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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Obama's IQ is still ~116

It will be interesting to see the disbelievers in pattern recognition attempt to explain this one away. You may recall that back in 2008, I noted that Obama's IQ had an absolute sub-Mensa ceiling of 129 and that there was good reason to believe it is around 116. So, it was interesting to read this article discussing the relatively low quality of the 1981 class of students transferring to Columbia, which included one Barack Obama:
Breitbart News has learned that the transfer class that entered Columbia College in the fall of 1981 with Obama was one of the worst in recent memory, according to Columbia officials at the time. A Nov. 18, 1981 article in the Columbia Spectator, “Tight Housing Discourages Transfer Applications to CC,” written by student Jeremy Feldman and quoting admissions officials, reported: “On paper at least, the quality of the students accepted [as transfers] has declined along with the number of applicants, the officials say.”

Among accepted transfer students, the average combined math and verbal score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test is a 1,100 and their grade-point average at their former schools is about 3.0, Boatti said.
There were 67 transfer students with an average SAT score of 1,100. Guess what that equals on the SAT to IQ conversion chart? It's between 115.51 and 116.55, depending upon whether one uses an SD of 15 or 16. Now, this isn't absolute and conclusive proof that Obama's IQ is 116, as it could well be a little bit higher or a little bit lower. But probably not much higher, because if he scored even 100 points more on the SAT, he wouldn't have had to go to Occidental in the first place.

This is because the range from which that average SAT score was calculated was the 67 selected from the 450 who applied. That average was also 100 SAT points lower than the average Columbia freshman score of 1200. So, I would assume that the absolute low end SAT that Columbia accepted for transfers was probably half that gap, or 1050, which equates to a 111 IQ. So, we can reasonably conclude that Obama's IQ is probably somewhere between 111 and 118, which is not very far from my original estimate of 116.

Nor am I the only one to have concluded that Obama possesses moderate intelligence rather than the exceptional intelligence in which the more credulous still believe despite the accumulating evidence of his presidential term. At the end of his 2011 post on the subject of Obama's intelligence, which focuses on the Harvard Law Review and Harvard's graduating honors, Ace of Spades said this:
Hah! This guy guesstimates that based on tangible proxy evidence, which is right in the middle of where I figured it would be. Now, this guy is not just completely making things up. He knows, because there are records of it, that Obama was not a National Merit Scholar, or National Merit Finalist, or the lowest subcategory, "Outstanding Participant." (This seems to be an honor conferred by the College Board (the SAT people) primarily if not exclusively based on SAT scores.)

Since Obama did not make the list for any of those automatically-conferred SAT-based recognitions, we know his SATs must be below those thresholds, setting a hard upper cap on his possible SAT scores. We can then figure his highest, likeliest IQ score, because the SAT is just a modified version of the old Army IQ test. Current IQ tests and the SATs are both derived straight from the old Army IQ test, testing pretty much the same things and in pretty much the same ways. Different scoring system, but same ultimate term of comparison -- how you rank compared to the general population, expressed as percentile.

Not dumb, but I never thought he was dumb -- just not a genius. 116's a perfectly respectable score, but no one goes bragging on it and claims to be a genius at 116. No on ever says, "I'm a mere 30 points away from qualifying for Mensa," for example.

Good catch on that National Merit thing.
Well, its absence on Obama's record appears fairly glaring when you're a National Merit whatever yourself. Hilary Clinton, for example, was National Merit. I don't remember if I was a finalist or a semi-finalist, though. I know they gave me some sort of certificate at a school assembly, but I can't recall which one it was. I would assume semi-finalist, though, since in addition to having the SAT scores confirm the PSAT, being a finalist requires "having an outstanding academic record, and being endorsed and recommended by a high school official" My academic record would be better described as "unique" than "outstanding", since I was the first National Merit student to graduate without honors in the school's history. Intelligence is a poor substitute for hard work.

Furthermore, it should be noted that a 116 IQ is a full standard deviation above the norm. It's not calling someone stupid to estimate that they are smarter than the majority of the American people. In fact, based on the 30-point communication gap, there is reason to believe that a 116-IQ president is more likely to be successful than a Mensa-qualified 132-IQ president. There is far more to success than raw intelligence, particularly in a field such as politics that requires lots of people to like you.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous September 04, 2012 1:11 PM  

Why are their so may people posting here, including the author of this inadequately researched and poorly written article, who have received high IQ scores, astounding grades, and rewards for their academic aptitude and intellectual superiority but who also lack the intelligence and long term memory to remember their own test scores and grades?

Blogger Sean Wolf September 06, 2012 5:23 PM  

My demonstrated quotient was clocked in at only 139 on a good day and a meager 121 on a bad day. Mensa is a petty attempt to get you to pay for something rather meaningless. I didn't take the SAT's and skipped two years of college anyway without needing boastful recognition or grade school scores. Nearly all of my mates who graduated with honors ended up not doing much with their life with the exception of the top of the class who had the good fortune of pumping my gas a few years later. It's not how high your quotient can be demonstrated to be,... it's what you do with it in the real world.

Blogger Justthisguy September 10, 2012 8:03 PM  

Just found my old score report. 1489 in 1967. 1300 will get me into Mensa it seems. Looks like I could spot folks 20 points due to the beer, and still be Smarter Than The Average Jew.

I was a Finalist, one of two Gentiles among the dozen or so from my HIgh School. Had I opted for the Minimum Stipend, I coulda been a Scholah.

I got the usual Aspie grades. That is, As and Fs.

Blogger anomy September 21, 2012 2:15 PM  

I don't think that a highly intelligent person would ever become president. Intelligent people who cannot be manipulated easily are rarely elected as leaders. Most people do not want a leader that they cannot easily persuade.

Anonymous mark September 22, 2012 8:44 AM  

Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard. The average university student has an IQ of 115 - 125. Its safe to say that to get in to Harvard and graduate with highest honors he'd have to be smarter than the average college student - He'd be at least in the top 10%. His IQ is most likely somewhere between 125 - 165.

Nixon = 143 (Genius)
Ford = Unknown
Reagan = Unknown
Carter = 151 (Genius)
Bush Sr= unknown
Clinton = 135
Bush Jr = 126
Obama = unknown

Anyway IQ isnt everything as Nixon was a Genius and screwed up. JFK only had an IQ of 117 and he's considered one of the greatest presidents.

Blogger Gadfly1234567 October 01, 2012 2:56 AM  

You know nothing. Please at least take a graduate level class on cognitive assessment, psychological measurement, or theories of intelligence before you espouse bold and likely erroneous conclusions on a complicated subject.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."
--Bertrand Russell

Blogger Miville October 23, 2012 2:02 PM  

High intelligence is a handicap for a centre-left POTUS, since such a job rather requires the ability of relinquishing one's own intellectual powers to higher powers of darkness, as happens in most performing arts and also in magic, voodoo and also yoga : turning off the mind is the most difficult mystical task in all religions, bad and good. Whatever Obama's intelligence scores, which I think were quite high as he was a Harvard Law student, he had to lower them deliberately by various training methods to become the kind of president he is. This IQ discussion is irrelevant. One may surmise if at an earlier stage of his life, when he had to appear intelligent and perform high IQ tasks, he used his own inborn capacities or already resorted to channelling high IQ entities. Blacks are known to be better at channelling and voodoo possession, and whenever they seriously and obey a genial and moral entity for several years, they end up acquiring its very kind of intelligence, however mediocre were their own mental capacities, and the reverse is also true for people who sell their soul for mere riches and power : maybe Obama actually became more intelligent to succeed in school and then deliberately dumbed himself down to to let his mind-programmers do their Manchurian candidate job. Blacks are also known to score lesser IQ in general, but what as a group they lose in one-track-mind abilities they gain in multi-tasking abilities, and a multi-tasking mind capable of handling many stressful thinking processes in the same time is the one most useful to a president rather than the former. The incapacity and unwillingness to write just a good paragraph is typical of entity-possessed persons who otherwise do have a very high IQ hardwire so to speak. You may object Obama is also a white man by his mother and thus possess all the white man's capabilities as well of the black's (I am caricaturing and dealing with Jungian archetypes, not actual racial capabilities) but his mother was Irish, another human group more gifted with inborn magic and channelling propensities than with native personal intellect (and also for that very reason subject to Anglo-Saxon and Jewish racism exactly in the same way as the Blacks, and having been the same kind of slave race in America).

Anonymous Anonymous December 16, 2012 2:13 AM  

Yes, President Obama, who graduated Harvard law, Magna Cum Laude, and Editor of the Harvard Law Review, is a real dumbass!

Anonymous Andre September 13, 2013 4:38 PM  

So what you're saying is when the President goes to congress to speak, he's the smartest man in the room?

I had to do that one.

Thanks for this, I really wish he would release his records so we wouldn't have to speculate.

Blogger Charles Flaum November 23, 2013 7:41 AM  

This is called the lucky guess factor. Lighting For Artwork

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