Top 11 things to know about IQ, a thing as much fantasized as criticized

Hello big dorks. No I’m kidding you are probably smarter than me. Yesterday I did an IQ test and I got a negative score, which means that I have the same cognitive abilities as Matthieu Delormeau’s briefs. However, I take this opportunity to talk to you about the intellectual quotient and you risk being surprised to the point of falling off your sofa.

1. Early IQ tests look like a playground valve

Do you remember when we teased our little classmates said about it “- AAAAAN but you’re too 8 years of mental age – AH yeah? but me if I have 8 years of mental age, you have like 2 years of mental age in fact. – Oh yeah ? but you’re too mentally old for a fetus not yet formed, like two months pregnant, and your mother doesn’t even know if she’s going to keep you, you’re so ugly. » etc

Well know that this kind of childish exchange made sense at the beginning of the 20th century. While in 1905 is published “The Metric Scale of Intelligence” by Alfred Binet and Théodore Simon. It makes it possible to give the mental age of a child, that is to say that the results of a child are compared to the results of children of the same age group who have passed the tests. Basically, if you’re 13 and you just pass the tests for 8-year-olds, you’re 8 years of mental age, big boloss.

Then there’s a whole story of calculation that looks a bit like a joke: we would get the IQ by making the relationship between the mental age and the real age and multiplying everything by 100. So for our example of a child from 13 years old a bit teu-teu, we do (8/13) x 100 = 61. Otherwise called in the jargon “totally rotten ass IQ”.

2. Moreover, they serve above all to exclude children with “low IQ”

Basically the IQ is intended for children. But it is above all intended to oust the most lame school system. When the psychologist Alfred Binet develops his scale (explained in point 1), school has just been made compulsory. Paradoxically, this scale does not seek to unearth the best elements but rather to point the finger at the worst in order to exclude them from an education that is too prestigious for these “under-gifted”. Nice as a philosophy, no?

3. In general, it seems that we are becoming more and more cons

The decline in IQ has several causes. First social, we can indeed blame exposure to screens, the deterioration of the education system, the existence of Jean-Michel Blanquer. But there are above all environmental causes with endocrine disruptors that destroy our neurons and increasingly degraded nutrition.

According to Barbara Demeneix, guest professor on France Culture, at birth a child has already been exposed to more than 100 chemicals (between its conception and its intrauterine life). However, genetic causes seem to be ruled out because our genes could not evolve in such a short time.

4. IQ is nice but it’s a bit of bullshit

You have to take the IQ as a relative indicator. Since the tests are related to logic, vocabulary and speed, we are not talking about manual, emotional or rhythmic ability. Moreover, they do not at all take into account the social and family environment of the subject. So many elements that make it a biased result.

In fact, it’s not so much that the IQ is bullshit, since we indeed manage to measure through this battery of tests the intellectual capacity of a subject, it’s more what we do with it. Between the parents who want their child to be HPI at all costs, and the fachos who share a fake map supposed to show the distribution of the highest IQs in the world, it is clear that this indicator can lead to dangerous eugenics.

5. We are not born gifted

Many statistics show the opposite. First we see that the HPI most often come from higher classes and that they are given tests at strategic times (in CE1, to skip CE2 for example) and that this would be 75% of boys. So that would amount to saying that the HPI are rich, masculine and more HPI in CE1 than in CE2. Which is totally stupid. For the sociologist Wilfried Lignier, we should above all ask ourselves why parents make their children take tests, rather than wondering if they are really HPI.

Besides, stupidity is not (totally) etched in stone in our DNA. If we practice doing IQ tests, we will be able to prepare our brains without any problem. This is why the level of IQ is most often conditioned by the social class and the level of diploma of the parents. Read (or re-read) Martin Eden by Jack London and you will get an idea of ​​the wonders that the plasticity of our brain offers, much more than a simple test carried out at a given moment.

6. The hype about IQ leads to a lot of misunderstandings

As neuropsychologist Stéphanie Aubertin explains, by dint of seeing IQ tests all over the place available on the web, series that talk about it anyhow (HPI on TF1), we quickly think that our child is HPI just because he is bored at school. Or to imagine ourselves gifted as long as we have some character traits in common with the eccentric character played by Audrey Fleurot.

It is for this reason that the test must be carried out by a psychologist and be accompanied by an interview. The result of these tests and this interview do not serve as diplomas or a heavy argument of the kind “I’m HPI so I’m right fdp, cooking soft-boiled eggs is 5 minutes)”. They serve above all to adapt the teaching (in the case of the child).

7. Our relationship with little geniuses has changed a lot and it shows in the terminology

While in the 19th century we spoke of a “child prodigy”, the word “gifted” began to be used in the 1970s and then the term “precocious” was preferred. Since 2010, the acronym “HPI” has been on everyone’s lips.

8. IQ only has meaning in relation to a group of individuals

It makes sense, but if you are alone with your IQ it will mean absolutely nothing. It can only be used by comparing it to a larger group (French people, football players, people who say “Ah no, it’s LA Covid”).

9. The religious would have an IQ a little more exploded than the average

What’s funny is that it’s an American study, homeland based on the love of the Holy Bible. So if you think about it, the study shows above all that Americans are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

10. You can have a high IQ and be completely strawberry.

This is the case of this man who reassures us about our IQ of 12.

11. It takes an IQ of 2000 to understand the wikipedia page on IQ

“IQ by rank or “standard IQ” is calculated differently. It corresponds to the rank at which a person is relative to a population represented by a normal distribution (Gauss curve). David Wechsler’s tests were the first to use this type of calibration. The tests are “calibrated” during their design so that the results follow a Gaussian curve (also called a normal curve). The calibration is regularly updated. Calibration fixes “by construction” the mean (or the expectation), the standard deviation and the prior distribution associated with these constraints in the Bayesian method (i.e. the only one not introducing “added information”) happens to be the Gaussian curve. It is therefore on it that the test is calibrated. All tests set the mean at 100. The standard deviation is most often set at 15 (this is then standard IQ). »

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