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Only approximately 1 percent of the world's population scores a 140 or higher on IQ tests.  (Source: Talking Rainbow)
Says lower IQ rates will help it deal with smaller U.S. talent pool

The U.S. has arguably been the most desirable place in the world to get a college education with international students from China, India, Japan, and others all traveling to the U.S. with that express purpose.  However, there's serious signs of trouble; U.S. citizens' college graduation rates are in danger of falling behind China.  Japanese enrollment is down as U.S. universities are slowly falling out of favor.  And at least one executive of an Indian firm complained that American graduates were "unemployable".

Adding to the list of awkward statistics is a recent announcement by Bleum Inc., a Chinese outsourcing company.  In China, with a deluge of available highly-intelligent graduates, Bleum Inc. requires that its workers score over 140 on an IQ test.

When it decided to recruit American computer science graduates, though, it decided that bar was way too high.  It dropped the requirement for the Americans down to 120, a move it says reflects a lower pool of talented college grads in the U.S.

Bleum says the move is meant as no affront to the U.S.  Its founder and CEO Eric Rongley is actually an American himself.  He says that in China his firm gets thousands of applications a week from eager college grads.  With about 1,000 employees, his firm hires less than 1 percent of those who apply.  He states, "It is much harder to get into Bleum than it is to Harvard."

Rongley has been targeting U.S. college grads in Atlanta, Chicago and Denver for positions.  After passing the lower IQ test, U.S. grads must next pass a skills test -- just like their Chinese peers.  The recruiting effort has already yielded its first five employees, who just embarked to Shanghai.  They will spend a year-long stint in China and then return to the U.S.

Dennis Garlick, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of an upcoming book called 
Intelligence and the Brain, says such tests are relatively commonplace, but are a mixed bag.  He states that the difficulty arises "because an IQ test measures abstract reasoning in a general context, and on-the-job performance requires abstract reasoning in a specific context."

But he adds, "[If a candidate scores high,] you can reasonably say that the person is likely to be able to understand typical abstract concepts as they are applied in business, understand instructions, follow them, and then generalize them in a new situation."

Is it a disappointing sign that there's less American grads that meet the IQ requirements (according to Bleum) than Chinese grads?  Or is that merely a sign that few U.S. grads are interested in applying a job overseas?  Either way, Bleum's openness about its hiring policies raises interesting questions about the U.S. and graduation, in a time when that issue remains a key concern.

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High intelligence seems to be shunned in the US.
By 91TTZ on 7/8/2010 10:17:27 AM , Rating: 5
When I was a kid in school, I'd have no problem passing the tests even without doing the homework. The teachers would fail me because it "wasn't fair" to the other students that I could go home and play after school but still excel at the curriculum. Hence, poor grades.

They took me out of class to meet with counselors and I had to take IQ tests to determine my placement. I scored 143 so I was put in the honors section and the gifted program, but that seemed to create resentment with some of my peers and even some teachers.

It seems that in the US, we've lost sight of what really matters when it comes to education. We seem to like the social aspect of it but the actual education has fallen by the wayside. We're afraid of failing people for not knowing the subject material. We glorify the act of trying hard (that person's intense and dedicated!), but we vilify the act of excelling at the subject material (that person's a total geek, a loser!).

We instill confidence in our children, but don't increase the capabilities that need to go with it. We forget to tell them that the very act of being confident used to represent that someone knew what they were doing. Now we teach blind confidence, the art of acting confident even when they're clueless. We're more concerned about perception than reality.

It doesn't surprise me at all that the US is falling behind compared to countries that fail kids who can't master their academics.

By mckirkus on 7/8/2010 10:41:21 AM , Rating: 5
Hard work should matter. Smart people have a problem in that they don't have to work as hard to get ahead. This can lead to problems down the road when brains and hard work are both required. They were probably trying to instil work ethic.

By JediJeb on 7/8/2010 3:10:39 PM , Rating: 5
But when someone is mentally gifted you instill a stronger work ethic by challenging them with more difficult work, not just more work.

I agree with the OP though, it seems that today someone who is a gifted athlete is praised even if they are dumb as a box of rocks( and no I know many athletes that are very intelligent) while those who are gifted mentally are looked down upon. It is total discrimination to hold someone back who could be performing at a much higher level just to keep those who perform at a lower level from feeling bad about themselves. We fight discrimination against those who are mentally handicapped, yet we promote discrimination against those who are highly intelligent.

Not everyone is equal in every way. The world needs to get over this idea that everyone should be be equal even if you have to hold people down to make it happen.

By Lerianis on 7/8/2010 8:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
Right in one. Personally, I was tested as having an IQ of 150+ (they didn't have a scale that went any higher 23 years ago when I was tested).

Why did I have 'problems' in school? Because they were trying to 'teach' me things I already knew! When they finally realized that and started challenging me more by giving me stuff I didn't know to learn.... wow, my school problems stopped!

Our school systems are made for the middle 20% of people.... not for the other 40% who are below average or the 40% who are above average in intelligence and learning ability.

Not to mention they don't take into account people like myself who were extremely intelligent, yet had other problems, such as my writing disability (which has gotten worse over time, to the point where I cannot even read my own handwriting) and Apberger's Syndrome (mild, but still causes problems).

RE: High intelligence seems to be shunned in the US.
By crleap on 7/8/10, Rating: -1
By crleap on 7/12/2010 1:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, for the morons who rated down, I assume because you didn't understand what I was getting at... it's actually called Asperger's syndrome. There is no such thing as "Apbergers". But I suppose you probably knew that and hit the rate down button for another reason, right?

By YashBudini on 7/9/2010 11:43:28 PM , Rating: 1
"But when someone is mentally gifted you instill a stronger work ethic by challenging them with more difficult work, not just more work."

It must have purpose, else the person will not meet the challenge.

By TSS on 7/8/2010 9:11:50 PM , Rating: 3
This is a western culture problem not just an american one.

I'm Dutch and when i was 13, i was in my 2nd freshman year in the highest level of eduction in highschool. Most of the stuff bored me but i always liked history lessons. The 1st year was interesting (and we had a great teacher), so i happely started working ahead as soon as the 2nd year started.

After 1 month, the teacher asked why i wasn't doing anything in class, and i responded that i was already 2 months ahead (3 months of work done, no joke) and i'd rather do nothing then get 4 months ahead because it was getting ridicolous.

The teacher promptly *punished* me with detention and 1000 "i shall not work ahead" in writing for working too far ahead. Needless to say, i didn't do the writing but i did not lift a finger for 5 months straight, as thats just the guy i am. I still managed to get a C but i failed the year on similar issues in other classes and dropped out of highschool the year after that.

Currently, i'm on a disability check and i'm the richest person in my direct enviroment. I've even got more then double the money my dad has ever seen in his entire life, having worked maybe 6 months in my entire life. And he's a classical music sheet composer.

Honestly it's why i keep hoping there will be a revolution. This society is so decadent that it's not even funny anymore. It needs to decend into chaos like so many before it that the next generation may rise and surpass us.

Oh wait we buried them in debt. Ohwell maybe the generation after that....

By chick0n on 7/9/2010 2:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
thats the stupidest comment of the day.

there are people smarter than you out there, they simply don't have to spend as much time to learn the same object. Is there something wrong with that?

So you mean as long as you work hard like a slave, you deserves everything?

How do u know that people thats smart will not be able to work hard down the road?

Sorry but life is just not equal.

By Regected on 7/8/2010 12:11:48 PM , Rating: 5
Your analogy echos my experience from childhood. Going into kindergarten, I scored over 180 on an IQ test, and was put into the "gifted and talented" program. That program spanned my entire elementary education and incorporated lessons in critical thinking and self education. Once in middle school and onward, the only placement was honors classes. Honors classes were nothing more than doing double the homework. I went from straight A's to a D student because I saw no point in proving that I had learned the material 200 times a night.

The "No Child Left Behind" initiative also meant that no child was allowed to accelerate. My high school experience was dotted with just 2-3 teachers who understood I was a quicker learner than most every other student. The majority of the time, we were taught at the lowest level of student in the class. It was ridiculous to have to relearn the quadratic equation in algebra II or what a prepositional phrase was in english III. The worst situation was the push to pass the state wide standardized test. 15 minutes of every class period was devoted to working sample problems, most of which had no tie to the class at hand. Imagine doing history questions in science class or math problems in english.

By not allowing students to fall behind, the teachers can't push even average students to learn more above and beyond the basic curriculum. The end result is a lower overall average educational level.

By Azure Sky on 7/8/2010 1:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
I had a similar experience with being ahead of most of my peers, but I was tagged ADHD because OUT OF PURE BOREDOM I would goof off, so they started drugging me(school threatened to kick me out if my parents wouldnt have the doc put me on medication to make me sit and shut up..)

In jr.high I had a few really great teachers, one of them took a class of "rejects"(sped and problem child types) and ended up taking us all the way up to HS level in math, higher then she took her "gifted" classes in the end, and EVERYBODY got it, because if somebody wasnt getting it, she would either try and teach them a different way to do the problem OR would let us teach eachother(sometimes its easier to learn from somebody closer to your own age)

it was great, then highschool came, what a sad joke, they put me in sped math that was STUPID just packet work, that only went up to pre-geom, and when u got done they started you back at 1+1....(not kidding)

In science classes I excelled despite rarely if ever doing the homework or cracking a book, biology I passed with a C, would have been an a+ had i been willing to do all the busywork type homework they assigned, but I did at most 5% of it(if that) it was just to boring, it was all just looking up and copying lines from the text book(no learning involved saddly)

They put me in accounting because I liked computers(OI!!!) I finished the terms work in the first 2 weeks(was all on the server, just putting crap in excel and setting formula's in excel, all stuff I could do in my sleep) rest of that class i sat and read the psychology book somebody had left in the room on a shelf, saddly i couldnt get them to let me take psyke, I could have passed it without doing any home work either :P

English: My spelling sucks, but my vocab is HUGE, my sr eng teacher started referring to me as a human thesaurus because by the time he could grab the book and help somebody look up some words i woud have rattled off 5 or so of the options ;)

My best exp in school was having the computer teacher(not accounting teacher) endup having me teach most of the computer repair class after i took apart and re-assembled the pc in the time it took her to explain to the class that we where going to take apart and re-assemble the systems.

Oh that and making the biology teacher I had look like the stupid cu*t she was, giving students false info, like saying that we dont have any mosquitoes in the NW that can carry any form of communicable disease when we had some that could carry a few different diseases one that had been on the news for months(some virus)

bah, same shit happens in my adult life tho, because I am a big goofy red headed geek I have people constantly think Im not as smart as I really am.....but hey sometimes thats a good thing, keeps them from asking me for to much or expecting to much from me(I hate people wanting me to fix their computers for free :P )

By JediJeb on 7/8/2010 3:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
I know exactly how that is. Very similar to what happened to me in school.

By skirvmi on 7/9/2010 3:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
I realize that these tests are less accurate when you are younger, but 180 IQ? Less than 1 in 4,000,000 people have an IQ this high. Not necessarily calling shenanigans but this seems unlikely. Calling a 180 IQ gifted may be a bit of an understatement.

By Xaussie on 7/8/2010 12:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that there seems to be less and less emphasis on testing and metrics and more on just telling the kids how well they're doing and promoting them. When I started in high school we sat graded, ranked assessments nine times a year and dropping or gaining in the rankings was taken very seriously. By the end of high school they had gone to A-F gradings and no more ranking. It is like they are frightened to measure people anymore.

I also agree that the balance of social/academic is way off in the US. We do need both though, like you I was a very good academic, top student at my private college (high school) last two years there and won many awards and scholarships without having to work too hard. It took me less than two years to flunk out of University though, as I had none of the social skills or maturity needed to survive in an unstructured environment.

It took me ten years as an adult to get to the point that I could go back with the required skills and get my degrees. With the complete package I was able to excel again with a University medal and ARPA (Ph.D) scholarship.

The bottom line is IQ tests aren't the full story. To be effective you need a well rounded package of social skills, maturity and experience. It also doesn't guarantee you're going to be good at everything. I'd probably do pretty well on an IQ test but I'm a complete dunce when it comes to women and I can't read a map or navigate to save myself.

By tech329 on 7/8/2010 1:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
Charles Darwin had something to say about this. I have always remembered this because it's all too commom to run into people doing things who have made no effort to learn the first thing about what it is they're doing.

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

RE: High intelligence seems to be shunned in the US.
By xyxer on 7/8/2010 3:48:24 PM , Rating: 2
Wow:-) Blame socialist. Communist chinese seem to have higher IQ according to article. Need I also remind during cold war most Soviets were far smarter than most Americans ?

By Tuor on 7/8/2010 4:17:28 PM , Rating: 1
Let's say 1% of Chinese have an IQ above 140, and 10,000 of them apply, you end up with 100 qualified Chinese applicants. If 100 Americans apply and 1% of them have the requisite IQ, then you end up with only 1 qualified American applicant; if you want 5 American applicants, you have to either get more people (5x as many) to apply or lower the arbitrary IQ value.

And if the Soviets were smarter than we were, why did they live under such a tyrannical and backwards government and why did their technological advancement always trail our own in almost every field? The proof is in the pudding.

RE: High intelligence seems to be shunned in the US.
By xyxer on 7/9/2010 6:54:36 PM , Rating: 3
Wow just wow:-). With a comment like that who needs an IQ test:-).
I came out of Russian communist education and... frankly would say US education blew at worst. I managed to sleep my way through 6 years of university education.
I still remember teaching my 1st year math prof the easy ways to solve differential equations (with pen and paper).

Really some of you conservative Americans should shut your yup from time to time. Proud arrogant ignorance makes you look an idiot.

By afkrotch on 7/8/2010 9:03:30 PM , Rating: 1
Bleum Inc. is an outsourcing company in China. Who do you think applies the most for the jobs? Chinese living in China or Americans who would have to move to China for the job?

Of course there's going to be more Chinese with higher IQs, when more of them are going to apply for the jobs.

By chunkymonster on 7/9/2010 9:50:12 AM , Rating: 1
Wow:-) Blame socialist. Communist chinese seem to have higher IQ according to article. Need I also remind during cold war most Soviets were far smarter than most Americans ?
In America, yes the liberal thinking social democrats are responsible for the "dumming down" of the American education system. It is the progressive mind set that introduced moral relativism, social acceptance over achievement, and pushed for classification of demographics over equality under the law. All you need to do is look into any city or State that has implemented the progressive educational agenda to recognize that those students are lower achievers compared to schools and institutions that take a conservative approach to education.

And, no, the article did not state or imply that the Chinese people as a whole have higher IQ's than Americans. If China does have more people with an IQ over 140 than America it is a function of the size of the population compared to America; a function of having a population of over 1.3 Billion people compared to 310 Million in America. Just from the numbers, all things being equal, I hope China has more people with an IQ over 140 compared to America.

Lastly, if you honestly believe that during the Cold War the Soviet Union as a whole was "smarter" than America, I would argue that given the fall of the Soviet Union and given that America has been, is, and will continue to be a solvent and sovereign nation that you rethink your position and stop believing revisionist history.

By kattanna on 7/8/2010 3:42:45 PM , Rating: 2
i was told once long ago when i was expelled out of high school that the system only really knows how to deal with the middle 80%. they dont know how to deal properly with the top and bottom 10%

while school was always incredibly easy to me and thus boring, what really started my slide out was when we moved back to california from oregon in my 8th grade year.

even though all my placement tests stated i had at least a 1st year college placement, except english which was a 12th grade placement, they made me retake all the same classes again because "we have a harder curriculum here in california". awesomeness! then after the first couple months the teachers here in LA went on strike and i had teachers paying some of us not to go to class.

LOL yeah california, you made an awesome impression on me alright.

after that i basically gave up on school as they were not in fact teaching me anything.

so the next year they gave me new placement tests and an IQ test and where shocked at how well i did, cause they simply thought i was an idiot because i was getting straight F's and D's.

needless to say things didnt improve because i had no teachers that could challenge me in any way but my geometry teacher. he at first thought me being in his class was a mistake but i quickly corrected that and he actually only allow me to do the hardest questions, which most could never get, so i had a challenge.

sadly, thats an isolated example as more were like my "computer" teacher who had taken a class over the summer to learn the subject to teach. it only took a couple weeks into the class when everyone stopped going to her for help on anything and instead came to me. she literally handed out assignments and then proceeded to read a book or something. she hated me. awesome teaching CA!

anyways after the 1st month of 11th grade i never went back.

By afkrotch on 7/8/2010 9:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
School was so easy. I never got a challenge from the teachers, I challenged myself. It was, "complete my homework within the time alloted to move between classes", which was like 5 minutes. I graduated with Honors.

Only class I enjoyed was anything to do with math. Algebra, Calculus, Trig, etc. I did fail Speech my Sophomore year. It was the 2nd time I took it. I passed Speech my Freshman year, but they made me take it again since the new High School I moved to had it as a Sophomore class. I wasn't about to do the same crap again.

By bfdd on 7/8/2010 5:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much the same thing here. I absolutely HATED homework, it was fucking pointless. I was passing tests, I just refused to do homework on my own time.

By Rust1d on 7/9/2010 2:02:53 AM , Rating: 2
It seems that, as parents and educators, we mold children's values and morals. We teach them valuable lessons related to honesty, courage, integrity, loyalty and so on. Yet it seems that we allow children to dictate to us the concept of 'fairness.' When asked to define 'fairness,' most children respond: "Fairness means everybody gets the same." Unfortunately, we often allow children to convince us that this indeed is the definition of that concept. As a result, we attempt to deal with all children in an identical manner. When a teacher modifies a lesson for an LD child or adjusts the course requirements for him, his classmates charge that the situation is 'unfair.' Rather than respond to their complaints, the teacher should explain that the mature conceptualization of 'fairness' is not equal, identical treatment; rather, 'fairness' means that every student receives what he needs. Because each individual's needs are different, 'fairness' dictates that their programs and expectations will be different. Children are capable of understanding this concept if it is explained clearly and if it is observed daily in the teacher's modeling behavior.

Rick Lavoie

By jmbender on 7/11/2010 11:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
You are a genius, mainly because you own a 1991 Twin Turbo 300zx.

IQ != education
By mattclary on 7/8/2010 9:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
If it's an IQ test, then education has nothing to do with it.

RE: IQ != education
By JasonMick on 7/8/2010 9:47:17 AM , Rating: 2
If it's an IQ test, then education has nothing to do with it.

In this case it does sort of, because the very first criteria is: have you graduated from college?

Basically Bleum Inc. is saying that there's less college grads in the U.S. so it can only be so picky about IQ (if there's more grads, they could raise the bar and still get the same # of people).

However, unlike other reports I try to point out that this could merely mean that there's less U.S. grads willing to work in China...

Still an interesting announcement either way, given the fact that China may have passed the U.S. in college grad rates for its citizens (I was trying to dig up current data on this and couldnt find any solid #s ... lot of statistics on HS grads, but not college grads...)

RE: IQ != education
By NesuD on 7/8/2010 10:42:34 AM , Rating: 3
However, unlike other reports I try to point out that this could merely mean that there's less U.S. grads willing to work in China...


And the possibility that China has a larger talent pool to draw on for applicants. Doesn't mean that as a percentage of the talent pool Americans scoring 140 on their IQ test is any different than in China. IQ tests aren't all that in the first place. Any company that disqualifies an applicant based solely on a less than 140 IQ score is missing out on great potential talent. I view that as a sign of a lazy HR department.

RE: IQ != education
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 7/8/2010 11:23:49 AM , Rating: 2
A more interesting angle on this story would be why Bleum wants US graduates if the test scores are lower. Why not just hire all Chinese graduates?

Part of the reason is probably that Bleum needs a US sales force since all of its services are in China, and it leaves the high-IQ requirement in place for the people in the company actually doing the work (the Chinese developers). Maybe the US team is just doing systems analysis.

Or perhaps in spite of higher IQ scores, US graduates have certain inate abilities that IQ tests can't measure, as some posters have already hinted at. Which is it? Or both, or some other reason?

Why did they lower the score requirement is the key to answering the question (of course lacking from the great DT aggregator.)

RE: IQ != education
By afkrotch on 7/8/2010 9:13:25 PM , Rating: 1
The difference is that the US is taught to think outside the box. China, not so much. That's dangerous talk there.

RE: IQ != education
By HakonPCA on 7/8/2010 12:54:28 PM , Rating: 3
Basically Bleum Inc. is saying that there's less college grads in the U.S.

So about 34% of American's 25 years + have an associate degree or higher (US Census) - Thats 34% out of just under 200m people. Call this 70m College Grads.

As of the year 2000, about 3.6% of Chinese over 15 have done any schooling post-secondary through advanced degrees (Wikipedia, yea I know) - that's only about 40m people with some college through advanced degree currently. (1.37b people, 80.2% are age 15+, 3.6% education level of age 15+)

But this is not recent or current college Grads, but looking at total grads, 70m vs 40m is not more.

But with China, its almost always a numbers game, they have 4.5 times our population so current grads may be higher, not as a percent but as a whole number; I didn't quickly find that data.

I think you're right that they have far fewer grads applying from the US, and this is great publicity for more grads to apply during a down US economy.

RE: IQ != education
By JediJeb on 7/8/2010 4:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
Of course one thing that skews the numbers is that in China not just anyone who wants to go to college can go. The requirements to enter college could be much higher than here which could mean a greater percentage of the college graduates in China are of higher IQ. If only those with 140+ IQs are allowed in, then you won't find the 125 IQ graduates in China. Likewise if you allow everyone with IQs of say 90+ to enter college in the US then our average would be lower.

As many have said though, IQ alone does not equal competence.

RE: IQ != education
By nafhan on 7/8/2010 2:00:22 PM , Rating: 3
Doesn't it actually mean there are less people applying for this specific job? I would assume they don't have access to all US college grads, just the ones that apply. This could mean that to US college grads working Bleum is not as desirable as working for, say, MS, Google, or others.

RE: IQ != education
By marvdmartian on 7/8/2010 3:55:17 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I actually took it to mean, too, that there were fewer U.S. graduates who could score high on an IQ test. Further proof, imho, of the "dumbing down" of America.

Take a look at your typical 4 year college education, and some of the useless classes that are required. Take a look, too, at the fact that your typical professor is sometimes more willing to impress their students with thier political beliefs, than any real world facts. Combine that with the generally poorer preparation they have coming into higher education, and you end up with a college graduate that may not have the smarts that their parents or grandparents generation of graduates had in their day.

Let's not forget the educational standards that put more emphasis on standardized testing, from kindergarten up through high school, than they do on actually TEACHING the kids something, and making them use their brains and imagination. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that there are no winners, there are no losers, let's all just hold hands and sing kum-buy-ya and have a group hug mentality that does NOTHING to make the kids of this country want to excel in life.

Sadly, none of these "dumbed down" kids will be smart enough to get mad and do something about making certain their own kids don't go through the same mess.

RE: IQ != education
By JediJeb on 7/8/2010 4:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
If you think about it, that is exactly what the government would want, citizens that really don't know how to think for themselves and figure out what they are doing.

RE: IQ != education
By callmeroy on 7/9/2010 12:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well to be honest IQ tests are so mis-understood by most measures a specific "kind" of could very well come across someone with a 180 IQ who in certain areas (like common sense) they appear to be dolts...

By Soulkeeper on 7/8/2010 9:36:50 AM , Rating: 5
graduation from college in the US takes money, not brains.

RE: $$$
By Kurz on 7/8/2010 9:52:37 AM , Rating: 4
It was cheaper once, then government came in offered low cost loans.

RE: $$$
By mars2k on 7/8/10, Rating: -1
RE: $$$
By corduroygt on 7/8/2010 10:38:03 AM , Rating: 2
That pretty much happens in every Engineering/CS program I've seen, even Ivy League (Princeton)

RE: $$$
By Azure Sky on 7/8/2010 1:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
money and sucking up....or just having big tits and flirting with the instructor :P

RE: $$$
By Ammohunt on 7/8/2010 2:21:02 PM , Rating: 3
Thats obvious based on the number of college graduates that wear Che t-shirts and believe the Marxist drivel without question.

Higher IQ != Better Employee
By acase on 7/8/2010 9:45:00 AM , Rating: 4
The difference between Americans and other places like China is that here we are taught a wide array of things and taught to do cognitive thinking and think for ourselves. The Chinese are taught how to pass tests.

A coworker of mine just got back from teaching over there for a year and sure the kids could do complex math or recite things out of a text book, but the second he would ask them to relate an answer to themselves and how they thought about it...crickets.

By aegisofrime on 7/8/2010 9:48:17 AM , Rating: 2
Coming from a Chinese culture (though not being from China myself), I totally concur with you. This is partly because thinking for oneself is considered dangerous or anti-social as in Chinese culture the individual is supposed to put society over self, and defer to authority. In other words, let the government do the thinking for you.

The ill-effects of this is apparent in the innovation that comes out of not just China, but also countries with large Chinese populations.

By transamdude95 on 7/8/2010 9:57:03 AM , Rating: 3
Very true. However, don't expect this to change as it ties in directly with Chinese society. They look negatively upon their citizens thinking for themselves and back this up with their educational system. Good for the whole > good for the self.

RE: Higher IQ != Better Employee
By MrTeal on 7/8/2010 10:21:51 AM , Rating: 3
The difference between Americans and other places like China is that here we are taught a wide array of things and taught to do cognitive thinking and think for ourselves. The Chinese are taught how to pass tests.

Given how IQ tests are usually performed, if what you say is true then the Americans should outperform the Chinese, if their intelligence tests are anything like the ones here. The ones I've done in past (WAIS-III) didn't focus on being able to do complex arithmetic so much as pattern recognition, verbal skills, and reading comprehension.

Granted, like any test (take the LSAT for an example) you can get practiced at the types of questions you would get to improve your score. Still, it's a standardized test, so if the mean and standard deviation are the same as in the west, it's probably pretty representative.

I think it's more a case of if you have 1000 Chinese applicants for 10 positions you can be pretty picky, if you have 15 from the US you might have to lower your standards.

By Master Kenobi on 7/8/2010 6:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
ask them to relate an answer to themselves and how they thought about it...crickets.

I have to argue from an educational standpoint, what does it matter how the question relates to themselves or how they thought about it? The real test is when you throw these people into the field and say hey, solve that problem. If they can do it without trouble, applying learned knowledge into identifying and developing an appropriate solution that would require incorporating many different areas of their education. Then they pass.

I find both the US and China to be severely lacking in this area. Any idiot can apply textbook solutions to textbook problems, and any idiot can talk about how a problem makes them feel or what their opinion is on a subject. The real skill and test of education/intelligence is being able to actually do something with it.

Can you take what you have learned and solve a brand new problem that has not been encountered before? If yes, outstanding. If no, then go do some repetitive job that robots will be doing in the next decade or two.

IQ Tests...
By nafhan on 7/8/2010 10:37:35 AM , Rating: 3
My opinion on IQ tests is that they will give you a good idea of how well you will do on IQ tests compared to other people, and that's about it.

RE: IQ Tests...
By bupkus on 7/8/2010 11:21:52 AM , Rating: 2
by definition you are absolutely correct.

The importance of your statement that I infer is that it offers little if no relevance as an indicator of whether you will succeed at life, job, happiness or personal fulfillment.

We are so much more than IQ alone and our needs go beyond any single metric that attempts to queue us up for an industrialized system of education and reward.

I refuse to serve a master.

RE: IQ Tests...
By bupkus on 7/8/2010 11:25:36 AM , Rating: 2
Hold on, guys...

Ok, honey... I was just getting to that.

Be right back... gotta throw out the garbage, clean the litter box, walk the dog, etc.

RE: IQ Tests...
By Azure Sky on 7/8/2010 1:02:11 PM , Rating: 2
Whats funny is that IQ tests can show somebody being very smart and yet the person can in reality be a dumbass in all the important ways.

I have a friend who admits that despite getting 147 on his last IQ test that hes a dumbass, he admits this because he honestly cant think for himself, he just follows directions well, he cant reason out a problem (can not think abstractly at all if its not liner hes stuck), hes a great guy, but even he admits that his IQ score means dick.

His brother who scores far lower at around 107 is VERY good at problem solving and abstract thinking, its quite odd....

I score quite high when I have taken some IQ tests and only OK on others, but I have been told many times that I am one of the best abstract thinkers when it comes to troubleshooting problems.

I think of it as a chaotic thinker, I dont follow a set procedure when troubleshooting, I "go with my gut" as it where, and enlarge I can track down the problems far faster then people who do it "by the book", I got kicked out of a college class once(computer repair related) because I made the instructor look like an idiot, he had 5 systems in front of the room all identical, intentionally damaged(messed up windows install) he said it would take at least 1hour to fix the systems, due to my experience and my not following the by the book diagnostic procedures I managed to fix the system in 17min, he got very angery and told me to leave....ofcorse I knew alot of tricks and shortcuts for my years as a computer geek/tech so it may not have been fair to him that I could skip like 95% of the crap he was expecting people to do to find and fix the problem :P

My point is, you cant go by IQ because some people test far better then others, and there are many types of IQ tests they can give you, my uncle does horribly on the written type IQ tests, but when they do hands on type tests he does amazingly well, convercely I know a few people like my father who can do amazing on writen tests but really are horrible on the hands on type tests(have poor spacial relationship awareness and problem solving skills)

RE: IQ Tests...
By JediJeb on 7/8/2010 5:07:55 PM , Rating: 3
Reminds me of when I had high school Advanced Math. My teacher thought I was cheating because on tests I had answers for problems like doing integrals with no scratch work. She even stood beside me during tests until she realized I was doing them in my head. She then asked me to write out all my answers and I began to mess them up. My problem was I could do the math in my head, but being slightly dyslexic I would mess things up when writing them down.

The PhD chemist here in the lab always gives me a funny look when I just look at an equation, stare off for a second then give him the answer before he can work it out on paper. He is brilliant, but he has to work every equation out at length on paper making sure to cancel all his units or he just can't get the right answer, while I shortcut the math in my head, throwing out all the 1/1 type things.

RE: IQ Tests...
By Azure Sky on 7/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: IQ Tests...
By Aloonatic on 7/8/2010 12:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
You're only saying that because you haven't got a high IQ.

Not like me, who has an IQ in the 130s. Well, at least according to the test that I took on MySpace, and had to give my e-mail and other personal details to to get the result.

Well worth it tho...

I am so smrt :-D

Chinese v. American IQ
By Kombaji on 7/8/2010 12:08:28 PM , Rating: 5
First of all, the article did not say Americans have a lower IQ than Chinese. It stated that this company was not able to attract enough Americans with an IQ of 140 to work for them. This likely has something to do with the compensation they are offering. An American with a 140+ IQ would probably have better employment prospects than a Chinese person with a 140+ IQ.

Second, despite the fact that they apparently have access to legions of Chinese people with 140+ IQs they are still shipping Americans with only 120+ IQs around the world to China for some reason.

RE: Chinese v. American IQ
By chunkymonster on 7/8/2010 2:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree, probably has more to do with the compensation package and incentives than the implication that Americans are "not smart enough".

According to the graph that accompanies this article, only 1% of the world's population has an IQ of 140 or above. So, right from the start, this company has effectively eliminated 99% of the population as potential job candidates. Understanding they want to hire the "brightest", and even with lowering their IQ requirements to 120, they are still limiting themselves to only 7% of the population. And, out of that 7%, how many are actually Americans interested in working for a Chinese company? So, lowering the IQ requirements seems to be more out of a need to attract more American applicants as opposed to lowering the IQ requirements in order to hire Americans.

I wonder what this company would do if a candidate had an IQ of 115 but also had 15+ years experience in the exact position they were hiring for? Would they rule that person out solely based on IQ or would they look at their entire working career and the expertise and experience they bring with them?

RE: Chinese v. American IQ
By Reclaimer77 on 7/8/2010 4:42:27 PM , Rating: 2
Only a dumbass would work in/for China. So yeah, I would have thought that was an obvious cause and effect.

RE: Chinese v. American IQ
By JediJeb on 7/8/2010 5:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe Americans are too smart to work in China.

No doubt, Americans are dumber and dumber, but
By KasiJonz on 7/8/2010 2:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
When they talk about the US Computer Science grads being less intelligent, what would you expect? Only a dumb ass would major in CS in the US anymore. Why would anyone with half a brain want to work in a profession where you are over worked, under paid and are always threaten with layoffs? Where at any time you may be 'asked' to train your Indian replacement so they can fire you to save a few bucks. Where you constantly have to upgrade your skills mostly on your time and at your expense. Where once you hit 50 you have almost no chance of ever being hired again after you get laid off.

RE: No doubt, Americans are dumber and dumber, but
By wempa on 7/8/2010 3:14:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure exactly where you got all of that information, but IT is actually a great place to be nowadays. Like with any field, those who bring more skills to the table are more likely to succeed. The recession of 2000-2001 did a good job of getting rid of all the people who thought that computer programming was as simple as reading "Teach Yourself C In 21 Days". The ones who survived are the one with the real IT knowledge/education. Also, there are a lot of specialized areas in IT that are in high demand. I know that my company in particular has a hard time finding good security engineers. If you are bright, keep your skills sharp and find a decent company, you will do well in an IT field.

By KasiJonz on 7/8/2010 4:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
I get this information by 30 years working in the software development field. Worked for major companies, always got good reviews, always kept my skills up to date. Hit mid-50s, got laid off (job sent to India). NO ONE will even speak to an IT person in their 50s. Companies are having hard times finding qualified American engineers because, while Americans are stupid, they aren't that stupid. They see their parents or friends parents who work in IT, work 60+ hours/week often times with high stress for slightly more than a bus driver makes, then get laid off time and time again.

To any young people considering IT, ask people in the field, and not just recent hires at Google or Apple. Ask people in the field for 10 or 20 or more years. Ask if they would advise their children to go into the field. And for those thinking they will get involved with a start up or start their own company and make millions by the time they're 30, you might, but the odds are you will wind up like the 99% who don't, working your ass off, hoping you don't get laid off this time.

By JediJeb on 7/8/2010 5:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
Being a chemist isn't much better. A friend of mine was hired to build a lab in a manufacturing company, then he trained the lab techs. After about a year they came to him and told him they didn't need him now, the techs could do the job. Then he was out of work.

Problem then becomes, what happens when the lab procedure does not go exactly as the cook book procedure says it should? That is when the tech is stuck and you need the chemist to figure it out. But you know upper management, they are smarter than the average workers and have it all figured out ;)

By masamasa on 7/8/2010 11:03:03 AM , Rating: 2
"And at least one executive of an Indian firm complained that American graduates were "unemployable"."

We contracted 2 tech jobs out to India. Absolute disaster and unquestionably, nowhere near the expectations of the NA market. These guys couldn't code worth beans. Talk about unemployable.

RE: Surprising
By Nutzo on 7/8/2010 11:43:29 AM , Rating: 2
With the high unemployment rate, you think that there would be plenty of qualified people looking for work (at least that's what the sob stories in the media say)

However according the the HR person where I work, most the resumes we get are worthless. Whenever we place an ad for a new possition, we get flooded with thousands resumes for people who are not even remotely qualified for the position, and most are (and I quote) "Unemployable"

RE: Surprising
By YashBudini on 7/8/2010 11:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
While that may be true I find recent ads for IT openings to be a massive contradiction in terms. Entry level positions with such extensive and stringent requirements a well experienced person would be hard pressed to qualify honestly.

I wouldn't be surprised if that's one of the reasons people apply as you say with no qualifications.

I also have doubts that such open positions actually exist for Americans and the ads are just part of the legal requirements so they can hire what they want - H1Bs.

IT openings in the US are routinely filled by the lowest bidder. Ability, education, and experience all take a back seat to the almighty dollar. While that is not always true it happens more often than not.

Thinking about IT jobs is like thinking about Wall St bankers. You're overcome by this urgent need to shower.

High IQ employees should be smarter
By ZachDontScare on 7/8/2010 3:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm suprised these 'high IQ' employees are dumb enough to work for a company that uses IQ as a factor in hiring. IQ tests are largely a load of crap, and measure nothing more than, as another poster said, how well you'll do on an IQ test. So if someone was actually intelligent, they'd realize that working for a company that based its hiring decisions on what is essentially voodoo is a bad move.

By KasiJonz on 7/8/2010 4:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ha! Great comment.

By war666monger on 7/9/2010 9:06:57 AM , Rating: 2
What I think people here are failing to recognize is the vast difference in population (USA v. China); the ratio of population to higher learning institutions; and the ratio of potential jobs to qualified applicants.

In China you have 1,324,655,000 people and in the USA you have 307,006,550. That is approx. 4:1.

If we assume that a persons potential IQ range is mostly genetic (and where they fall in that range is environment) then China has >4x as many naturally high IQ people than the USA.

To get a sense for the number of potential jobs lets use at GDP per capita (to get a sense of overall economic strength). We find that China has $3,266.5082 per capita and the USA has $47,988.4909 (all in USD).

SO in China you have the potential for more naturally high IQ people (due to greater population) coupled with fewer job and education opportunities.

As a direct result you would have to expect companies and institutions in China to be hiring people with an average IQ much greater than if they were in the US.

To fix this I propose breeding camps in the US where teams of super virile men score around the clock (I reluctantly volunteer).

RE: Numbers
By echtogammut on 7/21/2010 8:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, I had to scroll to the bottom before someone realized the mathematical fallacy in this article. Furthermore, I have worked with Bleum contractors and either this 140 IQ average is B.S. or the I.Q. test is a trainable test. I will give you a hint, there are a lot of IQ training books out there.

Not True
By Soulzero on 7/8/2010 9:48:17 AM , Rating: 2
I went to UW last fall, a very competitive school known for there tough undergrad program in pre-med field. The classes were very rigorous and time consuming. The majority of the class was busy work and memorization of enormous. I notice some kids were like drones, they stay in there room only to leave to go to class and eat. I transfer to UI this spring and it's less competitive and I have more time to do leisure activities.

What I learn from both school is, at UW my chem class i had some much information I didn't have time to understand all the concept, I had to memorize all the material. Which I barely pass with a 3.5, here at UI my chem class has less material but I can understand the key concepts.

IQ and Software Development
By Theon Lyreal on 7/8/2010 1:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
It has been known since the 1960s that doing software dev properly requires a minimum IQ of 150. Two thirds of my career have been spent sorting out the messes made by those with an IQ lower than that.

If They Didn't Do This...
By mmatis on 7/8/2010 2:03:59 PM , Rating: 2
they wouldn't be able to hire enough Preferred Species to keep from getting in trouble with Uncle Sugar.

US education and specialization
By DesertCat on 7/8/2010 2:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
I find it interesting that a company requires that their Chinese employees have a MENSA level IQ, but they can set whatever rules make them happy. I've often tried to explain to friends that an IQ score is more like a measure of somebody's mental "tool chest", that is, how many tools do they bring to a task. It is, however, what you do with those tools that really matters. Some carpenter sitting around with a large tool collection but only making basic bird houses is kind of a waste. I'd suggest that some of those 120 IQ people could be even better that the 140 IQ people so long as they are motivated and have a passion towards their work.

As far as schooling goes for high IQ people, this is an argument I've had with friends in education. There were a few teachers in my high school that made honors classes enjoyable and not simply a form of punishment for being a good student. They would also set up independent study programs and truly mentor people if they had something they wanted to pursue. My argument is that you need to allow teachers to have the time and resources to help out the smart but easily bored students. If you do not, those kids end up hating school and have to do most of their learning on their own. That can sometimes breed resentment. In the big education system, however, helping high IQ students does not really play into the numbers game. It has been shown time and time again that the most effective way to improve a school's overall report card is to focus on the low achieving students. You'll help your average a lot more that way than concentrating on the high IQ students. In terms of standardized tests, there is something of a ceiling effect going on with the high IQ students but plenty of room to improve with the poor performers. I do think the low achieving students need substantial help and it makes sense to put some resources that way, but it seems a crying shame that some of the real "talent" gets the equivalent of a hearty handshake and a "good luck" wish.

Despite all of that, it seems the U.S. still performs relatively well on producing actual practitioners of science, math, and technology. It's in the overall averages that we fall behind (as discussed in the linked article below). I think that speaks to the individualistic focus of education in the U.S.

Sounds picky but...
By BSquared on 7/8/2010 4:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
Judging by some of the commentary, we're assuming that IQ is the only thing they're looking at during hiring.

IQ may not be the end all when it comes to real world skill, but it seems they like their employees to be not only skillful, but be able to handle more than just the task at hand. Having a high IQ may provide for more robust thinking, rather than the straight forward process taught in school.

So if you look at from the point where they want their work force to not only have the education, experience, and skills, but they want them to have the "smarts" to go along with it, you really can't fault them. I mean, just about everyone I knew jumped into the computer science curriculum back when dotcom was all the rage. Many who were dumber than a box of rocks actually graduated, and are now destroying corporate software because they could BS their way around the suits who knew nothing of what was happening.

Besides, if they've lowered their IQ standards for US applicants, maybe they're saying our lower IQ, combined with stateside education, trumps Chinese education and a 140+ IQ. least that's how I initially saw it.

Pay disparity
By gentlearc on 7/28/2010 2:04:44 PM , Rating: 2
They gave no indication of what the pay or job conditions were. What is the starting pay for a graduate? I'm guessing not enough to attract Americans.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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