IQ and success

It’s unbelievable how BS is spreading like virus in modern academy. The IQ-success connection is a nice example. The claim by @jordanbpeterson that IQ is the “single most important factor of success” is both ridiculous & ignorant.

All metrics / tests have specificity and sensitivity. Great sensitivity of a test does NOT imply great specificity!

Example #1: having a driving lisence is a high sensitivity test (over 99%) to detect a good driver in a population. Having a lisence is the secret of good driving?

Example #2: having a healthy body is a high sensitivity test (over 99%) to detect an olympic medalist. So, having a healthy body is the “secret” of winning a medal? What is the specificity of this metric? Extremely low!

Example #3: having a healthy IQ (over 115) is a high sensitivity test (over 90%) to detect a CEO. Having this IQ is the secret of becoming CEO? What is the specificity? Low!

In general, the higher the sensitivity, the lower the specificity, and vice versa.
It’s shocking how academics like @jordanbpeterson and his colleauges don’t nuance their analysis of IQ with basic terms in statistics.

We’re talking about basic stuff – statistics 101.
ANY HEALTH METRIC is a potential “high sensitivity test” of measuring “success”, just by excluding failure (= test sensitivity). Basic mental & body health are expected to be found in all Olympic winners & CEOs. This is their secret of success?

The research on IQ actually shows that low IQ is connected to low “success” and NOT the opposite, if being “successful” means becoming a lawyer or CEO. Obviously, having cancer / lung disease / heart failure or… low IQ is a metric of low “success” in demanding positions.

I put “success” in parenthesis cause @jordanbpeterson gives a very narrow and materialistic definition. After 600BC the greek & western thought has developed a non-materialistic, deeper, complex & systemic understanding of success that Peterson obviously is unaware of.

The Grant Study at Harvard Medical School is the longest ( 75-year) longitudinal study researching metrics of life success. Even JF Kennedy participated. Very nice summary here:

The end-result of Harvard Grant Study confirms classical greek & graecochristian philosophy: the real secret of success is love (warmth of relationships) and NOT the IQ .

From the same Harvard Grant Study: “No significant difference in maximum income earned by men with IQs in the 110–115 range and men with IQs higher than 150.”


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