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The value of I.Q.

  1. May 30, 2010 #1
    Today I stumbled across the blog of an individual I would consider a teenage prodigy. His blog is filled with insightful convictions on life, philosophy, economics and mathematics - complex, abstract mathematics taught only at the University level. In many ways the revelation of this individual troubled me, because I felt incapable - and while I understood everything he spoked of and could accurately criticize it (save for much of his pure math which befuddled me), the simple fact that he is leagues ahead in development to me at his age humbled and disturbed me.

    In retrospect, I have reflected on the very nature of my angst. The individual is certainly quite intelligent, and quite probably has an I.Q. well beyond the average citizen. So it has led me to reflect on the idea: how much of a role does I.Q. and intelligence in general play in success in academia? Going under the assumption that intelligence is remotely hereditary, does it suggest that the fate of an academician is sealed at birth?


    (For those who will insist on knowing who the individual is, his blog can be found here: http://kortaggio.blogspot.com/. I am certain to many of you his math and logic may be considered trivial, granted much of it I have personally found rather idealistic and contrived. But bear in mind the student is still a junior in secondary school)
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2010 #2


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    IQ doesn't play much of a role. Motivation is important.
  4. May 30, 2010 #3
    If u watch "BBC Horizon - What Makes a Genius (2010)" it might give u some ideas. We are all different, so yer some people are overall smarter than others just as some people are overall physically stronger than others.

    Fate of an academician is not sealed at birth, you'll definitely have advantages if u were born with high IQ but you'll still have work for it.
  5. May 30, 2010 #4


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    IQ has been discussed quite a lot on this forum. In one of those discussions, someone explained what the test was originally designed for: it was to measure low-functioning people, not people in the normal range or higher. That explains, to me anyway, why it's a totally useless predictor of success.

    (Was it Math is Hard who said that...?)
  6. May 30, 2010 #5


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    Or put another way, IQ is of little value if not used productively.
  7. May 30, 2010 #6
    Well ya you gotta find a reason to keep retards out of school didn't you watch forest gump?
  8. May 30, 2010 #7
    IQ is old, and very nearly, if not entirely, useless. It's funny, people think Rorschach inkblots are crap, when they are very useful in detecting some psychosis and thought disturbance, but they worship the notion of a relatively brief series of tests getting a grip on your overall intelligence.

    You know if someone is an idiot, or average, or really smart, or a genius based on their work product, and how they learn.
  9. May 30, 2010 #8
    Not sure if this would make you feel better, but... In NYC there's a school called Stuyvesant High School filled with hundreds of kids like Kortaggio. Also keep in mind that while education is correlated with intelligence, it doesn't guarantee it. I have a cousin who is a junior in high school currently learning upper level college math while I'm just beginning with linear algebra as a college freshman. He's 1 SD below me in I.Q., and yet he may appear more intelligent in terms of academics.
  10. May 30, 2010 #9
    Curiosity, hardwork, passion, good personality, persuasive/negotiation abilities and the ability to work with others are equally important.
  11. May 30, 2010 #10
    How does the OP know the blogger is a junior in secondary school?
    I can't seem to deduce that from his blog.
  12. May 30, 2010 #11
    Yeah, lots of people read university level math at high school level, at least here in Sweden it's fairly common to finish high school math in grade school. It's got more to do with education than sheer intellect.

    As for IQ, it strikes me as archaic. Isn't it a way of measure mental DISABILITY, rather than ability, anyway?
  13. May 31, 2010 #12
    Crap, I still haven't passed my driving test. Dx
  14. Jun 1, 2010 #13
    i believe that imagination is more important than IQ. IQ is limited. imagination encircles the world.
  15. Jun 1, 2010 #14
    Ya it really depends I guess. However if you score like a 80 I think your going to get treatment like your a little slow and that may effect your future. Kinda the same deal if you score something like 150 except you'll probably get tossed into high level stuff most likely. In all honesty I would hate to be that kid that scores 190 on an IQ test... Youd spend the rest of your life with people thinking your a super genius...
  16. Jun 1, 2010 #15


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    I never took an IQ test and I believe it's a multiple choice test. (I can't find anything in wikipedia backing up this belief). It means a monkey can score as high as a genius if someone teach the monkey to make crosses on empty squares. Such a test would consider luck as an intelligence criteria. In such a case, you could score 185 once, 60 the next time, without having a brain damage nor anything. Therefore the test doesn't represent absolutely anything. Unless I'm mistaken and instead of crossing empty squares you must justify by written sentences each answers you choose.
  17. Jun 1, 2010 #16
    That doesn't really matter, you have multiple choice tests for a lot of important tests as well. The statistical variance in peoples outcomes is minimal.

    Also real IQ tests are in general not multiple choice, but all Internet tests are. Now luck doesn't matter that much but a much bigger factor is the validity of these tests since they are just random Internet tests.

    Lastly IQ do just represent your ability to do a set of simple tasks well, it correlates with a lot of things that got to do with intelligence but they are not the same thing.
  18. Jun 1, 2010 #17
    I've taken a few IQ tests and got a better score each time I took one. I was getting better at it. There's too many forms of intelligence to say one person is just "smarter" than someone else.
    How can you test an IQ at birth?
  19. Jun 1, 2010 #18


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    I don't really agree with this. First, I never had a multiple choice exam (nor even a single exercise) at university in tests counting for the final grade. Last time I had a multiple choice test was back in high school. I don't know which other tests can be considered as important and include MC questions.
    I'd love to know how are real IQ test when you say that they're not made of only MC questions. Do you have to write a dissertation?
    Lastly, imagine that in each MC questions, you have 5 different possible choices to choose from. And that you're stuck on 3 questions. The probability to get them right is 1/125, therefore quite possible. Many people in the same case are yours could get them all wrong. Both of you will get a (I believe), quite different result. (Maybe by 10 points?). So an IQ test is not a good indicator for one person. It might good if all the people in a population take it, to compare populations but not oneself with another. If you do so then I repeat, a monkey or even a cockroach could score like a "genius". This is in agreement with your "The statistical variance in peoples outcomes is minimal.". So to the OP: don't take IQ as an indicator for oneself. Otherwise I understand you might feel depressed when you realize that a cockroach scored better than you and is called "more intelligent" than you just because it randomly walked over random boxes over a sheet of paper.
  20. Jun 1, 2010 #19
    well, life/living is a multiple choice
  21. Jun 1, 2010 #20


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    It's not a test, you don't earn a grade or do you?
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