Over the decades, scientists have extrapolated IQ test result data in order to seek out patterns which may explain why certain individuals – or groups of individuals – perform better on IQ tests than others.
While certain conclusions – such as the role that age plays in IQ test results – have been agreed upon and utilised in hugely positive ways, other conclusions have been disproven, and have even been shown to be damaging or highly controversial. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the other factors which may play a role in IQ test results, and consider why that might be the case.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has been shown time and time again that those with a higher educational level, and those who attend top schools, have on average much higher IQ test results than those with less education or who attended failing schools.
This is at once a powerful example of the way that schools can nurture great intelligence, as well as being an example of how social divide, poverty, and a lack of opportunities can have a profoundly negative impact on an individual’s intelligence level, and thus their potential in life.
In the first half of the 20th century, certain psychologists and eugenicists believed they could use IQ tests to ‘prove’ the intellectual supremacy of the white race. They failed to point out, of course, that IQ tests at the time were ‘rigged’ against non-white, non-English speaking individuals, those who had been deprived of education due to their race, or those who had English as a second language.
There is, of course, no concrete evidence to suggest that any one race has a higher IQ than any other, as the social and environmental factors are too important and significant to ignore. Indeed, most scientists would agree that hereditary intelligence only makes up for a small percentage of one’s IQ test score, which immediately negates the notion that race plays any significant role.
It might be hard to believe, but there might be some evidence to suggest that taller people are more intelligent than their shorter counterparts. Scientists in Scotland believe that they have identified genes which contribute both to an individual’s height and their IQ test score… although the jury is still definitely out when it comes to consistently proving this with reliable results.
Just like with race, there is no reliable or prejudice-free data to suggest that some nationalities are more intelligent than others on a scientific basis. Naturally, some countries have far better education systems than others, which can lead to certain nationalities performing better on international IQ tests. However, this is a ‘nurture’ effect, rather than a ‘nature’ one.