Jordan Peterson plans to unveil an IQ test

30 minutes into his New Years live stream, Jordan Peterson announced plans to unveil an IQ test that would be integrated into a ‘career path’ package–the third such program after the success of his self-authoring program and his ‘understanding myself’ ‘big five’ personality test.

However, from a business standpoint, an IQ test may not be a good idea. A major theme of Jordan Peterson’s videos is self-improvement (what he calls ‘cleaning up your room’). However, IQ, which, correctly, he says cannot be improved with brain training and is a strong predictor of individual success at life, goes against the ethos of self-improvement and free will. He says someone with an IQ of 100 would be better suited for trades work than, say, becoming a lawyer or a scientist. To go on a slight tangent, this means one has free will, provided one’s ‘will’ is within the limitations imposed by one’s IQ. This means someone with an IQ of 100 has the ‘free will’ to become a plumber or a car mechanic, but not a lawyer. The implication that one must choose a low-status occupation because they aren’t smart enough, not because that is their ‘calling’ or what they enjoy doing, may be off-putting and discouraging to some, even if it is correct or prudent advice. A career choice is a voluntary decision, not an admission of not being smart enough to do something else. Although Jordan Peterson fans are, by in large, smarter than average, given how popular he is, there will still be a lot of 85-105 scores, and no doubt many of these people will be disappointed and disillusioned (assuming they don’t already know they have a below-average IQ) that they scored low and may not even bother with the career path portion of the program, or renew their Patreon donation, or even watch Jordan Peterson videos anymore. Unlike a poor ‘big five’ score, which can be improved through deliberate practice (such as trying to be more ‘open to new experiences’), IQ cannot be improved, and Jordan Person says so (as does the literature).

Another problem is ensuring that the test produces results that adhere to a normal distribution and generate scores that don’t differ to much from self-reported WAIS scores (which is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ of IQ testing). The accuracy can be tested to some degree by having test subjects first record their self-reported IQ (such as a WAIS score or Stanford–Binet Intelligence test) and seeing how much the scores on the new IQ test differ from scores produced by official, established IQ tests. If there is a huge gap, then likely something is wrong. A second possibility is to construct a test in which the results adhere to a normal distribution in terms of number of correctly answered questions, but the distribution of a sample population may not generalize to the whole, especially if Jordan Peterson viewers are smarter than average. Overall, constructing an IQ test is a more difficult undertaking than a personality test.