Presidential IQ & IQ Score Averages

Feb 23rd, 2009, in IM Posts, by

Intelligence tests for presidential candidates, and how do Indonesians fare in world IQ rankings.

Presidential Genius

According to a 2008 law on electoral procedures (No 42 2008/Pemilihan Umum Presiden dan Wakil Presiden) candidates for president must undergo a spiritual/mental test, as well as a health check.

The "spiritual" test is carried out by a psychiatrist while Abdul Aziz from the Electoral Commission, Komisi Pemilihan Umum, says the KPU has not yet determined whether such a test will also include an intelligence test. If an IQ test were required he said the minimal acceptable score would be 120. [1]

IQ Averages

According to one aggregate of international IQ testing average Indonesian IQ is a middling 87, above most African, middle eastern, and Latin American countries, while below most north east Asian and European nations.

The top 7 ranked countries are all ethnic Chinese (highest is Hong Kong & Singapore, score of 108), except for Japan and the two Koreas. It is not clear what the ethnic make-up of the test subjects in Indonesia was. [2]


21 Comments on “Presidential IQ & IQ Score Averages”

  1. avatar Dencraige says:
    February 23rd, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Hmm 108 isn’t that high for an IQ test. I’d expect much higher. 87 is also very low and I’m surprised for that to be the average.

  2. avatar Burung Koel says:
    February 23rd, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    IQ tests are an unreliable measure of just about any aspect of intelligence. Except, perhaps, to measure the ability to do IQ tests. They are culturally and linguistically biased, and therefore do not represent a good way of comparing across countries, cultures etc. Whether they are a good measure of someone’s ability to be a good President is anyone’s guess!

    Anyway, the law speaks about a spiritual/mental test, not intelligence. I suspect this is to exclude a few residents of RSJs from putting their names forward.

  3. avatar bodrox says:
    February 23rd, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    we need LQ, leadership quotient. IQ yes, but without LQ how they can lead Indonesian? a big country with many races?

  4. avatar Rob says:
    February 23rd, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    This is the thing with Indonesia, if it is not IQ tests then it is something else.

    The past has seen moves to try and make it a legal requirement that the President at least have an undergraduate degree. At one stage there was serious discussion of making the requirement for president a post-graduate degree.

    When it is all said and done, I think most people in any country want leadership, integrity, and commitment. Having a high IQ or post-graduate degree is no guarantee that one possesses the requisite skills to lead a country like Indonesia (or any other for that matter).

  5. avatar PrimaryDrive says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Well Rob, Indonesia is run by too many incompetent people. If it takes IQ tests to root them out, I’m all for it.

  6. avatar Mr. Tic Tac Toe says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Hello primary, remember me?

    Neah, not incompetent, just plain evil.

    anyway, sri mulyani is gaining momentum, shouldnt we setup a website or something to support her? ^_^

    like “that janganbikinmalu2009 dot com” or something

  7. avatar TheWrathOfGrapes says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    The top 7 ranked countries are all ethnic Chinese (highest is Hong Kong & Singapore, score of 108), except for Japan and the two Koreas.

    Looks like the top 7 ranked are all chopstick wielding countries. There are enough evidence to suggest that both Japan and Korea are ethnically linked to the Chinese. Their written script is also similar to written Chinese. In fact, Kanji is written Chinese. Could the fact that having to memorize all those scripts improve the spatial reasoning/ability and cognitive skills?

    Hmm 108 isn’t that high for an IQ test. I’d expect much higher. 87 is also very low and I’m surprised for that to be the average.

    Dencraige, 108 is high if you consider that it is the average for whole country. In any normal distribution, there will be outliers at both ends of the bell curve. In any country, there will the fair share of idiots, morons, mentally challenged, etc. Moreover, with the possible exception of Japan, most countries are not that homogeneous, with substantial ethnic minorities.

  8. avatar Mr Tic Tac Toe says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Wrath. It actually makes sense. They have been around for thousands of years, and still progressing. they have become the sultans and masters of nusantara centuries ago, when my ancestors were still war mongering cannibals. They were the civilized world when the british were just a bunch of primitives conquered by the italians.

    Having said that, i have always thought that the ashkenazis were the group of people with highest average iq. I forgot in what journal i read it, gotta dig my sources.

    If an IQ test were required he said the minimal acceptable score would be 120. [1]

    According to tickle matchmaking test, i have 144. Does that mean i can apply for the job? LOL

    Burung Koel Says:
    February 23rd, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    IQ tests are an unreliable measure of just about any aspect of intelligence. Except, perhaps, to measure the ability to do IQ tests.

    agreed.

  9. avatar ThomasZ says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Burung Koel:
    You are as politically correct as you are factually wrong. Your critic would have been correct half a century ago. Social Sciences have come a long way since then. (But the topic is, of course, loaded with taboos. And the left will need some time to come to terms with it.) Today’s IQ tests are no longer culturally biased.

    From an evolutionary point of view, the results are not at all surprising: Cold harsh winters put a permium on foresight, planning, preparing, etc. Without these, people died. For thousands of generations. In climates with all year vegetation growth, these characteristics where not of equal importance. It’s evolution at work. Not easy to accept from a Western egalitarian point of view – but nevertheless a fact. We’ll have to come to terms with it. Already a look at world maps of climate, IQ distribution and wealth is clear evidence. They all look alike. And where they differ, there are obvious historic explanations.

  10. avatar TheWrathOfGrapes says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Well, it appears that the world is getting dumber by the year, if you believe in the accuracy of the data in the link below. The mean Global IQ in 2008 was 88.70, so Indonesia\’s 87 is just a tad below average. That would also mean that HK and Singapore\’s 108 is indeed remarkable – 1.29 standard deviations from the mean.

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/IQ/1950-2050/

  11. avatar Kinch says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    The logical explanation for a good part of HK’s place in the rankings is that it has a largely self-selected population -> people who were smart enough to get the hell out of China at various times and go live under the Bule :). I kid you not.

    Ashkenazim certainly rule the IQ roost though. And just them… the Mizrahim and Sephardim don’t get much of a look-in.

    I believe it is now theorised that the Ashkenazi Advantage evolved quite recently – out in the Pale of Settlement, there wasn’t much to do except dodge Cossacks and farm and manage estates for absentee landlords (in case of Poland-Lithuania)… the height of social prestige for wealthy Jews was to marry their daughters off to the sons of Rabbis – it’s postulated that this double selection for drive/intelligence (generally have to be smart to get rich in a Shtetl – not a lot of KKN you can call in from the Cossacks) over just a few hundred years did wonders for mean Ashkenazi IQ.

  12. avatar schmerly says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    @TheWrathOfGrapes.. On the question of IQ tests, as you know you could keep debating the method of testing for years, and everyone would have their own ideas, but if as you say the world is getting dumber, people are getting technically a lot smarter, and who needs a load of useless information stored in your head, when with the touch of a button you can harvest so much knowledge from cyberspace! what do you think?

  13. avatar TheWrathOfGrapes says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    schmerly,

    I think we can generally accept that the IQ tests are broadly correct and fair. The dumbing down year by year is due to the fact that the developed and rich nations (Japan and Singapore come to mind) are not producing enough babies, and the people in poor countries are reproducing like rabbits. As alluded to by ThomasZ, there is a clear link between the average IQ and the wealth of a nation.

    No, I think smartness is more than regurgitating facts and figures.

    Personally, I prefer to be lucky than smart. A lot of the successful people are really lucky rather than smart. I am currently reading “Fooled by Randomness” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – very interesting, I recommend you get hold of the book.

  14. avatar schmerly says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    @TheWrathOfGrapes, Thanks for info I’ll try and dig the book out.

  15. avatar Burung Koel says:
    February 25th, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Burung Koel:
    You are as politically correct as you are factually wrong. Your critic would have been correct half a century ago. Social Sciences have come a long way since then.

    @ThomasZ:

    Yes, and so has genetics. Human societies have not been around long enough for the effects of biological evolution to have had an impact in the way that you suggest. The reason that some societies produce a greater number of ‘smarter’ people is that the societies themselves give more of their own people an opportunity.

    I suggest that you read some science instead of politically laden sociology. A good start might be Stephen Jay Gould’s “The Mismeasure of Man’”, written in response to some of the pseudo-eugenics rubbish you seem to have developed your ideas from.

  16. avatar ThomasZ says:
    February 26th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    @Burung Koel

    As any student of genetics will tell you, it is of course nonsense to claim that

    “Human societies have not been around long enough for the effects of biological evolution to have had an impact (on intelligence).”

    You also misunderstand the topic: it’s not about

    “some societies produce a greater number of ’smarter’ people”

    These statistics are about averages. And that’s not quite the same.

    But you are right: Almost 30 years ago, Stephen Jay Gould’s “The Mismeasure of Man” was indeed a most important book. And it’s still required reading. But don’t stop there. Much has happened in the last three decades. Specially in genetics.

  17. avatar Burung Koel says:
    February 26th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    @ThomasZ. Indeed. And you might try reading the revised version published in 1996, in response to the publication of “The Bell Curve”, the main conclusions and argument of which was based on a flawed understanding of statistical correlation.

    My comment on the the lack of effects of evolutionary processes on intelligence is backed up by Gould’s book. You and others on this thread (even the ‘students of genetics’ that you seem to know) are making a number of wrong assumptions about how evolution works and the statistics involved in measuring intelligence. The argument is perhaps too detailed to go into here.

    All I can say is that advances in genetics, neuroscience and medicine continue to undermine the whole basis of social sciences like psychology and psychiatry. In 50 years time, we will consider Freud and his ilk to be no better than phrenologists or witchdoctors at explaining how the human mind works,

  18. avatar PrimaryDrive says:
    February 28th, 2009 at 6:59 am

    To Tic Tac Toe,

    You have to forgive my poor memory; though I do recall your code-name. I just can’t recall the last discussion we had.

    Anyway, I’m glad if SM can make it.

  19. avatar DoOs_101 says:
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I believe you are all leading the discussion to the wrong concept and therefore must be corrected.

    In nature, the development of a parent being arises from the need of survival. An environment filled with survival of the fitest must therefore take into account the cause of rapid development.

    Such environments are naturally constructed, such as the weathering process of the north, where survival tends to be a strugle, whilst the equatorial environments enjoy an ease of survival. Such conditions accounts to the rate at which the societies living at these conditions develop.

    However, such environments can also be socially constructed or man-made. As to the social expectations and structure in a society, competition between individuals have the same effect as the previous example. Note that most capitalistic countries around the world are the once with highest growth and development figures.

    How can such external forces govern what we are? Well the field of genetics have proven that over generations, inborn babies develop their brain and innate functions based on the mothers mutation to the environment.

    So what is the lesson learned?

    I will say this,

    “Our minds are fragile to the external forces, live in an environment best for your needs, or make the environment become the best for your needs.”

  20. avatar Burung Koel says:
    March 4th, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Such environments are naturally constructed, such as the weathering process of the north, where survival tends to be a strugle, whilst the equatorial environments enjoy an ease of survival. Such conditions accounts to the rate at which the societies living at these conditions develop.

    Right idea, however wrong evidence and conclusion. If you are really interested in the topic, I suggest reading “Guns Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond, where the development of human societies is discussed in terms of physical geography and access to resources. It should be available in most good bookstores, including your local PeriPlus.

  21. avatar David says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Megawati is the smartest –

    Pasangan capres-cawapres Jusuf Kalla-Wiranto (JK-Win) dan Megawati Soekarnoputri-Prabowo Subianto (Mega-Pro) kemarin telah menjalani pemeriksaan kesehatan dan psikotes. Dari hasil tes kejiwaan, Tim Sukses Mega-Pro mengklaim, kecerdasan Mega paling tinggi dibanding calon lain.

    http://nasional.kompas.com/read/xml/2009/05/18/05564312/Tim.Sukses.IQ.Mega.Tertinggi



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