Prof. NN Taleb has written up his denunciation of IQ testing:
IQ is largely a pseudoscientific swindle
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Background : “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”. The test is poorly thought out mathematically, and seemed to be promoted by
- racists/eugenists, people bent on showing some populations have inferior mental abilities based on IQ test=intelligence who have been upset with me for suddenly robbing them of a “scientific” tool (as evidenced by the bitter reactions to the initial post on twitter/smear campaigns by such mountebanks as Charles Murray). (Note: there were close to 3.1 million views of the tweetstorms).
- psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers (military, large corporations) buying the “this is the best measure in psychology” argument when it is not even technically a measure — it explains at best between 13% and 50% of the performance in some tasks, minus the data massaging and statistical cherrypicking by psychologists; it doesn’t satisfy the monotonicity and transitivity required to have a measure. No measure that fails 60–95% of the time should be part of “science”.
I dunno … A measure that succeeds 5-40% of the time sounds helpful to me.
Here’s my write-up of our debate last week in Taki’s Magazine:
Negotiating the [Bell] Curve:
It’s almost as if the IQ glass is somehow both half empty and half full at the same time…