Jordan Peterson on Intelligence

I listened to a 5-minute presentation on the topic of intelligence and IQ from Jordan Peterson. The topic is one that psychologists have been researching and replicating for over a century, yet still seems almost politically incorrect.

I’m not sure why we can value the extremes in athletic ability and still minimize the values of other measurable abilities.  Peterson points out that IQ has no correlation with industriousness, and that intelligence doesn’t particularly reduce impulsiveness.   Basically, he says that we have no idea what makes people industrious . . . and that brought thoughts of one of the brightest failures I have ever met.  So I checked online – some of the correlations listed on this web page seem to have been determined through experimental methods and have been replicated.  I’ll include a few examples from the website – but it is probably worthwhile to click the link and check out the conclusions on  your own.

This chart shows the correlations psychologists measured between IQ and reaction times – it intrigued me because there was essentially no difference associated with the fastest reaction times, but the right hand side of the chart continue much farther into the slow reaction times for the “subnormal.”

“Lower IQs have longer reaction times with greater variance (SDRT), since from time to time they produce much slower reaction times, which increases the mean and the variance.

The next chart works only from the right hand side of the chart – all the data was from high scorers on the SAT (which correlates closely with IQ test results).

“Reaction time is correlated with IQ, as both are signs of efficiency of the central nervous system.

Reaction times are measured as follows: Someone is placed in front of a small lamp that will light. Whenever he does, he simply presses the button in front of him as quickly as possible.

It is a sign of the efficiency of the nervous system since it is in a way a basic treatment of informations. Reaction times are measured in milliseconds.

Below, simple reaction times: green IQ < or = 130, purple IQ > or = 160.

Below: SRT for normal IQs and IQs below average.

Lower IQs have longer reaction times with greater variance (SDRT), since from time to time they produce much slower reaction times, which increases the mean and the variance.”

Other correlations included myopia, brain pH, distinguishing sounds and colors, head size, telomere length, violence and more.  I’m not certain all the correlations and data in the tables will replicate . . . as a sociologist, the concept of  national and racial IQs seems to offer other conditions that might better explain the differences.  On the other hand, my experience and views may be that the observations I’ve made come largely from the right hand side of the bell curve. Anyway, Peterson is worth spending a few minutes listening on most of his topics – and the web site gives a bit of support to his applications.

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