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What Does Average IQ Really Mean?

What Does Average IQ Really Mean?

This post is more of a thought post or "what if" post. It comes out of the whole Brexit thing which is very similar to the Trump thing but it also comes out of the future robotization of jobs. I was kind of wondering if those who voted for leaving the EU were on the dumb side, voting for something that could make their life worse. (Yes, I realize it is very arrogant for me to think of those folks as dumb, especially when I really don't know and nobody really knows what the Brexit impact will be.) It is the same kind of question I have when thinking of the Trump supporters: Are they just dumb? But a recent article about Hitler and his supporters suggests that his supporters were just regular people agitating for a chance at a better life. They were not thinking of elimination of a race - at least not at first. So were these average people just dumb, too?

So then that got me thinking about average IQ because I correlate average IQ with average people and I imagine that everyone else too. So I did some cursory research on IQ, mainly in Wikipedia but a few other sources, and find that IQ does change over a period of time and that makes sense. The average IQ of cave man should be different from average IQ of those in the 1500's and should be different from those in 1940's and again should be different from today. It should shift because of the knowledge base of the time and that suggests that IQ can improve - it's not static, at least not from generation to generation.

Okay, then, what does it mean to have an average IQ? From a numerical standpoint, 100 is denoted as the average IQ and the standard deviation is 15 points. So about 67 or 68% of the population fall within the range of 85 to 115 points. There are several breakout of classifications of IQ, with slight variations of averages, above average, superior intelligence, genius and so on, but most depict averages as falling between 80 to 115 points, more or less. A lot of times 80 to 90 is depicted as low average, 90 to 109 as average and 110 to 115 as high average. I'm stating a very rough generalization of what I find in my brief research. So let's just say the average intelligence is roughly 80 to 115 points.

But what skills does this represent? Again, as a very rough indicator, it seems like 112 - 115 seems to be the benchmark for college graduates.

Let's back up a little. According to the graphs I see for IQ distribution, IQ appears dispersed normally, like a bell curve. So about .1% of the population fall under 55 points, 2.1% lie between 55 and 70, 13.6% fall between 70 and 85, 34.1% are in the 85 to 100 range, 34.1% are between 100 and 115. Add up all of those percentages and that suggests upwards to 84% are not at the college level intelligence or only 15% are capable of graduating from college. That seems severe, especially considering that another Wikipedia entry says college attainment is approaching 30%. So the IQ for college capability must lie somewhere between 100 and 115. But we are still saying only 30% make it through college. Keep in mind though some of this might be related to finances.

Now college attainment means a lot of different things. You have the art graduate and you have the engineering graduate. I would imagine the engineers, scientists, computer scientists are an even smaller percentage then 30%. Most jobs are moving toward the engineering-scientists-computer spectrum so that leaves out a lot of people. There are other types of intelligences such as people intelligences or intuitive intelligences but we are still leaving out a lot of people in our new world. At least 50% of the population reach IQ of 100 and that is probably not the cut off point for college. We are talking about at least 50% of the population not being able to move up the food or skill chain as they always ask us to do.

Going back to the Brexit question of whether the people are dumb to have voted to exit, I would say no, they are just average people struggling in the new world which is leaving them behind. Or we could view it another way, having an IQ of 115 may no longer be enough to make it in the new world. What was average is now dumb. Like they say, "Being average is now over."