BTW, no-one I know who owns almost nothing more than a few bookshelves would use it just to "be smart" as the Will Hunting character seemed to. It is an overriding fascination, and curiosity-lust that drives such people, not the drive to be some sort of "hot shot." I find it rather strange that he had no desire to turn his knowledge into some contribution to the community he learned so much from. A very unbelievable character.
I think his blue-collar background and his history as an abused child account for his lack of willingness to contribute to the community out of his intellectual gifts. His contribution to his community of friends was made in other ways... chiefly through his loyalty, the main currency that mattered where he came from. As the film makes clear.
And Will Hunting didn't work at being smart. He just was. I find him quite believable.
Yes, a survey done of millionaires showed that there isn't much of a correlation of earned income and IQ. This could also be because a lot of the millionaires had inherited much or all of their wealth. But even amongst self-made millionaires, I think the study showed that most people were of average intelligence. I think the stereotype is that the 'geniuses' are mad scientists who don't care about money but inventions or else are ill suited to the demands of business. Like Tesla. Then there are the smarty pants in the tech revolution who can succeed at both, or else are wise enough to get business partners.
Just to clarify, self made millionaires are typically above average intelligence (very few are below average), but the factors after that involve some form of discipline and hard work.
However, the relationship with raw income is complicated. Those with higher IQs tend to have higher education, which has higher income. But education is also a filter for other traits, meaning that high IQ isn't enough, you must still be willing to work through various economic signals in order to have the higher income. Having the higher IQ simply makes it easier (and at a certain point, it becomes prohibitively costly, timewise, so you get less and less lower IQs at higher educational positions). Or better put, high IQ won't help you all that much unless it's mixed with other traits, but lower IQ will hurt you on its own.
Also of note is that while higher-IQs generate higher incomes (in aggregate), wealth (which is what is mentioned as "millionaires") barely correlates at all. That is, high IQ people are just as prone (in fact, more so) to wasting money/not saving/not investing/overspending/bad debt/etc. Income and wealth are not a significantly correlated as one thinks; the tendency is to match income with expenditure. If you are poor (say, you save 10% of a 30,000 household income) or if you are rich (say, you save 10% of a 300,000 income), you both will match your old income at the same time. Thus it is the QOL of the earner that matters - you can be as happy and as stress free with a lower income.
I have a thing for gifted and ingenious people, and they never seize to amaze me. On my Norwegian blog I wrote on the topic of gifted children in schools, and how bad the situation is in Norway, and I was wondering some things. First of all just let me say I mean gifted in the IQ sense, and not gifted in the sense of students who do well in school. I mean in the talent sense, not in the results sense.
My questions are then... How is the situation for gifted children in your country in school? How should school for these children be? If you are gifted yourself (especially interested in 140+ IQ responses, and please mention your IQ), how did you experience school?
As I mentioned the situation in Norway is terrible. Gifted children have absolutely no rights, and no extra considerations are made. Actually they will quite often get negative responses from their teachers for being too quick, and are being told they should keep the same tempo as the rest of the class. Of course many, if not most, will experience social problems as well, and feel utterly alone. The school is not a good place for these children. They love to learn, but because they are not challenged, many will become highly unfocused and retreat to their own world, will develop awful working habits and never realize even half of their potential. Learning in a school environment will in general become very difficult.
I think the idea of special schools for students with an IQ of for example 140 or more is excellent. Both learning and social environment would improve dramatically. Of course in my country, such ideas are looked down upon, because one doesn't want any difference in treatment. What they fail to realize is that these children have very special needs, and that is why special schools are needed. In Norway 0,5-1 % of students are likely to have serious learning or environment problems because of high intelligence. Nothing is done, and we are probably one of the worst countries in the western world at taking care of these children. It's bloody provoking!
I tested gifted as a child and was asked to switch schools in order to be in a gifted classroom. I actually pitched a fit to my mom in protest & she declined my acceptance. I didn't want to be put in a special classroom and be labelled different than the other kids. I felt different enough in my head and I didn't need everyone else to figure it out, I guess. Plus, I felt that attention would be brought upon me and the thought of it really scared me. However, throughout elementary school, I was taken out of my classroom twice a week to do logic and math puzzles. In junior high and high school, I was placed in honors level classes.
I tested gifted partly due to my highly visual learning style - I think in pictures. I also tested gifted in the mathematical/scientific/logical sort of way. I can instantanously do mathematics in my head. My brother tested gifted in an artistic way & is actually now working as a tattoo artist. He's amazingly talented.
I feel I was very lucky to have been raised in a family of educators, so my giftedness (and my brother's giftedness) was celebrated and encouraged. We didn't have conventional toys, instead we were given educational activities to keep us occupied. I was normally given logic problems & all sorts of puzzles to work on and my brother was given art supplies to encourage his natural artistic ability. We travelled quite a bit during the summers with my dad's side of the family (because a family of teachers also is a family of summers off!) and always always always did educational sort of things when on vacation - like visited museums, etc.
The ways giftedness hindered me involved my own personal fear of not belonging and being ostricized. I'd also dumb myself down in order to stay under the radar. My brother didn't seem to be as bothered by this sort of thing. I was the one who made the decision not to be placed in the appropriate classroom for my intelligence level and I was the one who also opted against skipping a grade. My mother simply followed my wishes when she decided to keep me out of the gifted classroom.
To answer one of your questions, I was rather bored throughout school and didnt really feel challenged until college - and even then I didn't feel challenged until I started my upper level Physics courses. There was a period of time in high school where I would act out & skip classes just because I was incredibly bored and felt like I knew more than the teacher about a given subject. I also, unfortunately, have the classic gifted child problem of extreme perfectionism. I'll admit that I've thrown away a few opportunities because I felt as though I couldn't do them perfectly & therefore would purposely fail in order to gain control. There's nothing worse for me than to fail after trying - which I realize isn't a good thing. So school for me was a bit of a power struggle, I guess. I'd either do something extremely well or I'd purposely stop trying on behalf of my fear of failure. I noticed that my brother had the tendency to do the same thing & I feel like he also felt school was extremely easy and couldn't see the purpose of learning at what he perceived to be a slow pace. I also felt that classes were taught at an extremely slow pace for me & in college I was known to only show up for exams in lower level classes without attendence policies. Having to sit through a class moving at a snail's pace was equivalent to watching grass grow for me. My brother felt the same way and actually ended up dropping out of college as a result.
I am unsure about whether or not I ultimately shortchanged myself by declining education more appropriate for my intelligence, but I do know that the end result would've probably been exactly what I am doing now - getting my teaching licensure so I can teach Physics in an inner city high school. I feel I am very lucky to have been blessed with such a gift, but I've never been satisfied by knowledge alone. I think when recognizing giftedness in children, the child's personal mission or satisfaction should also be considered. Not every gifted child wants to simply do their talent for the rest of their lives - some need to apply it in order to feel satisfied, some (like me) need to incorporate it into a job that helps improve the lives of others, some want nothing to do with it at all and so on...
Again, thank you for sharing. My thought is that a child should not be forced to change or go to any kind of special school if the child doesn't want to. If the child doesn't want to, it won't work. But again, there is an enormous difference between a school for gifted children and special classes for gifted. If you go to a special school you won’t have the problem of being labelled different, at least in the environment you will mostly be in. But how well this would work will greatly depend upon country. How prestigious a school is and so on has absolutely nothing to say in Norway, my native country, but in most countries it does have something to say. And in the countries where it does have something to say, elitist culture and other differences based only on school will much easier become reality.
I had an interesting lecture today, where I learned (or reminded anyway) IQ at early age is actually explained to a larger degree by environment than heritage. The heritage factor becomes larger and larger though, and among adults, it’s about 0,80. But that is kind of a problem, because if you want to find the gifted kids at an early, what you to a large degree will find, is the kids with best home environment, while kids that might be more gifted, but are from a worse environment, will develop their IQs later.
I had a complicated relationship with formal education. One year, I was placed on the "needs extra help" class, and the next I was placed in the "gifted and talented" class. The latter was optional. I turned up, but then decided that it was a waste of time and I would rather be playing football (aka. soccer). Everyone tells me that I am really smart. Of course, I can't hear everyone say this because they are really, really, really far away, but I am assured that they do.
Make of that what you will, I suggest a ballon animal (a ballonimal?), supposing that you are very talented.
A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.
I'm inclined to believe due to my own experiences in both school and sports setting that no amount of hard work makes up for talent with a sufficient amount of work, so I am strongly against special schools for hard working children simply because efficiency in results is a feedback mechanism that has been developed by nature in order to signal to humans (and to other species too) what they are most suited for; thus, the only combination that should be regarded as worthy of special attention is one that produces the best results in an allotted quantity of time, which is a direct function of skill.
In any case, I am also against special schools for very bright children. Separate attention from the side of the teacher (which might encourage them to pick up more advanced books on their own, for example) would be enough to guarantee sufficient development of the "bright" kid on his own.
Feelings of entitlement come more from (socio)economic class than anything else. I've known gifted kids from underclass backgrounds who get sent to magnet schools or else get schoalrships to prestigious private schools who never swallow old-school airs of superiority. They can't. Because that world, regardless of their acknowledged intelligence, is not really for them, even though they have been given a side-door in.
I come from a working class family and the greatest majority of my class-mates are from upper middle class families, thus I think your post is most insightful. In fact, this makes me feel much more out of place rather than being brighter than average simply because the relationship is down-top rather than top-down.
Hey! A topic of discussion where I can project a unique and valuable viewpoint. Woohoo! See, because I went to a special school like what you're talking about. The local Catholic diocese ran an accelerated five year high school for kids graduating the 5th grade. Anyone was welcome to enroll if they passed a standardized entrance test, but the job of staying in was entirely on the student him/herself. To give you an idea, my freshman (2nd year) class was 60 people, the largest yet accepted, and I graduated with 30 people, the largest senior class.
They offered all the tutoring you could ever want, but in the end there were no special accomodations made that would slow down the pace of work.
In the end, however, it was more or less a regular high school. Those who could handle the rigors found enough of a larger peer group to be socialized age-appropriately, those who were even further ahead could find accomodation either doing special work ahead of other students or, if beyond high school range, could work with the nearby college to enroll in a class or two.
Honestly? It taught me a lot about myself and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world. I learned not just the pedogogical knowledge that would have been pounded into me at another school, but the need to work for it. It taught me that, however smart I am, someone else is smarter. It taught me that adults would not just hope for, but expect and demand my best. For once in my life, I felt totally normal!
Is it the silver bullet for education? Absolutely no. Yet neither is it ineffective or unwarranted, especially in my region, to give students the advantage of grade skipping without the downside of devastating their ability to relate with peer groups. I realize this post is rather vague, but I'm typing from work in-between other distractions, so if I can contribute in a specific sense please don't hesitate to ask.
"The subject chooses to sit in shadow and search for wisdom by reflecting upon his trial. The problem is not that he is cold and wet, but that cold and wet seems problematic, so he embraces those hardships in order to best them."