World IQ Averages

World average IQ

In 2003, the journal American Psychologist published an article by Tomoe Kanaya (formerly of Cornell University, now at Muhlenberg College) that plotted the average IQ of every country in the world. While many questioned the methodology and the Flynn Effect influence on the statistics, it does point out interesting regional differences. Whether or not the differences bear any relation to reality remains to be seen.

After the last presidential election, there were reports that states with higher average IQs voted for Kerry, and states with lower average IQs voted for Bush. The data was reported in several respected publications including The Economist. They later published a retraction because they could not verify the source of the data.

Inherent in the freedom to blog is the ability to perpetuate urban myths. The effect of many blogs is to amplify stories from other media, but without the compulsion to check facts bloggers have become a notorious source of wrong or misleading information.

Consider yourselves warned.


2 Responses to “World IQ Averages”

  1. Ron Pavellas Says:

    An I.Q. tests measure one’s ability to take an I.Q. test. There are different kinds of “smart,” most of which are difficult or impossible to measure, objectively (as if there really can be objectivity in any human endeavor). As there are different environmental and social variables to learn to navigate in each region of the world, different coping skills will develop to meet the local need for species survival. Such global “measurements” (speculations, more aptly) as presented here are useless, potentially harmful.
    Best wishes,
    Ron Pavellas

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