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April 04, 2009

Comments

HS:
How low do you think Palin's IQ is? My guess: 110-115. Obama, our resident genius has how high an IQ in your estimation? My guess: 120-125. He's a double Ivy League affirmative action baby. He would never have been admitted to Columbia or Havard Law School if he was a white boy. Obama is not Eric Holder who went to Stuyversant in the old days.

[HS: We've been through this before. Sarah Palin: 100, just average, not someone who's normally college material. Obama: smart enough to graduate in the TOP of the class at Harvard Law School, higher than 125.]

Sigma,

Many of us, me included, knew Palin was a dim bulb...............but also knew she would be the most likely paleo to get in the White House (McCain is old and has had cancer twice) in the next four years.

Simply put Sigma, if the left gets Amnesty then demographically-electorally this nation will go to the left and there will be almost nothing we can do about it. It will be over for market-econimics here and you can readily prepare yourself for a Euro-style nanny-state, burdened to the gills with affirmitave action and anti-discrimination-Stalinist-type-laws enforcing social folkaways the left favors.

This is why that even if Palin was a dim-bulb, some of us were still for her. I'd have picked Romney, Fred Thompson, Tom Tancredo, or Duncan Hunter in a heartbeat over Sarah Palin if I had my choice.


Unfortunately Sigma, I see the same scenario as the last election fomenting itself in three more years. Mike Huckabee, or some other Jesus-freak, will win the evagelical vote in the early primaries, taking the wind out of the sails of any paleo-with-a-chance, so that the GOP Establishment can give us another open-borders, invade-the-world-invite-the-world-in-hock-to-the-world-neo-con in leiu of winner-take-all primaries in "moderate" states that Democrats are allowed to vote in Republican primaries.

J McCain, may I remind everyone once again, only got a little more than 30% of the total primary vote, but still won because of the above-mentioned scenario. I can see how the media will gush about the "electability" of some RINO-doofus in about 2.5 years and how the Democratic-brain-trust "fears" him (when in actual fact they will be look forward with glee to his nomination).


If J McCain would have won the election and died in office, we'd have had a paleo-president who might have gotten a wall up at the border and at least forestalled our demographic UN-MAKING as a Western nation. As it stands, all the left has to do is to wait it out another thirty years and this nation will pretty much be theirs.


I mean hell, Sigma.................would you have preferred a real leftwinger like clownface sans-make-up Joe Lieberman or a DYNAMIC RINO like Arlen Spector or Orrin Hatch as the VP? That was probably what was on Strangelove McCain's shortlist.

I look for the media to actually try and keep Palin afloat as a contender for the nomination in four years because they'd like Obama to run against her and not some truly qualified candidate. I dont know how many hours-a-day Palin is reading up so she is knowledgeable on various subjects, but it will have to be a lot for her to wing it in debates. Id much rather see a real principled conservative win the nomination this time around, but I really do fear cross-primary voting because Obama will be a sitting president and liberals will have nothing on their hands to do except to try and screw up the GOP nomination by getting a RINO elected that will suppress their turnout in the general election that November.


We are running out of time to get the ship righted Sigma before the Brazillification of this nation fiscally and culturally takes place in earnest.

"Ideally, I would like for all the National Review writers to concede that they made a huge mistake by supporting her and not condemning McCain for his stupid pick.

"Even Steve Sailer has refused to write anything negative about her. Steve is normally good at identifying people with low IQ, but he has a blind spot when it comes to Palin."

---

This is a phenomenon you should analyze, especially Steve Sailer not acknowledging that Sarah Palin is stupid.

Lots of conservative men are very attracted to her and this makes otherwise sensible men blind to her flaws.

Everytime Sarah Palin's deficiencies are brought up, Steve Sailer will kick into high gear discussing the stupidity of Joe Biden.

Steve isn't being dumb, just not offending his meal ticket. He can't afford to offend his Palin-loving racist readers who donate to VDare.com. Likewise for the NRO people.

You are correct HS:

There has been so much overwhelming evidence of this family's white trash roots its not even funny anymore. I just saw Levi Johnston on the Tyra Banks show. This kid is as dumb as a rock, not surprising that Bristol found him attractive. This is a very dysfunctional family. Hopefully Sarah has no future in politics.

Obama graduated at the top of his class in Harvard Law School! That would be impressive if he were white, but what makes you think affirmative action ends with admission? It doesn't. Hearing him speak without a teleprompter I suspect he is not very smart at all. He thought the US had 57 (or more) states, and confused Pearl Harbor with Hiroshima. That sounds just plain stupid. Oh yes, he thought he would be president for the next '8 to 10 years' Have you figured out yet how this genius is going to get 2 and 1/2 terms in the office?

As for Palin, perhaps she does not have a stellar IQ. I don't know and neither do you. However, Chomsky probably has a stellar IQ, but would you want him to be president? I don't think so.

Actually, character should be an important element in a president's credentials. Jefferson was smarter than Washington, but could never have done what Washington did. Palin has demonstrated character; Obama has demonstrated that his is tarnished.

Don't get too obsessed with IQ, and don't hold it against Palin that she is beautiful as well as accomplished (in the sense of having 'accomplished' something).

Conservatives have a blind sport for hot conservative women. If you have any explanation for this I'd like to hear it. There are dozens of examples of over promoted hot women that toe the republican party line.

Im not sure that she has a low IQ. She could be one of those people that technically has scholastic competence but then has no critical reasoning abilities. If you've been to school, I'm sure you've met plenty. People who can get all As without much trouble but when you talk to them about something that requires putting information together for themselves, they are dumb as rocks.

What tipped me off about Palin was her infantile repetition of catch phrases like "Iran said Israel was a stinking corpse". I think that was pretty much all she knew about the middle east and it also seemed to be all she thought she had to know.

Not knowing something to begin with is one thing, but clearly not understanding what you have to learn is a where the problem came in.

It is difficulte to guesstimate the IQ of someone. But it is relatively easy to judge if one individual is more intelligent than another.


Palin is clearly less intelligent than... George Bush, Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Bobby Jindal, Ron Paul, even Arnold the Governator.

I can't really think of many politicians of a similar status who are clearly less intelligent than Palin.

Levi Johnston was allowed to sleep in Bristol's room at the Palin house.

http://justjared.buzznet.com/2009/04/03/levi-johnston-spills-on-tyra-banks-show/

The Republican VP supported underage teenage sex.

Can't you be smart and a prole? They're negatively correlated, but not absolutely.

I find it amusing that a huge SarahPAC advertisement appears next to this post.

HS the fact that Obama graduated at the top of his class in Harvard does not mean his IQ must be above 125. The average IQ at Harvard is 130 (source: http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2003/10.23/01-creativity.html ) and it's not uncommon for people who are below the class average in IQ to achieve top marks if they work harder than the others, attend more classes, suck up more, or if they happen to have a special talent or interest in the particular subject. At a place like Harvard, where virtually everyone is above IQ 110, there's very little connection between grades and IQ, unless you're in a hard core intellectual subject like math, computers or science. Obama was a lot older and more mature than the other kids by the time he went to Harvard so he might have took his studies more seriously than the other kids.

I know you look at SAT, LSAT, or GRE scores and conclude that everyone at Harvard is a genius, but these tests are only very rough measures of IQ and are especially rough at the high end. One of the reasons the scores are so high at Harvard is because people take these tests over and over and practice endlessly until they score in the stratosphere, and these tests only measure verbal and/or math, not a full range of cognitive skills you get on a professional test like the WAIS-IV. I know SAT/LSAT/GRE are supposedly resistant to coaching but people with IQ's around 130 are a lot more coachable than most.

Now I don't know what Obama's IQ actually is. For all I know it could be 160, but I would not at all be surprised if it is under 120. I've just seen too many examples of people who are supposedly brilliant not living up to expectations when given professional IQ tests involving novel problem solving.

[HS: In law school, tests are graded blindly. Legal education is extremely conservative in the sense that the pedagogical methods haven't changed much in decades.

It's really difficult to get top 10% grades in a competitive law school like Harvard. Really.]

Another funny thing is that for all political motivation republicans should have for promoting minorities to visible positions for no reason, several of the most accomplished minority republicans seem to have legit high IQs- Jindal, Condoleeza and perhaps even Powell (if he doesn't have the IQ per se, he has the appropriate kind of competency anyways).

And for all the republican partisans, give it up. There is no way under the sun that anyone can graduate magna cum laude from Harvard law school without having genius level verbal reasoning skills, and verbal reasoning is the kind of IQ skill most relevant to politics. Even if affirmative action got him in, affirmative action wouldn't get him to the top. That is repeatedly shown by the relatively poor performance and high drop out rates of blacks in law schools.

Seriously though. You would think that you could just shrug off the conservative blind spot for hot right wing female leaders, but what puzzles me is that democrats don't have the same blind spot. It could be just a facet of the right wing containing more men than women, but is that really all it is? It seems to me that there is some kind of inherent gravitation to hot con women amongst cons in general and that this attachment stems from some innate feature in the conservative temperament.

A few days ago, I blogged a list of just some of the hot conservative women that come to mind- http://feministx.blogspot.com/2009/04/top-conservative-babes.html- just to mock that amount of such women that have been promoted to fairly influential positions.

Palin has shown herself to be a principled political leader despite her social milieu. In a choice between her and Barry O, I would close with Palin.

Maybe we need a prole to rune the country? See how the proletariat has done? Let the common woman rule.

Thanks for addressing my comment. Only ideological or fanatical conservatives (most, it seems) could see Palin as anything but stupid.

We are running out of time to get the ship righted Sigma before the Brazillification of this nation fiscally and culturally takes place in earnest.

What do you mean as brazilification?

Brazil has the following political characteristics.

1- We don´t have open conservatism based on individualism. We don´t have the myths of the self-made-man or of the go-west. After all, these are ideas built in the US imaginary long before the country became industrialized. We also have extreme socioeconomic differences between rich and poor.

The result is that a politician, in order to get elected, needs to give a discourse americans would call extermely liberal: houses, more money for schools, more doctors for our socialized health system.

The practice is that, when he or she gets in office, doesn´t do anything and the public hospitals are completely chaotic and you have to wait 6 hours for a consultation. The state-run schools suck.

However, the Us is also becoming similar to Brazil by the worsening of social inequity. When the US becomes a society where 90% of the population works in Wal-Mart style crap jobs and 10% concentrate the wealth, all the anti-welfare politicians will be politically dead. The conservatism only gets acceptable when people believe that hard work means social mobility and not crap jobs. When most have a crap job, conservatism will die.

2- The fact is that politics here are a form of the elite (big industrialists, big farmers and high poublic servants) to get more money with the least risk possible, by three ways.

First, they want money by the state-run banks. Second, higher salaries to their children, who are the top civil servants, judges and hold the most important state positions, like minister or congressman. A low-level brazilian judge earns more than an American Supreme Court Justice and can slack off his job a lot. Third, leech the state with fraudulent bidding, sometimes with useful things, like the Itaipu hydroelectrical power (still the largest one in the world), sometimes with bridges to nowhere.

Which capitalist wants to take risks when he can get as rich even not taking any?

3- Brazil has the worst of conservatism and the worst of liberalism. We have Norwegian taxes and Somalian healthcare. And only 20% of the population can afford healthcare not given by the state.

A prole she is, but that has little bearing on whether she would make a good president - or at least a less bad president than these educated fools who seem to be actively trying to destroy our country. I'd pick a Willy Nelson lookalike Minuteman with an IQ of 85 and a meth lab in his trailer over a lefty Ivy Leaguer.

I don't deny that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are intelligent, but that just means they can do harm more effectively.

I wouldn't (and didn't) vote for Palin because she kowtowed to La Raza on Univision, not because she's a prole. That points to another conservative blind spot - lots of immigration restrictions have deluded themselves that Palin is on their side with absolutely no evidence, even after she appeared on Univision.

Well I have news for all you Liberal Palin haters. The First Branch of Government is about to convene the Fourth Branch of Government. We will take back this country. We don't just think that Sarah palin is a great candidate for 2012. She IS POTUS 45 01/20/2013.

When HS mentions Obama and IQ (as in, he must have a high one based on his accomplishment at Harvard), a vociferous group of commenters come out of the woodwork to express doubts that it is above 120 (if that). It happens every time. And while the comments provide no counter evidence, just hand-waving, the larger question is why would it matter? Discounting the racists who misunderstand HBD - and how individual variation trumps goup averages - what does it matter if Obama has an IQ of 101 or 171? Surely they don't think IQ corresponds to being right - I'm sure there were a lot of brilliant people who implemented horrific policies in the USSR. You can have an amazing ability to discern patterns (IQ), and yet be socially inept (and thus likely to be led by those who are brilliant at manipulation) or ignorant of history/economics (and thus likely to believe in BS policies).

Sigma:

I admit Palin was a disaster. I was initially defended Palin (although I didn’t like the gender based identity policy). The reason people like me defended Palin was not Palin, it was her horrible enemies. She was attacked unfairly by the media who gave Biden and Obama a free pass. This is incidentally why disaster-boy Bush was strongly defended. He had good enemies (such as islamists, anti-American Europeans, the left-wing media). The lesson is that even idiots can be attacked unfairly.

You are making a logical mistake about Obama however, by relying on only one data-point (graduated top 20% of his class at Harvard Law). Not only is this one data point, it is a selectively chosen data-point by the Obama machine.
Other data about Obama, that are suppressed:

• What did Obama score at the SAT or LSAT?
• Why would a super-bright black kid who went to one of best prep-schools in the country, not get admitted to a better college than Occidental?
• What were Obamas grades at Columbia?
• Why did he have to rely on affirmative action to gain acceptance to Harvard Law (he claims he doesn’t know if he got AA or not, which is most likely a lie, he knew his own grades and test scores, so unless he was on the margin he would know).

He is bright, but I have no evidence he is exceptionally bright, that I would assume if the only thing I knew was magna cum laude and editor of Harvard Law.

Feministx wrote:

"And for all the republican partisans, give it up. There is no way under the sun that anyone can graduate magna cum laude from Harvard law school without having genius level verbal reasoning skills,"

The average overall IQ at Harvard is 130. The average overall IQ of the subset who make it all the way to Haravard law school is probably a bit higher (let's say 135). It wouldn't be that much higher because almost anyone at Harvard could go on to graduate school if they wanted to and many people from lesser schools get to Harvard for their professional degrees.

Now if we talk specifically about verbal IQ, the average verbal IQ of Harvard law is probably 145 probably with a range of about 120-170. However in a restricted sample like this, where everyone has a verbal IQ above 120, verbal IQ would be far from perfectly correlated with grades. There would be a very general correlation. People with grades in the top 10% would average a verbal IQ of 150 and people with grades in the bottom 10% would average a verbal IQ of 140.

However there would be some people with grades in the top 10% who have verbal IQ's much lower than most people with grades in the bottom 10% and vice verca. LSAT scores only explain 16% of the variation in law school grades (and probably even less at elite law schools) so there would be considerable cognitive overlap between those with excellent grades and those with poor grades.

And all this assumes that there's no ceiling effect. It could be for example that above a verbal IQ of 140, there's no correlation at all between verbal IQ and law school grades. I have no evidence that this is the case, but it could happen if one assumes there's a limit to how difficult and abstract you can make a subject like law. It could be that there are very few legal concepts that are abstract enough to discriminate between those with verbal IQ's of 140 and those with verbal IQ's of 150. IQ tests often don't measure above 140 for this very reason. It's extremely difficult to construct g loaded test problems that discriminate at this level.

"You can have an amazing ability to discern patterns (IQ), and yet be socially inept"

Yes you can but it's not very likely. IQ is important because it's our best measure of g. g is defined as the source of variation common to ALL forms of cognitive ability, including social cognition. In fact if you can prove that there's no correlation between pattern recognition and social skills, then you deserve the nobel prize because you have proved that there are some mental abilities that don't correlate which debunks the concept of g which has withstood about 100 years of research.

"verbal IQ would be far from perfectly correlated with grades."

Really? Has anyone seen evidence that LSAT and grades correlate differently for Harvard than they do for other schools?

And as for a ceiling effect, is there a ceiling on where the LSAT stops predicting academic success in law school exams? If so, then maybe you could argue that V-IQ has a ceiling when used as a predictor of law school performance.

Verbal IQ and LSAT may not be exactly the same, but the LSAT is an effective measure of verbal reasoning capacity.

And Obama was lazy in high school and in college. He admits that and he didn't have stellar grades. Given that Obama had been lazy, do we expect that he suddenly became the hardest working person at Harvard law and made magic with a mere 130 V-IQ? It's possible, I suppose, but I doubt it.

I have no idea what Obama can do with performance IQ and visual-spatial IQ, but on the verbal end, he's got to have a full deck.


And as for others that claim they would rather have a stupid Palin-prole in charge over a smart liberal, at a certain point, something has to be said for reasoning, understanding and competency. The presidency requires a number of fast decisions based on spotaneous events. This is a job that requires someone to quickly understand all about a market collapse in a matter of days. Not someone that can only learn that Iran said Israel is a stinking corpse over the course of weeks.

Farrout, anyone that is bent on proving Obama's low IQ is just emotionally attached to the idea that liberal governance has less association with intelligence than republican governance. It's pretty obvious that there are plenty of high IQ liberals out there. And plenty of them are in positions of political power.

"People with grades in the top 10% would average a verbal IQ of 150 and people with grades in the bottom 10% would average a verbal IQ of 140."

I don't know if IQ tests have quite that level of predictive validity. You have to take other things into account. A person with an IQ of 140 who scores high on the big-five of "Conscientiousness" is probably going to do better than someone with an IQ of 150 with a Low C or a high N.

Palin, who got some BS degree after going to U of Idaho (after going to about 4 community colleges) simply can't compete with Obama, who went to Harvard law and became prez of the law review. Even if it was with AA, it takes some high O-C-E-A and low N to even strive for that.

I'd rather have a leader with an IQ of 115 who's got high OCEA, Low N and appreciates empiricism than some prole with the reverse traits, even if that person has an IQ of 130.

Also, it seems that Obama was editor at Harvard Law Review by the end of his first year. Can anyone tell me what your rank has to be to get in at first year? It must be less than 10%. Or maybe the rank itself is 10%, but after the writing competition, wouldn't it be like more like top 5%?

And first year is where it's all even because after that people can choose to take classes of different difficulty.

If being at the top of his class after first year doesn't denote a V-IQ over 140, then exactly what does it represent? That he was very hard working? That he was able to express himself remarkably?

"Why would a super-bright black kid who went to one of best prep-schools in the country, not get admitted to a better college than Occidental?"

This is a good question. Getting into a good college is a function of the following formula:

SATs + grades + money + race = level of college

Now we know Obama had money (upper middle class grandparents raised him)and minority status, yet he didn't have high enough grades and/or SATs for the formula to add up to an excellent college. Now if we knew his grades were good, then the only thing preventing the formula from adding up to a good college would be low SATs. However if his grades in high school were bad, then ironically, it leaves open the possibility that his IQ (as measured by SATs) is high.

The only people who think Sarah Palin is stupid are those naive enough to buy into the obvious media manipulation by goons like Couric and Gibson.

It doesn't say a lot for their intelligence, does it?

"Really? Has anyone seen evidence that LSAT and grades correlate differently for Harvard than they do for other schools?"

What we know is that as the range of IQ decreases, the correlation between IQ and grades also decreases. So IQ does a good job predicting grades in elememntary school where the full range of IQ is represented. It does a moderate job predicting grades in high school where the range of IQ's is a little more restricted because many very low IQ people drop out. IQ does a poor job predicting grades in university because the range is even more restricted, and its predictive power is worse still in graduate school and professional school. Now if we extrapolate the pattern to an elite professional school like Harvard law we should find an even lower correlation between IQ and grades.

"And as for a ceiling effect, is there a ceiling on where the LSAT stops predicting academic success in law school exams? If so, then maybe you could argue that V-IQ has a ceiling when used as a predictor of law school performance."

My educated guess is that the LSAT probably continues to predict law grades, even at extreme levels, but this doesn't mean the LSAT or the grades are measuring g at extreme levels. A most remarkable study found that even when you statistically remove g, some college admission tests still predict grades (though probably not to the same degree) which suggests that there's more to their predictive validity than just g. Perhaps its narrow verbal skill or knowledge, test taking speed, or test preperation. So my guess is that both the LSAT and especially law school grades do not do a very good job reflecting g above IQ 140.

"Verbal IQ and LSAT may not be exactly the same, but the LSAT is an effective measure of verbal reasoning capacity."

Probably. At least up to IQ 140. I do wonder about coaching effects especially for those with IQ's above 130. I know a guy who claimed he did horrible on the GRE but then he found a test preperation book, learned some tecniquies and ended up scoring near the maximum possible score.

"And Obama was lazy in high school and in college. He admits that and he didn't have stellar grades. Given that Obama had been lazy, do we expect that he suddenly became the hardest working person at Harvard law and made magic with a mere 130 V-IQ? It's possible, I suppose, but I doubt it."

Well one thing that makes it plausible is he got a lot of real world experience before going to law school and realized that if he wanted to help the poor, he would need to work within the system. Sometimes mature students return to school with a renewed focus. Also, when he was in high school he was under a lot of pressure to act in ways that were stereotypically black (bad grades, drugs). By the time he reached law school he probably outgrew all that and was ready to apply himself.

"I have no idea what Obama can do with performance IQ and visual-spatial IQ,"

Well his bowling is pretty bad if that's any indication.

"but on the verbal end, he's got to have a full deck."

I'd be inclined to agree. One thing that does give me pause though is that he seems a lot better with a teleprompter than he does thinking on his feet, especially in those debates against Hillary, but on the whole I would guess his verbal IQ is extremely high (perhaps above 150). However verbal IQ is only a proxy for g and its his level of g that will largely determine how competent he is at making correct decisions (from the perspective of his goals).

Neeners, I think you might be right. Offhand, I can't think of any attractive women who are liberal pundits or politicians.

One cause might be the gender gap between the parties. Since women tend to be Democrats, attractive men would be more appealing to them. So Salon publishes women's sexual fantasies about Obama. And of course Obama gets elected.

Ugly men don't do well as Democrats, neither do attractive women.

I am waiting for your discussion of classy it was for Biden's daughter to be out snorting coke with a dollar bill.

And where is your apology for being flat out wrong about your pregnancy conspiracy theory?

"In fact if you can prove that there's no correlation between pattern recognition and social skills..."

Linda,

Do you even know any high-IQ people? And how completely awkward and uncomfortable SOME of them are in social situations? The point is, scoring very high on an IQ test does not mean one is capable of discerning non-verbal social clues. Heck, half the people who post to Slashdot think they have Aspergers, just because they have trouble relating to other people.

You need to address why you have such an adverse reaction to the (good) possibility that Obama has a higher IQ than you. Do you feel the same about the fact that Thomas Sowell definitely has a higher IQ than you?

"Do you even know any high-IQ people? And how completely awkward and uncomfortable SOME of them are in social situations?"

Being uncomfortable in social situations is a personality problem not a cognitive one. Don't confuse a lack of social comfort with impaired social cognition.

"The point is, scoring very high on an IQ test does not mean one is capable of discerning non-verbal social clues."

But the higher the IQ, the greater the probability that one will be able to discern non-verbal social cues. This is because IQ measures g (general mental ability) and g is by definition a factor common to ALL forms of mental ability. If in fact you're right and and high IQ people are not better (on average) at discerning non-verbal social cues, then that means that g has been debunked and IQ scores have no scientific meaning. But I suspect you are wrong. The vast majority of people who can't recognize non-verbal social cues are low IQ autistics. High IQ Aspergers individuals are the exception, not the rule.

Also keep in mind that many high IQ people can't relate to other people not because they lack social cognition but rather because they have nothing in common. People of all IQ levels are better at relating to people of similar IQ's, so in that respect average IQ people have social advantage because there are so many more of them.

"You need to address why you have such an adverse reaction to the (good) possibility that Obama has a higher IQ than you."

I hope he does. I like it when extremely successful people have high IQ's because it shows IQ tests are valid. I was reacting adversely to the simplistic assumption that anyone who does well at Harvard law must be a genius.

"At a place like Harvard, where virtually everyone is above IQ 110,": good God, are their standards that low? Why?

The assumption:

"I was reacting adversely to the simplistic assumption that anyone who does well at Harvard law must be a genius."

I never said that. I said graduating in the top 10% from HLS requires genius level verbal reasoning capacity.

I stand by that. Even if you are black, your LSAT needs to be in the top 10% to get into Harvard. If you are white, the score is very likely to be in the top 2%. Top 1% if for white students with the median GPA. The 25th percentile of LSATs admitted to Harvard is 170 (includes minorities), which is a 98th percentile score.

And that is the LSAT, which basically tests people with the ability to graduate college.

I think you pretty much need a tin foil hat story to conceive of how someone could make Harvard Law Review in their first year without genius level verbal reasoning capacity since they have to beat out the more than 50% of classmates with top 1% LSATs.

Or you could have one other explanation, which is that Obama has a V-IQ less than 140, but sub-IQs so high in every other category that his enormously high g edges him to success. And in that case, Obama is fully a genius.

"I never said that. I said graduating in the top 10% from HLS requires genius level verbal reasoning capacity."

If by genius you mean above 140 verbal IQ, you are wrong.

A few facts:

Mensa (IQ 130+ society) accepts an LSAT score of 163, so 163 probably equates to a verbal IQ of 130.

The median LSAT score for all people who write the LSAT is 150, and this group probably has a median IQ perhaps as high as 115 (they are largely university graduates).

Extrapolating from these two data points, we can estimate the average student at Harvard law (median LSAT score of 173) has a verbal IQ of 141. That means that nearly 50% of all students at Harvard law school do not have genius (140+) verbal IQ's.

In order for your argument to hold, we would have to assume that not a single student from the bottom half of the class in verbal IQ, ever makes it to the top 10% in grades. That's a statistically absurd argument when you consider that only 16% (at most) of the variation in Harvard law school grades is explained by LSAT scores. You're problem is you are dramatically overestimating the importance of verbal IQ in determining law school grades and completely ignoring all the other variables that influence grades (attendance, study habbits, interests, specialized knowledge, note taking skills, cognitive style etc)

It would be like arguing that in order to be in the top 10% in weight, you must be above average height. And yet every day we see short people who weigh more than 90% of the population.

And I should also add that an average verbal IQ of 141 for Harvard law is almost certainly at least a bit inflated since a lot of the people who score highest on the LSAT probably took the test more than once and/or studied LSAT preperation books far more extensively than the typical LSAT takers. The LSAT might be resistant to coaching in most cases, but brighter students are probably a lot more coachable and able to acquire more subtle strategies for inflating their scores beyond their true ability.

@feministx

You said:

"I think you pretty much need a tin foil hat story to conceive of how someone could make Harvard Law Review in their first year without genius level verbal reasoning capacity since they have to beat out the more than 50% of classmates with top 1% LSATs."

If you will recall, Obama became the FIRST African-American Harvard Law Review president in its 102 year history:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2008/09/barack-obama-ha.html

In the late 1980s there was likely to be great pressure to find some reasonably qualified Black to take this historic role. Notice that his breaking this barrier led to contemporaneous national news coverage.

So there is a good chance he was NOT selected purely on the basis of merit as you posit, but received an affirmative action boost.

"Being uncomfortable in social situations is a personality problem not a cognitive one. Don't confuse a lack of social comfort with impaired social cognition."

True, but the more you do something, the better you become. If someone is reading and studying most of the time, they miss out on learning how to socialize, and come off awkward. If someone is always at the bar or the game whooping it up, they get comfortable socializing.

"In order for your argument to hold, we would have to assume that not a single student from the bottom half of the class in verbal IQ, ever makes it to the top 10% in grades. "

You are right. 140 is not something you can hold him to. I did not realize that was a 99.6 percentile IQ score. Though 130, which is what mensa calls special, is almost certainly less than what Obama has if we are to assume that a 130 = 163 LSAT (which I think is an absurd thing for Mensa to equate). It would be quite rare for even a black person to get into HLS with a 163 LSAT.

"And I should also add that an average verbal IQ of 141 for Harvard law is almost certainly at least a bit inflated since a lot of the people who score highest on the LSAT probably took the test more than once and/or studied LSAT preperation books far more extensively than the typical LSAT takers. The LSAT might be resistant to coaching in most cases, but brighter students are probably a lot more coachable and able to acquire more subtle strategies for inflating their scores beyond their true ability."

It doesn't matter. Each test is curved like the IQ. An individual's score may be inflated, but overall 163 is always the same percentile. If Mensa accepts 163+ LSATs, they may be accepting the wrong individuals in terms of IQ correlation, but they are still accepting the top percentile.

And I revise my statement- It is almost certain that Obama cannot have a V-IQ IQ less than 130 unless the rest of his sub-IQs are over 130.

I see nothing to suggest that his IQ is 150 (though it could be), but I'm going to believe that it's at least 135.

If we assume that LSAT 163=IQ 130 and average LSAT at HLS is 173, then the average HLS student has an IQ of 145 or 146, since on the LSAT 10 points is one SD.

Actually I think average LSAT Obama's year was more like 170 or 171, so IQ = 140 is probably a reasonable estimate.

As an HLS grad, I can confirm that grading is largely blind, however the magna=top 10% rule was only established after Obama graduated. His year as I recall it was more like top 20%, and it varied year to year somewhat before it was changed from a minimum GPA standard to the top 10% rule.

Law Review has a few AA spots, and President of HLR is an elected position, so this means that the mainly white and very smart editors thought highly of him but does not speak directly to his intelligence.

All that said, even assuming the worst, that Obama just barely squeaked by in getting magna and was right at the top 20% and was an above average grade grubber, he still could not have graduated magna without having an IQ well in excess of 140.

HLS students are hardly slackers and the school is about 85% white or asian, so getting to the top 20% of that group is no easy task. I did know one guy who was somewhat less intelligent than the HLS average and got magna, but he studied insane amounts, more than 10 hours a day in addition to attending every class.

If Obama got his good grades this way, it speaks extremely well of his good character and work ethic in particular contrasting it with Bush, Gore, and Kerry with their gentleman's B- averages, McCain and his bottom 1% grades at the navel academy, Biden with his plagerism, and Palin with her long struggle to find a college and major easy enough to squeak by.

Also, comparing Harvard College and Harvard Law School IQs, only about 1/3 of HC students who apply to HLS are accepted, and many more probably don't even apply realizing they have no chance. I can't remember the source, but I read that the average LSAT for HC students is 163, which is tied for the highest in the USA, but still well below HLS's standards. There is a list floating around there somewhere.

"If we assume that LSAT 163=IQ 130 and average LSAT at HLS is 173, then the average HLS student has an IQ of 145 or 146, since on the LSAT 10 points is one SD."

10 points may be the SD for those who take the LSAT, but those who take the LSAT will be a restricted population, so their SD should be smaller than the general population SD.

"All that said, even assuming the worst, that Obama just barely squeaked by in getting magna and was right at the top 20% and was an above average grade grubber, he still could not have graduated magna without having an IQ well in excess of 140."

If almost everyone who made the top 10% or top 20% in grades was above the class average in LSAT scores, then that would mean that the correlation between LSAT scores and law school grades is very high. Yet we know from several large empirical studies that LSAT scores only explain 16% of the variation in law school grades; 84% is explained by other factors.

That's one reason why law schools look at university grades in addition to LSAT scores. LSAT scores by themselves do not tell us much about who will do well in law school. Even when law schools look at LSAT scores and university grades, they still have a tough time knowing who is going to be a star student and who will flunk out.

Now I'd be inclined to agree that Obama has a *verbal* IQ above 140, but it's by no means certain.

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