Blog of Sara Jakša

Why General High Intelligence is an Advantage

I find it interesting, that now I have heard it for a couple of times, but apparently is some places the intelligence is treated as some sort of forbidden topic. Like it is a heresy to say that people can have different ability. And that these differences will not disappear just because everybody has the same resources (please, the communism was a failed experiment), neither can they disappear if everybody works hard.

But it is interesting to me, because at least in my school, we had to take the obligatory intelligence test a year before entering the high school. It was not to be used for high school entrance, but it was instead used to allocate the grants for the gifted (though they changed the rules, so it might not be anymore) and to help with the school counselor when she was advising us about our career choices and what school to choose.

They were not testing the general intelligence, but different intelligences, like spacial, verbal and so on. Sadly, I never saw the breakdown of my results, as I did not have the best relationship with that woman.

And while some people would say that intelligence is not important, I say it is. People when they are at school know it is. When some people struggle with the material, and some people learn the whole material without any additional study, this difference is seen. True, some circumstances can lower intelligence, like extreme stress, but I don't think all variation can be attributed to something like that. People with relatively good family don't learn to read 3 years after everybody else because of some weird sociological reason. They simply need a bit more time to learn because of their lower intelligence.

That does not mean that these people are worthless. It just means that they require a lot more time and patience when they are learning something. They can still be funny, good partners and good parents.

Just don't expect them to be the breadwinner, because, for better or worse, the intelligence is the best predictor of the log term success in complex jobs. It can predict up to 25% variability, while conscientiousness, or hard work, only predict 10%. So they are not likely going to be in the best of jobs, as least no financially.

But the people with the higher intelligence do learn faster, do tend to have better jobs and they are better at solving their own problems. As long as the people actually use their intelligence, there is not way that they would not be able to come further ahead in life. Except in maybe relationships, as it was well shown in the movie Idiocracy. Women with higher IQ do rate man less attractive on average so they might have more problems finding a mate. But otherwise? The people with high intelligence are much more likely to get the traditionally trappings of successful person: education, money, job and respect.