First, let me be clear – I don’t put a whole lot of stock in I.Q. tests. And it’s not because I don’t score well on them; on the contrary, I do quite well on all standardized, fill-in-the-bubble type tests. However, I know many, many intelligent people who do not do well on these types of tests. For that reason, I think that most standardized tests are at least a bit flawed.

Still, I find charts mesmerizing. I like looking at them. They are shiny. :)

I ran across this chart & found it interesting.


I take at least two things away from studying this chart.

First and foremost, I challenge the accuracy of this I.Q. chart as a measure of “intelligence.” I don’t for one second believe that people working in lower scoring occupations such as “Janitors and Sextons” are less intelligent than doctors, professors, or engineers. Perhaps they are less “educated,” in the traditional sense of the term, but the path many of them chose was more a function of their upbringing than it was any natural ability. I believe that the large overlap proves this point.

Second, and most importantly, looking at this chart with uneducated janitors at one end and hyper-educated doctors at the other makes me want to just scream out “DUH!” Of course professions that require schooling and entrance exams will tend to consist of individuals who do better in school and on entrance exams.

It’s as if I wanted to set up a chart for measuring athletic ability and used only the 100 meter dash and a handful of other events as the measuring stick. By that standard, not only is Usain Bolt (the fastest man in the world) the best athlete in the world, but Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, and Brett Favre are not just also-rans, but “never-rans.”

A dubious system indeed.

A thread on the topic.