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British Mensa IQ test upper limit

  1. Nov 8, 2008 #1

    Jonathan Scott

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    Back in 1988, after moving to a new area, I thought I'd take a British Mensa IQ test to find out my IQ and then perhaps be able to get in touch with intelligent people. On both the practice test and the supervised test Mensa said that my Cattell-scale IQ was 161 (equivalent to about 141 on Stanford-Binet and corresponding to the top 0.5%), so I was in. I was a bit disappointed to find it wasn't any higher given some less formal results and rumours from my youth, but on the other hand 1 in 200 meant it might be easier than I had previously feared to find similarly intelligent people. I went to a few meetings and activities, but never seemed to find any really shared interests, and later met more interesting people through music (including the person who is now my wife). So much for Mensa.

    Anyway I only just discovered today from British Mensa's own website that 161 is the maximum Cattell IQ which British Mensa actually quotes as a result for the adult test, in that any raw scores for that particular test above that level are assumed to be insufficiently reliable to assign a specific IQ. I never heard anything about this before.

    So that means that back in 1988 when they told me my IQ, what they should really have told me is that my IQ was greater than or equal to that value and that if wanted to know it more accurately I'd need to find some other test. So I've been under the illusion for 20 years that they had measured my IQ but in fact they'd set only a lower limit on it. That really makes me feel stupid!

    Anyway, I'm sure it's too late to do anything about it now. With the frustration and stress of my current job, as well as far too frequent headaches, I barely have the intelligence to work out the surface volume of a 4-dimensional black hole, let alone how to operate the timer on my cooker.

    So if you take an IQ test, make sure that your precise numeric result isn't just an "off-scale" reading.

    And can anyone here actually recommend any higher-IQ associations (I guess I qualify for 99.5% percentile), or are they all based on the fallacy that being intelligent is somehow a shared interest?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2008 #2

    Evo

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    Why do you even care?

    I only know my IQ score because at the age of eleven my teacher insisted that I have my IQ tested, I would never have actually sought to know because a number isn't going to make me more or less intelligent, it certainly isn't going to impart any knowledge or expertise.

    I already knew I was smarter than everyone else, I didn't need a test to affirm it. :tongue:

    And yes, my score is much higher than yours. muwahaha :smile: I guess that makes me proof that an extremely high IQ doesn't mean much.
     
  4. Nov 8, 2008 #3

    Jonathan Scott

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    I cared mainly about the difficulty of finding people smarter than me when I wanted to understand more about the universe. So far, PF is the only place I've seen any suggestion that they actually exist (but they are probably mostly too intelligent to reveal their existence to me). At the time I took the test, I also wanted to know the chances of finding people who could at least keep up with me.

    And, yes, it would be fun to be able to compare, but since I now realize I only know a lower limit to my adult IQ (and that only 20 years ago), I can't play that game.

    (Well, I can try. I know that at 11 my "reasoning quotient" was much higher, but no-one would tell me what it was. I think from hints that it was in the low 170s. I was subjected to various other tests, but no-one would tell me the results, except for one where I was simply told I was "off scale" but so were several other people in my year at Winchester College).
     
  5. Nov 8, 2008 #4
    Do you expect to be taken seriously? You want to meet smarter people so they can teach you more about the universe? In high IQ societies nonetheless? The people that understand the most about the universe don't waste their time in those ridiculous high IQ societies, let alone bother with a meaningless number.

    Oh wait, my bad, you really are ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  6. Nov 8, 2008 #5
    why would you want to know more about the universe from people with high IQ?? In my opinion, you really are looking in the wrong direction. I share the same sentiments as Werg22.
     
  7. Nov 8, 2008 #6
    Stop being a pompous jerk. You might have a high IQ, but apparently you scored a 0 on the common sense test.
     
  8. Nov 8, 2008 #7

    Ben Niehoff

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    A surefire way to avoid making friends is to wander around assuming you are better than everyone else.

    Edited to add: It seems to me that you want to meet interesting people; not necessarily people with high IQs. If you work in science, there are probably plenty of interesting people around, with whom you could have engaging discussions. If you're a loner, then it might be hard to come up with things that you like to do that you can actually share with someone...sitting around working out equations for black holes is not generally a social activity. Try something like hiking, dancing, or music (as you've done already). Invite people over to your house, and try your hand at keeping them entertained...it could be a new challenge for you. Overall, try focusing on how awesome and interesting other people are, rather than trying to evaluate whether they are worthy of your friendship.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  9. Nov 8, 2008 #8

    Jonathan Scott

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    Don't worry; I learned some better priorities long ago (nearly all of those 20 years). I gave up on high IQ stuff and Mensa in particular long ago, and resumed my interested in playing classical music instead. Now I've just come home from performing a very enjoyable classical musical concert of piano trios with my wife (who plays the cello) and a local professor of physics who is also an excellent pianist.

    I've never had problems making general friends, so that comment wasn't relevant, but I do have difficulty finding ones who can discuss my scientific interests.

    When I started this thread earlier today, I was just very grumpy at having been misled by Mensa all those years ago. I was very isolated at the time, and the idea that 1 in 200 (or to put it another way, 1 in 4 Mensa members) should be at least equally intelligent had seemed quite a relief, as that seemed like a lot of people. (I've subsequently remembered that since I got the top place in the "eleven plus" exam in Hampshire in 1967, that was probably more like 1 in well over 10,000 at the time, so I should have suspected that the 1 in 200 was too good to be true).

    Apart from classical music, my other main hobby all my life has been physics, but as I work in computer programming I have only rarely had bright people around with some knowledge of physics so that we could discuss the nature of the universe. There was one person at my computing job in the early 1990s who seemed like a genius to me and helped me understand some aspects of General Relativity, but he died in a car accident.

    If you have university or academic connections, or work in some area of science, it's obviously easier to use those contacts to discuss physics, but in the position I was in at the time, it seemed statistically easier to meet bright people and see if any of them were interested in physics (or classical music, for that matter). I also now realize that the people I met through Mensa were probably no brighter than many of those I met through my job or through my university courses, and mostly somewhat more weird (as others might also have said about me at the time). I'm a bit curious to know if anyone here had any better experience with other higher IQ societies, but as I mentioned with my Mensa score I would only have been eligible for slightly higher ones anyway.
     
  10. Nov 8, 2008 #9
    Hey guys I have an IQ of 500, why is everybody around me so stupid? :(

    I'm looking for non-stupid people to be friends with. Do you guys know any?
     
  11. Nov 8, 2008 #10

    OmCheeto

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    Google: Prometheus Society

    entry level is 1 in 30,000

    I should point out that I've never belonged to that or any other high IQ society.

    I like to surround myself with brilliant and imbecile alike. Makes for a more colorful life. Although people who are below the 1 in 30,000 stupidest people annoy me a bit.
    It's almost impossible to steer them away from conversations which consist of either slow unexplained laughing or the intricacies of their wonderful new trailer hitches.
     
  12. Nov 8, 2008 #11

    turbo

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    I have known a few MENSA members, and I'll stick with Groucho's philosophy - I wouldn't want to join any club that would have me as a member. In years of playing music (especially blues), I have become close to truck-drivers, appliance service-people, landscapers, loggers, etc, that may not have huge IQs, but are a lot smarter than a lot of "intelligent" people.

    Disclaimer: I was tested early and often because in the early days of the cold war kids with scientific aptitude were groomed for engineering, tech, and applied sciences. I quit engineering school after my first year because I loved English Lit, Philosophy, and other Liberal Arts courses that we never got sufficient exposure to in our rural JHS/HS. BTW, a girl in my graduating class and I both scored 99.5+% on our SAT's despite attending a HS in which there was NO calculus class offered. We worked our tails off.
     
  13. Nov 9, 2008 #12
    who cares. really at this point in my life social maturity is much more important to me than iq. i can stand someone who is dumber than me but i absolutely cannot stand someone who is socially inept.
     
  14. Nov 9, 2008 #13

    Jonathan Scott

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    Yes, I understand his point. As Mensa members are less than 1 in 50 of those eligible, Mensa members are more strongly selected by their choice to join than by their eligibility, and those who actually participate in activities are a much smaller subset again. I've met several bright people through music, computing or science activities who turned out to be members of Mensa, but I met very few people through Mensa activities who shared my interests in music, computing or science, presumably because those people had better things to do.

    I'm not interested in actually joining any higher IQ society now, but I've been curious to know whether having a higher IQ threshold than Mensa might have actually led to a society which was more useful to its members.

    I'm sure I'm less intelligent than I used to be anyway. Once or twice a year, I get some time over a few days to think about physics and I write extensive notes on what I manage to sort out, but in recent years, the next time I go back to them it often takes me longer to understand what they mean than it took to write them in the first place.
     
  15. Nov 9, 2008 #14
    I've been looking for a test that measures a person's ego. Does one exist?
     
  16. Nov 9, 2008 #15

    Chi Meson

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    The tactful test is another good one to try.

    To the OP:
    We have had a number of Mensa threads over the past few years. There are several folks here who have been members in the past (myself for one), and several others who could have joined, but saw no reason, and others who know people that are members.

    If you like Scrabble, then maybe it's worth joining, but other than that there is very little reason to be a member. As far as intelligent online conversation (that's what I was looking for) the Mensa chat areas (a Compuserve forum and a listserve) paled in comparison to right here in PF.

    The listserve, especially, was dominated by hugely arrogant "more mensa than you" personalities. The Compuserve forum was OK, but even there I was not impressed. Evidently many mensans believe their high IQ means they are right. And although few I encountered had any scientific background, they felt that their personal theories of the universe has equal merit with those of Einstein, etc. About the twelfth time I heard "but that's only a theory!" I had to leave. I couldn't abide it, not worth it.

    Everything you need is right here.
     
  17. Nov 9, 2008 #16

    Jonathan Scott

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    Thanks - that seems to be true.

    Now if only I could find a way to filter out the stuff I don't need, then life would be perfect.
     
  18. Nov 9, 2008 #17

    OmCheeto

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    Argh. The voices. Please make them stop....

     
  19. Nov 9, 2008 #18

    brewnog

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    What an idiot. No offence like.
     
  20. Nov 9, 2008 #19

    wolram

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    My IQ went around the clock and stopped at 90.
     
  21. Nov 9, 2008 #20

    Chi Meson

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    90°? As in π/2?
     
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