THE RELEVANCE OF I Q
I Q or Intelligence Quotient simply means the ability to reason, solve and adapt and is much used and abused as a standard for measuring a person‟s “worth” relative to other persons or a person‟s knowledge. It is neither. You‟ve heard, “His I Q is off the charts”, “that person is special”. “He’s a brain”, “what a genius” and so on. The I Q number is a “social” measure, not a character measure. It indicates not only the ability to learn, but of adaptive skills and state of functioning among other persons of varying I Q scores. There are many, many persons who have so-called “gifted” or “genius” I Q numbers, yet are under-achievers in life. Conversely, there are even more persons who are not “gifted” or “genius” and do very, very well in life. There is nothing worse than a young person, after having been tested for I Q and scoring a high number, being lauded, praised and envied by his testers and elders. He or she expects the world and all its riches and successes to automatically come and be laid at their feet. „T‟AINT TRUE!! It simply doesn’t happen. One still must work hard to succeed. A person who is gifted with a high I Q may have certain things “come to them” more easily than others and grasp things more readily than others but nothing beats hard work. I read where the one of the highest I Q tested scored persons ever is a diplomat in Korea with an IQ of 210. By the way, an I Q of 210 puts that person at the top of the .0000001% range of all persons tested, the highest known percentage possible (So far). He was tested by the StanfordBinet test and another, independent, highly specialized test. The I Q score of the individual is supposed to remain the same throughout one‟s lifetime although it has been shown that repeated testing over a short period of time creates the phenomenon of “test learning” and certain individuals can score slightly higher (5 points or less) in successive testing. This is more often seen in lower I Q level persons. In no case is the person ever told their scores or the answers they gave and as to whether they were “right or wrong” according to their tested I Q level. I read recently where studies were done (again) to determine whether blacks had naturally inferior I Qs to whites as previously exhorted in the press. In other words, is your I Q a genetic inheritance, Again, they proved that no, it is not. (Even though, statistically, African-Americans have an average I Q of 85 compared to the norm of 100 for white Americans, which contradicts the common acceptance.) Black and mixed race children, adopted by white families scored I Q numbers as much as 13 points higher than those adopted into black households. Do not be misled into thinking that I Q is a genetic inheritance, whatever the score number. It is largely cultural and should never be a pure measure of intelligence. Each of us pretty well knows his I Q score range and can usually tell when someone is of a lower range. How much lower is pure guesswork. When a person with an IQ of 100, (the “norm” encounters another person of obviously a higher I Q, the subject person has no idea of
that higher scorer‟s I Q number. None, whatsoever. WHY? Because the higher person‟s I Q is higher and the subject person has no point of reference. It could be 10 points or a hundred. It is most certainly far better to treat others as individuals with whom you can coexist to do a better job at work, at home, in the community and the world in which we all live and forget about the stupid and the smart stuff altogether. It isn‟t all that important. Trust me on this one! Remember, your I Q score, and everyone else‟s is pretty well cast in stone and nothing can be substantially done about it. A new mother can eat right during pregnancy, read to an infant, play classical music and do all the things modern science says to do to help the outcome of the child. All of this is, of course, good. Still, the phenomenon of two parents of average intelligence can and do often produce children with I Q scores superior to either of the parents and sometimes even, regrettably, children with drastically, depressingly low I Q scores. Probably, in our brave new world, parenting will require a permit and genetic alterations will be the norm in order to produce all superior persons with no morons or idiots. (Sort of like Garrison Keillor‟s Lake Wobegon where all the children are “above average”.) Maybe that‟s good and maybe not so good. Let‟s look at the Bell Curve for I Q scores:
Notice first that the arbitrary average is 100. That means that the “average” person has an I Q of 100. A more important statistic is that 50% of all tested persons have an I Q score of between 90 and 110, 68% of all tested persons have an I Q score of between 85 and 115, 95% of all tested persons have an I Q score of between 70 and 130.
I Q scores of below 70 and above 139 are very rare A tested I Q score of 134 and above places that person in the top 1% of all tested persons.
Just for a reference, a tested I Q score of 75 is considered “mentally retarded”, 70 is considered “special” and below 70 is considered “dysfunctional”. Above 120 is considered “gifted, 130 is considered “superior”. You are unlikely to encounter anyone with an I Q much below 70 as they are not usually fully functional on a societal level and likely will be in special circumstances or even institutionalized. Those persons with scores above 130 are equally rare and equally hard to find as they don‟t ”advertise”, don‟t have any distinguishing marks, don‟t act differently from the rest of us and don‟t particularly stand out. The only real difference is that they are intellectually remarkable. As a matter of fact, persons with really high I Q scores have a hard time finding jobs and keeping them. Some examples are;
Kim Ung-Yong Gary Kazparov, Bobbie Fischer, Marilyn Vos Savant James Woods, James (Jimmy) Carter Judie Holiday Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein Bill Gates Reggie Jackson Quinton Tarantino Sharon Stone Richard Nixon Madonna Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton Arnold Schwarzenegger Spiro Agnew Al Gore Jodie Foster, Nicole Kidman, Harry Truman Lyndon B Johnson Tony Roma Professor World‟s smartest Man * Chess Master Chess Master Columnist/Author World‟s smartest Woman Actor Politician Actress Physicist Physicist Entrepreneur Baseball Star Film Producer Actress Politician Actress Politician Politician Politician / Bodybuilder Politician Politician Actress Actress Politician/Haberdasher Politician Football Star 210, 190, 187, 186, 180, 175, 171, 160, 160, 160, 160, 160, 154, 143, 140, 140, 137, 135, 132, 134, 132, 132, 132, 126, 124
Some you would have expected, some you would not have. It seems incongruous to me that the brilliance of Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein is eclipsed by Actor James Woods. But that just goes to show that the I Q number isn‟t all that important.
*This North Korean 45 year old man spoke and wrote Japanese, Korean, German and English by his fourth birthday. His first PH.D. was earned from Colorado State University at 14 years of age in Physics. He worked for NASA from 1974 to 1978. His second doctorate was earned in Korea in Civil Engineering. He now serves as a professor at Chungbuk National University in North Korea. I‟m sure being the “smartest man in the world” is quite a heavy burden. It seems to me that being a dull-normal would be a lot easier – and probably more fun!
A few relatively lower I Q scores of other notable persons; (Not that 122 is a “low” IQ score - Lots of us would love to have it.)
Dwight D Eisenhower Gerald Ford Lee Harvey Oswald John F. Kennedy Barack Obama Ronald Reagan Britney Spears George H W Bush George W Bush O. J. Simpson Andy Warhol Muhammad Ali
Politician, Militarist Politician Murderer Politician Politician Politician Actress Politician Politician Football Star Artist Prizefighter
122, 121, 118, 117, 111, 105, 100, 98, 91, 89, 86, 78
The only non-surprise to me is George W. Bush As we have found, the arbitrary average I Q is 100, so George W and his father both are subprime characters. No wonder we are in such a mess! Maybe we could elect Andy Warhol as president. Keep in mind that in an exact cross section of population with a tested I Q ratio among 200 persons, you will have one person with and I Q above 134, one person with an IQ of 132 or 133, one person with an I Q of 67 or 68, and one person with an I Q of less than 66. Everyone
else falls within the predicted 70 to 130 range. Experts say that observing a person with an I Q score of about 67 and a person with an I Q score of 133 are hard to tell apart as the opposite at either end of the spectrum can fool you. There is an amazing amount of inherent perception from low I Q persons, which can be matched by high I Q understanding. Make no mistake; hard work and diligence pay off more in life than a high I Q score. A high I Q score may make it easier to learn, reason, solve and adapt as well as assimilate but the final success comes from work, work, and more work. The only bad thing a high I Q score can do is make one lazy in school, feel superior to others, tend to relate to others in terms of their perceived I Q score and, more importantly, become easily bored with school, jobs and with life in general. This is primarily the fault of the educational system in not recognizing those “gifted‟ persons early and getting them into special surroundings where they are with their peers and are properly motivated. As an individual achieves and passes the 125 I Q score, there are societies that recognize those persons intellectual value and offer them membership where they can interact with their intellectual peers but those societies are private, rarely advertised and have nothing to do with the educational system. For instance; 95th Percentile 98th Percentile 99th Percentile 99.5 Percentile 99.63rd Percentile 99.7th Percentile 99.8th Percentile 99.87th Percentile 99.9th Percentile ) (I Q 125 and 126) (I Q 130 to 132) (I Q 135 to 137) (I Q 139 to 141) (I Q 140 to 143) (I Q 141 to 144) (I Q 143 to 146) (I Q 145 to 148) (I Q 146 to 149) International High I Q Society Mensa Society Intertel Colloquy Infinity International Society Cerebrals Society ePiq Society CIVIQ Society Triple Nine Society Giga Society
99.9999999th Percentile (I Q 190 to 196)
I‟m just pissed because they never had a society just for the “class clowns”. Maybe they could start one just for me and my peers, the Giggle Society? No I Q at all required! There are numerous other societies of high I Q scorers but we are talking infinitely small numbers of persons. For instance, if that Professor in North Korea were to have a club for his I Q level, he would likely be in the Sigma VI Society and there would be a potential of a very, very few persons in the world as members, if they could be found and tested.
The most difficult part in testing extremely high scoring persons is the tests themselves that are not designed for scores that high. There are problems in calculation, extrapolation and interpretation. Very high scoring persons must be observed during testing and sub-testing by psychometricians experienced in high I Q testing and must be tested using two differently designed standardized tests (Just in case you were worried.) Even the so-called “experts” agree that measurements above the 99.9999th percentile are doubtful as no sufficient correlation studies and no normings are available. (Why bother?) Keep in mind that the testers and the scorers are not likely in that I Q range at all. I saw recently where a child in America scored 201 on the standardized I Q test. How do “they” know for sure? Who are “they”? The only thing I do know is that that poor child is in for a rough life. The “experts” will want to test and re-test it, dissect it, manipulate it and do everything but leave it alone to try to let it become a regular person, albeit extremely bright and someone who, left alone, could potentially contribute much to our world. Let‟s hope it does anyway. Whereas someone can score an I Q higher than 210 can and is certainly possible, it is doubtful that anyone can score much lower than in the 30s or maybe the 20s as they would probably be unable to be successfully tested, although I really don‟t know. I remember when my daughter was in the Engineering School at Tulane University studying Computer Science Engineering, back in the sixties. An inner-city New Orleans boy of fifteen, whose mother had to drive him to school was in my daughter‟s class. The professor told the students that each one would have a unique password to access the mainframe (that was before P Cs) and no one would be able to access any one else‟s password. In other words, it was that secure. The very next day, the boy-genius came to class and gave the professor everyone‟s password in the class. I often wondered what became of him. (Speaking of my daughter, there is an example of a child whose I Q far exceeds either of her parents.) Looking at the Bell Curve you will see that above the 130 I Q score, qualifying as “Superior”, we find just over 2% of the total population. In America, that‟s about 6 Million persons out of the approximately Three Hundred Million Americans, with the minority of those, or about Six Thousand with I Q scores over 145. Do you know anyone in that bracket? On the low side of I Q scores, those below 70, as we noted before, we are unlikely to come into contact with them at all. In Brevard County, by purely mathematical calculations, we should have about .05 persons with an I Q score of 145 or above and 10,000 persons with an I Q of between 130 and 144. The rest of us 500,000 are comfortably within the 70 and 129 range. Suffice it to say, we are mostly, 294 Million of us, in the I Q range of 70 to 130, with the vast majority of us, 204 Million, between I Q 85 and I Q 115. These are our peers. Live with it!