The importance of IQ

Brendan Davidson, sports writer

After a crushing load of AP Lang work combined with math, biology and everything else, I feel the need to relax my brain by watching TV. I walk into the family room to witness CNN break down the Republican comments on the “complete hoax” that is global warming. I quickly change the station and see a breakdown of the 22 major injuries suffered in the NFL last week. Once again, the channel changes as I now listen to the local news segment about the dozens of kids who fell victim to the tempting “forbidden fruit” known as Tide Pods. These instances illustrate the uniqueness, as some may call it, that defines America and raises the question: How smart are Americans?


We’re not as smart as we think. The most accurate measure of someone’s mental capacity is their Intelligence Quotient (IQ). This scale has a large range, but the majority of people fall in the middle, with over 50 percent of people fall between 90 and 110.  The average American IQ is not too high, 98 compared to a global average of about 100 in developed countries and a 105 average in Japan and China, according to the IQ Research Website. These numbers seem odd because America as a country is so successful, despite the fact that the people themselves aren’t the brightest. I would explain this exception by saying that even though many Americans can be a little slow at times, many celebrities and public figures use the most of their IQ and prosper


There is one major aspect of life that explains why America is behind some European countries and many Asian nations in terms of IQ: Education. The American school experience revolves around being involved in sports and other extracurriculars as well as being social. Countries such as South Korea and China place extreme emphasis on rigorous education and students have little time for anything else. While this can cause some to suffer mental health issues and even reduced IQs, this emphasis helps raise IQs and keep many European and Asian citizens smart and successful.


IQ is an underappreciated number in modern society because it shows potential for knowledge and brain power. The thing is, it’s only usually used by schools and employers. This limited use makes some people believe that IQ tests aren’t important. But they don’t understand that the point of these tests is so that someone can get an idea of their abilities and push themselves. But while they are important and should be known by everyone due to their somewhat accurate measure of potential, someone’s work ethic and willingness to “get on the grind” are often more significant to their grades and general life success. So even though you can’t ever be Einstein, you are smart enough to accomplish great things.