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Average IQ

  1. Dec 16, 2009 #1
    I'm going to preface this post by stating that I have an above average IQ. I'm curious about those with average and below average IQ's, especially in relation to academic pursuits.

    Is it possible for someone with an average IQ to be successful in physics (successful means whatever you want it to mean- within reason)? I don't quite know what challenges an average person would face when studying physics. Is it outrageous to think that an above average IQ is unnecessary when studying physics? Would it even be possible to succeed in physics with a below than average IQ?

    If you, or if you know of anyone who has an average or below average IQ please let me know what they have struggled with throughout their studies.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2009 #2
    I have a below average IQ, I think, probably, my wife says so anyway. My biggest struggle has been dealing with all the idiots in the physics field I have to work with. :)
  4. Dec 16, 2009 #3


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    As our resident goddess Evo has pointed out repeatedly in the past, the only thing that an IQ test measures is your ability to score on an IQ test.
    I took the most stringent test that was available at the time, in the late 70's (Four Sigma Society) and scored in the 99th percentile. That was when I was on several beers and before I got on the meds for ADD, but a few years after I dropped out of high-school.
    I'm on Social Assistance (Welfare in Yank-speak), waiting on AISH, and have accomplished absolutely nothing in my life.
    One's ability to cope with developments in one's life is a far more accurate measure of social accomplishment than is an external perspective of one's 'official' intellect.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  5. Dec 16, 2009 #4
    I have a below averige IQ is what peopel tell me before. I'm physics, but not like the NBA theyre sogood. I forget.
  6. Dec 16, 2009 #5
    but one thing, the IQ test are made from PhD thesis, they are not necessarily a true value, unless they made some device that can calculate straight from the brain..

    besides, in IQ test there's a time limit for it, and sometimes even a genius are taking time to take a thing that is new for him/her.

    (sorry, for my speculation, this is only my raw opinions :D )
  7. Dec 16, 2009 #6
    Some of the questions are open ended, leaving alot of room for finding higher order patterns that the test maker overlooked.
  8. Dec 16, 2009 #7
    yea, and some didn't make the same repeated question at least 3 times. Because, hmm, if only once, maybe he.her only pin point that question.. Doesn't know whether they truly know that question..

    (sorry, for my english)
  9. Dec 16, 2009 #8
    It is all nonsense.

    One of my coworker had scored in top 10 in a national exam in his country when he was young. Most people thought he would be very succesfull. But, now he has masters and working as a normal engineer.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  10. Dec 16, 2009 #9
    I have never taken an IQ test. What is the point? Other than an ego boost I don't see a benefit. I have a big head as it is. And then I'd fine myself comparing scores with other people, making condescending judgements because my score is better. And then finding those that have a higher IQ and experiencing intelligence anxiety. Bah, I'll just go on thinking I'm the smartest person in the world.

    Besides, the test sounds like a bunch of work for no pay...

    I'm sure I share this attribute with many other geniuses. I already know I'm intelligent and too lazy to take the test. :)
  11. Dec 16, 2009 #10
    The only thing that an IQ test measures is your ability to score on an IQ test.

  12. Dec 16, 2009 #11


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    IQ tests being nonsense or not, I know some STUPID people in the master's program that I'm in. Blindly memorizing and regurgitating formulas in the hopes some of them come together to form an answer is not exactly a full proof way of failing out of physics... at least at my level.
  13. Dec 17, 2009 #12


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  14. Dec 17, 2009 #13
    yea drankin,
  15. Dec 17, 2009 #14


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    I remember reading somewhere (Goleman?) that the correlation between achievements and scores in marshmallow test is higher than between achievements and IQ.
  16. Dec 17, 2009 #15


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    That wasn't a fair test! Within 10 minutes, I had successfully flicked my marshmallow off of the face of the clock, into a basket of crayons, off of the forehead of the blonde girl sitting across from me, reshaped the marshmallow into a Q-tip and cleaned the ears of the boy sitting next to me, then reshaped the marshmallow into a football with one point coated in ear wax, then successfully flicked the football so it became lodged between the glasses and eye of the evil brunette girl sitting across from me, and then she ate the damn thing! And then they blamed me!
  17. Dec 17, 2009 #16


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    I have always scored high on IQ tests, from kindergarten up through high school (99%). I dug up some of my old testing info a while back when I was feeling pretty worthless intellectually. It was a sad attempt to join MENSA, which I thought would boost my intellectual self esteem. I had quite a few tests that automatically qualified me, but I did some research and I'm glad I didn't join.

    On my first trip through college I spent my time working with practical applications of thermo (cars), instead of applying it in the classroom. I was skipping a lot of class and most of the homework. I still did well on all my tests, but sacrificed sufficient parts of my grades to homework and sometimes labs (I'd be there for the labs, but not write them up sometimes). I scored well enough on the exams that I'd pass with a C, sometimes B in the class depending on how much homework and labs were worth (meaning I had A scores on the exams). When it came time to go into upper level engineering, I did not have the required GPA so there was nothing left to do. My classmates that didn't do as well as me on the exams, but did all of their homework and labs ended up with better grades. Hard work beat out raw talent.

    Now I work in a job that only requires a 2 year college degree, which is basically a formality to sit through (doesn't even require college algebra). I make very good money, and excel at my job, but am far beyond the education required for it (so it's not very rewarding). All the respect I've gained from coworkers and engineers feels false.

    Except for the money, my "high IQ" and ability in physics amount to very little in terms of success at this point. I've learned some lessons, and will be applying them when I go back to school shortly, but unless I can succeed this time, I'm an example against high IQ = success in education/sciences.
  18. Dec 17, 2009 #17
    It's very typical human behaviour to follow the path of least resistance. A high IQ isn't a requirement to be successful. Certainly can help but has to be applied with work ethic to really benefit.

    No different that someone who is a naturaly superb athlete but doesn't participate in sports.
  19. Dec 17, 2009 #18
    Well crap, I want to get a Masters and become an engineer. If thats not successful, then what the heck am I supposed to do? :uhh:
  20. Dec 17, 2009 #19


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    Which is exactly my point. I just felt it important to put in the detail for the OP.

    Although I think "work ethic" is a poor description for this situation, I would certainly agree (and posted so) that working hard in school can prove to be more successful than simply being able to understand the material. Outside of school, a person can be a hard worker without required redundancy (such as homework). In a case such as school, it's almost impossible to bypass the redundancy and be successful, but "work ethic" is applicable to much more than just school. I'm sorry, I know what you mean, but I couldn't help but clarify since it's an issue that hits close to home.

    Pure stubborn work and raw talent both have their merits. Different situations are tailored more storngly towards one or the other, but neither is a guarantee of anything.
  21. Dec 17, 2009 #20
    Being an athlete is essential to be good at most sports, but is having a high IQ essential to be good at most jobs that require mental prowess? Like, for example, does your IQ have any effect on how good you will be as a biologist?
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