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Israeli IQ March 1, 2009

Posted by ethnicgenome in Intelligence (General), Jews.
Tags: , , , ,

Try to solve this math problem: (100+100+100+100+92)/5. You would think the answer would be 98.4. But not according to Richard Lynn who counted this to be 94.

It has been widely cited on the internet that Israel’s average IQ is only 94. But how did Prof. Lynn arrive at the figure?

First, he threw out three tests showing Israelis averaging 100. Then he took the two remaining tests and shaved off two points, even though most nations got additional points due to the Flynn Effect and other factors.

The reality is that he should’ve dumped the test that showed that Israelis scored only 92 on a test. It is what statistians call an outlier. In statistics, an outlier is an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data and for that reason it is generally discarded. For instance, if all the opinion polls showed Barack Obama winning by 5% and one poll showed McCain up 4%, you would discard the pro-McCain poll as an aberration.

Similarly if 4 out of 5 tests of Israelis show an IQ score of 100 and one is significantly below that, that lone test should be discarded.

Instead, Lynn turned 92 into 90 and 100 into 98, discarded three others tests, and came up with a very low number of 94. It is mind-boggling to think that when 4 out of 5 tests give an IQ score of 100, he somehow manages to give Israel an average score of 94!

Lynn also gives the lowest IQ estimate (107) of anyone for Ashkenazi Jews living in the United States.

Now let’s look at the data.

A test of Israeli school children resulted in an average IQ of 100. The Israeli military conducted two tests, one of which was a highly g-loaded adaptation of the Raven’s Matrices, both showing soldiers with an IQ of 100. [S. Kaniel and S. Fisherman, “Level of Performance and Distribution of Errors in the Progressive Matrices Test: A Comparison of Ethiopian Immigrant and Native Israeli Adolescents,” International Journal of Psychology, vol.26, 1991, pp.25-33; J.R. Flynn, “Israeli Military IQ Tests: Gender Differences Small; IQ Gains Large,” Journal of Biosocial Science, vol.30, 1998, pp.541-553.]

In Israel, almost all Jews – male and female – are drafted into the military, so it is not a specially selected group.

At the time when these IQ tests were conducted, a majority of Israeli Jews were Sephardic who score about 14 points less than Ashkenazic Israelis. All the IQ tests were conducted prior to the arrival of a million mostly-Russian Ashkenazi Jews after the fall of the Soviet Union. At the time, less than 30% were full-bloodied Ashkenazim without any Sephardic ancestry. More than 70% of Israelis were Arabs, Sephardim or a mix of Sepharim and Ashkenazim. After the wave of Russian immigration, about 35% of Israelis are Ashkenazim without any Sephardi ancestry.

If you count anyone who self-identified as Ashkenazi as such, their average IQ would be about 107-110. [If the average IQ is 100, and Ashkenazim outscore the Sepharim by 14 points, and the two populations are equal in size, then Ashkenazim must score 107 and Sephardim 93. However, since Sephardic population was greater than Ashkenazi at the time of these tests, the former’s IQ must be somewhat higher than 107.]

But why is the Israeli Ashkenazi IQ lower than the American Ashkenazi IQ of 113-115?

Because, as noted, many of the self-identified Israeli Ashkenazim are actually half or at least a quarter Sephardic. Just take a look at the average Israeli Ashkenazi – many are clearly partly Sephardic. Living in a country where most of the population belongs to a different group, and where you feel no compulsion not to marry that group will result in significant intermarriage.

With the arrival of a million Ashkenazim from Russia, one can be pretty certain that the average Israeli Ashkenazi IQ has temporarily gone up because Russians rarely intermarried with Sephardim.

But as Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews in Israel intermarry, the former will raise their average and the latter will drop.

Finally, the idea of Israel having a low IQ is inconsistent with other facts. In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the second largest number of startup companies (3,500) after the United States, an amazing feat considering that several European countries have a population ten to fifteen times that of Israel, and the high IQ China has 200 times as many people.

Israel is third in the world in college degrees and first in graduate degrees. Israel has the world’s second highest per capita rate of publishing new books and has more museums per capita than any other country, as well as the highest percentage of home computers. Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin.

None of these facts are consistent with Lynn’s claim of a low Israeli IQ.



1. More on Israeli IQ and Intellectual Accomplishments « Ethnic Genome Project - March 23, 2009

[…] More on Israeli IQ and Intellectual Accomplishments March 23, 2009 Posted by ethnicgenome in Jews. Tags: intelligence, iq, israel, jewish trackback I wrote before that the estimation that Israel’s IQ is 94 is wrong. […]

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