Category Archives: IQ

Students Matter; Teachers Less …

Source:, Jul 2019

Over the last 50 years in developed countries, evidence has accumulated that only about 10% of school achievement can be attributed to schools and teachers while the remaining 90% is due to characteristics associated with students.

Teachers account for from 1% to 7% of total variance at every level of education. For students, intelligence accounts for much of the 90% of variance associated with learning gains.

The largest effect of schooling in the developing world is 40% of variance, and that includes “schooling” where children attend school inconsistently, and staff likewise.

I further argue that the majority of the variance in educational outcomes is associated with students, probably as much as 90% in developed economies.

A substantial portion of this 90%, somewhere between 50% and 80% is due to differences in general cognitive ability or intelligence. Most importantly, as long as educational research fails to focus on students’ characteristics we will never understand education or be able to improve it.

The world’s global score is 82 & IQ distributions

Source: ZeroHedge, Apr 2019

Abilities Based upon IQ

IQ Matters for Invention

Source: NBER, Dec 2017

… IQ has both a direct effect on the probability of inventing which is almost five times as large as that of having a high-income father, and an indirect effect through education … 

… an R-squared decomposition shows that IQ matters more than all family background variables combined; moreover, IQ has both a direct and an indirect impact through education on the probability of inventing, and finally the impact of IQ is larger and more convex for inventors than for medical doctors or lawyers. Third, to address the potential endogeneity of IQ, we focused on potential inventors with brothers close in age. This allowed us to control for family-specific time-invariant unobservables. We showed that the effect of visuospatial IQ on the probability of inventing is maintained when adding these controls.

College Requires a 115 IQ (Min)

Source: AlFinNextLevel website, Jun 2016

Most young people simply do not have the IQ to take a rigorous four year degree that will provide a reasonable return on investment.

There is no magic point at which a genuine college-level education becomes an option, but anything below an IQ of 110 is problematic. If you want to do well, you should have an IQ of 115 or higher. Put another way, it makes sense for only about 15% of the population, 25% if one stretches it, to get a college education. And yet more than 45% of recent high school graduates enroll in four-year colleges. Adjust that percentage to account for high-school dropouts, and more than 40% of all persons in their late teens are trying to go to a four-year college — enough people to absorb everyone down through an IQ of 104.__ Charles Murray quoted in

Estimated IQ by Intended College Major

Source: StatisticBrain, Mar 2017

IQ Estimates by College Major

Graduate Record Examination Scores Verbal SAT Quant SAT Average SAT Average IQ
Standard Deviation +/- 0.80
Physics & Astronomy 533 736 1269 133
Philosophy 590 638 1228 129
Mathematical Sciences 502 733 1235 130
Materials Engineering 494 727 1221 129
Economics 503 706 1209 128
Chemical Engineering 485 726 1211 128
Other Engineering 493 714 1207 128
Mechanical Engineering 469 724 1193 126
Other Humanities & Art 563 599 1162 124
Physical Sciences 486 697 1183 125
Engineering 468 719 1187 126
Electrical Engineering 459 726 1185 126
Banking & finance 467 711 1178 125
Chemistry 486 680 1166 124
Computer & Information Science 466 701 1167 124

IQ is Highly Heritable

Source: Association for Psychological Science, 2016

 the heritability of intelligence has been shown consistently to increase linearly throughout the life course in more than three decades of research in longitudinal as well as crosssectional analyses and in adoption as well as twin studies (McGue, Bouchard, Iacono, & Lykken, 1993; Plomin, 1986; Plomin & Deary, 2015). For example, as summarized in Figure 3, an analysis of cross-sectional data for 11,000 pairs of twins—larger than all previous twin studies combined—showed that the heritability of intelligence increases significantly from 41% in childhood (age 9) to 55% in adolescence (age 12) and to 66% in young adulthood (age 17; Haworth et al., 2010). 

Some evidence suggests that heritability might increase to as much as 80% in later adulthood independent of dementia (Panizzon et al., 2014); other results suggest a decline to about 60% after age 80 (Lee, Henry, Trollor, & Sachdev, 2010), but another study suggests no change in later life (McGue & Christensen, 2013).

Learning Without Questioning –Why Asians do not win Nobel prizes

Source: James Thompson blog, Apr 2014

Asians (Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese) are supposed to have higher IQs (about 105 on average) than North Europeans (100), while sciences have been developed overwhelmingly by Europeans and their offshoots. Why Asians are lacking in scientific success might relate to two factors:

1. Low curiosity, which is expressed by lower Openness to experience (-.59 SD) as shown in various cross-cultural personality comparisons.

2.  Collectivism, which is captured by various individualism-collectivism indices such as the Hofstede individualism index (IDV), or Hofstede and Triandis individualism index (about -2 SD). The genetic underpinnings for these traits, such as DRD4, 5HTTLPR, and OPRM1 have also become increasingly apparent.

To integrate these psychological traits, a “q” factor is constructed by factor analysis on measures of Openness and Collectivism, which are then correlated with variables measuring academic achievements and also student assessments. It is found that IQ scores coupled with “q” factor scores neatly predict racial scientific achievements and also world-wide student assessments.  

Google DOC presentation: