Is national mental sport ability a sign of intelligence? An analysis of the top players of 12 mental sports
Lists of top players for 12 different electronic sports (e-sports) or traditional mental sports were collected from a variety of sources (total n = 36k). National cognitive ability/IQ was found to be a predictor of the relative representation of countries among the top players. This was particularly true when an overall mental sports score was calculated. Controlling for population size, this metric correlated r = .79 with Lynn and Vanhanen’s published national IQs. The relationship was fairly robust to controls for geographical region (coefficient 74% of the original). Furthermore, it had been suggested that IQ estimates for Nigeria were spuriously low due to the country’s prominent performance on Scrabble. However, when performance across all other sports were taken into account, Nigeria’s performance was what one would expect based on the previously reported mean IQs near 70.
Kirkegaard, E. (2018, February 14). Is national mental sport ability a sign of intelligence? An analysis of the top players of 12 mental sports. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/9qnwy
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