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thoughts and feels and thoughts and feels
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September 2009
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thoughts and feels and thoughts and feels [userpic]
IQ by state

Problems with posting this:

1. There are gajillions of people who have never actually taken an IQ test with a real person, and probably several million who have never even taken one with the computer, so I have no idea what the table's data source is or if it is reliable.

2. Linking to the secondary source (where I found this) would probably be viewed as an act of overt political aggression. I would like to point out that it's a bit late for this. And since I can't vouch for its certainty anyway, I'm not gonna link to it. If you want to know, IM me or something.

Thus disclaimed:

1 Connecticut 113
2 Massachusetts 111
3 New Jersey 111
4 New York 109
5 Rhode Island 107
6 Hawaii 106
7 Maryland 105
8 New Hampshire 105
9 Illinois 104
10 Delaware 103
11 Minnesota 102
12 Vermont 102
13 Washington 102
14 California 101
15 Pennsylvania 101
16 Maine 100
17 Virginia 100
18 Wisconsin 100
19 Colorado 99
20 Iowa 99
21 Michigan 99
22 Nevada 99
23 Ohio 99
24 Oregon 99
25 Alaska 98
26 Florida 98
27 Missouri 98
28 Kansas 96
29 Nebraska 95
30 Arizona 94
31 Indiana 94
32 Tennessee 94
33 North Carolina 93
34 West Virginia 93
35 Arkansas 92
36 Georgia 92
37 Kentucky 92
38 New Mexico 92
39 North Dakota 92
40 Texas 92
41 Alabama 90
42 Louisiana 90
43 Montana 90
44 Oklahoma 90
45 South Dakota 90
46 South Carolina 89
47 Wyoming 89
48 Idaho 87
49 Utah 87
50 Mississippi 85

So, from this we can deduce:

1. Lots of smart people live in New England.
2. Americans are, as a whole, depressingly unintelligent - as Mississippi is 15 points below average but Connecticut is only 13 above; 31 states' average IQ's are below normal and only 15 are above.
3. Lucy has too much time on her hands.


I'm surprised that the highest average is that... low.

I think 113 is about as high as a state could get without starting to get a rep as 'that state of braniacs'. 113 is bright, but not bright enough to stand out head-and-shoulders (well, it is around here, but I keep hoping that HERE is different from real life.)

I'm surprised that the data is so right-skewed. Though if one figured in for population/state the country might come out more even (New York, FL., and California are all above 100.)

I have no idea what's average. I don't remember my own exactly. I know it's not genius (140), but it's above 130. I keep thinking it's 132.

lots of jabber

Oldskool IQ tests - the kind I assume this data refers to (Weschler, WISC, Stanford-Binet) - were statistically designed to put the average at 100 with a standard deviation of (depending on the test) 15 or 16.

However, the S-B hadn't (as of the late 90's when I took it) been revised - in terms of content or statistical process - since the early 1900's.

A study was done (also in the late 90's) that indicated that the average IQ for children under 8 or 12 (don't remember again) had actually climbed to about 111. The conductors of the study assumed this was due to things like improved school systems, educational television, and the tendency of family restauraunts to put various sorts of puzzles on kids' meals and placemats. This somewhat flies in the face of the idea that IQ is fixed from birth - if IQ can't be taught, then an improved educational system would result in a populace that was better informed but not actually smarter, IQ-wise.

I think that intelligence is a language just like anything else. Nobody is as smart as they can be. But you can teach yourself to use your brain better. It's just easier done when young.

Of course, modern intelligence study also suggests that the whole concept of IQ is outdated.

I thought 'genius' was 200 or better. According to this chart there simply aren't enough people in the world for *an*yone to be over 200, but I *thought* Marilyn Vos Savant was on record at 227. I'm probably mistaken.

Re: lots of jabber

I don't remember. It's been more than 10 years since it mattered. :) I had some friends in high school who tested above genius, but I was merely "gifted." WTF ever that means. :P

Re: lots of jabber

Where I went to school, 'gifted' meant you got to take SEEK instead of Communications, compact classes that were a waste of your time, and sit around with your friends driving ONE teacher nuts for FIVE hours straight instead of FIVE teachers nuts for ONE hour each.

Those were good days.

Another problem: The Stanford-Binet is only considered valid for subjects up to age 23. I suppose they could have been administering the WAIS, but I doubt it.

Eh... the more I think about it, the more I realize there's really no way these data could be verifiable.

How does S-B work like that?

Well, when all your clinical validity trials only use people up to age 23, then you can't really extrapolate those results to older age groups. Or maybe they did validity testing with older-than-23s and didn't get consistent enough results to declare the S-B valid for those ages. Not sure which. But we've got the WAIS for adults, which is much newer, gets revised more often and tests more interesting things than the classic S-B "IQ" stuff.

This set of data seems to be a hoax. Check out this page, for instance.

Thanks - I did proceed to discover several sites to that end, but as each new one I found led to four more I wanted to read, I opted to sleep rather than posting my findings.

The tabs I had open upon going to bed last night were as follows:

Lucy has too much time on her hands

Actually, as I recall, Lucy sees beauty in numbers ... or interest anyway. Yes? ;)


Haven't really given a lot of thought to my fascination with numbers (at least, beyond being fascinated by them.)

Statistics are fun because where a statistic is there a ratio is also. And ratios resonate all up and down the spectrum of numeric existence. 1 out of 5 could mean 'someone you know very well' or it could mean '51 million people in the US'.

And ratios are also fun because they can be stood up and coaxed into interaction (albeit, if one is scientific, an interaction fraught with disclaimers.)