Mensa IQ Test

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  • #26
As mathwonk likes to say, hard work is much more important than a high IQ. I agree with this. Michael Jordan didn't become who he was just because he was genetically gifted. He busted his butt in the gym every day making sacrifices that others didn't make.
 
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  • #27
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Whatever IQ measures I'm undecided as to its utility in life. If having a high IQ gives you confidence to go out, challenge yourself and learn, then by all means, make it the central figure of your identity. It'll be to your benefit. If you can push yourself without that drive, I don't think it's important or special. I've found use in deciding what I want to be (kind, intelligent, thoughtful, faithful, etc.) and simply living into the trait.

No one is anything by mere virtue of scoring highly on an IQ exam, in my opinion.
 
  • #28
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In my opinion, IQ tests can be very useful and some of them do a good job of indicating intellectual potential. I would not dismiss them as useless. For example, there is a correlation between IQ scores and a person's profession. I recall a book I came across in the university library that had a section about this topic. Sorry I do not have the reference.

One study listed various academic specialties, along with average IQ tests for each specialty. I wonder if members of this forum might want to guess which specialty had the highest IQ? Actually, there were two at the top, and they are closely related. :)

My original point was that just smugly trumpeting your IQ score is no substitute for actually doing something that will actually reveal you to be a high IQ person. People think of Feynman, who was certainly of far above average intelligence, as a very brilliant man, not because of any IQ test, but because of what he actually accomplished. Feynman had it all: high intelligence, immense curiosity, a strong work ethic, determination, etc. I would say a high IQ is a necessary but not sufficient condition for high achievement in STEM fields.

One other interesting item while I'm on the subject. In the book I mentioned, it pointed out that among the people who worked in the high IQ STEM fields, most did somewhat better on the quantitative tests such as SAT than on the verbal. The only exception was theoretical physicists, who did slightly better on verbal ability.

I would say also that if someone is very smart, they should be grateful but also determined to make the most of it. Physics is a good subject for this. As Bridgman said, physics is doing the utmost with one's mind, no holds barred. But I would say mathematics, or any science or engineering field, is also great. We need smart people to go into all of the STEM fields. I would encourage kids who show signs of high intelligence to do just that.
 
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  • #29
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One study listed various academic specialties, along with average IQ tests for each specialty. I wonder if members of this forum might want to guess which specialty had the highest IQ? Actually, there were two at the top, and they are closely related. :)
This is unverified without proper citation. I'd like to see how they would get enough data to be able to do this.

The APS and AIP have sent out many surveys to their members. NOT ONCE was there any survey or question regarding IQ scores. Never! So if the organization in which practicing physicists in the US belong to do not have such data, what are the odds that another entity will have a reliable and accurate data on IQ scores of physicists, for example.

And I believe this is true for most of the other professional organizations, if not all.

Skepticism, analytical inquiries, and the demand for valid data, which are all necessary in any scientific analysis, need to be applied here.

Zz.
 
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  • #30
Aufbauwerk 2045
This is unverified without proper citation. I'd like to see how they would get enough data to be able to do this.

The APS and AIP have sent out many surveys to their members. NOT ONCE was there any survey or question regarding IQ scores. Never! So if the organization in which practicing physicists in the US belong to do not have such data, what are the odds that another entity will have a reliable and accurate data on IQ scores of physicists, for example.

And I believe this is true for most of the other professional organizations, if not all.

Skepticism, analytical inquiries, and the demand for valid data, which are all necessary in any scientific analysis, need to be applied here.

Zz.
You raise the appropriate objections to my unreferenced statement. Of course it's not enough for others to rely on my memory, so I accept your objection.

However, I did manage to find the following links. I'm not sure they reference the specific book I mentioned, but it's a start.

https://chhaylinlim.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/average-iq-per-college-major/

http://www.randalolson.com/2014/06/25/average-iq-of-students-by-college-major-and-gender-ratio/
 
  • #31
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IMHO IQ is a load of rubbish.

Without going into the details why, I had an IQ test done by my GP who has just completed his qualifications as a psychiatrist - you have to do a year as whats called a registrar here in Aus before you can start practicing your specialty unfettered, but are still qualified. While doing that he still saw his regular GP patients, especially those that were of a psychiatric nature. He basically thought them useless because they often have various focuses. Knowing I was a strong math type he administered one that was tilted toward that. I got 151 - it was used to shut up the people that were causing me trouble. But my linguistic skills were not quite that good and my more balanced IQ was likely lower. Anyway I failed grade 12, not because of IQ but being a lazy sod only interested in math/science. In my case it was utterly useless.

Lets take Feynman - he had an IQ of 128 yet had the highest admission scores in math and physics ever seen by Princeton - but the lowest ever seen in humanities.

So while I did good at uni, IQ IMHO is the same as Feynman's example - Feynmam was a genius of of the magician type - I was just a student that worked hard.

Thanks
Bill
 
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  • #32
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However, I did manage to find the following links.
These don't look high quality. Apart from being very far from a primary source, the chain of inference is long and not very straight. It seems to be that SAT is correlated with IQ (although since 1994 Mensa has said there is no correlation), and GRE is correlated with SAT, so therefore GRE is a good proxy for IQ. This is far from evident, and I would say far from likely.
 
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  • #33
Aufbauwerk 2045
These don't look high quality. Apart from being very far from a primary source, the chain of inference is long and not very straight. It seems to be that SAT is correlated with IQ (although since 1994 Mensa has said there is no correlation), and GRE is correlated with SAT, so therefore GRE is a good proxy for IQ. This is far from evident, and I would say far from likely.
Very interesting. After reading this I was curious why Mensa no longer accepts these tests. It turns out the reason is that they regard the newer versions of the tests as scholastic achievement tests, not as scholastic aptitude tests. They still accept these tests if you took them years ago, because they consider those as having been aptitude tests. They want Mensa membership to be based on your aptitude and not your achievement. I think their goal is a worthy one.

https://www.us.mensa.org/join/testscores/qualifying-test-scores/

This article has comments from a Dr. Salny who explains why certain newer tests are not accepted.

https://brane-space.blogspot.com/2013/08/why-so-many-past-aptitude-tests-are-no.html

For me this topic has no practical importance any more. But if I was trying to set up some kind of school for the gifted, I would not rely on one test to decide who was qualified.

I have read that Binet came up with IQ tests in the first place in order to identify French kids from poorer backgrounds who had an above average native intellectual ability. The idea was that these kids are an important resource for France and must be nurtured. They should be able to get the same education as a kid whose parents have money.

My conclusion is that I strongly support any effort to identify and help gifted children. They are a small percentage of the population, who happen to be critically important to our future progress. As for how good specific tests are, I am not qualified to judge.
 
  • #34
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Scores in IQ tests are relative scores based on millions of results who took the very similar test. The low level of confidence for individuals renders measuring individual's intelligence not necessarily fully reliable because you can only take the test once and you might be having a bad day. (And taking the test more than once might change the result) However, in average, many thousands of other people will be rather in an appropriate condition to take the test. So yes, IQ test might fail to correctly measure Feynman's intelligence, but it does not make IQ test completely illegitimate IMO.
 
  • #36
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Knowing I was a strong math type he administered one that was tilted toward that. I got 151 - it was used to shut up the people that were causing me trouble. But my linguistic skills were not quite that good and my more balanced IQ was likely lower.
I'm in a similar boat. I scored in the bottom 1% on several tests involving memory and language, but my IQ was rated as average or slightly above average.
 
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  • #37
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I'm intrigued by the question of what intelligence means.

Let's just take one type of question that might show up on an IQ test:

What's the next number in this sequence?

3, 8, 15, 24, 35, ?

That's an easy one: To get from one number to the next, add an increasing sequence of odd numbers: 5, 7, 9, 11. So the next time, you add 13 to get 48. So it's a sign of intelligence that you can solve these sorts of problems.

However, mathematically, there are an infinite number of rules that can match a finite sequence. So the "next number" is not actually uniquely defined. What you're really being asked is to guess what answer the question-maker probably wanted. Some rules that could generate the given sequence, would be rejected as too ad hoc, too ugly. Figuring them out would not give that sense of "a ha" that you get when you make a discovery.
 
  • #38
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3, 8, 15, 24, 35, ?

That's an easy one: To get from one number to the next, add an increasing sequence of odd numbers: 5, 7, 9, 11. So the next time, you add 13 to get 48. So it's a sign of intelligence that you can solve these sorts of problems.

However, mathematically, there are an infinite number of rules that can match a finite sequence. So the "next number"...
Just quick comment
note each term 1 short of a square
4-1, 9-1, 16-1, 25-1, 36-1
2^2-1, 3^2-1, 4^2-1, 5^2-1, 6^2-1
 
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