How clever are you?

posted
18-Nov-09, 20:00
by A116
Avatar for A116
posted about 11 years ago
I would say that I'm not particularly clever. I got average a levels, an average degree and an average masters. I have no idea what my IQ is. So what? I'm good at research.

My otherwise lovely boyfriend insists on telling me every few months or so how he has a really high IQ and the reason he was such a waster at school (threatened with expulsion from more than one school) was because he wasn't stretched. I have known him for almost a decade and lived with him for 4 years on and off and I have to say, he's just like all my friends.

I completely agree that it's about what you do with it.

And I hate people whining on about IQs. There are soooooooooo many issues with IQ tests!

A
posted
18-Nov-09, 20:34
edited about 24 seconds later
by Eska
Avatar for Eska
posted about 11 years ago
I recently saw a documentary about IQ and race, and saw the director speak about it with a Q&A, and according to him and some other researchers in that field (I think it would be psychology), IQ tests have long been discredited as too culturally biased: they said that the tests basically measrure person's ability to navigate the modern, westernised world, not any innate abilty and success in them has a lot to do with learned culture. Apparently, different cultural/racial groups get different scores, and research suggests its becaue they value different ways of thinking and navigating the world. Wasn't IQ invented as a way of segregating people? Eugenics and all that? I took one once and can remember thinking how culturally loaded it was. I only idid it because I was feeling really insecure about my abilities, I think that's why people do it, and perhaps also why they wave their results in the air too. I got something like 135 overall, about 80 for maths and abut 175 for conceptual intelligence. So that gets me off calculating the bill at the end of the Christmas dinner out...
posted
18-Nov-09, 21:21
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for cleverclogs
posted about 11 years ago
======= Date Modified 18 Nov 2009 21:43:54 =======
The 'Terman Study of the Gifted' is pretty interesting. Apparently a big determinant of being successful is whether our parents raise us with a sense of 'privilege' or not. Most of us aren't, so for example when we went to visit the doctor as kids we probably just did as the good doctor said and answered their questions (probably with single word answers) then went home.

Kids raised with a sense of privilege will have their parents telling them in the car on the way to the doctor "You should be thinking of questions you might want to ask the doctor,"... "You can ask him anything you want. Don't be shy. You can ask anything." Basically they're taught to speak up and assert themselves from the youngest age, even around authority figures.

Personally, my parents let me be me without this kind of malarky, and I turned out ok. But there are studies which associate success with instilling this sense of privilege from a young age, and I'll probably take this into account with my own kids (if I ever have any).
posted
18-Nov-09, 21:34
edited a moment later
Avatar for Scienceurchin
posted about 11 years ago
It's not your IQ that counts, it's what you do with it.

I've never shone particularly in terms of intelligence, fairly average at everything. I think I am still a capable scientist, what I lack in IQ I make up for in imagination and passion. Plus I know a few intelligent people who have zero people skills....swings and roundabouts !;-)
posted
18-Nov-09, 22:53
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for missspacey
posted about 11 years ago
I'm not surprised some people think a PhD=genius/boffin (I'd probably do the same). My Aunt is still convinced I'm becoming a medical doctor and keeps asking me about her pacemaker.

I'm no expert in this area, but hasn't the efficacy of IQ test pretty much been rubbished? Eg. we have lots 'child geniuses' who ace IQ tests, but then often grow up to be very average functioning adults. Equally, we have adults with amazingly high IQs but with sub-standard communications skills or very low intellect or common sense (often found working in the bowels of universities - no offence!).

Surely the most effective balance (successful equation) is good intelligence (if we consider this narrowly as IQ) combined with knowledge, reasoning, understanding, wisdom, creativity, and MOST importantly common sense (maybe these fall under 'intellect'). I agree with RubyW, for PhDs, tenacity and stamina (of marathon proportions!) are vital.

As far as MENSA goes, my opinion of that particular organisation was formed when I was in high school. A biology teacher (who was particularly nasty character) did not hold back on telling her pupils and colleagues about her MENSA membership. One day a pupil said 'If you're in MENSA, why are you working as a biology teacher in high school?'. She never talked about her 'badge of honour' again.

posted
19-Nov-09, 00:27
by Slizor
Avatar for Slizor
posted about 11 years ago
Quote From eska:

I recently saw a documentary about IQ and race, and saw the director speak about it with a Q&A, and according to him and some other researchers in that field (I think it would be psychology), IQ tests have long been discredited as too culturally biased: they said that the tests basically measrure person's ability to navigate the modern, westernised world, not any innate abilty and success in them has a lot to do with learned culture. Apparently, different cultural/racial groups get different scores, and research suggests its becaue they value different ways of thinking and navigating the world. Wasn't IQ invented as a way of segregating people? Eugenics and all that? I took one once and can remember thinking how culturally loaded it was. I only idid it because I was feeling really insecure about my abilities, I think that's why people do it, and perhaps also why they wave their results in the air too. I got something like 135 overall, about 80 for maths and abut 175 for conceptual intelligence. So that gets me off calculating the bill at the end of the Christmas dinner out...


I remember one question on my 9th year CATS exam - Where does a stamp go? A) Garage B) Album C) Plant Pot. I think I went with garage, because I couldn't imagine a stamp in a CD or a Plant Pot..........Unsurprisingly, I'm not from a family of stamp collectors.


Anyone seen the episode of Different Strokes when they destroy IQ tests?
posted
19-Nov-09, 10:18
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for cleverclogs
posted about 11 years ago
Misspacey, you're implying that being a high school biology teacher isn't an honourable profession and/or that it's for unintelligent people. Nonsense.

I don't care much about having a high IQ, but some of you obviously feel obliged to discredit it to make you feel better about your low IQ. Go look at the list of people with the highest IQs and you'll see they're almost all extremely accomplished mathematicians, physicists, chess players, etc.
posted
19-Nov-09, 10:52
edited about 12 seconds later
by Maria1
Avatar for Maria1
posted about 11 years ago
Clevercloggs- I'd love to be naturally more intelligent (especially since I am in academia), and I'd never shoot someone down for being very clever. However, I do get along fine as it is - in terms of both my PhD, and my social life. Intelligence comes in so many different forms: scientists, doctors, artists, writers and comedians are all very intelligent in different ways - a brilliant scientist may have an IQ which is through the roof, but he may not be able to think on his feet like a stand-up comedian for example. My ex-boyfriend is the most intelligent person I've ever met. All the way through school he was hailed as some sort of genius. However, he is only interested in travelling, having fun, and living. He works in a bar and spends what he earns on travelling. So, while he doesn't use his intelligence for academic/career purposes, he has a lot of fun, and he is very likeable and interesting.

So, coming back to KB's original post, I think people do tend to assume that all PhD students are very intelligent. I wouldn't say that's the case. I would say however, that we're all suckers for punishment. . .
posted
19-Nov-09, 11:30
by Eska
Avatar for Eska
posted about 11 years ago
Hey Maria I like that: the most important quality for a PhD student is to be a sucker for punishment, that definitely applies to me, I really look forward to sitting at my desk and working, I don't mind the poverty (so long as I can pay the rent, bills, fares which I have somehow managed to do so far). My friends have always thought of me as the brainy, academic one right since school, they're all creatives, the old school friends are fashion people, but they don't think I'm better than them or whatever, they're not in awe or anything like that. They've seen me in too many compromisingly daft situations. When I first started the PhD a few of the old friends did think I was completely crackers for making such a massive financial sacrifice and some of them just think I'm mad for wanting to study all day every day.

So yeah, I think a sucker for punishment, or in other words, not minding living in poverty and devoting your life to study. Oh, and you do have to have something of a brain, that is if you're going to finish in less than 12 years. 
posted
19-Nov-09, 11:37
by teek
Avatar for teek
posted about 11 years ago
Quote From cleverclogs:

Misspacey, you're implying that being a high school biology teacher isn't an honourable profession and/or that it's for unintelligent people. Nonsense.

I don't care much about having a high IQ, but some of you obviously feel obliged to discredit it to make you feel better about your low IQ. Go look at the list of people with the highest IQs and you'll see they're almost all extremely accomplished mathematicians, physicists, chess players, etc.



Cleverclogs I don't think Misspacey was implying that at all, she was merely relating an anecdote and we all got the drift (regardless of our IQs). I think what everyone on this thread is doing is just acknowledging that intelligence comes in many forms, not all of them measurable by IQ - the list you mention is surely self-selecting anyway; accomplished mathematicians are very likely to be tested, while the unusually intelligent binman will probably not be recorded. Your obviously very proud of your own score and that's lovely, but people are entitled to have a different opinion without being accused of sour grapes.
posted
19-Nov-09, 11:45
by Java
Avatar for Java
posted about 11 years ago
People often give me a strange look when I say I'm doing a phd, and I say, just to cover the awkward moment, yes I hide my intelligence well haha, then they all get back to talking about what little jonny is doing in the playground.  But for me personally its about tenacity and determination and the plodding on, definitely not intelligence (you may have noticed!!)

Also I was watching a program the other day 'how long is a piece of string' about quantum mechanics, quantum maths & physics, now that is fascinating and I cant get my head around that, and it appears to me that quantum physics would be a much harder subject to do in a phd than mine (even a degree).  Sorry not wanting to bring up the soft and hard subjects again - my subject is psychology.

And I was quite interested in cleverclogs point about bringing children up to questions things, I think its a lot to do with nature, but certainly nurture plays a big part, some children are naturally inquisitive and more confident about asking questions, but I do think it would be a good thing to encourage ones children to ask questions to people in authority, instead of the normal 'speak when spoken to' attitude - I shall start doing that, in fact I do in a lesser extent, and have a look at the book.

posted
19-Nov-09, 12:27
edited about 12 seconds later
Avatar for missspacey
posted about 11 years ago
Quote From cleverclogs:

Misspacey, you're implying that being a high school biology teacher isn't an honourable profession and/or that it's for unintelligent people. Nonsense.

I don't care much about having a high IQ, but some of you obviously feel obliged to discredit it to make you feel better about your low IQ. Go look at the list of people with the highest IQs and you'll see they're almost all extremely accomplished mathematicians, physicists, chess players, etc.


No, I'm not implying that at all. The pupil, however, certainly was implying something along those lines, for the specific intention of winding the teacher up.
posted
19-Nov-09, 12:29
Avatar for jinkim65
posted about 11 years ago
When did this discussion become a debate about IQ??

IQ and intelligence are two very seprarate things, often confused to be the same. I agree with MissSpacey. Intelligence refers to creativity, reasoning, common sense, emotional understanding, natural or learned ability. IQ tests do not test for these types of intelligence. They examine numeriacal, spacial and verbal reasoning, but those factors in themselves do not denote intelligence.

I'm of the belief that everyone is intelligent if you give people credit for the things that they are good at. A dancer may well not know how to write an academic article, but who am I to criticise when she/he can move more gracefully than I could if I tried. An artist can create beauty with their hands, but may not be able to solve the simplest of problems. Are we to say Picasso wasn't intelligent?

Intelligence has nothing to do with IQ. IQ is the scapegoat for people who can't recognise their own, or other peoples natural talents.

I'd also like to point out that IQ tests are in no way valid. It would be quite easy, if one wanted, to "revise" the types of questions in an IQ test and learn the ways in which to answer. They're also culturally unreliable.
posted
19-Nov-09, 15:13
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for Ragingwitch
posted about 11 years ago
You're right, Keenbean. You don't have to be the most intelligent person ever to do it, dedication and enjoyment of the topic are a huge part of it. I know some relative thickos in my field; no common sense, cannot spell, no general knowledge and so on. However, it depends how you measure levels of genius. ;-)
posted
19-Nov-09, 15:26
edited about 29 seconds later
by Java
Avatar for Java
posted about 11 years ago
Yes I agree with other posters, IQ measures such a small area of intelligence, that I dont pay an awlful lot of attention to it other than one is good at completing IQ tests in a time quota, rather like the 11+ tests some of our children do, and you can be trained to pass these tests. But intelligence covers so much more than this: emotional intelligence, musical, creative, spacial etc etc. It was Alfred Binet, psychologist, that first created IQ to identify children with special needs, so I think we can safely say that all of you out there with a high IQ dont need any help with your basic maths and english.

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