About that Mani et al. study

I regularly see this study thrown around from Mani et al. (2013) titled “Poverty impedes cognitive function”. It should be no surprise. In just a few years, it’s gathered over 1,400 citations and made multiple sources of mainstream news (see here, here and here for example). I see it all the time in debates about socioeconomic effects on IQ, despite the fact that it is, all around, a very bad study.

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Defining Intelligence

The issue of “defining intelligence” has unreasonably taken far more effort than it should. The most prominent authors on the topic, such as Arthur Jensen, have argued it is not definable. Charles Spearman, the discoverer of g, believed we should not use the word “intelligence” due to its complexity.

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Creativity and Intelligence

Today, Kanye West (hopefully) releases his album “Jesus is King”. As I re-listened to his entire discography in order to prepare for what is essentially a Magnum Opus release, I wondered how intelligent Kanye West truly is. I found many news articles covering a video in which Kanye West says he got his results from Mensa and scored in the 98th percentile – an IQ of over 130. I also found a thread on the lyric website, Genius, where a few people debated over what his IQ is. What alarmed me was multiple people pointing out that IQ had nothing to do with creativity, which I knew to be untrue. Hence, the point of this post: to detail the evidence on creativity and intelligence.

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