Re: Post Office Quotient ... [WAS Re: A study comparing 150 IQ+ persons to 180 IQ+ persons]

From: Michael Anissimov (
Date: Fri Aug 25 2006 - 06:54:42 MDT

On 8/24/06, Olie Lamb <> wrote:

> Whoah, hang on there. You're admitting that "What IQ tests are
> _supposed_ to measure" and "The mechanism of intelligence" are not
> identical?

They aren't. As I said before, the word "intelligence" is ambigious,
and can mean almost whatever you want it to. Christians would
consider us unintelligent because we haven't accepted Jesus and are
therefore going to Hell. A driver might consider someone
unintelligent just because they were cut off by that person on the
freeway. Unless you define precisely what you mean by intelligence,
there's no way we can create a test to measure it.

IQ measures some useful problem-solving capacity that is a large
component of "intelligence", but presumably not the whole thing,
because as I said, "intelligence" means whatever you want it to.

> Is it surprising that problem-solving tests are a good indicator of
> job performance where problem-solving is a job component? Would it be
> surprising that ability-to-speak tests were a good indicator of
> performance in jobs where verbal interaction was necessary?

Not just narrow "problem-solving". Ability to follow instructions,
learn quickly, fill in the pattern from a few cues, see the big
picture, understand subtleties in social communication, be confident
in handling complexity, etc. IQ measurements approximate g
measurements, which approximates intelligence, which also encompasses
"wisdom, and self-awareness, and other things that extend into every
aspect of mind and personality".

> It would be possible to take a set of tests derived from job-specific
> skills, run them through a progressive matrix, and you'd get a test
> that looked in some ways similar to an IQ test.

But job skills encompass almost every human ability. You're acting
like jobs are some narrow task that the Man made up just to make us
miserable. In fact, they're a dynamically evolving superset of human
activity that includes almost anything productive or personally
challenging. It makes sense that there exist jobs that exploit
practically every human ability.

Michael Anissimov
Lifeboat Foundation

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:57 MDT