Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Smart Koreans

With an estimated average IQ of 106, South Korea is second only to tiny Hong Kong in this list of the Average IQ in US and 80 other nations, taken from IQ and the Wealth of Nations, beating the US and Canada at 98 and 97 respectively.

The reason for high Asian IQs─ Hong Kong, 107; Japan, 105; Taiwan 104; Singapore, 104; China, 100 ─is suggested in these Findings on benefits of learning Asian Characters. If the thesis is correct, and I see no reason why it should not be, then I expect a dip in South Korea's IQ in the near future, as for more than a decade Korea's own Levellers have been promoting a disuse of Sino-Korean characters in favor of relying solely on the native phonetic script, Hangul*. This trend, thankfully, is reversing, as parents are naturally smarter than educational experts.

As an aside, there may be more than a correlational relationship between the findings of these two articles: S. Korea has top suicide rate among OECD countries: report and National intelligence and suicide rate: an ecological study of 85 countries. This also suggests that intelligence and virtue are not necessarily correlated.

I see intelligence as analogous to physical fitness. Barring disease, disability, or disfigurement, we all have the potential to be relatively physically fit, and many of us to play sports reasonably well. [I cannot count myself among this latter group.] However, it is as rare to have the God-given talent to become an Edson Arantes do Nascimento as it is to become an Athanasius Kircher, S.J.

*"...in 2002 the name was changed to "yeon ju hwang," meaning "light orange," but that was called a form of discrimination and civil rights abuse towards children for being a difficult word based on Chinese characters that was is hard for them to understand" ─ from Six Children Found a New Korean Term.
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Blogger Edward said...

Hong Kong is not a "country."

11:15 AM  
Blogger Iosue Andreas Sartorius said...

Of course it is not. However, Hong Kong is considered separate political entity for these of statiticians. Shanghai is even considered separate by PISA.

11:55 AM  

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