Intelligence in Libya: Norms for the Verbal WISC-R

By Lynn, Richard; Abdalla, Saleh El-Ghmary et al. | Mankind Quarterly, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

Intelligence in Libya: Norms for the Verbal WISC-R


Lynn, Richard, Abdalla, Saleh El-Ghmary, Al-Shahomee, Alsedig Abdalgadr, Mankind Quarterly


Results are reported for a standardization of the verbal scale of the American WISC-R on a sample of 870 children aged 6 through 16 years in Libya. Scored against American norms, the sample obtained a mean IQ of 81.7. There was no difference between girls and boys in either means or variability.

Key Words: Intelligence; WISC-R; Libya; Sex differences; Variability.

In this paper we report data for a standardization in Libya of the verbal scale of the American WISGR (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised; Wechsler, 1974). The data are of interest for five reasons. First, not much is known about the intelligence of the populations of the countries of North Africa. In a compilation of studies of the average intelligence in the populations of 113 nations, in relation to an IQ of 100 for Britain, Lynn & Vanhanen (2006) were only able to give IQs for Egypt (81) and Morocco (85) among the North African nations. Furthermore, the IQ for Morocco was derived from immigrants in the Netherlands who are not necessarily representative of the population. In addition, we have reported an IQ for Libya of 86.5 based on a standardization sample of 6-11 year olds for the Coloured Progressive Matrices, and an IQ for Tunisia of 84 based on a standardization sample of the Standard Progressive Matrices on young adults aged 20 (Lynn, Abdalla & Al-Shahomee, 2008). The data to be reported for a standardization of the verbal scale of the American WISGR in Libya will therefore add to the limited existing research literature.

Second, the existing data for the intelligence of indigenous North African populations indicating IQs in the range of 81-87 are all based on the non-verbal Progressive Matrices. It will be useful to see whether similar results are obtained for verbal intelligence.

Third, the data to be reported give IQs based on American norms for each of the ages of 6 through 16 years. These will show whether the IQs of Libyan children remain stable over this age range. Data for the Coloured Progressive Matrices for Libya showed that the IQs of Libyan children decline over the age range of 6 through 11 years (Lynn, Abdalla 8c Al- Shahomee, 2008). The same age trend has been found in the United Arab Emirates and Yemen (Khaleefa & Lynn, 2008a, 2008b). It will be interesting to see whether a similar decline takes place in verbal intelligence.

Fourth, the data to be reported give IQs for boys and girls. It has frequently been asserted that females are better than males on the verbal abilities. For instance, "boys, from various cultures, are superior to girls on spatial problems; girls are superior to boys on verbal tasks" (Kagan, 1971, p. 182); "females are consistently superior to males in a wide range of verbal tasks" (Galsworthy, Dionne, Dale, and Plomin, 2000, p.206); "the well attested fact that women are stronger on verbal items" (Bartholomew, 2004, p. 106); "it is well known that females have about a one-third of a standard deviation (5 IQ points) advantage over males" (Anderson, 2004, p. 828). It will be interesting to see whether this is the case in Libya.

Fifth, it has often been stated that males have greater variability of IQ than females. This contention has been asserted since the early years of the twentieth century, when it was proposed by Havelock Ellis (1904), Thorndike (1910) and Terman (1916), and later reaffirmed by Eysenck (1981) and Hedges 8c Nowell (1995), and recently by Deary, Irwing, Der and Bates (2007). We will examine this, and again it will be interesting to see whether this is the case in Libya.

Method

A standardization of the verbal scale of the American WISGR (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children; Wechsler, 1974) was carried out in Libya in 2007. The performance (non-verbal) scale of the WISGR was not administered. The verbal scale of the American WISGR (Wechsler, 1974) was translated into Arabic. The method of back translation was used to check the accuracy of the translation. …

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