Psychology Professor Dr. Jordan B. Peterson gave a talk in March 2017 where he said (in the first minute of the video):

If you go back and look at the records at Harvard, for example, in the early 1960s, the typical IQ for a Harvard student was abouy 105 to 110 - not much above average. [...] Anyways the average Ivy League was bright, but not outstandingly so. Now, it is like an IQ of 145 - three standard deviations above the mean. The reason for that is that they are selected by the SAT.

But this blog article references a 2003 study suggesting the Harvard average is about 122.

Is there any conclusive data on this?

  • 2
    Just to illuminate the claim, an IQ of 145 represents the top 0.13% of the population.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 12, 2018 at 1:26
  • 3
    Which is over 400,000 people in the US alone (assuming IQ is independent of location ) Feb 12, 2018 at 15:05
  • Harvard 15 years ago does not necessarily equate to all Ivy League schools 1 year ago. Although somewhat suspicious; I wouldn't take the Harvard static as any type of evidence for that being incorrect (though I am interested in more information on this as well).
    – JMac
    Feb 12, 2018 at 15:14
  • 2
    I'm battling to find any references that aren't blogs from dubious "researchers" for this claim. Either this is data from a minor source, or Peterson is just making up the claim based upon SATs and presumed associated IQ. Even then it is probably too high. Either way, Peterson isn't a reliable source of information. brainsize.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/the-iqs-of-academic-elites Feb 14, 2018 at 12:22
  • 2
    @ArcanistLupus and only about 5,700 people in the 18-year-old US population -- the Ivy league admits about two-and-a-half times that many students
    – user134593
    Jul 8, 2018 at 16:30


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