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Do men, on average, have a higher general intelligence score?

Do men, on average, have a higher general intelligence score?


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I'm aware of this study that was linked during an argument: "Sex differences in brain size and general intelligence (g)" and this question Gender differences in IQ among undergraduate psychology students.

So, do men, on average, have a higher general intelligence score? And if yes, why?


There's a Wikipedia page with a lot of related studies. Among other things we find out there that:

A 2004 meta-analysis by Richard Lynn and Paul Irwing published in 2005 found that the mean IQ of men exceeded that of women by up to 5 points on the Raven's Progressive Matrices test.[… ] Lynn's findings were debated in a series of articles for Nature.[… ]

This new (2017) study you ask about was conducted by a group whose fist author has recently co-authored papers with Lynn. And not surprisingly, the way they construct their g in the 2017 paper is quite similar to Lynn's, i.e. fairly substantially loaded the progressive matrices test.

So perhaps their ultimate result is not surprising in this respect, i.e. it seems a replication of older research in a newer sample. On the other hand, the 2017 reports statistically significant differences on practically on all factors (some in the opposite direction)

As far as I can tell, this is quite unprecedented… so we'll see what reactions it triggers from other researchers in the field.

In previous work Lynn has been accused of basing his conclusions on convenience (and thus non-representative) samples.

In this 2017 paper, the authors state:

Although the HCP data still have a somewhat restricted age-range (22 to 37 years), the sample is demographically diverse and can be considered a more population-representative sample compared to that of Burgaleta et al. (2012).

"More representative" is not necessarily representative.


They also mention that another recent study published in the same journal, Illiescu et al. 2016 who claim nationally representative samples for Romania found for instance much fewer differences on the progressive matrices test… limited to a small age window which interestingly overlapped substantially with the HCP sample age group:

It's not too clear if this is due to not enough power for the other sub-samples or there's a small age effect that appears and then vanishes… or it could be just spurious (these tests are non-corrected for multiple comparisons). Iliescu et al. do say that:

The p-values reported in Tables 1-6 are not corrected for multiple comparisons. When using Bonferroni adjustments none of the comparisons are significant. The interpretations therefore focused on effect sizes. [… ]

Given that diversity and volume of the data, and the fact that some of the compared samples (age × sex) are small, we have conducted a meta-analysis for each category of scores, for each of the 6 tests. Table 7 presents these results. The only two scores with a significant (though small) effect are the Raven (d=0.11, p < 0.01), and the Performance subscore of the SON-R (d=0.12, p < 0.01), both in favor of males. In the case of the SON-R, medium heterogeneity is signaled by the data: Q(5)=10.01, p < 0.10, I2=50.04, i.e. 50% of the total variability in this set of effect sizes are due to between-subsamples variability (true heterogeneity). In the case of the Raven scores, heterogeneity is not present: Q(22) = 21.34, ns., I2 = 0.00; i.e. all variability in effect size estimates is due to sampling error within subsamples.

So Iliescu et al. also found an overall difference in progressive matrices which doesn't seem to vary with age, but not much else. I'm too sure about SON but it looks somewhat similar with progressive matrices in some respects (it's a non-verbal test).

And researchers have tried to pinpoint what type of questions on the progressive matrices test cause the sex differences typilcally reported, with some hypoteses failing replication. A 2008 review-ish paper said

In conclusion, the identification of APM performance dimensions based on information processing continues to be an open question and is likely to remain intractable without experimental manipulations of important variables related to the construction of the items and to the test as a whole.

There's another 2017 study which found that

Visuospatial ability was found to significantly contribute to performance on the RPM, over and above fluid ability, supporting the contention that visuospatial ability is involved in RPM performance. No sex differences were found in this relationship, although sex differences in visuospatial ability may explain sex differences in RPM scores.

Time will tell if this can be replicated or not.

Likewise there's a 2014 study in a Chinese university students sample which found no sex difference in a progressive matrices test

The mean CRT scores were (66.13±3.13) for males and (66.40±3.05) for females. No significant gender difference (P>0.05) in CRT scores was found between females and males.

But nonetheless using neuroimaging proposed that men and women have different brain activation patterns on such tests:

Despite a large number of behavioral studies that demonstrated gender differences in Raven's Matrices reasoning ability, no neural evidence supported this difference. In this study, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used in an attempt to uncover the gender-specific neural basis of Raven's Matrices reasoning ability as measured by the combined Raven's Matrices test (CRT) in 370 healthy young adults. The behavioral results showed no difference between males and females. However, the VBM results showed that the relationship between reasoning ability and regional gray matter volume (rGMV) differed between sexes. The association between CRT scores and rGMV in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (associated with visuospatial ability) was significantly greater in males than in females, whereas the reverse was true for the inferior frontal cortex (relating to verbal reasoning ability) and the medial frontal cortex (engaged in information binding) where the association was greater in females. These findings suggest that males and females use differently structured brains in different ways to achieve similar levels of overall Raven's Matrices reasoning ability.

So I think this question is pretty much in the air still.

Another 2017 study I find interesting did not report sex differences (either way) but did propose that participants (of both sexes) use two different enough brain regions to solve the varying problems on the progressive matrices test, namely that there might be different visuospatial and verbal-analytic intelligences (possibly correlated, of course):

Recent studies revealed spontaneous neural activity to be associated with fluid intelligence (gF) which is commonly assessed by Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, and embeds two types of reasoning: visuospatial and verbal-analytic reasoning. With resting-state fMRI data, using global brain connectivity (GBC) analysis which averages functional connectivity of a voxel in relation to all other voxels in the brain, distinct neural correlates of these two reasoning types were found. For visuospatial reasoning, negative correlations were observed in both the primary visual cortex (PVC) and the precuneus, and positive correlations were observed in the temporal lobe. For verbal-analytic reasoning, negative correlations were observed in the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG), dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and temporoparietal junction, and positive correlations were observed in the angular gyrus. Furthermore, an interaction between GBC value and type of reasoning was found in the PVC, rIFG and the temporal lobe. These findings suggest that visuospatial reasoning benefits more from elaborate perception to stimulus features, whereas verbal-analytic reasoning benefits more from feature integration and hypothesis testing. In sum, the present study offers, for different types of reasoning in gF, first empirical evidence of separate neural substrates in the resting brain.

For more on this latter issue see my answer to a related question here.


WHY MEASURE INTELLIGENCE?

The value of IQ testing is most evident in educational or clinical settings. Children who seem to be experiencing learning difficulties or severe behavioral problems can be tested to ascertain whether the child’s difficulties can be partly attributed to an IQ score that is significantly different from the mean for her age group. Without IQ testing—or another measure of intelligence—children and adults needing extra support might not be identified effectively. In addition, IQ testing is used in courts to determine whether a defendant has special or extenuating circumstances that preclude him from participating in some way in a trial. People also use IQ testing results to seek disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. While IQ tests have sometimes been used as arguments in support of insidious purposes, such as the eugenics movement (Severson, 2011), the following case study demonstrates the usefulness and benefits of IQ testing.

Candace, a 14-year-old girl experiencing problems at school, was referred for a court-ordered psychological evaluation. She was in regular education classes in ninth grade and was failing every subject. Candace had never been a stellar student but had always been passed to the next grade. Frequently, she would curse at any of her teachers who called on her in class. She also got into fights with other students and occasionally shoplifted. When she arrived for the evaluation, Candace immediately said that she hated everything about school, including the teachers, the rest of the staff, the building, and the homework. Her parents stated that they felt their daughter was picked on, because she was of a different race than the teachers and most of the other students. When asked why she cursed at her teachers, Candace replied, “They only call on me when I don’t know the answer. I don’t want to say, ‘I don’t know’ all of the time and look like an idiot in front of my friends. The teachers embarrass me.” She was given a battery of tests, including an IQ test. Her score on the IQ test was 68. What does Candace’s score say about her ability to excel or even succeed in regular education classes without assistance?


Do men, on average, have a higher general intelligence score? - Psychology

There are a lot of theories why IQ tests are falling. Some say it's bad food, poor schools, or obscene amounts of screen time. Others suggest it's a matter of people with lower IQs having more kids, who inherit their lower numbers.

You've seen Idiocracy, right?

The thing is, there's a lot of variation among the U.S. states in terms of IQ averages. So while the nation as a whole averages roughly a 98 IQ, individual states range as much as six points higher or four points below the national average.

In another recent article, we compiled and listed the average life expectancy in each of the 50 states, which proved to be a worthy exercise.

So, here are the estimated average IQ rates for residents of each U.S. state, as compiled by Michael McDaniel, formerly a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and reported by The Washington Post.

It's worth noting that the IQ test in and of itself is controversial to begin with. The Post in fact ranked states according to not just IQ test, but also average SAT and ACT score, along with the overall percentage of college graduates.

But as imperfect as the IQ test is, at least it's a consistent metric. Here are the results.


The Smarter Sex? Women's Average IQ Overtakes Men's

Who's smarter: men or women? Judging by IQ scores alone, the answer used to be men. In fact, the gap between men's and women's performance on IQ tests has long ignited questions about the test's fairness. But now, women appear to be beating men at their own game: For the first time in history, they score higher on IQ tests.

The new finding comes from James Flynn, a New Zealand-based intelligence researcher who has tracked worldwide fluctuations in IQ (or "intelligence quotient") scores for decades. Flynn said women's IQs have lagged behind men's for about a century, at times by as many as five points. But they have now closed the gap in all the countries that Flynn analyzed, and have even gained the edge in this battle of wits.

"Over the last 100 years, everyone in the developing world has been gaining about three IQ points, but women have been gaining faster," Flynn told ABC News. "This is the result of modernity. In every country where women have an equal chance of modernity, women have caught men [in IQ testing]."

Flynn compiled test-takers' scores on a standard IQ test, called the Raven test, in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Estonia and Argentina. Each country tested at least 500 men and 500 women, most between ages 15 and 18.

"In all of those samples, women are the equal of men, perhaps scoring a half point or a point higher," Flynn said. He plans to publish the new results in a forthcoming book.

Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover or Life's Little Mysteries @llmysteries. We're also on Facebook & Google+.


Why Women Are Smarter Than Men

Trying to compare intelligence and gender doesn't typically yield much in the way of productive discussion, but sometimes research comes along that makes opening this particular can of worms worth it.

Decades of research show unequivocally that men and women are equal in general intelligence (IQ), but that isn't the case when it comes to emotional intelligence (EQ). There are subtle, and not so subtle, differences in men's and women's expression and understanding of emotions that must be explored and understood.

Gender is a common place for people to assign labels around emotion. Such generalizations have pegged women as everything from the “fairer sex” to overly emotional, and men from emotionally aloof to explosive. You'll find that none of these platitudes are true.

Gallery: The 25 Best-Paying Jobs For Women Right Now

There’s an enormous amount of research suggesting that emotional intelligence (EQ) is critical to men's and women's performance at work. Emotional intelligence is responsible for 58% of performance in all types of jobs, and 90% of top performers are high in EQ.

"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition." -Timothy Leary

TalentSmart has tested the emotional intelligence of more than a million people and it's clear that women have the upper hand. While women's overall EQ score is just a couple of points higher than men's, this is a statistically significant difference that shows that women have greater skill in using emotions to their benefit.

It just doesn't answer the pressing question: Why?

Image courtesy of TalentSmart.com

To understand why women outscore men, we have to look at scores for each of the four emotional intelligence skills by gender. There's a reliable pattern in the data that points to some interesting explanations for the gap.

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is how well you understand your own emotions in the moment, as well as how well you understand your tendencies—the people and situations you handle well and those that push your buttons. This is the one place where men and women have perfectly equal scores. It's also a place where men have been given a bad rap. People often assume that men aren't tuned in to their emotions or don't understand them. Clearly, that isn't the case. Of course, men also have a tendency to hop on this bandwagon—by feigning to have no awareness or understanding of their emotions—in the hope of avoiding any accountability for their actions. Now we know better.

Self-Management

Self-management is what you do with your emotions once you're aware of them. Since you can't make emotions disappear, effective self-management requires channeling your emotions into producing the behavior that you want. This is the one area where men outscored women. I believe that the best explanation for gender differences in emotional intelligence is how we are socialized growing up (reinforced by societal gender pressures we experience as adults). In the case of self-management, men are often expected to be emotionally "strong" and in control of their emotions, which may explain why they outscore women slightly.

Social Awareness

Social awareness is how well you understand the emotions and experience of other people. This requires the ability to tune in to body language and other unspoken signals, since people don't usually come out and say what's going on with them. This is an area where women outscore men by a fairly large margin (statistically speaking). This is also a skill that women are socialized to practice and possess from childhood in ways that men aren't. Right or wrong, women are expected to take care of other people (and are rewarded for doing so). This gives them an upper hand when it comes to social awareness. Men, to their detriment, aren't rewarded for social awareness in the same way that women are, and this carries over into adulthood.

Relationship Management

Relationship management is the pinnacle of emotional intelligence. It requires that you use self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness in concert to better your relationships as you interact with other people. You cannot hope to get the most out of your interactions with other people until you understand your emotions, cue in to their emotions, and use this knowledge to adjust your approach on the fly. Women have a slight edge in relationship management for reasons described in the social awareness section above.

The Advantage

Emotional intelligence presents a significant advantage for women in the workplace. Whether you're a man or a woman, don't just sit back hoping that you're one of the high-EQ types. EQ is a flexible skill that you can improve with effort. To that end, here are a few things that you can do to improve your EQ today:

Limit Your Caffeine Intake

Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, and adrenaline is the source of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt e-mail. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. Caffeine’s long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body. High-EQ individuals know that caffeine is trouble, and they don’t let it get the better of them.

Get Enough Sleep

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence. When you sleep your brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons that are by-products of neural activity when you're awake. Unfortunately, your brain can remove them adequately only while you're asleep. So when you don't get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think. Skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity. High-EQ individuals know that their self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when they don’t get enough sleep. So, they make sleep a top priority.

Stop Negative Self-Talk In Its Tracks

The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural tendency to perceive threats (inflating the frequency or severity of an event). Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new outlook.

Appreciate What You Have

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do it also improves your mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

Why do you think women outscore men in emotional intelligence? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.


Unfairer sex? Bigger brains mean men have higher IQs than women

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New research found that men have a higher IQ than women because they have bigger brain

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Scientists scanned the brains of almost 900 people to measure their brain volumes before they underwent a battery of intelligence tests.

They found that men typically had an IQ of four points higher than women, and their brain volumes were larger than those of the fairer sex.

Professor Dimitri van der Linden, of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, said: &ldquoWe found that the average IQ of men was about four points above that of women.

Related articles

&ldquoSo if men had an average score of 100, women would score 96.&rdquo

He also found men had an average brain volume of 1.2 litres compared with 1 litre for women.

The surface area of the male cerebral cortex was 1850 sq cm compared with 1630 sq cm for women.

Scientists scanned the brains of almost 900 people to measure their brain volumes

The average IQ of men was about four points above that of women

Professor Dimitri van der Linden

And for both sexes, those with bigger brains had slightly higher IQ scores.

Angela Saini, author of a new book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong - and the New Research That&rsquos Rewriting the Story, stressed there was no difference in intelligence between the sexes.

She said it was &ldquowell established&rdquo that there is no difference on average in general intelligence between women and men.

They found that men typically had an IQ of four points higher than women

&ldquoIt&rsquos also well known that women have, on average, slightly smaller brains than men because they are, on average, slightly smaller in size,&rdquo she said.

&ldquoFor more than 100 years, male anatomists and neuroscientists have sought to find evidence of women&rsquos intellectual inferiority by comparing their brains to those of men.

&ldquoIt&rsquos surprising that in the 21st century those efforts haven&rsquot ended.&rdquo

Add brain Debate has long ranged over the controversial area of differences between male and female intelligence.

Clear anatomical differences have been found between the sexes with women having a thicker cerebral cortex - an area associated with language and memory.

Men had an average brain volume of 1.2 litres compared with 1 litre for women

But men were found to have higher brain volumes in many areas of the brain.

Men have long been held to be better at visual-spatial tasks such as parking or reading maps while women are often seen as better with language and acquire fine motor skills at a younger age than men.

Girls have also been shown to have greater empathy at a younger age and be better at reading.

But scientists are yet to ascertain whether such differences directly affect intelligence.


Do men, on average, have a higher general intelligence score? - Psychology

The purpose of this section is to give you a basic overview of theories of intelligence and concepts involved in intelligence testing.

The subject of intelligence is one of the most contentious in the field of psychology. We judge and evaluate others based on our perception of their intelligence, and we are judged on our intelligence in academic settings.

Definitions of Intelligence

Definitions of intelligence vary, but a good “working” definition is the global capacity to think rationally, act purposefully, and deal effectively with the environment. David Wechsler, who came up with this definition (as well as designing intelligence tests such as the WAIS and WISC), emphasized the notion that intelligence is really about adaptation to new situations, rather than recitation of old knowledge.

This difference between recitation and adaptation is pretty important. The earliest researchers in the area of intelligence testing recognized that “acquired” knowledge (things you have learned) is not the best measure of intelligence – instead, intelligence is about your potential to learn new skills and adapt to new situations, your aptitude. When Simon and Binet were designing the Simon-Binet test in the early 20th century, they recognized that high natural intelligence was a better predictor of success in school than acquired intelligence. In other words, what you know is less important than what you are capable of knowing. Modern intelligence tests like the WAIS continue to use subtests that tap into novel, unfamiliar problems with a focus on the test-taker’s aptitude rather than trivial knowledge.

The History of Intelligence Testing

The first practical intelligence test was designed by Simon and Binet for the French government in the early 20th century. As compulsory public education was becoming the norm (it hasn’t always been) governments were struggling to deal with students with a wide range of abilities. The thought was that a diagnostic test might allow educators to sort and separate students based on ability more or less, determining which students might benefit from remedial programs (special ed programs, more or less). Previous intelligence tests proved to be deceptive because wealthier children had access to training in mathematics, reading, and writing – whereas children from poorer, rural families were often illiterate at the time of testing. Simon and Binet designed their test (the Simon-Binet) to be indifferent to prior training. This allowed them to measure natural intelligence (aptitude) and more fairly evaluate students.

The Simon-Binet test effectively measured a child’s mental age – for example, a more “gifted” 8 year-old might have a mental age of 10. A below-average 8 year-old might have a mental age of 6. Lewis Terman, developer of the Stanford-Binet scale (a modification of the Simon-Binet), created a formula which compared mental age to chronological age – producing the intelligence quotient or IQ. The IQ is a number which represents the relationship between mental and chronological age when testing children – a 10 year old child with an IQ of 150 is 1.5 times as intelligent as the average 10 year old, and 1.5 x 10 = 15. This means that this child will probably benefit from educational tools geared toward the average fifteen year old. This is called ratio IQ.

The nature of scores on intelligence tests is that they stabilize in the early 20’s. In other words, ratio IQ is useful for measuring intelligence in children because there are real, expected differences in IQ scores between different age groups. As children grow up, they become more intellectually skilled. Adults, on the other hand, tend not to change as much. It is impractical to compare the intelligence of a 45 year old with that of a 30 year old – a 45 year old is not 1.5 times as intelligent as the 30 year old, despite being 1.5 times as old. A different form of IQ is used in these situations which compares adults to other members of their age group. This is called deviation IQ.

More recently, David Wechsler deveoped the WAIS and WISC which, along with the Stanford-Binet, are the most prominent diagnostic intelligence tests. The WAIS and WISC both analyse intelligence based on a three-level hierarchy of intelligence: IQ, which is a general measure, subdivided into primary mental abilities (verbal and performance IQ) and specific mental abilities (each individual subtest).

Test Construction – WAIS and WISC

Both the WAIS and WISC are examples of good test construction. Both tests are standardized, meaning that they use previous results to calculate absolute parameters – the average score on the WAIS is an IQ of 100, and that is always the average. If there is a shift in scores, average is recalibrated until it is 100. The values of IQ remain the same, even as the collection of information increases the number of available scores. IQ scores are organized around a normalized frequency distribution or “normal curve,” allowing testers to plot scores and make judgements based on statistics such as standard deviations. For example, 68% of scores fall within one standard deviation of the mean (average) – so scores from 85 to 115 are perfectly average. 95% of scores range from 70 to 130 – two standard deviations. Different agencies and organizations use these deviation points (15 points each) to mark out average below average, severely below average, above average, and gifted.

WAIS and WISC scores also tend to exhibit good reliability – in other words, from one test session to the next, an individual’s IQ scores should remain relatively stable, particularly in adulthood. WAIS scores in adulthood typically do not vary unless there has been an illness or injury. The reliability of the scores allows us to predict the average course of development for IQ – fast increases in childhood followed by stabilization and a slow taper in late adulthood.

The validity of a test depends on the definition of the construct being tested. Since Wechsler defined intelligence as a global capacity to think, act, and deal effectively (adapt), the WAIS and WISC are facially valid – they present novel problems and tests which are designed to see how quickly and accurately you can respond to a new set of instructions. Generally speaking, the results are pretty valid in the testing environment – The WAIS does not define intelligence as “the ability to perform well in school.” Although this correlation exists (at r = .5), the WAIS is not a valid test of academic performance because its parameters do not measure other factors that affect academic performance, such as time management skills or emotional intelligence. WAIS scores also have a moderate correlation with career success (.4), but a .4 correlation means that 60% of the variability between scores is actually due to factors other than those measured by the WAIS.

The Nature and Structure of Intelligence

A mentioned before, the WAIS is based on a three-level hierarchy theory of intelligence. This involves a “general” intelligence (IQ) as well as primary mental abilities (VIQ and PIQ) and specific abilities (each subtest). The idea of a “general” intelligence factor (or “g”) was proposed by Charles Spearman. Spearman’s g suggests that intelligence is guided by this general factor – in other words, people are either generally intelligent, or generally not. A generally intelligence person will have abilities which are controlled by g, and will express that ability across a wide range of abilities. If this is confusing, consider our assumption that generally intelligent people will do well, no matter what they study. This is an application of the concept of g.

Louis Thurstone challenged this assumption and suggested that g was merely an average of the function of several other “primary” mental abilities, which could vary – for example, someone might have high verbal comprehension, but low perceptual speed. This idea is built-in to the WAIS in the form of VIQ and PIQ – although IQ (total IQ) remains a good average for both verbal and performance IQ, the fact is that most people vary in their scores for VIQ and PIQ. Generally speaking, people will score 10-20 points higher on VIQ than PIQ, with women having a wider range than men, on average. This result is so predictable that situations where PIQ is significantly higher than VIQ are red flags. We no longer assume that someone with a high IQ has similar abilities in both verbal and performance areas.

Other theories break from the WAIS and WISC model by eschewing g altogether. These theories assume that different areas of intelligence can develop and be practiced independently, and that no relationship exists between them. Gardner’s multiple intelligences, for example, suggests independently-variable areas of intelligence. He based his theory on research involving patients with brain damage, noting that biological damage resulted in the loss of some abilities, but not others. Similarly, developmental problems might cause certain areas of the brain to compensate for others. Savantism is an example of individuals with developmental disabilities or brain damage who have generally low mental abilities except for one or two areas of exceptional talent. Prodigies, on the other hand, are generally average individuals with one or two areas of unexplained talent. Multiple intelligence theory accounts for these irregularities, whereas g would assume that these kinds of irregularities wouldn’t happen.

Robert Sternberg’s Triarchic theory of intelligence is another multiple-intelligence theory. Analytical intelligence is traditional intelligence as measured by the WAIS. Sternberg also saw value in creative intelligence (the ability to come up with new and novel solutions to problems) and practical intelligence (the application of knowledge to practical situations). We all know someone who has Wikipedia practically memorized (analytical intelligence) and yet who is unable to hold down a job (practical intelligence). We may also know people who are generally not good in school (analytical) but who are talented musicians or artists (creative). There are also people who may be brilliant intellectuals (analytical) but who struggle with the social and time constraints of college (practical).

Factors Which Influence Intelligence – Genetics and Environment

Naturally, there is a great deal of interest in where intelligence comes from. If we can understand which genetic and environmental factors influence intellectual development, we can create environmental and genetic situations (uh…) which will lead to ideally supportive learning environments. Naturally, evidence points to some interaction between genetics and environment.

This highlights the difference between genotype and phenotype. Your genotype is the actual genetic information in your DNA, which establishes a set of parameters – upper and lower limits. The genotype is then acted upon by environmental factors to produce your phenotype – the expressed genetic trait as it develops within that environmental situation. For example, you might have genes that program for relatively high intelligence, but if you suffered from malnutrition as a child, that environmental factor might have caused your phenotypic expression of intelligence to be lower than it might otherwise have been.

Twin studies show that identical twins reared together have a .86 correlation between IQ scores, while identical twins reared apart have a .72 correlation – this suggests that common environmental factors account for no more than 14% of the variability between them. In general, then, we assume that people with similar genetics and who are raised in similar environments will also have similar test scores. Heritability studies show a roughly 50/50 split in terms of genetic and environmental influence for the general population, although this changes if we look at different socioeconomic groups. For example, variability of test scores within groups of individuals who are from an upper-middle class neighborhood is something like .90, while variability among individuals from lower socioeconomic strata is somewhere around .10.

What does that mean? It means that individuals who are wealthier have more structured, standardized lifestyles and so there are fewer environmental differences in terms of schooling, nutrition, or even social activities. On the other hand, individuals from less advantaged families may have a wider range of experiences including violence, drug or child abuse, malnutrition, or intermittent access to education. This produces a wider range of variability which can be attributed to environmental factors, rather than genetic ones.

This leads to the next question – what about comparing intelligence between groups, rather than within groups? The problem of cultural bias is one of high importance both academically and socially. Sixty years ago, differences in IQ scores were used to bolster prejudicial attitudes and institutionalized discrimination against “less intelligent” minority groups, but now we recognize that any difference between racial and ethnic groups can be attributed to a number of different factors. Across the globe, and regardless of race, minority groups score lower by 10 to 15 points on intelligence tests when compared to the majority group. This suggests sociological causes, such as oppression or stereotype threat, lack of access to resources or more insulated ethnic communities can contribute to variations in test scores.


Does intelligence stay the same through our lives?

When several hundred Canadian soldiers serving in the second world war were retested 40 years later with the same test battery that they had taken at call up the correlations were high. 6 Across the 40 year gap between the ages of 25 and 65 the stability coefficient of individual differences for the verbal ability latent trait was around 0.9, but for non-verbal ability it was around 0.6. Therefore we can see that different aspects of human intelligence show different degrees of stability across adulthood. Generally, abilities that are concerned with stored information and knowledge (crystallised intelligence) are more consistently stable than abilities that are concerned with thinking under time pressure with new materials (fluid intelligence).

Apart from the matter of whether bright 25 year olds tend to be bright 65 year olds (they do), does overall ability decline with age? Again, yes and no. 6 Verbal abilities and knowledge hold up well or increase until old age, though fluid intelligence decreases in most people after young adulthood. Finding the sources of stability and change in human abilities is a lively area of investigation. The increasing numbers of people surviving to a healthy old age have made us aware that humans show individual differences in how their mental abilities fare with time. Finding the sources of such differential cognitive ageing is now a research priority. Though studies are incomplete, several factors may be protective of mental ability level—namely, being free of chronic disease, living in a complex and intellectually stimulating environment, having a flexible personality in midlife, living with a partner of high ability, maintaining speed of information processing, being satisfied with life in middle age. 7


Milo: Sorry, Girls! But The Smartest People In The World Are All Men

We’re constantly told that sexism and stereotypes are what hold women back in maths, engineering and tech. But it’s a lie. The real reason there aren’t more female astrophysicists is that the number of really, really smart girls is minuscule.

Sorry, no offence, but it’s true. Of course there’s the odd mould-breaking chick brainiac who gets a lot of press attention. But they’re in the minority, and not because girls are put off by some mythical male-dominated patriarchy.

There’s little doubt that men occupy more of the higher end of the IQ scale. Every study comes out the same. IQ isn’t a perfect measure of everything, but it’s the best indicator available of whether someone will be able to compete at the very highest levels. Politically correct publications such as Quartz phrase the science like this:

Even in these enlightened times, men still do display a wider range of intellectual ability. Using several different measures of intelligence including IQ and SAT scores, more men are found in the high and low tails, according to Josh Aronson, a professor of applied psychology at NYU

In other words, men are brainier – and more stupid – than women. One commonly-cited IQ distribution graph, for instance, looks like this.

The same findings explain why men are better at chess. But – and this is where feminists are going to lose their shit – I was recently sent a data set, taken from the study site IQComparisonSite, which goes even further than previously reported studies. Here’s what the authors say:

Male and female mean IQs are about equal below the age of 15 but males have a higher mean IQ from age 15 on. The effect of sex differences in IQ is largest at the high extreme of intelligence. Since many of the more prestigious roles in society are associated with high IQ, the lack of female representation in these roles may be partially due to fewer females being competitive at the highest levels.

In other words, men are not only smarter after puberty kicks in, but the gap widens the further up the IQ scale you go. The higher someone’s IQ, the more likely they are to be a man. Although there is relative parity between men and women around the average IQ of 100, at IQs of 130-150 the male to female ratio is already 2.5:1.

The results of this study come from a battery of 36 questions that required minimal prior knowledge to answer, given to test reasoning and pattern recognition under distraction. There was no time limit, and the study was standardized against a Mensa sample. The tests were confidential but because purchasing results or answers required a credit card or PayPal, users could be connected to a real-world identity by the site and had a strong incentive to use the correct credentials.

The results are even worse for the equality of outcome crowd because they don’t show the sublime geniuses and backward knuckledraggers trend in the bell curves above: these data show that there’s little difference between men and women at the lower end of the scale and that it’s only as people get smarter that the gap opens up. So according to this data it’s not the case that men are both stupider and more intelligent – just the latter.

It’s not fair to simply say “men are smarter than women.” It’s a bit more subtle than that. But it is clearly preposterous to assume that the only reason there isn’t gender parity in the sciences and maths is some kind of discrimination. Unless, of course, you consider Mother Nature a bigot.

By the way, the last IQ range in the study ends at 175, with an 11:1 ratio. We can’t calculate ratios beyond that, because no woman scored higher than 176: as even female readers will know, you can’t divide by zero. Attempting to predict the number of women in America between the age of 40 and 65 with IQs that high is therefore impossible.

(In the interests of fairness, the numbers above are calculations and they assume that each gender’s IQ is distributed as a smooth bell curve. That assumption may not be perfect, so these numbers might not be exactly right, but they give an accurate enough result.)

So much in education has been changed recently to better suit women, including a renewed focus on coursework, because women don’t perform well in exams. That’s one reason why more women are going to university and more are graduating. But no amount of gerrymandering with educational styles is going to close the gap at the top of the IQ scale: all it does is unfairly disadvantage men further down.

We know gender equality efforts in STEM are foolish, because in a free society women choose the subjects they are most interested in. The high IQ outliers among women will continue to enter STEM, as they always have. Forcing those who are not elite to compete with those who are is not empowering. It’s just cruel. And lowering the bar to accommodate mediocre talent is just as bad. How far do feminists want us to fall behind Asia, exactly?

The point here is not to denigrate women, but rather to remind feminists who insist on quotas, affirmative action and various other batty methods designed to artificially level the playing field that they’re doing so not to redress any injustices perpetrated by a sexist system, but merely to meet arbitrary ideological objectives that run counter to biology which, yes, has a massive effect on how smart men and women are related to one another.

It doesn’t matter if women “test poorly” or if IQ doesn’t measure a totality of intelligence or if the test is somehow biased toward men. Because it’s IQ skills that are required to solve the hardest puzzles in mathematics and physics, not verbal communication or any of the other, equally important kinds of intelligence. The work that drives society and technology forward looks a lot like an IQ test, and men simply do better at them.

One last thing. Genius IQs also map neatly onto some kinds of artists, too. There’s a reason there are no truly great female artists and that women’s paintings don’t command the same prices as men’s. (And no, it’s not entrenched sexism in the art market.) Don’t expect a female Mozart or da Vinci any time soon – although art forms that focus on communication and empathy, such as novel-writing, do enjoy strong female representation. So there’s that, at least.

Follow Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) on Twitter and Facebook. He’s a hoot! Android users can download Milo Alert! to be notified about new articles when they are published.


1. Intelligence increases the ability to fool yourself with elaborate stories about why something happened.

Those with high IQ scores aren't always fast learners, because they often try to cram the real world into the theories they've been taught, while average folks are better at accepting the real world at face value.

Here's the thing: We tend to judge others based solely on their actions, but when judging ourselves, we have an internal dialogue that justifies our mistakes and bad decisions.

If you're a fund manager who earns terrible returns, I may be able to instantly point out what went wrong (e.g., buying during a bubble, selling during a panic, not enough diversification).

But if I'm the fund manager who earns terrible returns, I can tell myself a story justifying my decisions and explaining the outcome. I might say, "The Fed distorted the economy!" Or, "Look at my model. It's the market that's wrong!"

Two things come from this:

  1. We think of ourselves as less flawed than other people, because we rarely hear the internal justifications other people have for their mistakes, but we're keenly aware of our own.
  2. When you're blessed with intelligence, you're also cursed with the ability to use it to concoct intricate — and often false — stories about why things happened, especially stories justifying why you, Smartypants, made a mistake.

WHY MEASURE INTELLIGENCE?

The value of IQ testing is most evident in educational or clinical settings. Children who seem to be experiencing learning difficulties or severe behavioral problems can be tested to ascertain whether the child’s difficulties can be partly attributed to an IQ score that is significantly different from the mean for her age group. Without IQ testing—or another measure of intelligence—children and adults needing extra support might not be identified effectively. In addition, IQ testing is used in courts to determine whether a defendant has special or extenuating circumstances that preclude him from participating in some way in a trial. People also use IQ testing results to seek disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. While IQ tests have sometimes been used as arguments in support of insidious purposes, such as the eugenics movement (Severson, 2011), the following case study demonstrates the usefulness and benefits of IQ testing.

Candace, a 14-year-old girl experiencing problems at school, was referred for a court-ordered psychological evaluation. She was in regular education classes in ninth grade and was failing every subject. Candace had never been a stellar student but had always been passed to the next grade. Frequently, she would curse at any of her teachers who called on her in class. She also got into fights with other students and occasionally shoplifted. When she arrived for the evaluation, Candace immediately said that she hated everything about school, including the teachers, the rest of the staff, the building, and the homework. Her parents stated that they felt their daughter was picked on, because she was of a different race than the teachers and most of the other students. When asked why she cursed at her teachers, Candace replied, “They only call on me when I don’t know the answer. I don’t want to say, ‘I don’t know’ all of the time and look like an idiot in front of my friends. The teachers embarrass me.” She was given a battery of tests, including an IQ test. Her score on the IQ test was 68. What does Candace’s score say about her ability to excel or even succeed in regular education classes without assistance?


1. Intelligence increases the ability to fool yourself with elaborate stories about why something happened.

Those with high IQ scores aren't always fast learners, because they often try to cram the real world into the theories they've been taught, while average folks are better at accepting the real world at face value.

Here's the thing: We tend to judge others based solely on their actions, but when judging ourselves, we have an internal dialogue that justifies our mistakes and bad decisions.

If you're a fund manager who earns terrible returns, I may be able to instantly point out what went wrong (e.g., buying during a bubble, selling during a panic, not enough diversification).

But if I'm the fund manager who earns terrible returns, I can tell myself a story justifying my decisions and explaining the outcome. I might say, "The Fed distorted the economy!" Or, "Look at my model. It's the market that's wrong!"

Two things come from this:

  1. We think of ourselves as less flawed than other people, because we rarely hear the internal justifications other people have for their mistakes, but we're keenly aware of our own.
  2. When you're blessed with intelligence, you're also cursed with the ability to use it to concoct intricate — and often false — stories about why things happened, especially stories justifying why you, Smartypants, made a mistake.

Unfairer sex? Bigger brains mean men have higher IQs than women

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New research found that men have a higher IQ than women because they have bigger brain

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Scientists scanned the brains of almost 900 people to measure their brain volumes before they underwent a battery of intelligence tests.

They found that men typically had an IQ of four points higher than women, and their brain volumes were larger than those of the fairer sex.

Professor Dimitri van der Linden, of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, said: &ldquoWe found that the average IQ of men was about four points above that of women.

Related articles

&ldquoSo if men had an average score of 100, women would score 96.&rdquo

He also found men had an average brain volume of 1.2 litres compared with 1 litre for women.

The surface area of the male cerebral cortex was 1850 sq cm compared with 1630 sq cm for women.

Scientists scanned the brains of almost 900 people to measure their brain volumes

The average IQ of men was about four points above that of women

Professor Dimitri van der Linden

And for both sexes, those with bigger brains had slightly higher IQ scores.

Angela Saini, author of a new book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong - and the New Research That&rsquos Rewriting the Story, stressed there was no difference in intelligence between the sexes.

She said it was &ldquowell established&rdquo that there is no difference on average in general intelligence between women and men.

They found that men typically had an IQ of four points higher than women

&ldquoIt&rsquos also well known that women have, on average, slightly smaller brains than men because they are, on average, slightly smaller in size,&rdquo she said.

&ldquoFor more than 100 years, male anatomists and neuroscientists have sought to find evidence of women&rsquos intellectual inferiority by comparing their brains to those of men.

&ldquoIt&rsquos surprising that in the 21st century those efforts haven&rsquot ended.&rdquo

Add brain Debate has long ranged over the controversial area of differences between male and female intelligence.

Clear anatomical differences have been found between the sexes with women having a thicker cerebral cortex - an area associated with language and memory.

Men had an average brain volume of 1.2 litres compared with 1 litre for women

But men were found to have higher brain volumes in many areas of the brain.

Men have long been held to be better at visual-spatial tasks such as parking or reading maps while women are often seen as better with language and acquire fine motor skills at a younger age than men.

Girls have also been shown to have greater empathy at a younger age and be better at reading.

But scientists are yet to ascertain whether such differences directly affect intelligence.


Do men, on average, have a higher general intelligence score? - Psychology

The purpose of this section is to give you a basic overview of theories of intelligence and concepts involved in intelligence testing.

The subject of intelligence is one of the most contentious in the field of psychology. We judge and evaluate others based on our perception of their intelligence, and we are judged on our intelligence in academic settings.

Definitions of Intelligence

Definitions of intelligence vary, but a good “working” definition is the global capacity to think rationally, act purposefully, and deal effectively with the environment. David Wechsler, who came up with this definition (as well as designing intelligence tests such as the WAIS and WISC), emphasized the notion that intelligence is really about adaptation to new situations, rather than recitation of old knowledge.

This difference between recitation and adaptation is pretty important. The earliest researchers in the area of intelligence testing recognized that “acquired” knowledge (things you have learned) is not the best measure of intelligence – instead, intelligence is about your potential to learn new skills and adapt to new situations, your aptitude. When Simon and Binet were designing the Simon-Binet test in the early 20th century, they recognized that high natural intelligence was a better predictor of success in school than acquired intelligence. In other words, what you know is less important than what you are capable of knowing. Modern intelligence tests like the WAIS continue to use subtests that tap into novel, unfamiliar problems with a focus on the test-taker’s aptitude rather than trivial knowledge.

The History of Intelligence Testing

The first practical intelligence test was designed by Simon and Binet for the French government in the early 20th century. As compulsory public education was becoming the norm (it hasn’t always been) governments were struggling to deal with students with a wide range of abilities. The thought was that a diagnostic test might allow educators to sort and separate students based on ability more or less, determining which students might benefit from remedial programs (special ed programs, more or less). Previous intelligence tests proved to be deceptive because wealthier children had access to training in mathematics, reading, and writing – whereas children from poorer, rural families were often illiterate at the time of testing. Simon and Binet designed their test (the Simon-Binet) to be indifferent to prior training. This allowed them to measure natural intelligence (aptitude) and more fairly evaluate students.

The Simon-Binet test effectively measured a child’s mental age – for example, a more “gifted” 8 year-old might have a mental age of 10. A below-average 8 year-old might have a mental age of 6. Lewis Terman, developer of the Stanford-Binet scale (a modification of the Simon-Binet), created a formula which compared mental age to chronological age – producing the intelligence quotient or IQ. The IQ is a number which represents the relationship between mental and chronological age when testing children – a 10 year old child with an IQ of 150 is 1.5 times as intelligent as the average 10 year old, and 1.5 x 10 = 15. This means that this child will probably benefit from educational tools geared toward the average fifteen year old. This is called ratio IQ.

The nature of scores on intelligence tests is that they stabilize in the early 20’s. In other words, ratio IQ is useful for measuring intelligence in children because there are real, expected differences in IQ scores between different age groups. As children grow up, they become more intellectually skilled. Adults, on the other hand, tend not to change as much. It is impractical to compare the intelligence of a 45 year old with that of a 30 year old – a 45 year old is not 1.5 times as intelligent as the 30 year old, despite being 1.5 times as old. A different form of IQ is used in these situations which compares adults to other members of their age group. This is called deviation IQ.

More recently, David Wechsler deveoped the WAIS and WISC which, along with the Stanford-Binet, are the most prominent diagnostic intelligence tests. The WAIS and WISC both analyse intelligence based on a three-level hierarchy of intelligence: IQ, which is a general measure, subdivided into primary mental abilities (verbal and performance IQ) and specific mental abilities (each individual subtest).

Test Construction – WAIS and WISC

Both the WAIS and WISC are examples of good test construction. Both tests are standardized, meaning that they use previous results to calculate absolute parameters – the average score on the WAIS is an IQ of 100, and that is always the average. If there is a shift in scores, average is recalibrated until it is 100. The values of IQ remain the same, even as the collection of information increases the number of available scores. IQ scores are organized around a normalized frequency distribution or “normal curve,” allowing testers to plot scores and make judgements based on statistics such as standard deviations. For example, 68% of scores fall within one standard deviation of the mean (average) – so scores from 85 to 115 are perfectly average. 95% of scores range from 70 to 130 – two standard deviations. Different agencies and organizations use these deviation points (15 points each) to mark out average below average, severely below average, above average, and gifted.

WAIS and WISC scores also tend to exhibit good reliability – in other words, from one test session to the next, an individual’s IQ scores should remain relatively stable, particularly in adulthood. WAIS scores in adulthood typically do not vary unless there has been an illness or injury. The reliability of the scores allows us to predict the average course of development for IQ – fast increases in childhood followed by stabilization and a slow taper in late adulthood.

The validity of a test depends on the definition of the construct being tested. Since Wechsler defined intelligence as a global capacity to think, act, and deal effectively (adapt), the WAIS and WISC are facially valid – they present novel problems and tests which are designed to see how quickly and accurately you can respond to a new set of instructions. Generally speaking, the results are pretty valid in the testing environment – The WAIS does not define intelligence as “the ability to perform well in school.” Although this correlation exists (at r = .5), the WAIS is not a valid test of academic performance because its parameters do not measure other factors that affect academic performance, such as time management skills or emotional intelligence. WAIS scores also have a moderate correlation with career success (.4), but a .4 correlation means that 60% of the variability between scores is actually due to factors other than those measured by the WAIS.

The Nature and Structure of Intelligence

A mentioned before, the WAIS is based on a three-level hierarchy theory of intelligence. This involves a “general” intelligence (IQ) as well as primary mental abilities (VIQ and PIQ) and specific abilities (each subtest). The idea of a “general” intelligence factor (or “g”) was proposed by Charles Spearman. Spearman’s g suggests that intelligence is guided by this general factor – in other words, people are either generally intelligent, or generally not. A generally intelligence person will have abilities which are controlled by g, and will express that ability across a wide range of abilities. If this is confusing, consider our assumption that generally intelligent people will do well, no matter what they study. This is an application of the concept of g.

Louis Thurstone challenged this assumption and suggested that g was merely an average of the function of several other “primary” mental abilities, which could vary – for example, someone might have high verbal comprehension, but low perceptual speed. This idea is built-in to the WAIS in the form of VIQ and PIQ – although IQ (total IQ) remains a good average for both verbal and performance IQ, the fact is that most people vary in their scores for VIQ and PIQ. Generally speaking, people will score 10-20 points higher on VIQ than PIQ, with women having a wider range than men, on average. This result is so predictable that situations where PIQ is significantly higher than VIQ are red flags. We no longer assume that someone with a high IQ has similar abilities in both verbal and performance areas.

Other theories break from the WAIS and WISC model by eschewing g altogether. These theories assume that different areas of intelligence can develop and be practiced independently, and that no relationship exists between them. Gardner’s multiple intelligences, for example, suggests independently-variable areas of intelligence. He based his theory on research involving patients with brain damage, noting that biological damage resulted in the loss of some abilities, but not others. Similarly, developmental problems might cause certain areas of the brain to compensate for others. Savantism is an example of individuals with developmental disabilities or brain damage who have generally low mental abilities except for one or two areas of exceptional talent. Prodigies, on the other hand, are generally average individuals with one or two areas of unexplained talent. Multiple intelligence theory accounts for these irregularities, whereas g would assume that these kinds of irregularities wouldn’t happen.

Robert Sternberg’s Triarchic theory of intelligence is another multiple-intelligence theory. Analytical intelligence is traditional intelligence as measured by the WAIS. Sternberg also saw value in creative intelligence (the ability to come up with new and novel solutions to problems) and practical intelligence (the application of knowledge to practical situations). We all know someone who has Wikipedia practically memorized (analytical intelligence) and yet who is unable to hold down a job (practical intelligence). We may also know people who are generally not good in school (analytical) but who are talented musicians or artists (creative). There are also people who may be brilliant intellectuals (analytical) but who struggle with the social and time constraints of college (practical).

Factors Which Influence Intelligence – Genetics and Environment

Naturally, there is a great deal of interest in where intelligence comes from. If we can understand which genetic and environmental factors influence intellectual development, we can create environmental and genetic situations (uh…) which will lead to ideally supportive learning environments. Naturally, evidence points to some interaction between genetics and environment.

This highlights the difference between genotype and phenotype. Your genotype is the actual genetic information in your DNA, which establishes a set of parameters – upper and lower limits. The genotype is then acted upon by environmental factors to produce your phenotype – the expressed genetic trait as it develops within that environmental situation. For example, you might have genes that program for relatively high intelligence, but if you suffered from malnutrition as a child, that environmental factor might have caused your phenotypic expression of intelligence to be lower than it might otherwise have been.

Twin studies show that identical twins reared together have a .86 correlation between IQ scores, while identical twins reared apart have a .72 correlation – this suggests that common environmental factors account for no more than 14% of the variability between them. In general, then, we assume that people with similar genetics and who are raised in similar environments will also have similar test scores. Heritability studies show a roughly 50/50 split in terms of genetic and environmental influence for the general population, although this changes if we look at different socioeconomic groups. For example, variability of test scores within groups of individuals who are from an upper-middle class neighborhood is something like .90, while variability among individuals from lower socioeconomic strata is somewhere around .10.

What does that mean? It means that individuals who are wealthier have more structured, standardized lifestyles and so there are fewer environmental differences in terms of schooling, nutrition, or even social activities. On the other hand, individuals from less advantaged families may have a wider range of experiences including violence, drug or child abuse, malnutrition, or intermittent access to education. This produces a wider range of variability which can be attributed to environmental factors, rather than genetic ones.

This leads to the next question – what about comparing intelligence between groups, rather than within groups? The problem of cultural bias is one of high importance both academically and socially. Sixty years ago, differences in IQ scores were used to bolster prejudicial attitudes and institutionalized discrimination against “less intelligent” minority groups, but now we recognize that any difference between racial and ethnic groups can be attributed to a number of different factors. Across the globe, and regardless of race, minority groups score lower by 10 to 15 points on intelligence tests when compared to the majority group. This suggests sociological causes, such as oppression or stereotype threat, lack of access to resources or more insulated ethnic communities can contribute to variations in test scores.


Milo: Sorry, Girls! But The Smartest People In The World Are All Men

We’re constantly told that sexism and stereotypes are what hold women back in maths, engineering and tech. But it’s a lie. The real reason there aren’t more female astrophysicists is that the number of really, really smart girls is minuscule.

Sorry, no offence, but it’s true. Of course there’s the odd mould-breaking chick brainiac who gets a lot of press attention. But they’re in the minority, and not because girls are put off by some mythical male-dominated patriarchy.

There’s little doubt that men occupy more of the higher end of the IQ scale. Every study comes out the same. IQ isn’t a perfect measure of everything, but it’s the best indicator available of whether someone will be able to compete at the very highest levels. Politically correct publications such as Quartz phrase the science like this:

Even in these enlightened times, men still do display a wider range of intellectual ability. Using several different measures of intelligence including IQ and SAT scores, more men are found in the high and low tails, according to Josh Aronson, a professor of applied psychology at NYU

In other words, men are brainier – and more stupid – than women. One commonly-cited IQ distribution graph, for instance, looks like this.

The same findings explain why men are better at chess. But – and this is where feminists are going to lose their shit – I was recently sent a data set, taken from the study site IQComparisonSite, which goes even further than previously reported studies. Here’s what the authors say:

Male and female mean IQs are about equal below the age of 15 but males have a higher mean IQ from age 15 on. The effect of sex differences in IQ is largest at the high extreme of intelligence. Since many of the more prestigious roles in society are associated with high IQ, the lack of female representation in these roles may be partially due to fewer females being competitive at the highest levels.

In other words, men are not only smarter after puberty kicks in, but the gap widens the further up the IQ scale you go. The higher someone’s IQ, the more likely they are to be a man. Although there is relative parity between men and women around the average IQ of 100, at IQs of 130-150 the male to female ratio is already 2.5:1.

The results of this study come from a battery of 36 questions that required minimal prior knowledge to answer, given to test reasoning and pattern recognition under distraction. There was no time limit, and the study was standardized against a Mensa sample. The tests were confidential but because purchasing results or answers required a credit card or PayPal, users could be connected to a real-world identity by the site and had a strong incentive to use the correct credentials.

The results are even worse for the equality of outcome crowd because they don’t show the sublime geniuses and backward knuckledraggers trend in the bell curves above: these data show that there’s little difference between men and women at the lower end of the scale and that it’s only as people get smarter that the gap opens up. So according to this data it’s not the case that men are both stupider and more intelligent – just the latter.

It’s not fair to simply say “men are smarter than women.” It’s a bit more subtle than that. But it is clearly preposterous to assume that the only reason there isn’t gender parity in the sciences and maths is some kind of discrimination. Unless, of course, you consider Mother Nature a bigot.

By the way, the last IQ range in the study ends at 175, with an 11:1 ratio. We can’t calculate ratios beyond that, because no woman scored higher than 176: as even female readers will know, you can’t divide by zero. Attempting to predict the number of women in America between the age of 40 and 65 with IQs that high is therefore impossible.

(In the interests of fairness, the numbers above are calculations and they assume that each gender’s IQ is distributed as a smooth bell curve. That assumption may not be perfect, so these numbers might not be exactly right, but they give an accurate enough result.)

So much in education has been changed recently to better suit women, including a renewed focus on coursework, because women don’t perform well in exams. That’s one reason why more women are going to university and more are graduating. But no amount of gerrymandering with educational styles is going to close the gap at the top of the IQ scale: all it does is unfairly disadvantage men further down.

We know gender equality efforts in STEM are foolish, because in a free society women choose the subjects they are most interested in. The high IQ outliers among women will continue to enter STEM, as they always have. Forcing those who are not elite to compete with those who are is not empowering. It’s just cruel. And lowering the bar to accommodate mediocre talent is just as bad. How far do feminists want us to fall behind Asia, exactly?

The point here is not to denigrate women, but rather to remind feminists who insist on quotas, affirmative action and various other batty methods designed to artificially level the playing field that they’re doing so not to redress any injustices perpetrated by a sexist system, but merely to meet arbitrary ideological objectives that run counter to biology which, yes, has a massive effect on how smart men and women are related to one another.

It doesn’t matter if women “test poorly” or if IQ doesn’t measure a totality of intelligence or if the test is somehow biased toward men. Because it’s IQ skills that are required to solve the hardest puzzles in mathematics and physics, not verbal communication or any of the other, equally important kinds of intelligence. The work that drives society and technology forward looks a lot like an IQ test, and men simply do better at them.

One last thing. Genius IQs also map neatly onto some kinds of artists, too. There’s a reason there are no truly great female artists and that women’s paintings don’t command the same prices as men’s. (And no, it’s not entrenched sexism in the art market.) Don’t expect a female Mozart or da Vinci any time soon – although art forms that focus on communication and empathy, such as novel-writing, do enjoy strong female representation. So there’s that, at least.

Follow Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) on Twitter and Facebook. He’s a hoot! Android users can download Milo Alert! to be notified about new articles when they are published.


The Smarter Sex? Women's Average IQ Overtakes Men's

Who's smarter: men or women? Judging by IQ scores alone, the answer used to be men. In fact, the gap between men's and women's performance on IQ tests has long ignited questions about the test's fairness. But now, women appear to be beating men at their own game: For the first time in history, they score higher on IQ tests.

The new finding comes from James Flynn, a New Zealand-based intelligence researcher who has tracked worldwide fluctuations in IQ (or "intelligence quotient") scores for decades. Flynn said women's IQs have lagged behind men's for about a century, at times by as many as five points. But they have now closed the gap in all the countries that Flynn analyzed, and have even gained the edge in this battle of wits.

"Over the last 100 years, everyone in the developing world has been gaining about three IQ points, but women have been gaining faster," Flynn told ABC News. "This is the result of modernity. In every country where women have an equal chance of modernity, women have caught men [in IQ testing]."

Flynn compiled test-takers' scores on a standard IQ test, called the Raven test, in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Estonia and Argentina. Each country tested at least 500 men and 500 women, most between ages 15 and 18.

"In all of those samples, women are the equal of men, perhaps scoring a half point or a point higher," Flynn said. He plans to publish the new results in a forthcoming book.

Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover or Life's Little Mysteries @llmysteries. We're also on Facebook & Google+.


Do men, on average, have a higher general intelligence score? - Psychology

There are a lot of theories why IQ tests are falling. Some say it's bad food, poor schools, or obscene amounts of screen time. Others suggest it's a matter of people with lower IQs having more kids, who inherit their lower numbers.

You've seen Idiocracy, right?

The thing is, there's a lot of variation among the U.S. states in terms of IQ averages. So while the nation as a whole averages roughly a 98 IQ, individual states range as much as six points higher or four points below the national average.

In another recent article, we compiled and listed the average life expectancy in each of the 50 states, which proved to be a worthy exercise.

So, here are the estimated average IQ rates for residents of each U.S. state, as compiled by Michael McDaniel, formerly a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and reported by The Washington Post.

It's worth noting that the IQ test in and of itself is controversial to begin with. The Post in fact ranked states according to not just IQ test, but also average SAT and ACT score, along with the overall percentage of college graduates.

But as imperfect as the IQ test is, at least it's a consistent metric. Here are the results.


Why Women Are Smarter Than Men

Trying to compare intelligence and gender doesn't typically yield much in the way of productive discussion, but sometimes research comes along that makes opening this particular can of worms worth it.

Decades of research show unequivocally that men and women are equal in general intelligence (IQ), but that isn't the case when it comes to emotional intelligence (EQ). There are subtle, and not so subtle, differences in men's and women's expression and understanding of emotions that must be explored and understood.

Gender is a common place for people to assign labels around emotion. Such generalizations have pegged women as everything from the “fairer sex” to overly emotional, and men from emotionally aloof to explosive. You'll find that none of these platitudes are true.

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There’s an enormous amount of research suggesting that emotional intelligence (EQ) is critical to men's and women's performance at work. Emotional intelligence is responsible for 58% of performance in all types of jobs, and 90% of top performers are high in EQ.

"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition." -Timothy Leary

TalentSmart has tested the emotional intelligence of more than a million people and it's clear that women have the upper hand. While women's overall EQ score is just a couple of points higher than men's, this is a statistically significant difference that shows that women have greater skill in using emotions to their benefit.

It just doesn't answer the pressing question: Why?

Image courtesy of TalentSmart.com

To understand why women outscore men, we have to look at scores for each of the four emotional intelligence skills by gender. There's a reliable pattern in the data that points to some interesting explanations for the gap.

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is how well you understand your own emotions in the moment, as well as how well you understand your tendencies—the people and situations you handle well and those that push your buttons. This is the one place where men and women have perfectly equal scores. It's also a place where men have been given a bad rap. People often assume that men aren't tuned in to their emotions or don't understand them. Clearly, that isn't the case. Of course, men also have a tendency to hop on this bandwagon—by feigning to have no awareness or understanding of their emotions—in the hope of avoiding any accountability for their actions. Now we know better.

Self-Management

Self-management is what you do with your emotions once you're aware of them. Since you can't make emotions disappear, effective self-management requires channeling your emotions into producing the behavior that you want. This is the one area where men outscored women. I believe that the best explanation for gender differences in emotional intelligence is how we are socialized growing up (reinforced by societal gender pressures we experience as adults). In the case of self-management, men are often expected to be emotionally "strong" and in control of their emotions, which may explain why they outscore women slightly.

Social Awareness

Social awareness is how well you understand the emotions and experience of other people. This requires the ability to tune in to body language and other unspoken signals, since people don't usually come out and say what's going on with them. This is an area where women outscore men by a fairly large margin (statistically speaking). This is also a skill that women are socialized to practice and possess from childhood in ways that men aren't. Right or wrong, women are expected to take care of other people (and are rewarded for doing so). This gives them an upper hand when it comes to social awareness. Men, to their detriment, aren't rewarded for social awareness in the same way that women are, and this carries over into adulthood.

Relationship Management

Relationship management is the pinnacle of emotional intelligence. It requires that you use self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness in concert to better your relationships as you interact with other people. You cannot hope to get the most out of your interactions with other people until you understand your emotions, cue in to their emotions, and use this knowledge to adjust your approach on the fly. Women have a slight edge in relationship management for reasons described in the social awareness section above.

The Advantage

Emotional intelligence presents a significant advantage for women in the workplace. Whether you're a man or a woman, don't just sit back hoping that you're one of the high-EQ types. EQ is a flexible skill that you can improve with effort. To that end, here are a few things that you can do to improve your EQ today:

Limit Your Caffeine Intake

Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, and adrenaline is the source of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt e-mail. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. Caffeine’s long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body. High-EQ individuals know that caffeine is trouble, and they don’t let it get the better of them.

Get Enough Sleep

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence. When you sleep your brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons that are by-products of neural activity when you're awake. Unfortunately, your brain can remove them adequately only while you're asleep. So when you don't get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think. Skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity. High-EQ individuals know that their self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when they don’t get enough sleep. So, they make sleep a top priority.

Stop Negative Self-Talk In Its Tracks

The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural tendency to perceive threats (inflating the frequency or severity of an event). Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new outlook.

Appreciate What You Have

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do it also improves your mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

Why do you think women outscore men in emotional intelligence? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.


Does intelligence stay the same through our lives?

When several hundred Canadian soldiers serving in the second world war were retested 40 years later with the same test battery that they had taken at call up the correlations were high. 6 Across the 40 year gap between the ages of 25 and 65 the stability coefficient of individual differences for the verbal ability latent trait was around 0.9, but for non-verbal ability it was around 0.6. Therefore we can see that different aspects of human intelligence show different degrees of stability across adulthood. Generally, abilities that are concerned with stored information and knowledge (crystallised intelligence) are more consistently stable than abilities that are concerned with thinking under time pressure with new materials (fluid intelligence).

Apart from the matter of whether bright 25 year olds tend to be bright 65 year olds (they do), does overall ability decline with age? Again, yes and no. 6 Verbal abilities and knowledge hold up well or increase until old age, though fluid intelligence decreases in most people after young adulthood. Finding the sources of stability and change in human abilities is a lively area of investigation. The increasing numbers of people surviving to a healthy old age have made us aware that humans show individual differences in how their mental abilities fare with time. Finding the sources of such differential cognitive ageing is now a research priority. Though studies are incomplete, several factors may be protective of mental ability level—namely, being free of chronic disease, living in a complex and intellectually stimulating environment, having a flexible personality in midlife, living with a partner of high ability, maintaining speed of information processing, being satisfied with life in middle age. 7