December 31, 2011

The wheels of justice grind slowly

I've never had a very strong opinion on the lawsuit of the man in Connecticut who scored too high on an IQ test to be a cop, but I've been hearing about it for 15 years, So, for completeness sake: here's the final outcome:
Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took the exam in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125. But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training. 
Most Cops Just Above Normal The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average. 
Jordan alleged his rejection from the police force was discrimination. He sued the city, saying his civil rights were violated because he was denied equal protection under the law.
But the U.S. District Court found that New London had “shown a rational basis for the policy.” In a ruling dated Aug. 23, the 2nd Circuit agreed. The court said the policy might be unwise but was a rational way to reduce job turnover. 
Jordan has worked as a prison guard since he took the test.

If he were really smart, he'd have figured out he needed to tank the test.

123 comments:

stari_momak said...

The implications of this decision are pretty staggering.

Anonymous said...

It goes without saying, but I love the ending.

Veracitor said...

Although I too think the policy is rational-- no less rational than interviewing only those above a minimum cutoff-- I do see a problem, which is that detectives should be smart (like Mr. IQ 125) and since you can't become a detective until after you've worked as a patrol officer, that PD is depriving itself of future detectives (and likely higher-ranked/manager officers as well). "Most" cops may have IQ ~105 but a subset definitely have a use for more.

Noah172 said...

If the plaintiff were Jewish or Oriental, he could have claimed that excluding the high-IQ had disparate impact on his ethnic group and won his suit.

So there we have it, folks. It is perfectly rational to exclude the smarty-pantses because they might become bored -- or, more likely, because they can see through the bull**** that plagues most sclerotic government bureaucracies, and might have the temerity to suggest reforms that would threaten the dolts in charge. OTOH, we are on the road to Auschwitz the moment we exclude the dull-witted and incompetent -- a large percentage of whom are, well, you know.

For now, the left half of the IQ bell curve is (for the most part) excluded by law from the armed forces, and there is no IQ ceiling as in the case that Steve references. For now.

Harry Baldwin said...

Reminds me of a scene on the first Sarah Silverman Program where a cop pulls her over.

Cop: "Do you know why I'm standing here?"

Sarah: "Because you got C's in high school?"

eh said...

slowly

Anonymous said...

Why didn't the NBA fire Michael Jordan? It probably got too easy and boring for him since he was so good.

Anyway, for certain jobs, make sure you get some wrong answers.

Accountant Zhivago said...

This is like flunking a kid out of class for getting straight A's.

Defeated said...

How dare he choose a job beneath him!!!
I'm sure he would be allowed to pick California lettuce.
Jobs Americans aren't allowed to do. Non NAMs need not apply.

Anonymous said...

The fundamental problem with societies is that most cops do NOT have IQs of 125+. Giving power of life and death(firearms) to people between 90-109 IQ is almost as bad as giving firearms to chimps. Not as bad. But close.

rightsaidfred said...

I recall a story from high school of an military officer test administered to privates. One guy got all the multiple choice questions wrong, so they promoted him, figuring that he gamed the test in an effort to stay low on the totem pole.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

The implications of this decision are pretty staggering.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test.

The theoretical implications of this decision are staggering. If discriminating against an I.Q. of greater than X is an acceptable job requirement, then surely it's OK to discriminate with a requirement of those with an I.Q. less than Y.

The real world implications are going to be the current implementation, with possible additional employment hurdles for the intelligent looking for jobs that are 'beneath them'.

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

Veracitor, maybe that's why outside consultants are needed to do the thinking. Or does that only happen in The
Mentalist?
Gilbert Pinfold

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

New London sounds like a peach of a city. The Kelo eminent domain case was in New London as well.

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

What about Herrnstein and Murray's data (in "The Bell Curve") on the high IQ cops from the great depression. They turned out to do exceptionally well within the police dept.

Laz said...

No high IQ cops!? You could have fooled me with the attitude on display. And I know as I work in the LEO service industry.

Hormel Chavez said...

But when they rig the exam to admit dumber but more desirable candidates they'll eventually define competence down. It's like a clueless application of Parcells's QB formula, seemed brilliant at the time, then catastrophic a few years later

Anonymous said...

Wait.... 125 IQ isn't exactly genius. And I'd think cops need some intelligence to go after crooks, who can be tricky.

I would think 115 to 125 IQ would be ideal for cops. I mean we don't want dumb cops.

Anonymous said...

Yet, the average person in the world whose i.q. is high enough to qualify for Mensa is working as a manual laborer.

Anonymous age 69

Anonymous said...

The story of my life. Early on, I made a conscious (and stupid in hindsight) decision to stay away from all jobs involving managerial functions. After a few happy years gaining some practical experience, I've been "overqualified" for 100% of jobs where I would have actually been a perfect fit.

Yes, we need more prison guards with an IQ of 125 and more policemen with an IQ of 97. I's all about saving taxpayers' money!

SFG said...

I saw the NYPD recruiting at Columbia...so evidently not all police departments feel the same way.

Of course, that job might require actual danger. Most likely the guy saw the nice pensions the cops were getting for relatively little danger in a safe part of the country, figured it was a good deal, and was surprised to find out what happened.

Defeated said...

I have pretty much the same IQ as this poor sap. I've always hated school work and the confined office environment, so I can sympathize.
I have to chain smoke my way through computer work. And in the present day it is impossible to find a suitable work place for an eccentric like me - unless I get elected President. Don't worry, I've found a place with hiding spots.
I guess municipalities should pay cops comparable to other jobs which peak out at 105 IQs.- Clerks?

Anonymous said...

Rational basis was the actual legal standard used. News article fudges the language, makes nonsense of story. Hohum.

Defeated said...

I wonder if those 20 IQ points would make a cop less likely to:
1. Take a bribe.
2. Drive recklessly.
3. Overestimate the importance of their position.
4. Get in irrelevant arguments with citizens.
5. Wear their seat belts.
6. Put the sirens on to get coffee.
7. Keep the beer/drugs they confiscate from kids.
8. Drink on the job.
9. Claim a phony disability.
10. Do favors for friends.
11. Expect other cops to overlook their indiscretions.

Anonymous said...

If they are selecting a base line for cops at IQ 105, doesnt that mean the average is actually higher?

Anonymous said...

It would seem that the courts have agreed that employers can be concerned that potential employees might leave after having received expensive training.

For example, women might get pregnant.

Defeated said...

125 is close to the number Charles Murray thinks should be the minimum to ATTEND college.
If your life's desire is to be a physician, you might just get it done, but I doubt you'll be writing any textbooks.
However, if you choose a trade or technical job, you just might excel in your field. Im not sure that it is "rational" for the courts to think that smart people will abandon careers that from the outside appear to be beneath them. They are ignoring the satisfaction of doing a job well and they don't realize how much respect good blue collar workers are given by customers, bosses, fellow workers. Is there any evidence that smarter officers are more likely to quit? It must be hard to get real data because the government, union jobs almost make it impossible to fire the duds. I wonder if the duds who never get fired exceed the number of smarties who leave for law school.

Svigor said...

I do see a problem, which is that detectives should be smart

I guess detectives should be smart, but generally they're just cops.

You'd think the black robes would've cut off IQ cut-offs at the pass here. As somebody else mentioned, surely allowing a maximum means allowing a minimum. And as has also been pointed out, surely disparate impact just got kicked in the nuts?

ironrailsironweights said...

Prison guards in Connecticut are paid fairly well, more or less comparable to what cops in a city like New London might earn, so it worked out okay for him.

Peter

Dennis Dale said...

So the guy's been off working in Corrections--disproving, at least in his case, their theory.

jody said...

sounds like the argument might work for truck drivers, but not for police officers. not that it makes sense anyway, or seems legal in the first place either.

like another poster said, how do they plan on getting detectives?

Defeated said...

The more I read into this, the worse it looks. By removing the best whites it makes the inequities of affirmative action look less dramatic.
The NAMs will look almost as good as the whites, because all they need is a little boost to catch up to a 105er.
When it comes to choosing a boss, the candidates will be equally dull and a little affirmative action will sway that decision also.
It is an easy way to eliminate having to always make the white guy/gal the chief.
When lawsuits pop up the white guy will look petty for quibbling over two or three points on a test verses ten or fifteen if the 125ers were in the pool.
Whites will be less likely to bring a suit because they won"t feel vastly superior and thus terribly wronged. They will feel a little wronged and we're all used to that.
The longer the policy exists, the less people will notice its subtle effects.

Charles Frith said...

The police are paid to be loyal not smart. They tend to pick up street smarts about crime but are unable to problem solve when confronted with issues than require nuance.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Of course, that job might require actual danger. Most likely the guy saw the nice pensions the cops were getting for relatively little danger in a safe part of the country, figured it was a good deal, and was surprised to find out what happened.

Blame the victim much? We've got zero background on what this guy's desires are. Maybe he's high energy and can't stand sitting down in an office all day.

I wonder what would have happened if he retook the test and flubbed a couple of answers to be 'acceptable'?

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

I hate to have to point this out to you smarty pantsies, being as it's already too late if you've posted, but it really is a dumb idea to let cops know you think they're stupid.

Unless you're Sarah Silverman who can afford a permanent, expert legal staff, you might just find yourself being ground slowly in those wheels of justice.

Police are brilliant, whether it be in moral insight, street smarts or what.

Anonymous said...

Tanking the test is dishonest rather than "really smart", IMO.

AC said...

It's really really important and really hard for employers to know who is going to stay and who is going to leave. Smart cop applicants present a number of problems. First they are better at gaming the application process, for instance knowing what to say in the interview that would make the interviewer think they are committed to staying or likely to stay. Second don't delude yourselves, statistically they are going to be more likely to lose interest. How many domestic violence situations would you really like to break up? Third, there will be more opportunities open to them.
The other thing is it's a pain to supervise some who is 20 iq points higher than you.
Yes, the problem of ending up without high iq detectives and brass is the trade off, but I have the feeling that if a high iq guy truly wants to be a detective or police chief, he will prove it by gaming the test or coming in laterally from some other law enforcement agency.

Anonymous said...

My reaction on reading this post was to see a clever attempt by the city to make the task of discriminating against whites/asians easier, by reducing the IQ gap between acceptable candidates of the preferred black/Latino persuasion, and the whites/asians. However,I see that "Defeated" said it first, and said it better.

The decision might have some interesting effects. For example,as other commenters point out,the PD will now hire fewer people who are capable of creative thinking, or effective high-level administration.

Olave d'Estienne said...

As to the smart vs. dim detective issue - it annoys me that this essentially means that the Feds really are smarter than the local rubes that treat like just a bunch of local rubes. Because AFAIK the FBI, at least, has IQ (proxy) minimums, and no maximum.

I want my local detectives as smart as Feds, dang it.

Laz said...

"I saw the NYPD recruiting at Columbia...so evidently not all police departments feel the same way."

Just because you go to a college or university doesn't mean your "smart". It just means you were smart enough to fill out the application and find the financial aid office. I've known/worked with plenty of idiots who graduated from prominent schools.

Svigor said...

Blame the victim much? We've got zero background on what this guy's desires are. Maybe he's high energy and can't stand sitting down in an office all day.

So he figured sitting in his car all day was the way to go?

No one's mentioned corruption yet. A bored cop is more likely to get up to no good. A bored, smart cop is more likely to really get up to no good.

Anonymous said...

Defeated, good point. It may very well be part of a leveling process within the field.

Anonymous said...

37. In October, it was reported that a woman police officer had been off work on full pay for four months. Scotland Yard said she was ‘ suffering from stress related matters’ because:
a) She had confronted a robber wielding a sawn-off Purdey and wrestled him to the ground
b) She had risked life and limb tackling violent looters during the riots
c) She had a broken heart after her married lover went back to his wife

So what caused her stress?

Anonymous said...

Iraq

Anonymous said...

If discriminating against an I.Q. of greater than X is an acceptable job requirement, then surely it's OK to discriminate with a requirement of those with an I.Q. less than Y.
the left never applies the law that way - the law is for enemies

Anonymous said...

"If he were really smart, he'd have figured out he needed to tank the test."

No, if he tanks he won't get an interview, either. He should have tried his best, then changed 5 or so answers he was sure of to wrong ones. On the other hand, maybe the examiners have ways to detect people trying to adjust down their scores. For instance, every 100 question test might have a 25 question sub-test embedded in it. If you do fantastically well on the sub-test but mediocre overall they might smell a rat.

Anonymous said...

"Wait.... 125 IQ isn't exactly genius. And I'd think cops need some intelligence to go after crooks, who can be tricky.

I would think 115 to 125 IQ would be ideal for cops. I mean we don't want dumb cops."

Maybe they're trying to avoid too many patrolmen on a single force bucking for lieutenant.

eh said...

First if you're too smart it's tough to pull chicks. Then you can't get the job you want. Man, that's rough.

David said...

So the law says ya gotta be dumb to be a cop. It's no stereotype, folks. It's the law.

AC said

>The other thing is it's a pain to supervise some[one] who is 20 iq points higher than you.<

I sympathize much more with the supervised person in that scenario than with the supervisor.

Chicago said...

What are the IQs' of the people who came up with this concept? Smart people who want to spare another smarty the agony of being bored? Average types who surmise that that would be the case?
I take it they believe the dumber the person the less likely they are to get bored. That seems to be just speculation, though; can they demonstrate that? Maybe the applicant wanted a job that entailed some action instead of sitting in some cubicle somewhere for the next 25 years. If he's currently a guard then perhaps engaging in dialogue with all those high IQ customers of the state engages him enough to stave off this specter of boredom.

Dutch Boy said...

I don't think I would be a cop for any salary since I do not enjoy fussing and fighting with people and writing reports about it but I assure you, there are people who enjoy it (some of them are even smart).

Anonymous said...

Only in America is it better to be stupid then smart.

Anonymous said...

He has a lean a hungry look about him ... He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.

Defeated said...

AC,
If we are operating on this article alone, we don't have any statistics, we don't know if any were used in the adjudication. Do we know that higher IQ employees are more likely to leave? Or is it a "rational" supposition.
I know one thing, a stupid guy, who just squeaks into a cushy job with early retirement and incredible lifetime benefits, and figures the better guys will pick up his slack, will absolutely never leave. It might even be in his interest to make the environment hostile just to drive out the smarter competition.
How will the smart guy "game" the system he was excluded from via the entrance exam?
What statistics are there to back up the statement that smart people will get bored with breaking up domestic violence incidents. In all likelihood they will find a way to diffuse rather than get embroiled in a dispute. I've always found that if you ask a smart guy to mop a floor, he does it with the broad view that a clean work environment is good for everyone. Dopes see it as being dissed or as punishment. They always presume they are being punished because, even they, are aware of how many stupid things they do.
Why is it hard to supervise people smarter than you? Good employers love, not overly ambitious, smart people who barely need to be supervised. Stupid bosses always feel threatened and are always making dopey rules to show who is BOSS. Watch the great old movie Mr. Roberts with Jimmy Cagney and Henry Fonda.
How does being excluded from consideration for a job you desire provide you with more opportunities?????
How (and Why?) would you be able to move in laterally? If the policy spreads to other agencies, which is what generally occurs when a court makes a decision, you will be excluded from the other agencies by the same policy.

If you don't know that prison guard is a miserable consolation prize, you must be having a Mint Julep with Mr. Howell right now.

I have never known a cop to leave policing. I know a prison guard who quit because "they forget their accuser, they forget the cop who caught them, they forget the judge, but they never forget their prison guard."
He was eating with his family at a food court when he saw a vicious released inmate approach him to tell him how he has reformed. The guard had his gun drawn under the table the whole conversation.
Nice living. Just make sure to tint your car windows, don't visit any public places and send your kids to private school.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that means about 40% of the kids at Harvard should be studying for a trade. Interesting idea. Actually, I think Murry states that the top 10% is eligible for higher education. >=125 is the top 5%.

Like cops, doctors probably shouldn't be too smart either, unless they are doing medical research.

Defeated said...

Anonymous 10:46,
I think Murray was willing to concede 110 but preferred 120. I thought Harvard was much more selective. So few people actually take IQ tests, I think we need Steve to translate the numbers from the SATs. I thought almost everyone at Harvard was close to perfect on SAT.

Anonymous said...

the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training.


What would they leave to do? It's not like there is a surplus of good jobs out there for high IQ people. Given the pay and benefits of working in law enforcement, most smart people would want to work there.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that Steve hasn't written about Maureen Dowd in a while, is this because she is becoming less relevant?

Anonymous said...

Her latest columns have come off as whiny...

NOTA said...

Who does the New London police department get to investigate computer crimes and small-scale financial fraud?

Traveller said...

"If he were really smart, he'd have figured out he needed to tank the test."

If "he were really smart" he would have not desired to be a cop in the beginning.

"I wonder if those 20 IQ points would make a cop less likely to:
[...list omitted...]"

No, he would have been just better at covering his tracks. That's why they do not want him.

Anonymous said...

"the U.S. District Court found that New London had “shown a rational basis for the policy.” In a ruling dated Aug. 23, the 2nd Circuit agreed. The court said the policy might be unwise but was a rational way to reduce job turnover."

Okay, so a solid legal basis for discrimination is the assumption that someone of a certain estimated I.Q. will eventually burden the taxpayers with unnecessary costs. That New London has "shown a rational basis for the policy" suggests that there may be substantial data to support this claim.....hmmmm, how interesting.....the idea that I.Q. can be a fair predictor of future behavior, and therefore, a legal basis for government policy.

jtollison78 said...

Everyone seems focused on iq125, but he scored a 33 and they only interviewed between 20 and 27. This could easily cap applicants at 115 or less.

Also, would it be considered fraud to score lower on purpose?

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Did you add the tanking sentence in later Steve, or did I miss it and repeat what you said?

EEOC is looking into whether a high school diploma requirement is discriminatory:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/1/eeoc-high-school-diploma-might-violate-americans-w/

I am Lugash, and I want to wake up from the nightmare this country has become.

Defeated said...

Traveller,
Sorry #5 on the list didn't make sense. Ipads aren't that good for reviewing and editing.

I wish I could dismiss the importance of a cop's job. Where I live, it takes all of the property taxes of at least ten houses to support the retirement of one cop. I don't earn enough to ignore it.

Unfortunately, from everything I've read, lower IQ people are more prone to crime including white collar crime- embezzlement, theft of office supplies. Go to any corporate mailroom and you can expect to see a shrine to Scarface.

You must be a saint to let the peasants keep their six figure jobs with their great perks. I admire your stoic indifference. You must be a monk or out of sight wealthy.

I'm willing to wager that Serpico was far brighter than his go along to get along brethren.

I don't want to be a cop, but from an educated consumer's point of view, I want to get what I'm paying (a lot) for.

It has never been my experience that smart people are more unethical - exactly the opposite, at least amongst those who grew up in a western christian family.

Are cops important? They are the ones who respond when you call 911. I would say so. I'm not going to make another list but there are a lot of reasons why they are.

Anonymous said...

Y'all getting too close to a kind of IQ fundamentalism.

I urge you to step back from the brink.

slumber_j said...

Didn't lead to too high a turnover for NYPD Officer and later Detective Edward Conlon, although he did just retire from the Force after 17 years or so. See his books Blue Blood and Red on Red at Amazon, or his old New Yorker pieces written under the pen-name Marcus Laffey for evidence of high intelligence.

He is very funny in Blue Blood about the problem of having graduated from Harvard. He had lied on his NYPD application by saying he attended Howard University, if I recall correctly. Hilarity ensued.

Dennis Dale said...

"Tanking" here becomes a novel form of cheating.

Defeated said...

Anonymous 2:35,
Oh how I wish we could come back, but the crux of this case is he was too smart, how do you avoid the issue. Smart is a good thing like Strong, Brave, Honest, Diligent, Merciful and Just. If he he were deficient in any other of these traits we wouldn't be talking IQ.
If he were shown to be a weak, cowardly, lying, lazy, cruel and prejudiced genius, there wouldn't be 60+ comments on the ruling.
Do the police test for bravery? How?

Get Off My Lawn! said...

I saw the NYPD recruiting at Columbia...so evidently not all police departments feel the same way.

I have had limited interaction with big-city police detectives, but my impression from those experiences (and what I've heard from others) is that they're an above-average, although not brilliant, bunch. Perhaps this like real estate: What matters is location, location, location.

New York, Chicago, LA, etc., with their huge police departments and high crime rates, offer more opportunities to exercise intelligence in normal police work, or, after serving your time on the beat, finding a niche job that better suits your IQ.

Most day-to-day police work - even detective work - is pretty boring. The same is true of lots of fields, including most specialties of medicine. It's the small percentage of outliers and the fact that you never know when they're going to arise, changing your ho-hum day into something challenging, that make being an internist or a big-city cop interesting. There's also a glamour associated with being on the NYPD or LAPD and the like that is a kind of reward unto itself. Some people derive a certain amount of self-esteem and job satisfaction just from being part of a famous organization that is at the top of its field.

On the other hand, there's New London. NL, like most small manufacturing cities in southern New England, is a dump. It's too far outside the NY and Boston orbits to capture spin-off business, so the economy has been stagnating for decades. The smart people move to outlying suburbs or leave the area entirely, and you're left with low-IQ working class whites - and rising numbers of Latino immigrants who commit the same stupid crimes over and over. No Great White Defendants here! If there is a no-glamour place to be a cop, it's New London (or Waterbury or Fall River, etc.).

Anyway, what's really amazing is that the New London PD openly admits the discrimination. They're coming right out and saying, "we're dumb and we plan to stay that way." Who would say something like that publicly?

Anonymous said...

I think in general you are correct - smart people tend not to do evil because they can easily be rewarded well in life and so do not want very often. But when they are evil, they are very, very evil.

Anonymous said...

"I thought Harvard was much more selective."

Selective for what? The average IQ for Harvard undergrads is 130. Certainly enough uber-geniuses apply that the average IQ could be a lot higher, but Harvard also selects for pushers -- ambitious kids likely to end up in fields of government, arts, entertainment, and business where personality and creative initiative counts as much as measurable smarts.

X O'Foamer said...

I have an IQ measured between 120 and 135 at various times. I would apply for jobs and do what I thought was a reasonably good job and never got called back.

Once, on a whim, I sandbagged the test. I was hired and worked there ten years.

When that company folded, I got a union blue collar job (railroad) and am still there, fifteen years later. My co-workers range from CPAs and lawyers and a podiatrist to guys that barely graduated high school or are GED's. We have a lot of ex-law-enforcement and airline people too (most mechanics, a couple were FE's or FOs when laid off, one woman was a stew-she has learned to fly since and now has commercial, multi, instrument and CFI, my daughter is taking dual from her now.) In general I gat along with all of them. The really smart ones usually channel their smarts into a hobby or study off the job. The dummies go home and drink Budweiser.

I'm staying until retirement.

Kylie said...

"'If discriminating against an I.Q. of greater than X is an acceptable job requirement, then surely it's OK to discriminate with a requirement of those with an I.Q. less than Y.'
the left never applies the law that way - the law is for enemies"


Exactly. Which is why it's OK for black guys with their Black Panther regalia and billy clubs to stand outside polling places on election day but it's not OK for states to require photo ID to prevent voter fraud.

AC said...

Defeated, you're right that I was making assumptions not in the ABC article. My assumptions rested on the premise that the city was relying on some statistics and that the courts would not have called the rule rational had they not.
From the 1999 opinion:

"The user’s manual for interpreting the Wonderlic test scores contains a table of recommended minimum test scores for a range of occupations. Wonderlic User’s Manual, Def.’s Ex. 3 at 28-29. The suggested minimum score for a patrol officer is 22. Id. at 29. The manual suggests that for most hiring decisions an appropriate test score may range from two points below the suggested score to six points above it. Id. at 6. Elsewhere, the recommended range for a police patrolman is given as, approximately, 18 to 30. Wonderlic Employee Turnover Report, Def’s. Ex. 5 at 10. Plaintiff scored a 33 on the exam. Am. Compl. at P 17."

I'm not saying that I've vetted Wonderlic's Employee Turnover Report and I'm not saying it's unassailable. But I will assume for now that it is well reasoned.

Anonymous said...

"Y'all getting too close to a kind of IQ fundamentalism.

I urge you to step back from the brink."

Plus, all the grammar mistakes and syntactical irregularities make it all too surreal to be going on endlessly about how smart you think someone should be for a particular job. ;0)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the wave of arson attacks across LA means something

Anonymous said...

It has never been my experience that smart people are more unethical - exactly the opposite, at least amongst those who grew up in a western christian family.


It has always been my experience that there is no relationship at all between intelligence and ethical behavior, either positive or negative.

Intelligent people who behave unethically do so in a different fashion than is found among the unintelligent, but it's a toss-up which groups bad behavior is the most damaging to society. If I had to pick one, I'd say that unethical intelligent people are more destructive than are unethical and unintelligent people. Just look at Wall St and DC.

Truth said...

"Exactly. Which is why it's OK for black guys with their Black Panther regalia and billy clubs to stand outside polling places on election day but it's not OK for states to require photo ID to prevent voter fraud.?"

It may be a redundant question on my part by now, but what does one have to do with the other, again?

Anonymous said...

I have an IQ measured between 120 and 135 at various times. I would apply for jobs and do what I thought was a reasonably good job and never got called back.


I've been called "the smartest guy in the company" at a few different jobs.

Management never seems to consider this to be a factor in my favor. To the contrary.

This is a flaw in the whole "IQ is a magical pixie dust which makes everyone better" theory. In real life the typical employer wants a reasonable degree of intelligence in a worker, but not too much.

NOTA said...

Truth:

Both are basically symbolic, with no real effect on election outcomes except at the extreme margins where the election outcome is basically a coin toss. But both are also easy to visualize and understand, and so make for good symbols and grist for talking heads to chatter about without having to endanger any brain cells with hard use.

Defeated said...

The whole policy sounds like a passive aggressive break up, "it's not you it's me; you're too good for me"

Anonymous said...

Hi, as might be expected the correlation between IQ and crime has been widely studied. There is a large literature. Do a quick google... For instance:

http://law.jrank.org/pages/1364/Intelligence-Crime-R-20-meaningful-correlation-size.html

"Intelligence and Crime - Is R = -.20 A Meaningful Correlation Size?"

"While studies have frequently found that IQ and crime correlate at around r = -.20, they disagree about how to interpret the size of this..."


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886909005169

"Correlations between estimates of state IQ and FBI crime statistics"

"State IQ was significantly and negatively correlated with the violent crimes of murder..."


https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=102353

"Scientific Justification and the Race-IQ-Delinquency Model"

"This paper establishes the construct validity of a model that relates differences in IQ parameters to differences in delinquency ..."


http://www.crimetimes.org/96b/w96bp5.htm

"INTELLIGENCE SCORES AND BEHAVIOR: EVEN A FEW POINTS MATTER"

"Low IQ is a known risk factor for crime and delinquency... even when IQs are in the normal range, lower IQ scores are linked to stealing, lying, and other symptoms of conduct disorder."

Whiskey said...

The whole point is that you can discriminate against White guys who are "too smart" but not Black guys. You can't say, well we won't take guys who score too low on the IQ tests, because those guys will mostly be Black.

And discrimination against Black people is the worst thing in the world.

Meanwhile, Google, Apple, MicroSoft, Oracle, Amazon, Facebook, and all the rest get away with IQ tests (which as Steve reminds us wrt to Griggs vs. Duke Power has been held illegal for employment when the effect is discrimatory) with no comeback.

The WSJ had an article about weird questions Google and others ask that are basically IQ tests (how do you get out of a blender if shrunk down to two inches but with the same density?) Thats an IQ test right there, and the practice is spreading.

Basically, more evidence of the High-Low team-up. OK to discriminate against working class White guys, particularly those "too smart" but perfectly fine for discrimination against non-Whites by "the right sort" of people -- Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Larry Ellison.

Jack said...

NYPD and FDNY seem to prize test results pretty strongly, and with the prestige of working in those departments, I'd imagine their average IQ's are fairly high. (110-115?)

A friend of mine from a good college is a fireman now.

Anonymous said...

This does raise the question whether the stated reason for the policy is the real reason, or whether the cutoff is really intended to reduce the pool of qualified white applicants to protect the city from discrimination lawsuits.

AC said...

>Why is it hard to supervise people smarter than you? Good employers love, not overly ambitious, smart people who barely need to be supervised. Stupid bosses always feel threatened and are always making dopey rules to show who is BOSS. <

How are you defining "good" and "stupid"? Is good better than average and stupid dumber than average? Warren Buffet's rule is that you have to design your business model so that a fool can run it, because one day, one will. In my own experience, there are a lot of supervisors out there like your bad boss. When they issue orders they don't like to be questioned, especially by someone smarter than them. It's not fun to be wrong and there is a loss of face when some new guy makes clear that the way you've been doing things is stupid. The city's policies have to account for this reality.

>How does being excluded from consideration for a job you desire provide you with more opportunities?????<

Ok, we are apparently talking past each other. If a high iq guy gets the job, he will have more opportunities to leave for something like, as you said, law school.

>How (and Why?) would you be able to move in laterally?<

Why? Because you want to be a detective in New London, you started somewhere else with this in mind the whole time.

How? There are always ways around these type of things.

>If the policy spreads to other agencies, which is what generally occurs when a court makes a decision, you will be excluded from the other agencies by the same policy.<

Maybe, but I doubt it, my bet would be that there are cities, counties, states and territories that don't have an iq ceiling on their cops. You start there.

>If you don't know that prison guard is a miserable consolation prize, you must be having a Mint Julep with Mr. Howell right now.<

Who said I didn't? This guy was a prison guard before he tried to be a cop. Obviously being a cop is better.

>I have never known a cop to leave policing.<
I've known a bunch of former cops. I've never had a Mint Julep with one though.

AC said...

I take issue with this is another part of the high-low coalition (I generally support Steve's analysis on that).

If anything this rule seems like the survival of the middle. In order to rationalize discarding applicants two points below the threshhold, they throw out applicants six above it. So to keep the kind of low out, we have to throw out the very high? We keep high iq guys out of a traditionally middle class job? We keep "lace curtain m.f.'s out of the staties"? It's tough for Jordan, and I feel bad for the guy, you don't make policy based on one guy's tough luck.

Svigor said...

I take it they believe the dumber the person the less likely they are to get bored.

The thinking is that for a given IQ range there's a derived range of "engaging" task complexity. Below the range things start to get boring. Bored people find other stuff to do, often without changing careers first.

Svigor said...

If I had to pick one, I'd say that unethical intelligent people are more destructive than are unethical and unintelligent people. Just look at Wall St and DC.

Yeah but you're changing the subject.

In my experience, smarter people have better morals because they're capable of extrapolating their rules. Dumber people have trouble figuring things out beyond the rules.

It's tough to write a rule book that covers everything.

Defeated said...

Where did this kooky idea that smart people are so intolerant of boredom that they are willing to sacrifice their financial security to seek excitement?

I have to think it was Brave New World. I just wish someone had spiked my test tube, so that i would have washed my car today rather than post myself silly.

I'm glad at least the PD is getting its eugenics practices from a respected author.

Defeated said...

What I've learned today:
1. Many people have a fear of evil geniuses with college degrees taking over the police department. It doesn't seem that long ago that cops were ignorant pigs - I long for the good old days.
2. I'm pretty ignorant about what Ivy League Schools are like. I guess Harvard is more average than I thought. I guess Stanford is where all the really smart people go now or is it MIT?

Truth said...

"Both are basically symbolic, with no real effect on election outcomes... and grist for talking heads to chatter about without having to endanger any brain cells with hard use."

OK, thanks.

Anonymous said...

This is OT, but how closely did you look into Obama's community organizer experience, Steve?

I came upon this interesting bit about it recently:

http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?threadid=179214

"A community organizer works with big banks, communities, Major Real Estate interests and GENTRIFIES a city. A community organizer basically manages the process of tearing down black slums, forcing the people out, and while gentrifying the area that was vacated, they make a killing on where the displaced population moves to.

Obama's biggest backers were the Pritzker and Crowne families of Chicago - major real estate interests. And don't forget Rezko."

Defeated said...

If there is absolutely nothing going on during a shift, how does a lower IQ officer distract himself compared to a higher IQ officer. A state of zero complexity. Boring by anyone's standard. Is the quality of one's daydreaming better than the other's?
Maybe the smart one, like the author mentioned by slumber_i said, chronicles his experiences and analyzes the flaws and quirks in the system. The other might pull a gaming device out of his pocket.

Defeated said...

AC,
A smart guy or a dumb guy can be insubordinate. It has been my experience that the dumb guy will give you more trouble. Insubordination should be disciplined, period.

A good boss can't always live in fear of being shown up. He should be the guy who sorts through ideas and implements the best. A stupid boss feels that he knows it all.

Why should a bright guy have to struggle to find a loophole in the bureaucracy? Because people fear what he MIGHT do? Good looking guys might become models and hot women might marry a rich guy and quit.

You sound like you are an officer (I am not), but if you are, and your are involved in the selection process, hire the smartest guys you can find, so your union will have the best men to protect your rights and maintain your contracts - it is in your best interest (maybe not the country's.)

And when Steve talks about the High, Low vs. the Middle, he isn't talking about conflicts within Uniformed jobs. The job by definition is Middle, no matter how smart the particular members are. The Middle had better be smart, or sneaky policies like this can slowly strangle it.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

In my experience, smarter people have better morals because they're capable of extrapolating their rules. Dumber people have trouble figuring things out beyond the rules.

Well put, Svigor. Smart people can figure out the principle behind (sensible) rules and apply it more generally. That's a big advantage in all but the most rote jobs - and in life generally.

Problems do arise when smart folks figure out that a rule is dumb, or when a new rule that seems to contradict established principles is put into place.

That's why very high-IQ people tend to do better in fields like science, where a questioning attitude is encouraged. They don't do as well in professions where you have to go along to get along, the world of big business being a prime example. Of course, lots of very smart people do rise to the top in fields like that, but it's because they learn when to keep their mouths shut. That's a skill that some find impossible, or impossibly distasteful, to learn.

Anonymous said...

High IQ people might get bored by the hum drum od normal life.

We have a fine example of this in the president who prefers golfing to working in the Oval Office.

Anonymous said...

I'm searching for the details in this case (currently eludinging me), but I think I recall that this plaintiff said he specfically WANTED (really wanted) to be a Patrolman. So it wasn't like he said he wanted to be on the detective track. Generally detective track goes through the state police anyway.

Anonymous said...

I would hate to be the lawyer who has to defend this department in their next false arrest or wrongful beating case.

-osvlaodm

Anonymous said...

Yeah but you're changing the subject.


In my experience, smarter people have better morals because they're capable of extrapolating their rules. Dumber people have trouble figuring things out beyond the rules.


I'm not changing the subject.

"Extrapolating their rules" has nothing to do with better morals. What it means in practice is that smart peoples are better at devising ways to break/evade the rules without getting punished. That still counts as unethical behavior though.

Anonymous said...

Hi, as might be expected the correlation between IQ and crime has been widely studied. There is a large literature.


Now you are changing the subject. It was the question of whether intelligent people were more, less, or equally ethical when compared to less intelligent people.

Crime statistics are a very poor method of measuring ethical behavior because, as noted above, not all unethical behavior is punished by law, and the sort of unethical behavior which is not punished by law is precisely the sort which intelligent people tend to engage in.

Washington Heights no doubt has a higher crime rate than Wall Street. Is it more unethical though? I'd have to say no.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine from a good college is a fireman now."

Being in that line of work is great. Fun, exciting and babes dig you.

SFG said...

"I'm pretty ignorant about what Ivy League Schools are like. I guess Harvard is more average than I thought. I guess Stanford is where all the really smart people go now or is it MIT?"

I went to a lesser Ivy, so let me try, and one of the Harvard grads can chime in:

Basically, half of the kids are there because they excelled in multiple areas (academics AND sports), a quarter are there because their family's been there for six generations, and a quarter are 'diversity'. Pure academic skill won't take you far enough to get into one of these places in most cases (unless you're in the Math Olympiad or something extraordinary like that).

I have to say, I didn't meet that many people there I thought were that brilliant. A lot of it's hard work and well-roundedness.

I got by with my lack of extracurricular activities because I was technically 'diversity' due to my parents being from one of the paler Spanish-speaking countries. I thought the whole thing was kind of funny, but I probably took the place of some fanatic La Raza-ist and I graduated summa cum laude, so I don't feel too guilty.

Anonymous said...

""Tanking" here becomes a novel form of cheating."

Anything to avoid disparate impact, which obviously isn't being applied equally.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps relevant regarding leader-follower IQ gaps and issues:

http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/simonton/dksabstracts.html

"Intelligence and personal influence in groups: Four nonlinear models.", Psychological Review, Simonton, 1985. "... predicts a high correlation between the group mean IQ and the IQ of its most influential member, with a leader-follower gap of between 8 and 20 points..."

As Steve Sailor once wrote:

http://www.vdare.com/articles/does-iq-matter-in-a-president

"According to British psychometrician Chris Brand, the military adage that if a leader is more than 30 IQ points smarter than his average follower, he will have trouble communicating effectively stems from British Army research during World War II."

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but slightly related: EEOC practices what is preaches:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/1/eeoc-high-school-diploma-might-violate-americans-w/?page=1

bruce banner said...

If you want to run a police state, it makes sense to use brutish yes-men to enforce modern anarcho-tyranny. It also makes sense to employ as many NAM´s as you can get away with.

A heavily bent, transgendered, "vibrant" and multicultist military is also perfect when you want to make the world safe for demagogy, chaos and pederasty, as neocons do.

Defeated said...

What unethical police behavior requires high intelligence? They are not dealing with esoteric trading rules for financial companies. I can't even think of an unethical, but legal behavior a cop might practice in the course of the day. I imagine the rules are pretty straight forward. Don't take bribes, no free coffee, don't tamper with evidence, don't do research for gang members......
Maybe we would be better off if 40% of Harvard grads became cops. They wouldn't have as many opportunities to be subtly unethical - changing lending laws and selling garbage mortgages so they can retire at 40. Hell, they would still be able to retire at 45!
Please give me an example of unethical, but not illegal, behavior that a bright cop might commit but a dumb cop would never think of.
Calm down, smart people aren't that bad. Some of my best friends are smart.

Defeated said...

I imagine the military academies will soon institute the New London rules. You have to admit MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton, not to mention Lee were good quotes for the media. The troops must have been very smart back then to keep within 30 points of these guys.

Difference Maker said...

SFG wrote...I have to say, I didn't meet that many people there I thought were that brilliant. A lot of it's hard work and well-roundedness.

I have to say, that is a very good proxy for yes men and connected family.

If you had the supposed smarts but did poorly in school, either you 1: Do not like modern society - *gasp!* - the society that Harvard embodies,
and/or 2: Parents are not wise up, on the ball and connected to the shadow government, "getting the joke" as it were, knowing which school and what kind and how to prepare their children and all that according to the ways of the rulers

Anonymous said...

"You have to admit MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton, not to mention Lee were good quotes for the media. The troops must have been very smart back then to keep within 30 points of these guys."

I don't believe that 30 point claim has to do with the difference between the generals on the top and the enlisted men at the bottom. It means that the IQ difference between successive ranks should not exceed 20-30. That is, Eisenhower's direct reports should be with that range of him to easily grok his orders/intentions and he their reports. Likewise, the NCOs should be within that range of the privates, the lieutenants within that range of the NCOs, and so on, with lots or room for range overlap.

Does anyone have a direct reference to the original British work on this? Is it some sort of classified WWII military research? If so, you'd think it would have been declassified by now. It seems to be commonly accepted, and routinely quoted, yet I couldn't find a direct citation.

Steve Sailer said...

Heinlein's 1948 youth sci-fi novel "Space Cadet" talks about the IQ gap in leadership problem. I imagine Heinlein was referring to something that had been studied during the war, but I don't know what exactly.

Similarly, my father once told me that a big government study during WWII showed that the maximum long term output of average workers came when working 52 hours per week, but I don't know where he heard that.

Justthisguy said...

Dang, Steve, about all I remember about "Space Cadet" is that they crash-landed on Venus and had to eat icky Venereal food before they could repair the ship and go home. Could you elaborate on your comment there?

bobby said...

Just so part of this is clearer:

Discrimination is perfectly legal. I like Hagen Daz ice cream, and dislike Kemps, and so I buy the Hagen Daz. Tall people are generally better at basketball than short people, so teams generally hire tall people. That's the essence of discrimination - using judgment.

Certain specific varieties of discrimination, however, are illegal, because we as a society want to foster certain values. We cannot discriminate because of race, or gender, or some other specific categories.

So, the judge was correct in this case. This wasn't a case of illegal discrimination.

It was a case of stupidity, which is, sadly, entirely legal.

Anonymous said...

So, the judge was correct in this case. This wasn't a case of illegal discrimination.


Given that the law in this area is whatever a judge says it is, the judge is bound to be "correct" regardless of what he says. This wasn't a case of illegal discrimination, because the judge said it wasn't. If he had said it was, then it would have been. If our high-IQ applicant had been black the ruling would have been different.

outlaw josey wales said...

IQ is not a protected category constitutionally, so is subject to the lowest level of scrutiny, the "rational basis." This is a very low bar to meet.

The problem in this case is that if the applicant had been black, he could have claimed discrimination based on race even if the discrimination in fact had been based solely on his high IQ.

Thus it appears that a similarly situated minority would have had the opportunity to claim another basis for discrimination that a white person couldn't, since it's "impossible" to discriminate against white people. He would or could have had two bites at the apple. That's what's unfair about this ruling.

Defeated said...

Outlaw,
Well said. I wish I could be so pithy.
Since I've been walking this earth, police and fireman's exam's have been altered for only one purpose, to increase diversity. Even if I couldn't fathom the mechanics of the method, I would know the change was not made in my interest.

AC said...

I think it's funny that some of you guys are so staunch in your belief that employers should not take into consideration the problem of supervisors having significantly lower iq's than their underlings. According to commenters, it either isn't a problem or should not be a problem. If it isn't, why would Wonderlic Employee Turnover Report recommend a +6 ceiling? No one has attempted to debunk this report, they just babble on. And if this rule is just part of some government/pc/anti-white machine, why was the same issue being discussed with the potential drafting of Alabama QB Greg McElroy to the NFL?
http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/blog/dr_saturday/post/Greg-McElroy-almost-aced-the-Wonderlic-Is-he-to?urn=ncaaf-327510

via

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2011_02_27_archive.html

Defeated said...

I can only say, raise the minimum passing grade so that 125 doesn't exceed the mean by so much. That will never happen. Why?
I still don't understand what it means to accept 2 points below the minimum. Do they mean the absolute, unequivocal minimum? When the rules get fuzzy, get suspicious.

Gray flannel guy said...

What are some other professions that follow this policy? Referees? Financial advisors?

Anonymous said...

"...on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training."

They get rid of more whites this way and are therefore forced into hiring more minorities.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey: ...The WSJ had an article about weird questions Google and others ask that are basically IQ tests (how do you get out of a blender if shrunk down to two inches but with the same density?) Thats an IQ test right there, and the practice is spreading...


Slashdot discussed that story today:


Are Brain Teasers Good Hiring Criteria?
Posted by Soulskill
on Friday January 06, @09:30AM
developers.slashdot.org


As I'm posting this, it's got just shy of 600 Slashdot comments [which is fairly large, even for Slashdot].