Jordan Peterson – Controversial Facts about IQ: analysis

Another Jordan Peterson IQ video:

IQ–which is innate, a strong predictor of socioeconomic success, and constant throughout life–is incompatible with the left’s vision of egalitarianism. Because IQ is so impervious to environment, much of the left’s costly efforts to boost achivement are futile. When the left says they want to boost academic achivement among under-performing groups, that is tantamount to making such groups smarter, which is impossible no matter how much money you throw at the problem (save for some small gains attributed to improved nutrition, as Peterson notes).

In several of these videos he mentions how University of Toronto students have an average IQ of 120, which seems implausible considering that research shows such a high IQ is typically found in graduate-level students, not undergraduates. I suspect there is a selection bias in that smarter students are more inclined to volunteer to be tested, unless everyone at the university is tested and such testing is compulsory (which seems very unlikely).

Agree that IQ is one of the ‘great successes’ of psychology, being both a strong predictor of lifetime success and very hard to ‘fake’, unlike personality tests. That single number encapsulates individual human potential, more so than possibly any other attribute. It’s almost understandable how in a culture and society that celebrates and promotes free will, that many find IQ to be unnerving.

Also, I had no idea that digit recall, which is related to fluid intelligence, is such a strong predictor of IQ. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale has multiple sections (verbal, math, picture arrangement, etc.), which would seem redundant if only digit recall is needed–why bother with the other stuff? My guess is, digit recall, although it’s highly correlated with the other abilities, does not measure crystallized intelligence, nor does it measure critical thinking/inferential skills. It’s possible, such as in the case of savants, to have superior recall but still be average or inferior in other areas. For example, the savant Kim Peek, who had a photographic memory, but an IQ only in the 80’s.