What Status RQ?

The problem with IQ tests is that while they are effective at assessing our deliberative skills, which involve reason and the use of working memory, they are unable to assess our inclination to use them when the situation demands. … “Some people who are intellectually able do not bother to engage very much in analytical thinking and are inclined to rely on their intuitions.” …

A study published last year … found there was no correlation between intelligence and a person’s ability to avoid some common traps of intuitive-thinking. … A survey of members of Mensa (the High IQ Society) in Canada in the mid-1980s found that 44 per cent of them believed in astrology, 51 per cent believed in biorhythms and 56 per cent believed in aliens. … A study of 360 Pittsburgh residents … found that, regardless of differences in intelligence, those who displayed better rational-thinking skills suffered significantly fewer negative events in their lives, such as being in serious credit card debt, having an unplanned pregnancy or being suspended from school. … [Another study] found a similar association among adolescents. Those who scored higher on a test of decision-making competence drank less, took fewer drugs and engaged in less risky behaviour overall. …

A potent criticism … is the lack of a proven test of rational thinking skills that could be used alongside IQ tests. … Stanovich maintains that while developing a universal “rationality-quotient (RQ) test” would require a multimillion-dollar research programme, there is no technical or conceptual reason why it could not be done. … However: unlike with IQ, it would be relatively easy to train people to do well on RQ tests. “They measure the extent to which people are inclined to use what capacity they have,” says Evans. “You could train people to ignore intuition and engage reasoning for the sake of the test, even if this was not their normal inclination.”

More here.  Several million dollars spent trying to develop an RQ test seems money well spent to me.  But even though I’d more want to know someone’s RQ than their IQ, I wonder how much others care.  After all, we admire tall and muscular folks, even if they have little inclination or opportunity to reach high things others cannot, or open jars others cannot.  And we mostly choose academics who show impressive abilities, mostly ignoring how much they contribute to intellectual progress.

How much do potential mates, employers, etc. actually care about your willingness to use your intelligence to discern truth?   Yes, sometimes the truth can help your team win, but at other times speaking inconvenient truths helps your team lose.

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