Today we explore the brain power of the Old Continent as we take a look at 10 smartest countries in Europe.
Testing for intelligence has always been a controversial subject in psychology. For starters, there several types of intelligence one can be tested for, like analytical or memory intelligence. Differently inclined people will receive different results depending on the test they have been given.
Some of the first studies of intelligence in the 19th century have (wrongly so) shown that African nations are lagging in IQ department, while countries in Europe were painted as the smartest in the world. This false fact was often used to fuel various racist theories and justify slavery and colonial land grab conducted by European powers, culminating in Rudyard Kipling’s poem The White Man Burden.
Another factor that can seriously affect any intelligence test is education. Regardless of how actually a person is smart, it won’t do them any good on the test if they are illiterate or unaccustomed to the testing procedure.
But even with the most accurate test in the world, IQ is just a number. What you do with it is what matters. Stephen Hawking, undoubtedly one of the if not the smartest persons in the world, said that only losers boast with their IQ. Remember when your teachers kept telling you how you need to apply yourself and work hard, even though you were smart? It seems they were right.
But that is all beside the point, as this list can secure the biggest reward of them all, the bragging rights. No more of that unscientific “X nation is smarter than Y nation” based on nothing but myths and old tales. These results have been observed by serious studies and are undeniable. Granted, they don’t mean much except for aforementioned bragging, but now you can claim that you are smarter than your neighbor with a full backing of a scientific community. That got to count for something, although it is worth noting that there aren’t any European countries in top 3 places on the list of the smartest countries in the world.
All countries on our list have what is referred to as average IQ and the difference between the last and the first is just 3 points. For what’s it worth, Germany, Poland, Estonia and Sweden came very close to claiming a spot on the list and only few decimal points kept them from it, so these three countries get an honorable mention. Let’s see who has the most bragging rights on our list of 10 smartest countries in Europe, if even by a point or two.