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We should measure stupidity instead of intelligence

This is meant half seriously, and I hope we can have some fun with this. Also, I am interested in your more serious ideas about attempts by educators and psychologists to measure intelligence.

I think that our measuring scale is reversed because intelligence is limited, whereas stupidity is effectively infinite. Someone always manages to do something even more stupid. People can act more stupidly than rocks, because rocks never hurt themselves, and rocks never attempt to defy natural law.

IMHO, our attempts to measure intelligence to date have been laughably inadequate. I now believe that the notion of trying to measure intelligence is probably futile. It seems that the main lesson of recent research is that we now have a much better understanding of how little we know about intelligence.

What are your ideas about intelligence, and measuring intelligence/stupidity.

  • Jan 3 2013: Spelt out from your topic: I think that our measuring scale is reversed because intelligence is limited, whereas stupidity is effectively infinite.....

    Always remember, it is easier to count something less in number and not huge in number...So applying that common sense, we still have to measure intelligence and not stupidity. Moreover what values is intelligence.
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    Jan 3 2013: Naw .... Continue to measue Intelligence ... when given two or more groups always go with the smallest.
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    Gail .

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    Jan 2 2013: Here is where the EQ scale comes in. A person with a high IQ can have a very low EQ. This means that a smart person is acting as if he were stupid, but he doesn't know it.

    A person with a high IQ can fake an EQ test, so here is where an eeg machine comes in handy. Research has shown that people who do not meditate have high levels of activity in the amygdala (the stress/anxiety/fear part of the brain). Those with active amygdalas make irrational short term decisions in what they see as survival.

    But those who meditate regularly have much lower activity in the amygdala and much higher activity in the frontal cortext that is responsible for RATIONAL long-term decisions. In fact, regular meditators increase their IQ as much as 6 points regardless of age - throwing out the long-held idea that IQ is fixed early in life. They do not live in reactive mode as low EQ people do.

    Chronic stress can keep someone in reactive mode. This can come from poor parenting, religions that use terror to attract members, or a society that makes it difficult for its members by taking away freedom and penalizing those who are different in the name of survival or patriotism. (Patriotism is very dangerous) When a person is under stress - whether the cause is valid or not - cortisol rushes through the body, increasing anxiety (amygdala activity) that pumps out more cortisol. It becomes a vicious cycle.

    So there is a test. Most members of government wouldn't do very well in it. A rare religious leader will. American has become so fear-obsessed that most Americans wouldn't either. I dare not speak of other countries, not knowing their people well enough..
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    Jan 2 2013: OK!
    The amount of INAVLID happiness is a kind of stupidity should be measured.
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    Jan 1 2013: Barry, I believe that in popular culture it is already much more the tendency to seek out examples of "stupidity" and to ridicule them than to seek out examples of intelligence and applaud them, though such identifications tend to be qualitative rather than quantitative. Much of what people like to identify as stupid is not but rather reasonable decisions undertaken under conditions of uncertainty or incomplete information that have not worked out.

    If we were to measure stupidity in a quantitative way, it would make it harder for people to have fun with the popular enterprise of identifying as stupid those who do not see the world as they do.

    Happy New Year and the best possible health to you and those you love.
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    Jan 1 2013: finally a scoring system in which most people can rate above average.
  • Jan 1 2013: fun idea.
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    Jan 1 2013: I think human stupidity is finite, it just repeat itself which makes it appear infinite and by the last breath of the very last human the show will be over and the rocks will have the last laugh ... :o)

    The concept of 'measurement' does just not apply to any subject as its nature is strictly comparative and its scale nothing but freely definable.

    Therefore and for questions like: 'What is the shape of a liquid?' it can do nothing but fail or to 'force' it into certain conditions, like we do with particles and gain the uncertainty principle as result ...

    Actually, this 'uncertainty' about ones own intelligence, is what makes us like those truly 'wise' people, as it leaves room for us and our own stupidity ... :o)

    When we first started to measure the world, we used quite personalized reference systems such as the 'foot', the 'cubit' or 'ell' or the 'span' which, at that time, was precise enough for our three dimensional needs. And I think the first who argued about it must have been the merchants when they started to notice, that only tall people did the shopping and this also on behalf of the little ones ... :o) And thanks to those merchants I have a lot of effort and quite a complex lab-setup in my basement today to ascertain me every now and then, that a meter is just the 1/299.792.458th of what light manages to travel in one second. And what a second is I find in the other room of the basement ... :o)

    So what is the shape of intelligence? Even here any liquid behaves more reliable if we would agree on zero-gravity conditions as standardized environment, as is behaves well and balls up nicely, yet intelligence? On this, a vacuum has often been referred to as a valid state of its absence, but what would be the equivalent for parts per million (ppm) if it deviates from this state? Pals per million, as a reflective measure of like minded and therefore equally intelligent people? Is intelligence really that absolute? Is there a dumbest assumable user possible? :o)