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Kyle Henson
Professor Jan Rieman
UWRT 1103
17 November 2014
Race and IQ
Intelligence is one of those topics that is interesting to learn about, but can be incredibly
controversial when comparing it across different groups of people.

Nobody wants to be

considered below someone because of an innate characteristic. So as you read this, I hope that
you can read it with an open mind.
understanding the human brain.

That being said, we are in the earliest stages of

Theoretical Physicist, Michio Kaku said it best when he

claimed, The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other
neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe. We
are slowly unraveling what exactly the brain is and what different functions it actually has.
Everything that we know about the brain is new to us, and with this newness comes some bold
claims. This paper is specifically dealing with the IQ and education across different races, thus
this paper is for anyone interested in seeing that difference and what the general reasons why that
difference exists.
Before looking at the data behind IQ, it is important to understand what IQ is exactly. IQ
is the Intelligence Quotient and is found by taking certain IQ tests. These tests are designed to
test fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence has more to do with
thinking quickly, ability to problem solve, and ability to think abstractly.

In comparison,

crystallized intelligence is what is learned throughout life like skills and knowledge. There are

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many different types of IQ tests, but they are designed to measure mathematical, language, and
reasoning skills alongside memory and processing speed. The scores in all of these areas are
combined to form an IQ score. The scoring of an IQ test is a little different from other tests. The
average score is set at a mean of 100. The distribution is then set on a normal curve with about
68% of people falling between 85 and 115 and 95% of people falling between 70 (which is
considered the highest score of mental retardation) and 130 (which is considered the lowest score
of giftedness). The mean and standard deviation of any legitimate test are set beforehand by
administering the test to a representative sample and using the data from the results (Cherry). An
example of the normal curve can be seen below. Online tests are not to be considered legitimate
IQ tests, but if you are curious about the general area that you fall as well as some extra
information on IQ history and distributions, you can go here.

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I never have actually taken a real IQ tests, but I used to think of them as simply telling
you how smart you are. As I was reading into IQ tests, I started to question the validity because
of some things I heard from classmates, and I must tell you that IQ tests are not perfect. I know
that it is shocking that we havent created a test that can absolutely measure everything about the
incredibly complex brains that I was just talking about, but surprise, we havent. I found a great
3 minute video that explains why they are not perfect, and it would be great to watch before
reading the rest of this paragraph. The fact that IQ tests are put down as being awful is a wrong
assumption. IQ tests never claimed to be the only thing that could predict your success in life.
IQ tests are however good indicators of how good a person is at problem solving and reasoning,
which is what it is designed to test. It makes sense that a test is a good indicator of only what it
tests and cannot be extrapolated into other areas of our lives. IQ tests do not always do a good
job of assessing practical skills like being musically talented or being good with mechanics, but
it wasnt designed to. IQ tests also do not measure EQ, or emotional intelligence. This is your
ability to interact with others. This includes communication, leadership, and networking skills.
Again, IQ tests were never designed to measure this emotional intelligence, even though EQ may
be better at determining future success according to some researchers (Cherry). At the end of the
day, we cannot accept any fate that IQ tests give us. IQ is just a small piece of the puzzle and
should never be used as the only predictor of our intelligence. This was helpful for me to realize
as I went about my inquiry process.
It was interesting to me that as I dug deeper into my topic, race was brought up quite
often. That is why I decided to explore this side of the intelligence topic. In public statement,
signed by 52 internationally known scholars called Racial Differences in Intelligence: What

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Science Says, intelligence is defined as A very general mental capability that, among other
things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend
complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. This article then goes into talking
about IQ differences in race in the United States of America.

Caucasians tend to center

somewhere around a score of 100 on IQ tests while African-Americans tend to center somewhere
around 85. Latin Americans are usually in between the two, while Asians and Jews are above
Caucasians, but it is not known what they center on because of lack of conclusive data. It isnt
exactly known why there are these differences either. Most researchers tend to believe that it has
a lot to do with the environment that each separate group grows up in, but genetics are
considered to be somewhat of a factor. In terms of socioeconomic status, African-American
students from prosperous families tend to have higher IQs than African-American students from
poor families. What is shocking though is that African-American students from prosperous
families do not have higher IQs than Caucasian students from poor families on average (Racial
Differences). An interesting 5 minute video that goes further into this topic is located here.
As mentioned earlier, IQ is not the perfect test for intelligence. This article called IQ
tests are 'fundamentally flawed' and using them alone to measure intelligence is a 'fallacy', study
finds goes as far as saying that The idea that intelligence can be measured by IQ tests alone is a
fallacy They decided that instead of a general intelligence, there are actually three different
types of intelligences: short-term memory, reasoning and verbal agility. Someone may be good
at one area, but can also just as easily be bad in the other two. It has been shown that no single
component can explain the variation in everyones intelligence. This is huge in the perceived
differences in different groups of people like different race, gender, or social class. It has been
shown that there is a noticeable difference in IQs of different races, but IQ just doesnt show the

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whole picture. Most scientists already dont believe in the whole notion of race and what
differences that brings, and this research may help their case. IQ just is not the best indicator of
overall intelligence, but at this moment, there is not another alternative (Connor).
Intelligence is a complex topic that nobody really knows everything about. This is why it
makes sense that IQ tests arent perfect for determining intelligence. We are complex creatures
with an incredibly complex brain that never rests. Race is a factor in IQ scores, but it is believed
that it is not the same in terms of intelligence potential. The number one thing that I want you to
get out of this is that you do not need a high IQ score or even intelligence in order to be
successful in life. In the end, you are the one that decides whether you are going to be successful
or not (Kimball and Smith). Most researchers believe that if we stop blaming our genetics and
our circumstances, we will end up better in the end.

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Works Cited
Cherry, Kendra. "IQ or EQ: Which One Is More Important?" About. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov.
2014. <http://psychology.about.com/od/intelligence/fl/IQ-or-EQ-Which-One-Is-MoreImportant.htm>.
Cherry, Kendra. "Is Your IQ Score Above Average?" About Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov.
2014. <http://psychology.about.com/od/intelligence/f/average-iq.htm>.
Connor, Steve. "IQ Tests Are 'fundamentally Flawed' and Using Them Alone to Measure
Intelligence Is a 'fallacy', Study Finds." The Independent. Independent Digital News and
Media, 21 Dec. 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
"Fast, Free and Accurate Online IQ Test." Free-IQTest. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
IQ Normal Curve. Digital image. What Does "IQ" Stand For, and What Does It Mean? N.p., n.d.
Web. 14 Nov. 2014. <http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/Definition_of_IQ'.html>.
"Is IQ a Good Measure of Intelligence?" YouTube. Google, 14 May 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Kaku, Michio. "Michio Kaku Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

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Kimball, Miles, and Noah Smith. "The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'" The Atlantic. Atlantic Media
Company, 28 Oct. 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.
"Racial Differences in Intelligence: What Mainstream Science Says." Cpsimoes.net. N.p., n.d.
Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <http://www.cpsimoes.net/artigos/bell_mainstr.html>.
"Racial Differences in IQ Scores." YouTube. YouTube, 26 Feb. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.