IQ and Race: Let’s get controversial

I have a masters in organisational psychology, and have studied psychometrics at a reasonably high level, and use psychometric testing as part of my profession. So I am reasonably qualified to comment on this issue.

I thought it would be useful to give my comments on the current debate on IQ and race raised by Molyneux in his videos.

When you read below, I am probably going to come across as a bit of a lefty on this. But it is what I think is the correct way to look at the topic from a science perspective.

Is it OK to look for relationships between IQ and race?

Absolutely. Is a pity that Molyneux was prevented from speaking, as that would have allowed people such as me to provide our feedback, and ask him some of the questions I raise here.

So far as IQ and race are concerned, everything is up for debate. We already know there are other inter-racial differences. For instance, Polynesians tend to have higher muscle mass, so tend to be disproportionately represented in rugby and league teams, amongst others. So, it seems to me that differences in IQ between races is certainly possible. By ?differences? I mean an underlying genetic differences that differentiate various races on IQ.

This question is very loaded in terms of our PC world because genetic differences in IQ tend to be quite permanent. For instance, someone who?s intellectual ability that reliably matches an IQ of 90 will probably never be a Mensa candidate no matter what they do.

So, if we are saying that there are genetic differences that cause significant differences in intelligence between races, then some races are definitely superior in intelligence on average, and nothing other than evolution will change that fact.

So, it is clear from this why the left wing are so touchy about the subject.

Are there differences in IQ measures between races?

Yes. There is plenty of research that indicates this, at least on the basis of IQ scores. So, the case is proven, and I agree with Molyneux, right? Well, maybe not.

What is IQ?

IQ is a measure of intelligence. It is not intelligence itself. It is a single score that results from testing a number of mental attributes.

This measure includes various attributes such as the ability to think logically, pattern recognition, and speed of processing. However, these factors are somewhat arbitrary, and there is a debate about what should be left in or left out of tests.

For instance, should IQ tests include creativity? How about wisdom? There are a lot of really intelligent people who go on to screw up their lives, so appear to be lacking in wisdom. Just because person A can process information quicker than person B, does that mean that person A will make a better decision than person B if person B spends more time thinking through the problem? Not necessarily.

IQ Tests must be reliable (they produce a similar result for the same person when tested again), and they must correlate well with other similar tests. For instance, if someone was to score 140 on one test, and 80 on another, then there is problems with one or both of the tests. IQ Tests also need to be valid. That is, that they need to measure what they purport to measure.


*Part two tomorrow


by Tony Norriss