Letter: Brain-teaser

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Fay Weldon's assertion that higher-intelligence people tend to constitute the "haves" in our society is almost certainly correct ("The poor and the illiterate we will always have with us", 20 December). However, virtually all her supporting evidence and the basis of her argument is unsubstantiated.

She confuses low measured IQ with mental health problems and social exclusion. She asserts that intelligence correlates with career success; I know of no evidence linking measured IQ, as opposed to "being smart", to job success in any specific career.

We have no idea what proportion of any individual's measured IQ is utilised in any particular activity in their life. Who are we to assume that IQ is present or not present when someone does something stupid or, worse, fails to cope with modern life? This approach is a preliminary to eugenics.

Frequent research has indicated that the occupational group with the highest measured IQ are psychologists, whose colleagues devise the questionnaires. Does this not give the lie to Ms Weldon's whole approach?

Dr COLIN SELBY

Chartered Occupational Psychologist

Bath

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