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Intelligence (IQ) as a Predictor of Life Success

Anna Firkowska-Mankiewicz and Jerzyna Słomczyńska
International Journal of Sociology
Vol. 32, No. 3, A Society in Reconstruction: Psychosocial Aspects of Radical Systemic Change in Poland (Fall, 2002), pp. 25-43
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20628656
Page Count: 19
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Intelligence (IQ) as a Predictor of Life Success
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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to assess the impact of intellectual functioning (measured by standard IQ tests) on success in adult life. Empirical material for the analysis presented comes from a Warsaw panel study conducted over almost a quarter of a century. In the 1974-76 study, we focused on mental performance of a cohort of Warsaw eleven-year-olds. More than twenty years later, in 1994-95 and in 1999, the same people from the high- and low-IQ groups were approached again and their educational, occupational, and economic attainment was examined. Our analysis shows that the early measured IQ is a relatively good predictor of life success in terms of objective indicators. However, we were not able to separate the effect of IQ from its environmental correlates. Moreover, the IQ measures from the early period and from adulthood do not explain subjectively understood life success. On the basis of the 1999 panel study, we point out that the correlation between intelligence measured at ages thirteen and thirty-six is moderate. Taking these results into account, we conclude that the importance of the role of IQ in predicting life success should not be overestimated.

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