This Chart Shows Just How Much Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Earlier this week we wrote about the Flynn Effect, which is the theory that worldwide IQ has been steadily increasing over the past century.

We came across more intelligence research by Jonathan Wai of the Duke University Talent Identification Program, who co-authored the paper on how SAT scores prove that we are getting smarter (though he told us that, as is mentioned in the study, they don’t know if these are “real gains” or the result of other factors, like increased test-taking sophistication).

In another study, “Spatial Ability for STEM Domains: Aligning Over 50 Years of Cumulative Psychological Knowledge Solidifies Its Importance,” Wai evaluated the general intelligence of people across professions. He and his co-researchers at Vanderbilt University looked at a random sample of 400,000 high schoolers (from ProjectTalent, which tracked them for 11 years), and the resulting chart shows verbal, spatial and maths ability (labelled as V,S and M) as measured by a series of tests. General ability (shown on the x-axis) is a composite of the verbal, spatial and maths ability.

See also: 47 Ways To Make Yourself Smarter >

Measure of IQ across professions

Photo: Jonathan Wei, Duke University

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