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How can I accurately measure my own intelligence?

  1. Jul 12, 2006 #1
    So, I've done extensive IQ tests and other tests regarding logical and spatial puzzles, picture puzzles, language tests, and other tests I can't remember.
    It was done some months ago by a psychologist, took about 7 hours to do, but I'm not really happy with the result.

    While the results were "average" on all counts, I feel this doesn't really encompass me.
    I'm not trying to say I have above average intelligence either, I am not satisfied because the test didn't really tell me anything about myself.

    If I went out there and started studying physics, programming, computers and all these academic topics, would I get a sense of my potential?
    Or would that perhaps be a false indicator, considering my lack of experience?

    I do have some experience with Perl programming, I know CSS and HTML, which I found easy, I deal daily with computers, and would really like to dig into physics and how the world works, but it seems hard to do by myself without education, or can I do it by myself perhaps?

    Well this thread ended up being about several topics, but I hope I can get some answers.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2006 #2

    Evo

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    The test done by the psychologist would give you the more accurate, yet totally meaningless "IQ" number.

    Not to be mean, but anyone that judges himself or others based on a number isn't intelligent. Do you really need someone to hand you a big number in order to feel that you have self worth?

    You can always learn things on your own, but when you're young and looking for employment, that degree is going to be very important because you'll just be one of hundreds or thousands of resumes on someone's desk and you won't have the chance to get in front of them to let them hear what you know.

    I truly cannot relate to your concern over whether or not you are intelligent. Just do your best, learn what you can about things you are interested in and stay out of philosophy forums.
     
  4. Jul 12, 2006 #3
    Haha, what does that mean exactly?
     
  5. Jul 12, 2006 #4

    Mech_Engineer

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    I kind of enjoy philosophy forums. Nothing wrong with a little mind-twisting here and there for some personal gorwth :yuck:
     
  6. Jul 12, 2006 #5

    Mech_Engineer

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    ...oh and I definitely believe this, but that doesn't mean I haven't tried a few IQ tests here and there :biggrin:
     
  7. Jul 12, 2006 #6

    Evo

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    Philosophy forums, similar to general discussion, will stagnate all mental ability. Except in GD, we actually discuss real things. :uhh: :biggrin:

    Getting an average score on an IQ test could just mean you don't test well, or you don't take those particular kinds of tests well. I'm the opposite, I test very well, but I know squat.

    You strike me as very intelligent, don't worry about a test score. Your knowledge, personality and ability to do the things you do are what others will judge you by.
     
  8. Jul 12, 2006 #7

    Evo

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    Oh we've all succumbed to those online tests, I find the more I take them, the higher my score gets.

    I took one of those online tesst that are timed on a dial up connection, then re-took it on a dsl connection and my score increased exponentially. Conclusion - DSL increases IQ.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  9. Jul 12, 2006 #8

    Mech_Engineer

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    I'm smarter than DSL, I have 8Mb/s Comcast Cable! :cool:
     
  10. Jul 12, 2006 #9

    Ah, well sorry to say I used to live in the Philosophy forums here on PF.. Hehe..

    But I've come to the conclusion that philosophy is mostly just discussing stuff that we are waiting for some scientist to solve, at least the major topics like consciousness and infinite regress.

    It's the real work being done that brings humanity forward, the actual physical work.
    On top of that computers fascinate me, yet I know very little about their inner workings.
    Well I do know what RAM is and what a CPU is, but beyond that everything goes fuzzy..

    Anyway, I have decided to purchase some books on computers, and go from there, physics seems a little hardcore at the moment and I have no specific use for it beyond my own satisfaction, but no doubt I will learn more about it as time goes by.

    Perl programming and Linux here I come!

    :)
     
  11. Jul 12, 2006 #10
    The philosophers have been contemplating such questions since the dawn of man ;)

    EDIT; Aplogies if i took your post literally and it was a sarcastic pun, hard to tell from a forum
     
  12. Jul 12, 2006 #11
    Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven.

    Edward de Bono
     
  13. Jul 12, 2006 #12
    Where were you the last time I criticised IQ tests:smile: I got really roasted for daring to suggest they weren't indicative of holistic intelligence(well not really roasted, people are too polite here) You know all the broad things that encompass intelligence in particular creativity and intuitive thought, but also in other areas such as lateral thinking skills and multi tasking, something men are traditionally bad at.

    The IQ test to me is a general indication of how well you would do in a western style education system, which is why it is considered less accurate by most, the older you get, as it tends then to reflect your level of education, or in some cases how many IQ tests you've done:smile: ; if people want to take something this arbitrary as a measure of absolute intelligence they are missing that this is not what an IQ test is about, it isn't that specifically geared, it is a generalised standard, that may or may not test your overall intelligence accurately, depending on how old you are, which areas you excell at that are not encompassed by the test and any learning difficulties you may have, e.g dyslexia, discalculia and other mental conditions,that may hide your intelligence behind an inability to comprehend numbers or questions quickly enough, which is a factor in the test.

    Of course I am a genius, I don't need a test to tell me that:wink: :biggrin:

    I seem to remember Feynman had an IQ of 127 or something that was above average but not special. That's another thing too, creativity does not appear to increase significantly above a certain level of intelligence, and this is the most important skill IMO for a scientist, at least one that wants to come up with something beyond the ordinary.

    I think it's true to say though, there is no test that could encompass something as complicated and difficult to peg as human intelligence, not with our current level of sophistication in understanding the human brain and where intelligence comes from, the IQ test is a nice try and a good general indication but it does have some real areas of concern.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  14. Jul 12, 2006 #13

    DaveC426913

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    Arguably, motivation and persistance are more important factors than intelligence.
    Intelligence without motivation or persistence will get you nowhere fast. Trust me on this one...:cry:

    Seriously, don't worry about what a test tells you you're good at. You'll do best at doing what you love. Trust your feelings on this. You'll gravitate towards learning things you enjoy. And read read read.
     
  15. Jul 12, 2006 #14
    No doubt, don't worry about it. You probably know yourself better than any test can measure, so you should pay more attention to what you think than what external evaluations say. Some stuff is hard to put into words, but you just perceive it in yourself, so don't worry if a test doesn't grasp the complexity of you (I recommend astrology for that:biggrin:, but even then there's a danger of becoming too attached to what an outside source tells you)
     
  16. Jul 12, 2006 #15

    GCT

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    Put it this way, if there exists such a thing as "high IQ" you would see realistic manifestations of it. High IQ gets you good grades, makes success commonplace (e.g. businesswise), gets you a pretty girl, wins you a noble prize...basically sets you apart.

    If you're not familiar with any of the above situations then you don't have a superior IQ, and if you think that somehow the potential is dancing around in your brain in some abstract form you might want to see a psychologist for more serious issues....If you're searching for "something" and you have no idea what that "something" is, but you think that this "something" will "somehow" drastically change your life. There are plenty of ways to assess yourself, with all of the competitive situations you've been exposed to so far, you should take what you've learned so far and move on with your life.
     
  17. Jul 12, 2006 #16

    Evo

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    At the school for the "Academically Able" in Dallas, TX where my school tried to convince my parents to send me (you had to have a 140 minimum IQ to even be considered, it was not enough to guarantee admittance), the graduates were a short order cook, a belly dancer, a housewife, no one great came out of all the GENIUSES attending this special school for the highly gifted. In other words IQ is meaningless, it is motivation, determination and creativity that get you good grades, makes success commonplace (e.g. businesswise), gets you a pretty boy/girl, wins you a noble prize...basically sets you apart, NOT a HIGH IQ. I have a genius IQ, but I got so frustrated with school, I lost my motivation. Obviously I'm not a genius even though I have paperwork that says so.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2006
  18. Jul 12, 2006 #17

    loseyourname

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    The thing is, those aren't really the major topics in philosophy, although arguably the philosophy of cognitive science has made the best progress of any field in recent years thanks in part to the collobarative efforts with AI research and cognitive psychology (but it is neither limited to nor encompassing of consciousness studies). They just happen to be fields that members here seem most interested in.

    I'd say the most active topics today are the indispensability of mathematics in the sciences (esoteric, but legitimate progress has been made by people like Hartry Field and Hilary Putnam), bioethical issues (abortion, euthanasia, animal research, veganism), cyberethics (the ethical status of synthetic persons should we ever manage to create them, intellectual property rights in the Napster era, also philosophy of law topics), holism vs. reductionism (especially in biology), and of course, the renewal of the "what makes a theory scientific" discussion that's come up thanks to the ID craziness.

    I should probably give a nod to the philosophy of language as well, especially the age-old questions of what the words "truth" and "existence" mean.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  19. Jul 12, 2006 #18

    Moonbear

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    Well, that's good enough for me! I declare you intelligent. :biggrin:

    A lot of high achievers don't get there based on intelligence alone. More important is how well they've persevered through the failures, and how motivated they are to put in their best effort and hard work to get to the top.
     
  20. Jul 12, 2006 #19

    GCT

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    Then what the hell is IQ? Why even consider its existence? I would tend to believe that those individuals you've mentioned "short order cook, a belly dancer, a housewife," finally realized the uselessness of the IQ tests. Parents pressure their children to take these tests, at times the moronically desparate ones who can't stand to live without their own delusions of superiority, the naieve child doesn't know why he/she is taking the IQ test, but after being told of his/her genius IQ, abandons all fun in his/her and real experiences in life to fortify the special talent. Who made the child special. It's the parent and teachers that made the kid "special." Even a elementary school student, if he or she has a talent, should know of it completely. But most of the children who go into these gifted schools don't what's going on.

    I acknoweldge that despite whatever my IQ may be, I'm willing to give it its significance and accordingly to acknowledge that I don't have the special gift seeing that no talent of mine has ever set me apart to the point where the talent would become an everyday responsibility and where I would need to constantly attend to my special ability. However, I am content to have succeeded on other levels with my 3.82 major g.p.a. and with As in all my higher math and physics courses, but I maintained this attribute through constant acknowledgement of what I am and am not able to do.

    I have no doubt that you're intelligent, but I'm sure that you have many other accomplishments in your life that would be good indicators of it, even if they may not be as satisfying as the result of an IQ test, seeing that such a test has an aura of competitive validation to it. A lot of the people that I've encountered, people that I've known personally and those that profess to the need for such tests, seek such tests because of a false sense of inadequacy, and "overreact" by trying to succeed through IQ tests. Unfortunately, I'm sure that many of them find the experience disappointing, but how much sense does it make to become emotionally distressed over "nothing?" An issue without a basis, except an issue which the individual created himself/herself?
     
  21. Jul 12, 2006 #20

    Evo

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    IQ tests were originally created to try to find learning disabilities, it was not designed to determine higher intelligence, people have been misusing the tests. I don't think people should consider IQ scores, there are too many reasons a person could score poorly such as lack of sleep, illness, text anxiety, etc... Nowdays, people can actually prepare for IQ tests just as they can prepare for SAT tests (which are sometimes used to equate IQ). It is not realistic.

    People need to get away from "IQ" scores and look at real life knowledge and accomplishments. I can't count the numbers of morons I've met that were dumber than dirt that were Mensa members. :rolleyes:

    This doesn't mean that you can't be brilliant and also have a high IQ score, it's just that the two don't necessarily go hand in hand.
     
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