the average Nobel laureate is reputed to have an IQ of 145.

Is there a reliable source for this?

[1] is one source. Its method is: "Jewish IQ is distributed like American-of-European-ancestry IQ, but a standard deviation higher. If you look at the population above a certain IQ threshold, you see a higher fraction of Jews than in the normal population. If you use the threshold of 139, you see 27% Jews, which is the fraction of Jews who are Nobel laureates. So let's assume that Nobel laureate IQ is distributed like AOEA IQ after you cut off everyone with IQ below 139. It follows that Nobel laureates have an average IQ of 144."

I hope you'll agree that this seems dubious.

[2] agrees that it's dubious, and tries to calculate it a different way (still based on fraction of Jews), and gets 136. (It's only reported by field, but it would be the same as chemistry and literature, because they're both 27% Jews.) It gets that number by doing a bunch of multiplications which I suspect are the wrong multiplications to do. (Apparently, if IQ tests had less g loading, and if self-identified ethnicity correlated less with ancestry, then the g loading of Jewishness would go up?) But even if the calculations do what they're supposed to, it feels like a long chain of strong assumptions and noisy data, and this method seems about equally dubious to me.

Open thread, Dec. 21 - Dec. 27, 2015

by MrMind 1 min read21st Dec 2015233 comments


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