Skip to comments.The wealth of nations is mapped by their IQ
Posted on 03/11/2004 6:09:41 AM PST by twas
Research says that intelligence is the largest factor behind economic success
A COUNTRYS prosperity is closely related to the average IQ of its population, according to research that has mapped global intelligence levels.
The study of 60 countries identified a clear correlation between assessments of national mental ability and real gross domestic product, or GDP.
The authors of the work said that the findings showed that international aid agencies should do more to improve the nutrition of pregnant women and infants the most important environmental determinant of intelligence to help to lift developing nations out of poverty.
Richard Lynn, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Ulster, and Tatu Vanhanen, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Tampere in Finland, tested the non-verbal reasoning abilities of a representative sample of the different populations. They found that the countries of the Pacific Rim had the highest intelligence scores: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore averaged IQs of about 105.
The next brightest were the populations of Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, averaging 100. In South Asia, North Africa and most Latin American countries, the score was an average of about 85, and in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean closer to 70.
Set against international measures of economic performance, the academics concluded that about 58 per cent of the differences in national wealth could be explained by differences in intelligence. Each average IQ point above 70 was worth about £500 in GDP per head of population. The report says that people with high IQs can acquire complex skills to produce goods and services for which there is international demand.
It also says that they are more likely to develop efficient public services such as transport and telecommunications, which provide an efficient infrastructure, and are more likely to have intelligent political leaders who manage their economies effectively.
Variations from the trend could be explained by political and economic factors: countries such as China and Russia and in Eastern Europe with high average IQs (about 100) but low per capita incomes often had a history of socialist systems. These inhibited the natural relationship between skills and national wealth, the authors said.
The per capita income in China is low about £2,400 a year because of the inefficiency of the communist system, Professor Flynn said. Now the Chinese have introduced a market economy the growth rate is rapid, about 10 per cent a year compared with about 2 per cent in Europe.
China can be predicted to reach parity with Europe and the US in about 50 years time, and become the new economic and military superpower.
Other variations could be explained by natural resources: the presence of oil in the Gulf states, diamonds in Botswana and the tourist-friendly climate in Bermuda, for example, all raised GDP beyond that in countries with comparable IQ ratings.
Although a large proportion of intelligence is thought to be inherited about 50 per cent globally, according to the most recent estimates environmental factors are also significant. Average IQs have been rising sharply in developed countries, in some by up to 25 points in a single generation.
There is no doubt that poor nutrition has an effect on IQ levels, Professor Flynn said. Even in economically developed countries there are pockets of poor nutrition which affect intelligence. In Britain it is estimated that about 10 per cent of children have sub-optimum nutrition. If they are given supplements in adolecence, their IQs rise by about five points. In developing countries, where malnourishment is more serious, they would rise by between ten and fifteen points. Poor standards of health are a factor as conditions such as chronic diarrhoea affect nutrition. And it also has a detrimental effect if education standards are poor or nonexistent. It has also been suggested that the spread of cognitively stimulating technology such as computer games another corollary of economic development has contributed to the rise.
Our critics would suggest that we are confusing cause and effect, and that IQs are higher in rich countries because of better health, education and so on. But we dont think that is likely: intelligence is the largest single factor behind national wealth. It then becomes a virtuous circle, with the benefits of the resulting affluence adding extra IQ points.
The psychologist Oliver James said that too much reliance had been put on IQ measures as objective assessments of brainpower. The IQ test is heavily culturally conditioned, he said.
In this country it tests your middle-classness and how well you know how to please the testers. The IQ of a working-class child adopted by a middle-class family will rise by about 12 points. (The authors) are confusing IQ with education. If a country has a good education system, their economy will benefit. It is rich countries that are likely to have those systems.
Wealthy countries developed the IQ test - so intelligence traits valued in those countries will of COURSE be weighted more heavily. But since the bias in the test is in line with the national trait being measured, it is therefore an accurate predictor of national wealth.
The teachers UNIONS hate the idea of testing. They might have to educate children instead of using them as political pawns.
Actually, not such a bad comparison: the Indians of the Amazon live in what can only be described as socialist societies.
It doesn't take a great deal of brains to bring wealth to a nation. The Wealth of Nations comes about from embracing free trade and vigorous capitalism. I even believe there's a book about that somewhere.
Wealth is created by a nation that makes a commitment to objective truth and private ownership while trusting its inhabitants to manage their own affairs. This will naturally be followed by increased education of the masses and a higher IQ.
True. People with no education in, say, geometry or math will NOT do as well on typical non-verbal IQ tests, regardless of their innate intelligence.
I don't think so. The savage tribesman lives a life that is completely transparent to his neighbors, and totally dependent upon them for his own well-being. Practically every tribe is a small socialist tyranny, with a Big Man at the top whose word is law.
Oh sure, good idea.
Then we can outsource American jobs to them.
Academic Performance Index
Here are the Bay Area schools that ranked in the top and bottom of the
API test given last year.
School City Score Faria Elementary Cupertino 996 Portal Elementary Cupertino 989 Millikin Elementary Santa Clara 983 Gomes Elementary Fremont 979 Mission San Jose Elementary Fremont 975 Weibel Elementary Fremont 973 Sleepy Hollow Elementary Orinda 970 Dilworth Elementary Cupertino 970 Hoover Elementary Palo Alto 965 North Star Academy Redwood City 964
School City Score Lowell Middle Oakland 491 Simmons Middle Oakland 475 East Palo Alto High East Palo Alto 472 Mission High San Francisco 472 Kennedy High Richmond 449 McClymonds High Oakland 446 Fremont High Oakland 444 Castlemont Senior High Oakland 422 Rudsdale Academy Oakland 417 Newcomer High San Francisco 335
Source: Department of Education
Of course when assessing the quality of an "education system," a lot depends on the students themselves. So even if you were to transport the facilities and teachers from the best schools in the US or Singapore to some poor community, it would not necessarily amount to a great "education system." If you transported the staff and facilities from the best school France to Haiti, I am not convinced that it would amount to a great education system.
You could send some of the most mediocre teachers in America to Singapore, and the students would keep learning a lot, because their parents would insist on it.
Hong Kong has virtually nothing in the way of natural resouces (oil, other minerals, arable land). Yet is is pretty wealthy. You could say that drug smuggling (opium to China) gave it a good start, but the same could be said about Haiti, and they have nothing to show for it.
Hong Kong has a good port, but Haiti must have at keast one good port, perhaps somewhere near its capital.
The difference lie largely in the economic system, the laws, the incentives, the work ethic, and the education system that has developed over time. Education by itslef is not necessarily all that helpful for an economy. In more-or-less socialist Uruguay, there is great education, but not enough jobs for all the college educated young adults there. Education is important, but so is the overall culture and economic system.
It's not the poverty level keeping them down, it's was the welfare system, which the liberals created. If welfare never existed, these people would have found a way to thrive. Now their subculture is polluted.
Absolutely. Absolutely!! And there is a difference between helping someone temporarily in need and training them to feel dependant upon a system.
The correlation here is valid, but not necessarily for the IQ reasons. Our own education is rapidly dumbing down it's students. How will these students look out for their own livelihoods and well being in years to come? I can't imagine for some of them, just more govt programs (cringe). And they won't want to bite the hand that feeds them. Those of us with kids in school now have probably noticed, even in 'private' schools, things we were required to memorize and read and learn a generation ago are not required for most of the students or required at a later grade level. Our local parochial school system wants (and for the most part implemented) a plan to match the curriculum of the public school, to 'standardize' the system. Too bad that doesn't mean raise the bar for everyone. And everyone gets an "A" these days. And they all pat themselves on the back. My son is gets very good grades and works hard but his big struggle is the 'group' grades and grade sharing and 'extra credit' that gives his slacker buddies an "A", too.
The teachers UNIONS hate the idea of testing. They might have to educate children instead of using them as political pawns.
Absolutely. 'Good' teachers are sometimes castigated by their union minded peers for 'over-achieving' and making them look bad.
Dumb enough people down and they'll just be happy enough to have the bread and circuses that socialism provides. And not many are really 'wealthy' under socialism's icy grip. No independant thinking. It's not so easy to get our voters to accept socialism in the US on a large scale right now, but in a generation or two, especially with the emphasis on class warfare? And we can only expect our own 'prosperity' to decline as a result.
I think I have it figured out.
Intelligence is directly proportional to the number of Apple Macintosh computers in a community.
We have four in my house. %^)
To learn you need to excite children about the process of learning. a robot can't do that.
Of course, (with sarcasm), we can't have just any child excited about learning. I remember the last election, discussing with my neighbors, both teachers, the candidates. They liked Bush, and having spoken with them before, I know they supported many of the same things he did, buuuuutttt, when the election came, they and their just-turned-18 yr old son all proudly voted for Gore.
In general, yes. The lowest scoring school, SF Newcomer has mostly fresh immigrant Asian children. Within a few years many of these students will be high scorers and will be transferred to schools that want to boost their school ranking by gaming the system.
all 58 of them put together, of course.
"The IQ test is heavily culturally conditioned, he said."
This is an obsolete and discredited notion. What James would be saying if he were up on the facts, is that "IQ is heavily culturally conditioned."
The tests simply mirror reality, they don't create it.
Cultures which enable and support openness and adaptation to new information, such as Western and Pacific Rim cultures, narturally produce more cognitively adept populations.
Subsaharan African cultures, which are virtually impervious to input from external sources, change at only glacial rates, if at all. Thus they produce populations of people who are unable to utilize novel information or to readily grasp and apply new concepts.
A common critique of IQ tests are that they are culturally biased. Even a moment’s reflection would show that the Chinese tests would thus be invalidated, yet they score higher than the rich and developed West. Further, it would be trivial to change the few tests that depend on, for example, common pictures and language phrases to those of the target group. The fact that this IS done and has not changed the overall scores of low-performing groups is ignored. Specific groups do differ in certain categories of test - language, graphic and numerate, as would be expected, but the overall effect is limited. Finally, most parts of the tests are totally non-cultural e.g. geometric puzzles.
And to those who trash IQ tests because they are “unfair” are very quiet about physical attributes that also differ in groups. Consider height, running ability, lung capacity, colouring, areas of fat repositories, hair type and texture. Why should IQ be the same in all groups and these characteristics patently not?
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