It is a common mistake that IQ or Intelligence Quotient is similar to education. Truth is, IQ and level of education are two different things. Knowledge can be easily attained by getting high quality education or pursuing degrees in school. On the other hand, IQ is measured according to the actual capacity of the brain to process various types of information.
Is it true that the people who live in countries with poor education quality automatically have low IQ? Answering this with a yes would be a hasty generalization. The quality of education helps out in shaping a person’s mind. However, there are numerous factors which could contribute in the development of a persons IQ. Hence, it can not be said that low education quality automatically results to low IQ for the general population.
Since the economic, social and educational situation varies from one country to another, the IQ level can differ a lot too. Which are the ones which can be considered as the countries with generally low IQ population?
#10 Sudan—Average IQ 72
#9 Tanzania—Average IQ 72
#8 Ghana—Average IQ 71
#7 Nigeria—Average IQ 67
#6 Guinea—Average IQ 66
#5 Zimbabwe—Average IQ 66
#4 Democratic Republic of the Congo—Average IQ 65
#3 Sierra Leone—Average IQ 64
#2 Ethiopia—Average IQ 63
#1 Equatorial Guinea—Average IQ 59
Explaining the Average IQ Ranks
Studies and statistics have shown that the list of low IQ population countries include a lot of places in African region. Why is this so? Can IQ be linked to race and genetics?
Truth is, both the experts in the science field as well as those who are in the academy can not give a concrete answer to this yet. Going back to the period of war and post war decades, the assumption that race determines the person’s IQ is an unfounded one. The only reason why this wrongful judgment proliferated is because people who were into the whole war against races would want to put others down.
There are two major factors which researchers, medical practitioners and scholars accept when it comes to the IQ level of a population. These are genetic traits and environmental factors.
Genetic traits are being studied to see whether there is a link between the genes of the parents and the IQ of their child. Though it is not yet concrete, researches are looking into the possibility that an individual’s IQ may be based on the combined IQ of the mother and the father. In such a case, it means that the dominant allele or genes would determine the child’s IQ. Though genetics can possibly cause lower IQ, it is still unaccepted to say that one’s race would set the ceiling for his/her IQ level.
Even if genetics is being considered by the experts, they still can not rule out the environmental factors. There are far too many aspects within the environment which could affect the IQ of the general population within a country. Among which includes education, traditions which can be traced to ancestral practice and culture, level of nutrition, health and other elements within the society. As a person matures, these factors continue to affect not just his/her well-being but also the level of IQ.
Another aspect which has been raised among the experts is the brains ability to adapt to environmental factors. Researchers and medical practitioners are zeroing in on the fact that IQ score may end up lower because the brain’s power is diverted to natural body defense and survival. For example, instead of focusing on how IQ development can become stronger, the brain tends to focus more on the ability of the body to fight diseases. For children below five years old, improper nourishment and health care results to weak bodies. Hence, the brain has to work double time in order for the body to survive. It is being considered that such a scenario could hinder the possible development of the IQ. Hence, when the child matures, it is the physical attributes which have been enhanced and not the mental performance.
Determining the Intelligence Quotient Score
Assuming that race is the reason why Africa dominates the list of countries with low IQ population is invalid. Even modern science has not explained this aspect yet. So how are researchers able to determine the IQ score of an individual?
These days, there are standardized tests which a person needs to take to be able to measure his/her IQ. The test does not necessarily ask about general information, history or facts. One of the key parts in an IQ test is abstract reasoning. This utilizes shapes, patterns and numbers to be able to determine the level of thinking that the mind can achieve. Usually, abstract reasoning is also accompanied by spatial recognition. This is also crucial in knowing the brain’s capacity to process thoughts.
There are different exams which are widely used these days, especially by researchers. Among the more popular ones are the Raven’s Progressive Matrices, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, Stanford Binet and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Examination should be conducted with the supervision of an expert to be able to ensure that all aspects are controlled. Aside from that, results should also be interpreted by a trained professional so that the scores can be matched up to the scale. This determines a persons IQ level.
African countries may be judged easily because of the low IQ averages of the general population. However, there is one factor which still needs to be considered before assuming that IQ rate has something to do with race. The exams which are used for measuring IQ level are created in western countries. Hence, the format and construction is not tailored to the individuals in Africa. This is a big factor why the numbers can be a bit faulty.
The tests are definitely considered as valid up until today. It serves as a guide when it comes to knowing the brain’s capacity. However, even the experts consider that the numbers are not absolutely accurate because of the other factors which can affect the score.
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