IQ is everything?

  • Thread starter roya-s
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  • #1
Hello .i'm Iranian girl,17, and I've finished my second grade of high school. this year is the last chance for participating in maths Olympiad but the biggest thing that caused I consider Olympiad after 2 years was I am afraid to not be a genius! You know everybody around me says the most important wealth for be successful in Olympiad first of all is your IQ and after effort, good teacher, facilities etc and it preoccupies my mind every time when there are a lot of guys smarter than me next there is no room for me! you think is right?!how percent IQ??how percent effort??i'm really crazy about math but it comes to my mind everytime if you CAN'T !do you think really When there is a will,there is way??
 

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  • #2
Simon Bridge
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Welcome to PF;
I made a study of IQ tests as part of my study of education and learning.
Long story short: they are all junk, and almost always misapplied anyway.
(I will upset some people with that statement - you watch. There are applications for IQ tests if you are careful - most people are not careful.)

The most important thing about a Math competition is just to be good at maths.
It seems too simple but it is the only important thing.

The whole comment abut IQ is just as you suspect: some people have a head start.
But you know what to do when someone is ahead of you in a race - you run faster.

It is good there are a lot of people better than you at maths (note: not smarter than you, that is meaningless) than you to compete against. That is how you improve. They all started out as the slow one too.
If you are really enjoying the competition, then keep going.

Think of yourself as an athelete, get a coach, train, practise against people who are better than you.
The World needs more girl mathematicians: you'll get nothing but encouragement here.
 
  • #3
Lavabug
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Concur with the above and...

Attempting to quantify these things is largely a waste of time when their translation into real-world performance is dubious at best. Asking if some achievements are out of reach because one wasn't "born with it" is not helpful, especially if it is not incurring some massive cost. Most weekend sports warriors do not reach their potential in athletics because they do not train specifically for it every day for years. What does one hope to achieve if one treats things like just a hobby? Not winning a prize, I hope.

I think this is just as true for performance on standardized exams, they are largely a skill that can and does get trained for. If you really take things seriously, starting at a disadvantage should not be a source of discouragement, only a signal to train much, much harder.

Anyway, you have nothing to lose here. Participating in the olympiad will only help you in distinguishing you when getting into colleges. And give you a little edge/additional experience in standardized exams, which for better or worse are a necessary skill.
 
  • #4
wukunlin
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IQ tests mean about as much as horoscopes to me.
 
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  • #5
Lisa!
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Hi roya, I suggest you to ask your question here: http://yasaman-farzan.blogfa.com/
You know Dr Farzan won a gold medal in physics Olympiad and now she's a successful physicist. I guess she doesn't agree that "IQ is everything"! :wink:
 
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  • #6
WWGD
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I doubt _any_ nontrivial situation in life depends on just one factor. Besides, even if IQ does measure something real, there is always drive/determination , opportunity, luck, etc.
 
  • #7
rolerbe
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In real life, it turns out not to matter so much if you are the smartest person in the room or not (regardless of whether that can or cannot effectively be measured by a test). Even if you are, you won't and don't have all the insights or ideas that get generated by the collective group -- not even as just a collection of individuals, let alone the synergistic effect of the dialogue sparking new ideas, etc.

The most fun is when you can't even trace back who the 'good idea' came from because it came from the group dynamic. Allows you to be greater than just your little old singular self. And that's exciting.
 
  • #8
leroyjenkens
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Having a high IQ means you're good at IQ tests.
 
  • #9
DiracPool
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Having a high IQ means you're good at IQ tests.

That's exactly right. The real measure of your intellect is what you produce over the years. If you have a low IQ score and publish papers in your field of study, or tutor people in your field of study, or just even make contributions on a website like this, then what really does this IQ score tell us? Not much.

A perfect example is the US graduate record exam (GRE). The first time I took that, I just walked in and took it. I thought it was like the SAT, which I remember the folk logic in high school was that it wasn't really a test you could study for, either you knew it or you didn't. I actually did really well on the SAT, and thought the GRE would be little different. Well, it didn't me long into the exam to realize in was in way over my head.

Getting a good score on the GRE is much more about learning how to take the exam, and much less about how smart you are. It is basically a maze of trick questions. If you don't know the techniques to spot these tricks, you're not going to do well. This is why entire books and many websites are devoted entirely to this subject.
 
  • #10
marmstrong941
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Don't worry about IQ tests

A IQ only test you on what some other person knows right. If the IQ test dose not test you on how well your mind works and what your mind can do what good is the test. Thing are made and things are learned not by what we know but by putting them together in a new way nobody but you can see.
 
  • #11
1MileCrash
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IQ tests mean about as much as horoscopes to me.


I really feel like I've said this exactly.
 
  • #12
exo
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I was actually going to make a thread like this I have this strange professor at the university who claims that if we don't have a high IQ we better start doing something else( my major is electrical engineering).I never believed that human intelligence can be determined by a single number and used measure future success.Anyway I took an IQ test and it's one of the biggest mistakes I've made.I got a rather high score of 130 and now everyone seems to be expecting more from me, people started treating me differently, it sucks.I think that anyone is better off without knowing his IQ if you are around the average it's ok but if you are above it some people start thinking "Oh he is going to be a millionaire by next year's end" which is certainly not the case and it's freaking depressing.I went from being a student with good grades(A and B's and an occasional C somewhere) to a student who is not fulfilling his potential.They should ban IQ tests.
 
  • #13
Evo
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IQ tests were developed to test for mental retardation.
 
  • #14
smart_worker
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If you don't know the techniques to spot these tricks, you're not going to do well.

Can you please name some of those techniques?
 
  • #15
rolerbe
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One trouble with IQ tests is bias based on localized societal norms and consensus expectations made about common background information.

Now an interesting question (to me at least) is what would an IQ test for E.T's look like? And which is 'smarter' dog or cat?
 
  • #16
Student100
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One trouble with IQ tests is bias based on localized societal norms and consensus expectations made about common background information.

Now an interesting question (to me at least) is what would an IQ test for E.T's look like? And which is 'smarter' dog or cat?

No one problem with IQ tests is that they're meaningless, I guess another would be that we have all these threads from people who think they matter.
 
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  • #17
AnTiFreeze3
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IQ tests were developed to test for mental retardation.

Amen.

Not to be brash, but they really were designed to see whether a person ought to be doing nothing more than cleaning floors or harvesting vegetables. The test falls apart when testing for the presence of intelligence or super-intelligence, as it's designed to identify a lack in intelligence.

I still don't hold any merit to it.
 
  • #18
Phycisists
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I have an official intelligence quotient of 87 which is relatively low in comparision to the average scientist. And I have to agree with the users above me, it has a minor interference with your daily life as long as you are not using these precisely implemented intelligences being in the test, like your spatial ability or memorization.

I'm very poor at the mathmatical questions in the tests, yet I'm very capable of learning about physics, it's just does not mean much. It tells you your habit of thinking, nothing else.

Also I have a question:

I've noticed that I'm functioning poorly when trying out IQ tests since I started learning physics non stop (3 weeks ago), could this be due to neuroplasticity as my brain is not being used to anything else that physics itself?
 
  • #19
Evo
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IQ tests online are just games. Real IQ tests are administered by trained psychologists.
 
  • #20
Medicol
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  • #21
ModusPwnd
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No one problem with IQ tests is that they're meaningless, I guess another would be that we have all these threads from people who think they matter.

They are not meaningless. Saying so is dismissive of many the professionals in social sciences, psychology, education and therapy. A low IQ score alone will qualify you for social security disability.
 
  • #22
Evo
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They are not meaningless. Saying so is dismissive of many the professionals in social sciences, psychology, education and therapy. A low IQ score alone will qualify you for social security disability.
No, a single low IQ score alone is usually not enough, other tests and diagnoses are usually required to get you approved. Have you read the requirements? I have, you would need to have an IQ under 59.
 
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  • #23
Chronos
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My original IQ test score, divided by my current age would give me an IQ somewhat less than 40. I would say that is not entirely inaccurate.
 
  • #24
Borek
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Comparing IQs is a pissing contest.

The only difference being, in a real pissing contest measurements are much more exact.

Especially on the snow.
 
  • #25
ModusPwnd
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No, a single low IQ score alone is usually not enough, other tests and diagnoses are usually required to get you approved. Have you read the requirements? I have, you would need to have an IQ under 59.

So what is it then? Many requirements or a single score below 59? The score alone is sufficient, as you should know since you read the requirements... (Its not necessary, but its sufficient. There is a difference.)

I think you are just arguing for the hell of it because your "rebuttal" does not address my claim, in fact it substantiates it. :wink:
 
  • #26
Evo
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So what is it then? Many requirements or a single score below 59? The score alone is sufficient, as you should know since you read the requirements... (Its not necessary, but its sufficient. There is a difference.)

I think you are just arguing for the hell of it because your "rebuttal" does not address my claim, in fact it substantiates it. :wink:
Yeah, I was just nit-picking because of how low a person's IQ would have to be in order to be the sole criteria. In most cases, more than one factor is considered.
 
  • #27
Simon Bridge
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@ModusPwnd:
Lets just review the claims...
They [IQ tests] are not meaningless.
OK, I'll agree with that one - insofar as there is nothing without meaning ... including meaninglessness. It's very zen but also trivial.

Saying so is dismissive of many the professionals in social sciences, psychology, education and therapy.
That is true also ... just as you should dismiss any pseudoscience practitioner.
A "professional" is just someone who makes money from something ... one can make money from all kinds of rubbish - means nothing.

A low IQ score alone will qualify you for social security disability.
You are arguing that IQ alone qualifies you for social security (in the US I'm guessing).
That says more about the US social security system than it does about IQ tests... let's think about this:

So US social security is available to, say, multi-millionaires if they have a low IQ?

With all the other support millionaires seem to be getting, that sounds a little excessive to me: where are the protests? Where are the picket lines? Or maybe you need to have a low IQ and also pass some sort of means test? [*]

But even if it is true - are you really arguing that something is scientifically valid because the US government uses it?

Of course, someone's use of logical fallacies to support a statement does not make that statement incorrect.
Perhaps the way forward is to consider "to what extent" and "in what way" IQ tests could be considered valid.

Generally they tend to be culture-specific (which is social-science speak for "racist").
However surveys, in general, and if carefully constructed and administered, can help you find stuff out about people. An IQ test could be treated as such a survey - but then, is it still an IQ test? Certainly the final IQ score does not mean anything by itself.

i.e. which IQ test do you have to underperform into get social security - or will they accept any test?

What's missing from the debate is citation to back up claims... here's some:
Accessible overviews:
http://www.skepticreport.com/sr/?p=371
http://observer.theguardian.com/focus/story/0,,668879,00.html

Academic references:
Pseudoscience and Mental Ability: The Origins and Fallacies of the IQ Controversy.
Race, Gender and IQ: the social consequence of a pseudo‐scientific discourse

But you will prefer:
Psychometrics, intelligence, and public perception
... which goes into detail about what a psychometric test needs to do in order to avoid problems - these things are seldom met in tests labelled "IQ tests". However, it is exactly the kind of thing you need to help support your claims. Together, the above papers should clarify why some people still support/defend IQ tests and why there is such a strong dissing for the whole field.

And a guide to arguing -
http://www.theskepticsguide.org/resources/logical-fallacies
... tends to save time.

--------------------------------

[*] Or maybe the social security support takes the form of admission to congress? Nah - elections are not IQ tests. At least - not for the candidate.
 
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  • #28
zoobyshoe
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They are not meaningless.
OK, I'll agree with that one - insofar as there is nothing without meaning ... including meaninglessness. It's very zen but also trivial.
I.Q. tests are not meaningless for a much more concrete, non-trivial, reason. The higher the score, the more aptitude for solving the kinds of problems set forth on I.Q. tests is indicated. Whether that aptitude is the result of something innate, or the result of learning, is an ongoing debate, but the indicated aptitude doesn't seem to be controversial. It's tautological: a good score on an I.Q. test indicates an aptitude for I.Q. tests. It follows that the aptitude would carry over into any work resembling an I.Q. test.

If I were hiring engineers, or accountants, or programmers, or even machinists and auto mechanics, I would consider an above average score on an I.Q. test as something very much in a candidate's favor.
 
  • #29
Medicol
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Hell, I did a test and I got 3/15. I just don't know why I couldn't solve the problems.
 
  • #30
Evo
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Hell, I did a test and I got 3/15. I just don't know why I couldn't solve the problems.
Online tests and self administered tests don't count, when we say IQ tests, we are only referring to actual IQ tests administered by a specially trained psychologist.
 
  • #31
Char. Limit
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I don't remember when it happened, but according to my dad, I got a psychologically done IQ test done once and I got a 173 IQ. At least I think that's what it was. Either that or 137.

So yeah, since I have a high one, IQs are therefore all-important and you should use them for everything. I'm totally not biased at all.
 
  • #32
StatOnTheSide
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I have been trying to improve my problem solving skills and I have some experience to share. When I read an IMO type of question, there are three stages for me.

1. I freeze after reading the problem. It takes a while to understand the problem (not always but most of the time). I believe that cognitive ability (measure of which is IQ) plays a major role here. It is just a matter of time. If you stare at it for a while, it will sink in. Certain heuristics given in Polya's book help in getting a grip on the mathematical situation given in the problem.

2. If I managed to cross the first phase, then the second phase is to figure out what can be done to solve the problem. A proof is basically a chain of implications. A=>B=>C=D, A, B, C, and D being mathematical statements. It can be more complicated like (A&B)=>(C OR E) => D. The tricky thing about really hard problems is that while statement A would be given, they say nothing about statements B, C and E. We will need to show that D is true. So based on experience, B, C, and E have to be "figured out". More obscure these intermediate statements, harder the problem. If these intermediate steps are more in number, then the problem gets exponentially harder.

These intermediate steps are the ones Paul Zeitz refers to as the "crux moves".

Here too, better cognitive skills will help. I feel that it is not as crucial here as in #1 because once I cross the stage mentioned in #1, then it is a matter of working hard to figure out potential candidates for statements B, C and E. For me, being creative and coming up with more number of potential crux moves is easier than the first stage which often happens to be a big problem. Nevertheless, this stage of problem solving is not trivial at all. This is perhaps 70 on a scale where step #1 is 100.

Metacognition is what is needed in this stage. You can read Alan Schoenfeld's "Mathematical Problem Solving" for more details. Having good control of "direction of thinking" is extremely important for this stage and the final stage of problem solving.

3. This step is the final step in solving the problem. I feel that this stage is almost as hard as #1. I do manage to come up with humongous number of potential crux moves. But IMO problems are very difficult because seeing the crux move is very very hard. Most of the times, after seeing the crux move, proving them might be hard too but is a problem of lesser magnitude.

I have solved some problems from the IMO (only 1s and 4s). Lack of intelligence can be made up by practicing a lot of problems. That way, getting through stage #1 will become easier if there is good familiarity with the mathematical situation that is given in the problem. Also, practice helps in gaining good control in using tools (like recognizing the auxiliary construction in geometry, or looking for something that is a constant or a mono-variant etc). Stage #3 is subject to the creativity that I have in the area on which the problem is given.

Quite honestly, I believe that intense practicing "in the right direction" can get you through IMO even with moderate IQ. But I needed a tonne of practice to solve a meager number of IMO problems.

I may not have added much here to what others have said but thought I will share my experience. Basically IMO requires intense training and also guidance from someone who knows. IQ is needed to a good extent but given that many of the medalists start out from nowhere, it must be possible to get to IMO bronze medal level with intense training. One thing to keep in mind is that good meta-cognitive skills are needed on top of good intelligence. Changing direction of thought based on the fact that current approach is not working is very critical. I used to simply keep trying one approach and not back off inspite of knowing that it is not working. I can now (after a lot of practice) try a lot of directions in order to solve a problem.
 
  • #33
Evo
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That's nice. Nothing to do with IQ tests.

Thread closed.
 

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