The starting point for my estimation of Sarah Palin’s IQ is her college career. The fact that she graduated from a four year college at all indicates her IQ is above average (above 100). But her college history seems indicative of someone who was barely able to graduate. It seems as if she couldn’t hack majoring at business at a college in Hawii, and then transferred to community colleges, and finally was able to transfer back to an easy four year college, the University of Idaho, where she graduated with an easy major, journalism. She definitely does not have the college career of someone whose IQ is one standard deviation or more above the man (115 or higher). Thus her IQ is likely somewhere between 100 and 115. Perhaps I was being generous in the previous post where I estimated 110. It could be as little as 100. A person with an IQ of 100 can still graduate from a four year college if she chooses an easy major and attends a non-challenging school such as the University of Idaho.
Now we must look at evidence of smartness and evidence of dumbness. Evidence of smartness first:
(1) Her sister says she is smart. In her biography, the sister says she was a bookworm as a kid, and on a recent interview on CNN, the sister said Sarah is very smart.
It’s not unheard of for siblings to help each other out, so this doesn’t really prove much. I would also not put much stock in the opinions of people in Wasilla where she was mayor. The average IQ of Wasilla seems to be about 95, and in the land of the blind the one-eyed woman is queen.
(2) She seemed competent talking about oil drilling on a Larry Kudlow interview that I watched.
What IQ does one need to speak competently about one topic? I think the 110 number would be high enough.
(3) She got elected governor of Alaska.
Surely this must demonstrate something? On the other hand, it seems to me like some freak occurrence, and maybe demonstrates the low IQ of Alaska voters rather than the high IQ of Sarah. Alaska does have a pretty abysmal high school graduation rate. Most intellectual Alaskans flee the state for more mentally stimulating jobs in the lower 48.
(4) She gave a good speech at the convention.
To what extent is public speaking correlated IQ? The correlation may not be that high. There are lots of high IQ people who are abysmal public speakers, so public speaking is not a highly g-loaded task. Normally, people with IQs below 115 don’t have the opportunity to do much public speaking because they don’t have much to say. But my guess is that a person with a propensity for public speaking with an IQ of 100 can sound a lot smarter than her IQ if there is a smart person available to put words in her mouth.
(1) Sarah is very self confident.
Self confidence is a trait that, if correlated with intelligence at all, is most likely inversely correlated. Comparing races, blacks have the highest self-confidence and Asians have the lowest self-confidence. But blacks have the lowest IQ and Asians have the highest IQ. Self confidence allows you to trick people into believing that you’re more competent than you really are.
Self confidence is related to being a good public speaker, so this trait is tricking people into overestimating her IQ.
Evidence of dumbness:
(1) She majored in journalism but there’s no evidence that she ever wrote anything.
Writing is a highly g-loaded task, so the lack of anything that she’s written could indicate her inability to write at a competent level.
(2) She had to hire an administrator to run the “city” of Wasilla.
Indicates she wasn’t smart enough to run the city herself?
(3) Interest in evangelical Christianity.
People who believe in the literal word of the Bible and get into evangelical Christianity are, on average, less intelligent than mainline Protestants.
(4) No intellectual hobbies.
Smart people have intellectual hobbies. Sarah likes to hunt moose.
I find this to be the most compelling indicator that Sarah’s IQ isn’t much higher than the minimum required to graduate from the University of Idaho. Social class is highly correlated with IQ. This correlation is much higher than the correlation between income and IQ or between income and class.
Both of Sarah’s parents are school teachers, the quintessential middle class jobs, but Sarah has clearly sunk to prole. Her husband hasn’t graduated from college, Track is not going to college, and Bristol gives no indication of being college-bound. Track getting arrested, and Bristol getting pregnant at 17 are markers of being prole rather than middle class.
Sinking in class below one’s parents tends to indicate having a lower IQ than one’s parents, which is why I have a hard time believing that Sarah’s IQ is any higher than 110.