways, intelligence can be maladaptive. So it's possible that all of the issues we see with people and strange beliefs is a feature, not a bug, of our species.

    Your thoughts?
    The IQ of individuals vs the reproductive advantage of a population is not a valid comparison. As far as the clustering, it's a typical bell curve. The value 100 was arbitrarily assigned.

  5. Top | #25
    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    I'm still pissed that the online IQ tests doc you 50 points if you pay for analysis of the results.

  6. Top | #26
    Raspberry bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post

    Can you make your reasoning here a wee bit more explicit?
    If intelligence is heritable, which it is, and 68% of the population has an IQ between 85 and 115, and this proportion is relatively stable, this means that people in that range are producing children at a much greater rate than people with a significantly lower IQ or a significantly higher one. And if intelligence was completely arbitrary we wouldn't see a distribution at all, it would be random.

    From that it follows that there is very little, to no discernible reproductive advantage of having an IQ above 115, as opposed to one between 85 and 115.

    You could argue that the distribution is shifting right, and it possibly is, but theoretically there has to be an upper limit, intelligence can't increase infinitely.
    The mere existence of an upper limit is no indication that we are anywhere close to it.

    In the early 1800s, it was believed that the upper limit for vehicle speed was around 20 mph, as humans could not survive greater speeds. Later in that century, people were concerned that at speeds approaching 50 mph, air would be sucked from a railway carriage, and the occupants would asphyxiate.

    Those limits were based on nonsense, of course. But the idea that the speed of sound was a hard limit for vehicle speed was based on sound (pun intended) engineering principles in an atmosphere. Yet supersonic flight became a reality in the middle of the 20th century. And the actual hard limit on speed is lightspeed, per Einstein - those mid twentieth century engineers with their 'limit' at Mach 1 were waaaay below the hard limit imposed by uncle Albert.

    The point being that we may accept that intelligence is theoretically limited; But there's no reason at all to imagine that we are even 1% of the way to that limit.

    Being intelligent might be selected for. It's got a genetic component, but it's not purely a function of genetics, and there's good reason to think that much of the recent observed increase is due to other factors.

    Essentially, we don't know; All of your foundational assumptions in the OP are doubtful at best, and totally wrong at worst (eg. as others have pointed out, average IQ is defined to be 100 for a given population, so it cannot be otherwise).

    There are some interesting questions here; But you need to tidy up your assumptions before you can get to them. The OP is trying to run before it can walk.

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    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post

    Can you make your reasoning here a wee bit more explicit?
    I'm still trying to figure out how most of it (IQ) clusters in my head. Might be my blind spot.

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    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    EDIT
    Hey, I think I'm the only one here to have replied with something more than a derail! Yes?
    The OP is a derail, replying with anything other than a derail is off topic.
    The failure to understand what people may mean from the confused way they say it should be taken as a possible symptom of something you might want to worry about.

    Still, I had a good laugh. Thanks.
    EB

  9. Top | #29
    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharakov View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out how most of it (IQ) clusters in my head. Might be my blind spot.
    Beware, IQ isn't a measure of how bright you are.

    The people who invented IQ tests made sure they were themselves in the range above 100. So, there's a bias anyway here.

    And that was also a long time ago. Now, these people would be around or below 100. Who wants to have his IQ assessed by a test designed by people with a low IQ?


    And now, let's see what people with a low IQ think of that.


    EB

  10. Top | #30
    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    The point being that we may accept that intelligence is theoretically limited; But there's no reason at all to imagine that we are even 1% of the way to that limit.
    Well, having a low IQ and having a high IQ both are reasons to want to believe there's a limit to IQs.

    I think myself the sky is the limit.

    All I can see around me looks like clouds to me. What does that mean, I wonder? (I'm not asking what you think, though.)

    I think the sky is the limit but that there's a limit nonetheless. However, there is no limit to the ratio between this limit and our own IQs. Current IQs may be like 0.5 to 1, or like 0.1, or like 0.01, or indeed like 0.00000000000000001 to 1.

    Oh, sucks!
    EB

    EDIT
    Only UM KNOWS there's a limit! The infinitesimal cannot possibly exist!!! LowIQED.

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