Re: META: List allowables & cults (was DirkJOIN)

From: Shane Legg (
Date: Wed Mar 08 2006 - 13:14:21 MST

> I find it kinda funny that {IQ/ objective measures of intelligence} is so
> often hailed around Transhumanist / Technophile circles, when it's so often
> derided as bunkum in psych circles (to which many cog-sci stuff is
> connected}.

In pop-science books that's the case, and now most of the population
seems to believe it. However if you look at the actual research that's
been done into IQ testing it's solid. Indeed in terms of various metrics,
such as consistency of results and the ability of the test scores to
predict future performance in mentally demanding tasks (e.g. future
academic performance), IQ tests are THE most rigorously validated
and proven psychological tests that exist. They reliably measure
something very important, there's really no doubt about it.

And when I say "IQ test" I mean a real one like a modern Wechsler
that has been applied by a professional, not the pop quiz 10 question
type in a magazine. Very few people have ever done or even seen
a real IQ test.

The debate is whether or not what they measure should be called
"intelligence". On this point there is some debate as different
psychologists define intelligence in slightly different ways (though
again most of their definitions are pretty similar). If anybody wants
refs to research papers on all this I'll email them off list... I have
about 100 papers collected on the topic as I'm currently writing a
paper with Marcus Hutter looking at the relation between AIXI and

Oh an another pet peeve of mine: Don't pay any attention to what
people say their IQ is unless they have been properly tested by
a psychologist. Something like 90% of the population believe that
they have an above average IQ...



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