Intelligence Essay, Research Paper
The increasingly difficult life for low IQ people is not caused by high IQ people, but by other factors. Segregation and tension occur across IQ lines by the nature of humanity and not by the implications of high IQ people.
Let’s face it, life is tough for everyone regardless of his or her placement on the intelligence scale. You’re too smart, too stupid, too beautiful, too ugly, too hard, too soft, too nice too mean; we’ve all heard it. Almost everyone can indicate some inherent trait that has made his or her life difficult. Individuals with a low IQ may point out that their low level of g has been the cause of problems in life. Intelligence researchers have found strong evidence that suggests a higher success rate for individuals of higher IQ. “A high IQ is an advantage in life because virtually all activities require some reasoning and decision-making. Conversely, a low IQ is often a disadvantage?there are many exceptions, but the odds for success in our society greatly favor individuals with higher IQs.” (Gottfredson, page 14). Murray says, “It is better to be born smart and poor, than rich and stupid.” With the constantly growing number of g-loaded tasks playing a more significant role in our daily routines, life may be increasingly difficult for low IQ people. “An individual’s IQ, they found, is a better predictor of his prospects in life than his parents’ wealth or education or all the other factors that taken together are called socioeconomic status.” (Seebach – interpreting Murray’s findings).
Now that we’ve spotted a potential problem, we’re going to want someone to blame for the increasingly difficult life of a low IQ person. Placing this fault on the high IQ people may feel like a good idea initially (revenge for the “brain” that always ruined the teacher’s test curve in high school algebra class by scoring 100% on an exam that Pythagorean himself couldn’t pass). However, it is simply not feasible to claim that those of a higher IQ are creating an increasingly difficult life for low IQ people because there is no solid evidence to support this allegation. We can’t blame the high IQ people for pursuing the American dream and using their abilities or for taking advantage of the increasing number of opportunities that are given to them.
Perhaps the increasingly difficult life for low IQ people is being brought about by a general change in the attitude of society as a whole. Occupations that require a higher IQ are much better paid than those that are barely affected by the workers’ level of g (Gottfredson). This displays that society is actually rewarding high IQ people and placing a great value on intelligence. A recent article in the New York Times reports about a couple who were willing to pay up to $50,000 to an egg donor with high SAT scores. Although some may argue against the shallowness of this plight, these individuals are candidly willing to admit the importance of intelligence in the world today and they are seeking the best opportunity for their child. Whichever way one sees it, placing intelligence at a price of $50,000 really puts the value of a high IQ into perspective.
The government seems to be doing a fair amount of regulation these days. With the presence of HMO’s and the control of schools, one may say that the government is playing a significant role in the increasingly difficult life of those with lower g. The government provides us with items such as the perpetually complicated tax form, which is placed at a level four or five on the NALS scale. A recent article entitled “High-tech parking meters prove too taxing,” describes the installation of “newfangled computerized ‘pay stations’” that seem to be causing problems for low cognitive thinkers in St. Petersburg, Florida. The government sponsors horrendous welfare programs and sets the terribly low minimum wage; two faculties that are abundantly used by the low IQ people in our society. For the most part, everyone in the United States is given equal opportunities in the sense of equal provisions and not in the sense of equal outcomes. Is the United States government making a low IQ person’s life more difficult by failing to provide opportunities that will result in equal results for all citizens?
In all honesty, social segregation across IQ lines does indeed exist. There are no declared rules or laws to enforce this segregation and there exist many, many exceptions. Yet, the fact still remains that people with similar interests tend to form social groups. It seems to me that in general, bright people are interested in more complex or more profound socialization. Hernstein and Murray recognize this difference in interest while discussing their theory about “the cognitive elite:” “They watch far less commercial television than the average American. Their movie going tends to be highly selective. They seldom read the national tabloids?or listen to the talk radio?” Again, can we impute the bright people for wanting to challenge and enrich their minds through selective company and activities?
Another form of social segregation between IQ lines is in the form of a term deemed “assortative mating” by those in the field. The general trend follows that high IQ individuals tend to choose those within one standard deviation as their spouses. In my opinion, this trend makes perfect sense. Why would one commit a lifetime to a person with unequal mental capacity, a great difference in income and lack of the ability to spark one’s interest with knowledge or conversation? It seems to me that a marriage between people with highly discrepant IQ’s creates many inferiority/superiority conflicts.
So, social segregation exists in the form of human nature. Even in the primitive Indian tribes, the “wise man” never mingled on the same level with the commoners. Social segregation has been around forever and I see no evidence that it is escalating. Therefore, it seems rather unsafe to predict a formation of an “elite” group of high IQ individuals taking over the nation. Can we honestly assume such a horrible prophecy simply based on the idea that high IQ people have easier access and a better comprehension of E-mail? Social segregation has existed, now exists, and will continue to exist because of natural human preferences.
The truth is that differences in ability constantly prove to be problematic. For this reason, tension occurs between many different people, especially low and high IQ people. I was watching ESPN for ten minutes today and two disputes between professional athletes were reported. “Entertainment Tonight” airs many stories about the arguments between Hollywood stars. Tension often occurs between employees in the workplace. In my opinion, all of this pressure stems from the oh-so-human characteristic called envy. It is “a grudging desire for or discontent at the sight of another’s excellence or advantages” (Webster). In the case of tension between IQ lines, one must consider that those low IQ individuals who desire greater cognitive ability have additional frustration because they may never attain a higher IQ. Tension exists because some people cannot accept the bell curve distribution; they may even feel anger at the presence of it. A bell curve often gives people the false impression of being “locked in” to a certain IQ and mostly due to misinformation, people are not comfortable discussing IQ segregation. However, the bell curve is a natural occurrence and it will not disappear because of stress or envy across the IQ lines. Simington has found that an individual can best communicate with those that are within one standard deviation of IQ. If this is the case, we can add that miscommunication, along with differences in ability, are always going to be problematic.
Tension definitely exists between the IQ levels. From what I have been able to gather, this tension is not increasing in recent years. High IQ individuals are not at fault for this tension and, like social segregation, there isn’t anyone or anything that can be reproached for such naturally human processes. In my opinion, blaming someone for having a high IQ is like blaming someone for having blue eyes.
In conclusion, high IQ people are simply not at fault for the increasingly difficult life of their counterpart low IQ people. Although life may be growing slightly difficult for our low cognitive thinkers, the evidence points to such establishments as government or society as the culprit. Social segregation between the IQ levels exists with many exceptions. Both social separation and tension are natural social aspects of human differences, and although unease and separation may have a furtive existence, they have always occurred across IQ lines. I have found no evidence to support an increase in either condition and I strongly believe that the castigation of high IQ individuals is superfluous to the issue of increasing societal hardships for the less intelligent.