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What is an IQ test?

  1. Below 90

    1 vote(s)
  2. 90 to 110

    0 vote(s)
  3. 110 to 120

    0 vote(s)
  4. 120 to 130

    3 vote(s)
  5. 130 to 140

    8 vote(s)
  6. above 140

    5 vote(s)
  1. May 17, 2003 #1
    I'm curious as to what others think of IQ tests. To me it's simply a rough gauge of one's aptitude for making sense of nonsens. I'm not sure of the real history of it, but I have a foggy memory that it became very practical during the world wars for sorting out people who were apt at solving problems- the reason being that if they had leaders who were good at solving problems this would save lives. I also feel they are imperfect and biased, and most importantly don't predict desire or morals or future happiness.
    If most anyone were given enough time they could get a perfect score on an IQ test, and if an IQ test is a relative measure of how fast one makes sense of nonsense, then what does this say to you about IQ tests?
    I've posted an anonymous poll to give us an idea of the average IQ of physics forums philosophy participants, I'll bet it's pretty high.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 17, 2003 #2
    I'll bet most people won't be truthfull.

    Intelligence (as me and MENTAT know) is a dynamic thing. To be honest, the only thing an IQ test tests is your score on an IQ test!

    No, there's alot of involvment in making a test, it has shown it's been a very good indicator if intelligence of your brain. So, let's not shun it because it's many decades in the making....
  4. May 17, 2003 #3


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    Science Advisor

    I hope that's not the case. Besides, there's no
    point to cheating here.
  5. May 17, 2003 #4
    Drag - sure there is. To decieve oneself. People lie to themselves all the time! Furthermore, I'd bet many people will just guess at what their IQ might be, without being tested!
  6. May 17, 2003 #5
    The pole is mostly for fun but there are many intelligent people in the physics forum so it wouldn't suprise me to find many scores or guesstimates above 140. Is imagination a factor in intelligence? Does an artist have a certain intelligence that IQ tests don't touch? Are the creators of South Park or Jackass or The Matrix successful and so intelligent in some way that is not measured?
  7. May 17, 2003 #6
    I see no point in lying about your I.Q. If you are ashamed of your score, just don't respond to the poll.

    As far as your question about whether creativity is covered in an I.Q. test, I'd have to say that it depends on the I.Q. test. You see, I take I.Q. tests all of the time, for fun (please, no *Nerd Alerts*), and so I know that there are some that are better at covering more aspects of the mind than others.

    My favorite I.Q. test was one that was in a book about I.Q., wherein, after you took it, they would tell you which questions dealt with which part of the mind (branches of Intelligence and Creativity, such as "dealing with abstracts", "mathematical aptitude", "mechanical aptitude", etc...).
  8. May 17, 2003 #7
    I.Q. Test and Racism

    I'm not sure it's a test of intelligence in as much as cultural adaptability and pliability ... and even that's debatable, as explained below ...

    For example I heard of a recent IQ test conducted between Asians, Caucasions and Blacks. I'm not sure if it was conducted in the United States or not, but I believe that it was.

    Anyway, the Asians scored the highest, the Caucasions scored in the middle and the Blacks scored the lowest, and this was supposed to be it, the supreme example of who was more intelligent. Whereas the guy who conducted the study apologized, saying, "I'm sorry, but these are what the results imply" ...

    And yet, if you take into account that the Asians emigrated here, and are here because they want to be here, and "truly" want to be accepted into the culture, then they will strive that much more to become accepted. No learning block here ...

    On the other hand, if you take your typical white American, who pretty much feels a part of the "ruling class," his main concern is to maintain the status quo, while cruising along and reaping the rewards. So why does he need to strive so much to get ahead? Sounds kind of lazy now doesn't it?

    Then there's the African Americans, who were brought to this country in chains and shackles, kicking and yelling and screaming, saying we don't want to be a part of this, not as slaves anyway. And even when they're freed, they still bring along the excess baggage of oppression. Why would they want to become like their oppressors? A definite learning block here ...

    This at least to me, suggests intelligence is pretty much equally distributed (in the above categories), and that the IQ factor is more conditional upon one's economic and cultural background.
  9. May 17, 2003 #8
    I think, intelligence is an ability to learn and to solve logical puzzles.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2003
  10. May 18, 2003 #9
    They are interesting I agree Mentat, but I must sound the NERD ALERT!!!!
    I once heard or read that IQ remained much the same throughout life.
    If this were true there would be no point to giving toddlers toys or for anyone to engage in any form of mental stimulation- it makes no sense. In my own experience I've scored less than average at a very young age and then about 40 points over that as a teenager, because it was my desire to be smart and not fail for a third time a grade. To me the statement of a fixed intelligence is ridiculous.
    I once read about a study in which students participated in a chess class for the semester and had their IQ taken before and after the class, the results were an average of 5 points gained.
    I wonder if the next generation of chess game will have an even greater effect...I suspect some computer games such as real time strategy can be in some ways more challenging than chess. I quit playing chess for 2 years and played Starcraft instead, then one day stopped by the chess club for a few rounds- I almost won the match with the chess instuctor Ernest and he was convinced I had been secretely playing during this time away, what I had learned from Starcraft is strategy whereas before I was mostly a tactical chess player, but the fascinating thing is that learning the two games overlapped and improving on one improved the other.
    I agree with Alexander in that the primary form of intelligence may be the use logic to solve problems.
    If IQ tests had only been designed by people who were dark skinned, then would dark skins score highier?
    What about rich? Or highly educated? Or janitors? No doubt bias is there.
    If given enough time a person of average intelligence could get every question correct on an IQ test, and if an IQ test is a rough gauge of how fast one makes sense of nonsense, then given enough time they could have come up with calculus or string theory.
  11. May 19, 2003 #10

    I completely agree, although I warn one against going to the other extreme (and assuming that "Nurture" is entirely responsible for one's I.Q.).

    I know from personal experience that I.Q. changes. I scored 137 in the fourth grade, and am now at 150 (and I'm 15 years old now).
  12. May 19, 2003 #11
    Wow! You must be genius then. My IQ is around 80 or so (I guess).
  13. May 19, 2003 #12


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yeah right...

    May I suggest, please, that for the intrests
    of simple manners of the intellegent (I hope)
    individuals we have here the specific scores
    will not be mentioned here. :wink:

    Unless of course some of you feel they
    just got'ta bang on their own chests a bit...

    Live long and prosper.
  14. May 19, 2003 #13
    your score is higher than a university student.....
  15. May 19, 2003 #14
    Drag - It's not like anyone should believe the IQ people post here.

    Alex - BTW, an IQ of 80 is the high peak of someone who is considered mentally retarded or deficient.

    BTW - My IQ is 217. Who believes me?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2003
  16. May 20, 2003 #15
    Oh ya?

    Mines 249.8. So there!

  17. May 20, 2003 #16
    Well, finally instead of guessing and wondering I decided to actually take the test and found to my amusement that it is not as bad as I thought it would be (~80) - got 151. (I did not make it in 13 minutes, it took whole 15).

    I do not believe in such high score to represent my intellect (especially accounting for english being my second language, so sometimes I had to use dictionary), so there must be something wrong with this test.

    Some questions indeed seem to be too easy, so probably this test is a little bit bent toward customer (seem to be "commercialized" to please a potential $10 donator).

    I wonder what score can one get by:

    1) instantly pressing "true" to any question,
    2) instantly pressing "no" to any question,
    3) instantly answering at random (with 50/50 probab.)
    4) answering at random but for long long time (say, 1 hour).

    (The score for the last one would correspond to "complete dumbness", I presume).

    Anyone with time for this fun?
  18. May 21, 2003 #17
    Not a genius, merely "capable". But thank you anyway.
  19. May 21, 2003 #18
    Ok, lying about your I.Q. is about as useless (and degrading) as lying about your age, or your athletic ability, or your looks (on an internet forum). I just don't get it.
  20. May 21, 2003 #19
    Alex - unless you took a REAL IQ test, I wouldn't say that's your IQ, if I were you.

    there are IQ tests on the internet that claim that the scores one gets there are statistically similiar to the scores the same people got on a REAL IQ test. Thus the stest claims that, within some error, it should indeed reflect your IQ to some degree of error, usually 5 points.

    But it still isn't official. I've taken them online as well, but just because the site looks official, has some paying options, and claims a 5 point margin accruacy doesn't mean it's really that accurate.

    The only way to get your IQ score, is to be scored on an IQ test.

    Those can be taken at many schools, at monthly mensa inductions, and at many psycholigical offices.
  21. May 21, 2003 #20
    Whose to say that the MENSA website (for example) isn't qualified to give you an accurate (to within a 5-point margin of error) score? Whose to say that the (acclaimed) psychologists who right the books, that I have taken some of my tests on, aren't capable of giving a good enough I.Q. score?
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