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Old 02-26-2018, 10:08 AM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Defining IQ

One of the more common arguments within these forums is how to define attributes, especially IQ. While there are a range of positions, from IQ is equal to (Real World IQ/10) to IQ is equal to (((Real World IQ-100)/20, rounding down)+10) to IQ is undefinable, I think that many of these arguments miss the point because they do not refer back to real life. In real life, there are people who have exceptional capabilities, including exceptional intelligence, but it is the standard deviations from the norm that people tend to notice.

Within GURPS, I think that each point of IQ above or below 10 should represent a standard deviation of intelligence above or below average. Since modern IQ tests are designed to measure each change in standard deviation as a change in 15 points, that allows us to quantify an IQ score from 6 (IQ score of 40) to 18 (IQ score of 220). While IQ scores below 6 definitely exist and IQ scores above 18 might exist, they are difficult to quantify due to the difficulty of assessing a non-communicative intelligence (in the case of a person with less than IQ 6) or due to the difficulty of assessing an intelligence that much greater than the people who designed the test (in the case of a person with greater than IQ 18). In the case of characters with intermediate IQ score, they would go to the nearest IQ level. In effect, people would have an IQ equal to (((IQ score-100)/15, rounding to nearest number)+10).

By using standard deviations for intelligence, we can actually quantify the intelligence of characters, which is especially easy for realistic ranges in intelligence in GURPS (IQ 8 to IQ 14). A character with an IQ 8 would possess an IQ score between 63 and 77. A character with an IQ 9 would possess an IQ score between 78 and 93. A character with an IQ 10 would possess an IQ score between 93 and 107. A character with an IQ 11 would possess an IQ score between 108 and 122. A character with an IQ 12 would possess an IQ score between 123 and 137. A character with an IQ 13 would possess an IQ score between 138 and 152. A character with an IQ 14 would possess an IQ score between 153 and 167. What do you think?

Last edited by AlexanderHowl; 02-26-2018 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Defining IQ

Sorry, but no. The GURPS stat IQ is not directly related to and cannot be derived from the real world measurement IQ. They don't mean the same thing.

GURPS IQ is a catch-all category for all mentally-related abilities which includes willpower and social ability, things which aren't a meaningful part of real world IQ. A high-GURPS-IQ character is good at abstract reasoning, memory-related tasks, long term focus, resisting temptations and distractions, and social operations. A high-real-world-IQ person is likely to be good at the first two, but not necessarily at the rest. A high-real-world-IQ person might also have a high GURPS IQ, but is just as likely to have a moderate GURPS IQ but also Talent in specific areas.
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Defining IQ

GURPS IQ doesn't represent just the things that an IQ test purports to measure. A higher GURPS IQ makes your senses keener (since Per defaults to IQ) and makes you more emotionally stable and more resistant to external influences (since Will defaults to IQ). Neither of those traits is part of what "IQ" or "Intelligence" means in the real world.

Also, the equation of 1 IQ point with 1 standard deviation seems not to fit the text description of traits. An IQ of 130 would make you more obviously intellectually above average than is supposed to be the case for a score of 12; an IQ of 225 would place you at the historical peak of human capability, up there with Goethe and Mill and maybe one or two other people, and that seems excessive for a trait of 16. The scaling just doesn't feel right to me. If you have to turn GURPS IQ into real world IQ, 10 IQ points per point of the GURPS traits would feel like a better fit. (Though I'm not persuaded that the conversion is productive in the first place.)
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Defining IQ

What Matthew Riggsby and Bill Stoddard are saying! The IQ of Psychometry and the Intelligence of a GURPS character sheet are like fish and shale. There are several statements by people at SJG to that effect.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Defining IQ

I'm going to go against the grain and say that actually, I think it's basically a pretty good way to convert a real-world measure into the game attribute.

A few caveats:

GURPS IQ is actual, practical general intelligence, AKA 'g'. Real-world IQ tests are probably not accurate enough to give you more than a rough estimate of that for individuals (for larger groups, they might work better).

The spread of actual intelligence around a given IQ score probably isn't very tight. So someone with an IQ score of 130 could easily have GURPS IQ of 11 or 13 rather than 12, with a realistic chance that they could be 10 or 14 and some possibility they could be outside that range. IQ tests are kind of like estimating people's weight based only on their height; the results will approximate what you are after, but are far from the whole picture.

Any IQ test which claims to measure IQ scores more than about four standard deviations from the norm is probably bunk and really any more than two could be pushing it. So someone with an IQ score of 160 or so could well be the smartest person in the world. Actually, it's probably even worse than that; Richard Feynman only scored 125 in an IQ test, but he might well have been the smartest person in the world.

Willpower seems to be correlated with IQ, but probably not that strongly. Still, GURPS allows Will to vary from IQ, so I don't see that as a huge issue.

Visual and spacial awareness and short reaction times also seem to correlate with IQ (as do cardiovascular fitness, height, income, grip strength and a bunch of other stuff). That implies that linking GURPS IQ and Per isn't completely nonsense, although the connection seems even looser than with Will. However, like Will, GURPS doesn't force you to keep Per at the same level as IQ.

Social abilities are only weakly linked with IQ in the real world. However, many GURPS social skills are not based on IQ and advantages are a major part of the social interaction rules, so I think this is also acceptable.

There probably are some things that boost or lower your IQ score that GURPS classes as advantages and disadvantages rather than the attribute. Things like Single Minded and Mathematical Ability would probably give you a higher score than your actual general intelligence, for example.

Overall, I think the problems with this approach are small and the results will be good enough for what you are likely to want (i.e. having a rough grasp of what a given score in the game would be like in real life).

Exactly how many standard deviations to each level of the attribute is a bit of a question. I think that 1 to 1 is close enough. As someone who generally scores about two and a half SD above the norm, I don't feel like any kind of genius and would be quite happy to say my GURPS IQ is 12 at best (and I wouldn't be outraged if someone told me it was 10). However, I might be one of those people who scores way better in IQ tests than I should based on my real intelligence, so possibly Mr. Stoddard is closer to the mark and most people with my IQ score should be represented with GURPS IQ of 13-14. On the other hand, in GURPS IQ 8 is really low and people with real-world IQ scores of around 80 are likely to be noticeably dim but not nearly as hopeless as that would suggest.
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Defining IQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Baughn View Post
Real-world IQ tests are probably not accurate enough to give you more than a rough estimate of that for individuals (for larger groups, they might work better).
Having known several geniuses.... it's not even a close correlation at all.

Quote:
So someone with an IQ score of 130 could easily have GURPS IQ of 11 or 13 rather than 12, with a realistic chance that they could be 10 or 14 and some possibility they could be outside that range.
Or 10. Or 8.

It all depends on how much weight you want to give to their social and perceptive failings as Disads versus general "IQ Inability". I prefer* to lower IQ...


* Actually I'd prefer to decouple social skills from IQ, but that's neither elegant nor simple.

Quote:
Willpower seems to be correlated with IQ, but probably not that strongly.
Willpower has almost no basis in Intelligence Quotient. Some of the highest scoring geniuses I've known had little capacity to resist their sweet-tooths, or avoid legal, non-physical, addictions (Magic the Gathering anyone?).

Quote:
Visual and spacial awareness and short reaction times also seem to correlate with IQ (as do cardiovascular fitness, height, income, grip strength and a bunch of other stuff).
Again, anecdotal here, but most of the high Intelligence Quotient were a bit doughy and clumcsy, and that clumsiness was bumping into things, slow-reaction times, and a general inability to pay attention to the world around them. So... low Perception scores.

Quote:
Social abilities are only weakly linked with IQ in the real world. However, many GURPS social skills are not based on IQ and advantages are a major part of the social interaction rules, so I think this is also acceptable.
"Many"? Eh... I disagree with that assertion. Close to 1 in 4 Social skills aren't (pure) IQ is not what I'd call "many". And that's only if you are decoupling Will and Per from IQ. If you don't, then it drops to 1 in 10 social skills aren't IQ based...

Quote:
There probably are some things that boost or lower your IQ score that GURPS classes as advantages and disadvantages rather than the attribute. Things like Single Minded and Mathematical Ability would probably give you a higher score than your actual general intelligence, for example.
There are a lot of things that boost Intelligence Quotient, notably Talents.

Quote:
Overall, I think the problems with this approach are small and the results will be good enough for what you are likely to want (i.e. having a rough grasp of what a given score in the game would be like in real life).
I think the results are terrible and the deviations quite large.

I score around 145 on IQ tests... If I were to "stat myself" I'd only give me an IQ of 12 (and I'd lower Will by 2 as a disad). However that 12 is only to make the character sheet simple... I'd be more 'honest' with a 10 and spreading those points around in Talents and Advantages (and individually buying up Per).
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Defining IQ

Yeah, GURPS IQ is how well a character does at tasks that are IQ-based in GURPS. That's a much wider field than anything measured by real-world IQ tests.

Trying to establish some metric of converting between them is kind of pointless, sort of like trying to establish details about elephants by what a blind man can tell by feeling their trunk.

In general, real-world IQ measures the ability to take standardised IQ tests and not really that much more. Plenty of people who score high on IQ tests do not go on to enjoy sustained success in life, for one reason or another, and the correlation between high measured IQ and success at a wide range of tasks that GURPS makes IQ-based is extremely weak.

In GURPS terms, someone who scores astronomically high on IQ tests, but has problems with actually accomplishing stuff has IQ around 10, probably some Disadvantages and a Hobby Skill in taking IQ tests, along with maybe a few Perks that help with it (I'd allow Hyperspecialisation, for example). They may have Mathematical Ability, but only if they actuall have a functioning professional skill level at several skills under it.

GURPS IQ, on the other hand, does not represent potential or theoretical intelligence. It represents actual, functioning ability to succeed at IQ-based skill checks over a sustained period. As such, the best metric to use to benchmark from GURPS IQ to real people to vice versa is actual accomplishments at tasks that fall under GURPS IQ.

If someone is an expert at several related IQ skills (say, like maths or science), but isn't necessarily good at unconnected IQ-based skills, like Administration, Diplomacy, Merchant or Propaganda, to promote themselves and get funding, they probably have a Talent and IQ at 10-11.

Very few people famous for high real world IQ would rate high GURPS IQ, simply because most of them have very narrow fields of expertise and do not also demonstrate above average social skills, investment savvy, teaching ability, organisational ability, etc.

Someone who is very good not only at their specialsation, but also at many other IQ-based tasks, like someone who is a scientist, self-promoter and media personality, is widely popular among peers, good at arranging things and running organisations, etc., that's a candidate for high IQ.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Defining IQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Someone who is very good not only at their specialsation, but also at many other IQ-based tasks, like someone who is a scientist, self-promoter and media personality, is widely popular among peers, good at arranging things and running organisations, etc., that's a candidate for high IQ.
Richard Feynman, anyone? Even then, I'd probably write him up as having a mid teens IQ and more Talent, if only from a great amount of caution on the secondary attributes.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Defining IQ

Popularity among your peers is not something that IQ can really assist with, though it can make you accepted by your peers. At best, a high IQ allows a character to develop a decent level of Diplomacy, which can allow them to reliably get people to think positively about them (a 'Good' reaction). A character would have to have advantages like Appearance, Charisma, Reputation, Status, etc to be popular (a 'Very Good' reaction), and they would have to rely on their advantages rather than their IQ-based skills to get an 'Excellent' reaction. Under limited circumstances, a IQ-based social skill might give a +2 reaction modifier, but it is generally requires a skill of 20 to allow the reaction modifiers to overlap (a character with Diplomacy-20, Fast-Talk-20, and Merchant-20 will get a +4 reaction modifier anytime they can speak and a +6 reaction modifier when engaging in business).

I really doubt that any adult with an IQ 8 could receive an IQ of 100 on a standardized test, much less an IQ of 130. Even if he had a Photographic Memory and Mathematical Ability 4, anyone who interacted with him would understand that he was an idiot savant because his verbal communications (as well as reading and writing) would be equivalent to that of the average 8-year old child. When we are talking about an IQ 8, we are really talking about a poor unfortunate who is incapable of comprehending the world beyond the level of the average child in third grade.

Such a character would probably be in a group home or under the care of a guardian. While he might have a job as an accountant, his finances would be handled by the administrator of his group home or his guardian because, while he would be capable of remembering to pay his bills, he would be vulnerable to any person who wanted to take advantage of his inability to detect deception or malice. He would never be allowed to live alone in a developed county because he would be considered as vulnerable as an 8-year old child to exploitation.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Defining IQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Popularity among your peers is not something that IQ can really assist with, though it can make you accepted by your peers. At best, a high IQ allows a character to develop a decent level of Diplomacy, which can allow them to reliably get people to think positively about them (a 'Good' reaction).
High IQ also allows high Acting, Connoisseur, Current Affairs, Fast-Talk, Merchant, Politics, Propaganda, Savoir-Faire, Writing and a lot of other skills, i.e. a wide variety of skills that are highly valued or useful to achieve popularity among many sub-cultures.

Being able to reliably get a 'Good' or better reaction among infuencers and social arbiters is how most real people achieve Reputation, Status and Wealth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
A character would have to have advantages like Appearance, Charisma, Reputation, Status, etc to be popular (a 'Very Good' reaction), and they would have to rely on their advantages rather than their IQ-based skills to get an 'Excellent' reaction. Under limited circumstances, a IQ-based social skill might give a +2 reaction modifier, but it is generally requires a skill of 20 to allow the reaction modifiers to overlap (a character with Diplomacy-20, Fast-Talk-20, and Merchant-20 will get a +4 reaction modifier anytime they can speak and a +6 reaction modifier when engaging in business).
In the real world, better Reputation and Status than you are born with are often a function of having suceeded at a lot of IQ-based checks. In particular, Diplomacy, Politics, Propaganda, Public Speaking and Savoir-Faire are very helpful in developing Reputations and increasing Status.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I really doubt that any adult with an IQ 8 could receive an IQ of 100 on a standardized test, much less an IQ of 130. Even if he had a Photographic Memory and Mathematical Ability 4, anyone who interacted with him would understand that he was an idiot savant because his verbal communications (as well as reading and writing) would be equivalent to that of the average 8-year old child. When we are talking about an IQ 8, we are really talking about a poor unfortunate who is incapable of comprehending the world beyond the level of the average child in third grade.

Such a character would probably be in a group home or under the care of a guardian. While he might have a job as an accountant, his finances would be handled by the administrator of his group home or his guardian because, while he would be capable of remembering to pay his bills, he would be vulnerable to any person who wanted to take advantage of his inability to detect deception or malice. He would never be allowed to live alone in a developed county because he would be considered as vulnerable as an 8-year old child to exploitation.
IQ 8; Hobby Skill (IQ Tests) IQ+2 -10 and Hyper-Specialisation (Stanford-Binet Test).

IQ 8 is actually 'dim-average', not non-functional. Average children in the third grade are very good at learning things, but generally have one or more Mental Disadvantages that represent their immaturity (Clueless, Curious, Impulsiveness, Oblivious, etc.), beyond just their generally lower IQ. An adult with IQ 8 is more functional than an average child with the same IQ, at least without additional Disadvantages.
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