I am not an IQ-ist
By Arnold Kling
I think of Bryan as an IQ-ist. To me, IQ-ism is the doctrine that IQ determines many things in life, including income and health.
I take the view that cultural and emotional factors matter. On cultural matters, see Judith Harris’ The Nurture Assumption.
I think that how well my AP statistics students do on the AP depends a lot on the attitudes of key student leaders in the classroom. If the leaders are pushing everyone to do their best, then everyone takes the test and most pass. If the leaders are indifferent, then only a few students will pass.
My guess is that someone with a high IQ in an adverse cultural setting will not necessarily be healthy and wealthy. Someone with an average IQ in an achievement-oriented cultural setting will tend to achieve a lot.
What IQ-ism and culturalism have in common is that they imply a less monetary view of the determinant of economic class. While a person’s lifetime wealth will tend to be correlated with his or her inherited monetary wealth, this is not due to strong causality.
In addition to IQ and culture, I believe that emotional health matters a great deal. I am not sure how to define emotional health, but I know it when I see it, so to speak.
Cultural influences and emotional health cannot be measured as accurately as IQ. In regressions to explain things like wealth and health, this puts IQ at an advantage and the other factors at a disadvantage. But I do not think that justifies IQ-ism.
Finally, every IQ-ist needs to be aware of the Flynn effect, which is the documented increase in average IQ over time. This suggests that IQ has a large environmental component.