What lowers someone's IQ
IQ scores and differences between groups
Your IQ score shows how you performed on an IQ test compared to a norm group. For example, in a German IQ test, all Germans or the working Germans could be norm groups. If you take an IQ test on an American website, it is very likely that your IQ will be calculated in comparison with Americans.
The norm group against which your test result is compared shows an average of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. The standard deviation is a measure of the distribution, in this case the IQ score. If the standard deviation is 15, the results of 68% of the norm group are between 85 (100 minus 15) and 115 (100 plus 15). In other words, 68% of the norm group have a result within one standard deviation of the mean (100).
In addition, 95% of the norm group have an IQ score within two standard deviations of the mean. 95% of the norm group, for example all Germans, achieve values between 70 (100 minus 30) and 130 (100 plus 30). Only 2.5% of the norm group achieve a value above 130. Only on the basis of the probability and the fact that (for example) the Netherlands has 16 million inhabitants, there should not be more than 25 people with an IQ of 170 Life. Statistically, only one person with an IQ of 180 is likely to live in this country. Only four in 1,000 people have an IQ of at least 140.
However, getting a score above 130 on any of the many IQ tests online is relatively easy. These tests have other purposes, such as collecting marketing information.
Differences in IQ scores between groups
Intelligence and IQ scores were and are the subject of extremely extensive research. Various conclusions were drawn; some of them are certainly interesting, others are involuntarily weird, and many are very controversial. We discuss some of these conclusions below.
Men tend to get better results than women. The reason could simply be that IQ tests usually measure things that men are better at than women. Think of spatial imagination and math, for example. If the things that men and women are equally good at are better balanced, the differences between the sexes could go away.
Age differences in IQ scores
Compared to the general population, your IQ increases into adulthood and then decreases with age. This is an inevitable consequence of the maturation of the brain as well as the increase in world knowledge and vocabulary.
As people get older, they find it increasingly difficult to concentrate and their memories weaken. This leads to a decrease in performance, although the absolute decrease is often only small.
It will come as no surprise that people with higher levels of education often do better than people with lower levels of education on IQ tests.
This is a very stressful issue. If one erroneously assumes that intelligence is exclusively a matter of genetics, then differences between people of different skin colors could be used as a rationale for racist theories. Overall, Asians do better than whites on IQ tests. And whites do better than blacks.
It is very unlikely that the intelligence the tests measure is based solely on genetic factors. There are many other factors that could explain the measured results. These include factors such as attitudes towards work, socio-economic status and differences in health and education, which are unevenly distributed among people of different races. In fact, it would hardly be expected that there would be no differences between people of different races.
Many people believe that certain races and nations are less intelligent than others. There are numerous differences in IQ scores between individual countries. The main reason for this is the general level of education. The more “educated” a country is, the more “intelligent” it is.
Although a low IQ as such need not be a barrier to social success, successful people often show higher IQs.
Read more about the genetic aspects of intelligence or take an IQ test.
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