Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops:

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by quest7, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. quest7 macrumors member

    quest7

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    #1
    A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city. … “This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America against people of a certain class,” Jordan said today from his Waterford home. “I maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye color or your gender or anything else.” … 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. The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average. … 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.

    http://mblogs.discovermagazine.com/...ampaign=Feed:+DiscoverMag+(Discover+Magazine)
     
  2. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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  3. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #3
    Sounds ridiculous, but I think the court ruled correctly.

    Unfortunately intellect isn't one of the 'suspect groups', so neither the strict scrutiny nor the intermediate scrutiny rules apply.

    If the dept. showed that what there is a rational basis for what they did (which here they did), that's that. If, say, the dept. didn't hire Jordan because he's black, and blacks lead to high job turnover - and even showed concrete proof for it to boot - they would lose. But for intellect, this doesn't apply.

    So... yeah.
     
  4. Molecule macrumors regular

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    #4
    By those standards, Detectives Goren and Nichols from Law & Order: Criminal Intent would never get in.
     
  5. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #5
    And Gil Grissom, forgetaboutit.

    So, they get detectives from the ranks of 104 I.Q.ers. Wow. ;)

    The crooks are winning. Anyone have I.Q. numbers for criminal masterminds?
     
  6. ct2k7 macrumors 603

    ct2k7

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    #6
    Or Horatio Caine, or even Mac Taylor.. heck, even any CSIs.

    So, police officers with lower IQs floating around - surely that's not good.

    Criminals IQ ranges between the 14 year old who got shot in someone else's home to the person who commits murder and leaves no clues of his existance.
     
  7. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #7
    So you're guaranteed to never come across a smart police officer?

    How depressing! :eek:
     
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #8
    Now you understand how they can get them to pepper-spray peaceful demonstrators.
     
  9. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #9
    This is a pretty common and utterly false idea: that "intelligence" is somehow biologically determined. First is the problem of measuring "intelligence," IQ is a bunch of BS. Second is the problem of separating genetic and environmental factors. I would argue that socio-economic status has a much greater effect on "intelligence" than genetics.
     
  10. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #10
    OK, granted it's an amalgam, but if you don't have the grey-matter to begin with, no amount of socioeconomic status will help.
     
  11. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #11
    True, you literally need a brain, but it is exceptionally difficult to separate hereditary and environmental effects when it comes to the study of "intelligence." I have yet to see a study that successfully disentangles the two. Studies of monozygotic twins raised separately could theoretically be informative, but even these rare sets of twins are often brought up in similar environments. This doesn't even touch on the problems of how to measure it in the first place.

    Anyway, I think to bar someone from becoming a police officer because they scored too high on an intelligence test is silly.
     
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #12
    I agree with everything you've said, plus there is another way they are acting silly. The police department is barring high IQs only on a theory: "... on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training." This seems to say that someone thinks that officers who leave the department are the higher IQs, but no one has actually crunched the numbers to see if it's true.

    Seems to me it would make more sense to figure out how to keep the brainiacs, rather than setting the bar lower, eh?
     
  13. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #13
    Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study.
     
  14. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #14
    Those studies are hardly conclusive. You can see the arguments played out in Scarr & Weinberg (1976), Levin (1994), Lynn (1994), Waldman et. al (1994), Scarr (1998), and Loehlin (2000), or just Wikipedia the study. My point here is that it's bloody complicated, but many people have been lead to believe that "intelligence" is obviously largely genetic. Environment plays a profound role, and let's not even start to think about complex G x E interactions.
     
  15. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #15
    I agree.

    At least Corporate America walks the line, and judges the candidates demeanour as well, to try and determine if they are a 'flight' risk.

    If they didn't, their offices would be full of sub-104 IQ dullards. ;)

    And THAT is reserved for Swivel Servants. :D ROTFLOL
     
  16. interrobang macrumors 6502

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    #16
    If the cops get too smart, they might start challenging the smarter criminals.

    Since the smart criminals are more commonly known as "lobbyists," this cannot be allowed to happen.
     
  17. Molecule macrumors regular

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    #17
    Well, Neal Caffrey from White Collar has an IQ of about 5 billion :)
     
  18. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #18
    I'll bet somebody with a low IQ put this policy in place.
     
  19. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #19
    According to Kurt Gebhard Adolf Philipp Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord (German commander-in-chief of the wartime Reichswehr):

    So as long as New London ensures that their new officers are both stupid AND lazy, everything should work out fine. It's those stupid diligent ones that need weeding out!
     
  20. LorenK macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Not All Police Departments

    My sister just retired from a Wisconsin police force, so not every department is so narrow-minded, hers is upwards of 130. But then maybe that's why she had such a problem with her chief.:D
     
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #21
    GxE interactions really explain tons of the variance in tons of stuff.

    I take issue with the idea that measuring IQ in general is BS, however. I don't know anything about the test they used (it sounds like some simple screening instrument), but the well-validated tests of IQ clearly produce highly reliable results that have strong validity demonstrated in a variety of ways, as long as effort/motivation are taken into account. What you do with a measurement of IQ is another matter entirely, but the measurement itself is sound and the tests have clinical utility in a number of areas.
     
  22. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #22
    It would be disingenuous for me to claim that IQ doesn't measure something. However, it is also disingenuous to claim that IQ measures some kind of "general intelligence."

    Time for me to spout a tautology: a test can only measure what it tests.
     
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #23
    Yes, that would be bad, but I don't think that represents the status of intelligence testing. IQ measurements, besides providing a reliable estimate of a general factor that predicts performance on lots of cognitive tasks (at least in healthy people) are found to be stable predictors of a wide variety of other things. However, I don't test healthy people, and I'm (more than 90% of the time) not interested in what it tells me about how "bright" (or dim) my patients are so much as something or other useful that it can tell me.

    (And don't get me wrong -- there are issues in measuring IQ, especially with respect to acculturation, of which anyone who uses these tests must be aware. Also I'm not at all sure I see the value in testing a group of people routinely and selecting a subset of IQs to perform a job, although I guess I haven't seen their data).
     
  24. mobilehaathi, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

    mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #24
    We can definitely agree that it is an instrument with certain correlations that might be useful in certain clinical settings. We can also agree that what matters with respect to IQ is how and for what one uses it.

    My biggest problem with IQ is its status in many people's minds as a monolithic near-flawless measure of "intelligence" and all of the political and social finagling that follows.
     
  25. iJohnHenry, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

    iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #25
    Two days of testing in this manner, worked in my favour, when I switched careers.

    It was really more about how my mind worked than anything else.

    Being 'above-average' in HS certainly didn't have any appreciable affect while there. ;)
     

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