Are IQ Tests an Accurate Indication of Intelligence?

in #life6 years ago

How Important Are IQ Tests?

Let's face it: we've all tried out an online IQ test or two, then retook them a few times until we got a score we were happy to share on Facebook. I mean, I for one have an IQ of 150 because I can usually score that high by the 8th or 9th attempt after googling half the answers. But is performing well on IQ tests really a strong indicator of high intelligence?

Until relatively recently, I had always believed that how a person answered that question heavily depended on their IQ score: those who are better at taking tests are generally quite happy to have these results reflect their intelligence/prospects of success/penis size, while the rest are more resistant to the idea that 'a single number' can define the entirety of our self worth. Indeed, growing up as the only Asian kid who nobody ever wanted to sit next to in a maths test a second time, you can guess in which group I belong. Fool them once, shame on me, I suppose.

The man himself is said to have an IQ of over 160. I bet people that smart have figured out how to use the text editor to write on the right side of images like this one

However, going against this 'it's shit because I suck at it' school of thought, is Donald Trump who boasted a few weeks ago about his IQ in a tweet, surprising many of us who didn't think he could even spell the abbreviation correctly. So I decided to do some research to settle the issue of whether your IQ matters once and for all, or at least until someone who disagrees with me comes along.

What IQ Tests Measure

The first IQ test was devised by a French psychologist Alfred Binet to push forward a national egalitarian movement that required every healthy child to attend school. I guess nothing says egalitarianism like having the entire country's children's intelligence measured and grouped accordingly so you know your child won't interfere with the studies of other children with whom he can't keep up, but is still somehow undoubtedly viewed as their equal.

The modern day version of this test uses an arbitrary scale which places your performance relative to others where the average score is 100; you know, a bit like what your wife does. The test predominantly assesses your abilities in the following areas: general knowledge, memory, maths, spatial cognition, problem solving and memory. So as it turns out, the question of whether or not IQ tests accurately predicts intelligence depends heavily on whether you deem these qualities to be a fair and complete definition of 'intelligence'. Conspicuously missing here are creativity, wit, self awareness, emotional aptitude and the ability to tell what she really means when she says she's fine.

What guys really mean when they say they want to date smart women. Not women who spend all day correcting our grammar or life choices

Even if we narrowly define intelligence as the extent to which you can learn new things or adapt to new situations, there is a growing body of evidence that suggest that intelligence itself is highly malleable and I don't just mean that Alzheimer and dementia can kick in for anyone at any time, perhaps increasing the intelligence of some of us. Studies show that intelligence can be heavily influenced by environmental factors; the quality of your education, the significance of academics in your culture, the support you receive from your family and how smart the kid you were sitting next to during the test, can all have a strong bearing on your ultimate IQ test results.

So Are IQ Tests Useless?

However, one shouldn't rush to celebrate their two digit scores too quickly. Research has also shown there to be a strong correlation between IQ and academic performance, and in turn future earnings. Higher IQ has also been correlated with traits that predict career success such as superior logical skills and attentiveness; apparently, people who score better generally have trouble with reasoning and are easily confused while those who score lower were less prone to confusion and have superior reasoning. No wait, sorry, the other way around!

Finally, there is also some evidence suggesting that intelligence is at least partially heritable, so if you want to be more intelligent you can always try getting smarter parents.

8 Reasons The IQ Is Meaningless
Does IQ Really Measure How Smart You Are?
IQ: How important is a high IQ

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Great Post @trafalgar and this is a topic that I love to discuss.

IQ is influenced by many factors as you mentionned. I also read that some scientists say that it is 60% genetic (your parent's intelligence X probabilities) and 40% linked to you environment as you were saying (Culture of Studies, Childhood...).

Nevertheless IQ is VERY important for the country as let's face it, we need more and more smart people in the IT/Entrepreneurs/Finance segments as there are less ans less manual jobs.
I think the fact that Asian countries have usually High IQ is an explanation of their recent economic success.
After the Korean War in the 50s, South-Korea was as "undevelopped" as Ethiopia/Somalia/etc... Look at them now !

Anyway AI will rule us all so let's relax and enjoy our lives :D

yes it's true, it's hard to quantify the nature/nurture split but they both play a large part
it's definitely a very important attribute
lol @ ai

The example of Korea proves just how important the society can be when it comes to developing the 40% of the IQ as you mentioned. Their working ethic and the very logic approach they have to things, made them great at developing technology.
In general the east asian countries are having high IQ scores.

A big part of their development is also that the government decided to support the private companies by making them partially owned by the state. The state would then boost the finances in case things were going bad.

I think intelligence should be measured by how happy we are. In the end I figure a happy hippie might actually be smarter than a depressed lawyer, because he or she chooses to live the kind of life they want, not the kind of life society defines as being successful

you can boil that statement down to capitalism is a shit system and hurts everybody ;)

Hehe in the end I guess capitalism is like the relationship with woman, you can't live with them, can't live without them

nah you can definitely live without it. Society actually does better too

I would love to think so, but I haven't seen many non capitalist societies that functioned very well either. Ideally it might be better with a communist society but in practice it doesn't work so well either. Maybe decentralized block chain technology can make a new society that will be better. Lets hope so.
"Are you going to work today ?"
"Yes I will be on Steem from 9-5"

oh and here is the debunking anti-communism masterpost

in practise it works better than capitalism ever has. It doesn't matter how much blockchain tech we have, the relationship of the workers to the means of production will not change.

Just because you can make money on steem doesn't mean everyone can, unless you want us to all starve that is.

Millions of people escape from communist countries ! How many people try to enter into a communist country? That said, as for the people who like Bolshevism there is no reasoning with them. Don't even try!

A philosophy based on happiness is insufficient because we are all going to sick and die. Being happy is nice but life will hit you in the face at one point or another. You need a mode of being that allows you to deal with the reality of suffering and to face it with courage. That kind of wisdom is beyond intelligence and mere happiness.

I think intelligence rather measures your ability to cope with difficult circumstances doesn't it? And how creative your response to them is... The importance of intelligence compared to happiness (which are different things in my opinion) is another thing to discuss. I don't think one needs the other. what do you think?

I suppose that's one way of looking at it
but i think happiness is happiness and intelligence is intelligence, even if both are very elusive to define

I guess the bottom line is that IQ is important, but it doesn't equal success and happiness, there are many different aspects that come into play that might be bigger factors influencing who and what we become

Obviously intelligence and happiness are two completely different things no doubt. I'm just trying to make a point. What's the point of high IQ if you choose a path in life that doesn't make you happy ? Why should we put so much emphasis on IQ, I think we should put the same or even more emphasis on EQ. But no one hardly mentions it. Still there is scientific research that shows EQ is many times more important than IQ for success.

The word success is very interesting because today we associate it directly with high salary and probably high IQ. I'm pretty sure this is the brain washing of society. In my opinion I high IQ is no use if you don't know how to think for yourself

For Academics yes IQ scores are important,
but for life it is important to have high EQ (Emotional Intelligence Score) -
Robots can do well in IQs but can they be good humans - well I doubt cus they cannot have EQs.

But for overall success in life - it is important to have high HQ (Happiness Quotient) ... that is when u really start living....

On a separate note -
@trafalgar - I noticed that you are not voting for witnesses... any personal fight? For the love of Steemit, It is time to vote for witnesses and to start with, you can consider my witness as one of your picks.

I'm remaining witness neutral for now, don't have the time to pick out the competent ones, nor the time to find someone else impartial, trustworthy and to whom I can delegate this duty

Ya, though my EQ score is low af lol

High IQ is compensating for your EQ.... well do consider my witness if your ideals allow ... I am from India and running a witness thread since last month... not sure if I fall in your competent criteria...

The importance of EQ is interesting especially because it is underestimated. Many tend to underestimate EQ because it goes into the category of soft values and also is more hard to measure than IQ.
Again it comes down to the question of if the mathematicians are superior to the ones coming with a background of social sciences etc.

But if you look at countries where there also is a focus on EQ then you will see that they are doing well. They are complete because they understood that in order to have a complete society you need to benefit from all sort of intelligence, which means both EQ and IQ.
In Scandinavia EQ is considered important, and these countries are after all doing quite well.

Dang. My entire life I thought IQ meant "I Quit." Up until now I thought I was kicking ass. :-(

don't let me stop you quitting your life :)

Lol. Have you considered life coaching as a career? 😁

oh don't get me started, I hate those guys!

Definitely no. After we get used to solve those IQ, it's obvious our brain will solve them easier next time.

In order for an IQ test to be relevant, it's a must to be a brand new one for each individual...

yes, we generally will get better at doing the same types of problems over and over
it's pretty hard to come up with a test that you can improve with repeat sittings

IQ test varies and time to complete the test is also a factor. There is a limit at which you will peak and you can take that as you "true" IQ. Someone with 85 IQ will never be able to answer the test like a IQ 140 would since at IQ 85, you can barely follow written instruction.

I would definitely fail an IQ test - what's an IQ? I was once persuaded to go for the Mensa test and would have reached the bit where they ask you to go along for an assessment, but I chickened out. I didn't like the idea of someone telling me if I was intelligent or not. Loved your article, so funny thanks.JV

thanks a lot for having a look
no such thing as failing an iq test
but you can get a low score and feel terrible about yourself lol

So you say if I manage to find smarter parents I will become smarter!? Bye my old mom and dad!

haha yup! That's the spirit

Hello @trafalgar

There have been a lot of hype about IQ scores for years now and I am really sick of it.

It has caused a lot of self esteem problems for some who feel that they are not smart enough to pursue their dreams.

There are a whole lot of factors that can be employed in the evaluation of a person.

It is funny that most attention is given to IQ without considering the equally Important EQ, which is needed to co-exist with others.

EQ comprises of Perseverance, Self-Control and other skills that involves getting along well with others.

EQ plays a big role in self esteem, health and most importantly business. You can have the highest IQ and your business will fail if you don't have a good dose of EQ.

so if you want to be more intelligent you can always try getting smarter parents.

You brought in a little bit of @traf here :)



haha I've always been about comedy, just that @traf is for shorter form comedy
yes, there are definitely a lot of other factors to consider like emotional and social intelligence (I suck at these lol)

Hello @trafalgar

I sent you a message on Discord in regards to this post

When I was young I've seen a lot of kids who was marginalised because was considered by other childs like " the most stupid" but after many years time has shown that this was not important and they grow up like all the people. I think that the most important is how you can manage your IQ. For example: If I can't kepp all the things in my mind and I use the agenda, I'll be the same like others. :-)

Well if she says she's fine and you've predicted it right, you've bypassed the impossibility of Heisenberg uncertainty and you've dwarfed Heir Einstein on the IQ scale all at the same time.

haha that's probably about right

Pmsl 😂 do you have a bossy wife?? 🤔 Such a laugh always reading your blogs @trafalgar I love your narrative style.

As for IQ the tests coming from a former psychology student they are very easy to manipulate once you get used to them and they are socially and economically biased.

I have met many very intelligent people whom have absolutely NO common sense! So what does it really mean to be intelligent? Food for thought 😉

I have no common sense
I mean I'm not that smart, but at least I have no common sense
so yeah, best of both worlds here

😂 you are blessed!

The military won't employ people under IQ 85 even though they have all the incentives to do so. At 85, you have a hard time even processing written instruction. It is the most solid measure of intelligence we have. The correlation between IQ and income / poverty / criminality is hard to discard.


It sure sucks that we are not all equal when it comes to intelligence but facts don't care for our feelings.

yes I broadly agree that it's a strong predictor of academic achievement and in turn financial success
a little bit surprised at the 10 bill+ group averaging 150, my hunch is that's a bit too high (assuming a standard deviation of 12-15), I didn't, and still don't, think the correlation is quite that high, even taking into account the tech billionaires

my groundless hunch is the correlation peters off at around 130ish, with academics in the hard sciences superseding billionaires

I'm not sure an academic in mathematics or physics has to deal with such complex and dynamic factors in their daily lives...but they just direct their minds towards solving hard abstract problems.

The amount of shit someone has to deal with at that level of wealth is staggering. I'm not surprised that one needs to have a lot of "processing power" in order deal with that.

hmm had a brief look out of curiosity, which is admittedly more research than I do when writing a comedy piece like this

about 45% of billionaires went to a top 1% school, comparable to judges and senators. a lot of the top silicon valley ceos have IQs estimated to be over 140. Broadly speaking I feel that my estimates were more in line, self made billionaires have IQs closer to 2 standard deviations from the mean (~130), than 4.

People like warren buffet, elon musk, bill gates are among the top of the really well known ones going by my intuition, likely 3 standard devs up from the avg (I feel zuckerberg is a little weaker, and jobs weaker still), and I hazard a guess that real estate moguls, oil and media tycoons etc are generally even weaker. Still, even members of the top group don't give me the feeling that they're at the level of a 'once in a generation' intellect, say for example, your Eulers, Galois, Newtons, von Neumanns etc. Modern day equivalents may be Pearlman or Andrew Wiles, maybe Satoshi and Terrence Tao, while Vitalik definitely falls short.

People in this elite group just don't seem to be motivated by the same incentives as most others. Likewise, I don't get the same vibe from even the best and brightest of the billionaires club, and I like to think I'm quite sensitive to the intelligence of others.

I don't see being massively successful in the world of business requires less intelligence than someone who's massively successful in the world of academia...even if it's in oil, import/export or banking. These things are insanely complicated when you consider their magnitudes, scale and the cost of making mistakes.

Personality traits (based on the Big 5) can also confuse us when it comes to the judging of someone intelligence. He/She may strike us as very intelligent, when in fact, they simply are high on Agreeableness and Openness.

Someone with a very low score of Agreeableness may repel us (aka Steve Jobs) and we would tend to consider him less intelligent because of our aversion to his behaviors.

hmm, perhaps
I don't think I'm discounting jobs due to his personality; i'm not prone to mistaking affability or gregariousness for intellect.
Most of the very smart people I listed would likely score lower in agreeableness and openness than jobs.

I'm not convinced that running a country/multi billion dollar company requires the same level of intelligence as, say, inventing calculus or proving fermat's last theorem. nor are they similar levels of complexity. while its easy to say it's an apples/oranges case, I don't really think they're in the same tier.

I work with a lot of scientists with high IQ's and most of them are asshats!
They may score well however they specify in one field and are clueless about life and can be socially retarded.
I'd rather be a savvy individual doing well on guile than an intelligent idiot!

haha fair enough
i'm not sure if it's always either/or though, it doesn't seem incomprehensible to find individuals who are brilliant as well as socially clever

It's possible, just look at us two! 😃

I bet people that smart have figured out how to use the text editor to write on the right side of images like this one

I have explained you that here under one of your older articles. :)
But don't worry, Einstein also didn't know how to do that, he actually didn't have any clue about the internet or any text editors at all. :)

haha dang i didn't expect to get called out on this lol

Seriously? I used to check your page at least once a week, for months I tell you! Now I come here to find you have snuck back on under my radar..for shame!
Question: Did the IQ test you took many times times to snatch that 150 score the same each time? I used to take those, but didn't come across any that didn't change up the questions, so I was pretty much stuck with my 136 to 142, which was the range of what I would get over a large span of them. The consistency of that forced me to admit there might be something to it. And while not a genius (tear) I suppose I can live with being above average intelligence lol
I tend to think that if you managed a 150 without being given a lot of the same questions then you're pretty fucking smart man ;0)

Going to check out traf now--glad you're back :)

haha thx dreemit
yeah I've been trying to push for shorter content as I don't actually think 99% of people read the long stuff
because of how rewards work, it's like ppl are scared to post short content up on here

i'm not really back, probably just write one piece a week if even that, while chucking up 5+ one liners on my other account whenever I can think of any half decent ones

nah I was just kidding about the 150, mostly i just sit it over and over again until i beat my friends score hehe

It would be cool if you could make a difference, but I have to tell you I tried out shorter posts this week- color challenge with a few pictures and a couple paragraphs, and not only didn't they do as well, all of a sudden my regular posts dropped by like ten bucks. Not sure if I'm imagining the correlation lol.
But if you have a minute, check out my last one- the green, maybe it was awful and I'm just imagining it was funny haha! And it wasn't short, short, I honestly don't think I could post one liners or memes and it would fly unless it was every great once in awhile and really really good ;)

edit: Actually, nevermind, lol sorry, I just realized a few of them went up quite a bit, so maybe the last few will too :)

Is quite the dilemma. As one of the 'IQ tests say I'm smart' group I have to admit that, while u so believe or societies guess and ranking of intellect is severely lacking and, on the whole, counterproductive, I'm still loath to admit that their total bullshit. Indeed, it's clear that people with high IQs do tend to be less probe to certain sorts of cognitive errors. However I'm be there first to admit that that's not the be all end all.

The thing is, when hear people get promoted within society, they are the last ones that you can expect to change the system.

Then again, every IQ is meaningless article is probably written by someone who measured average or low on the test.

I guess the no one wants to be thought of as dumb, but being considered average send to be regarded just as badly.

haha yup pretty much the conclusion i reached in the article

IQ is just one form of measurement. People just can't take it as the "literal" measure of one's entire human life. And for sure, IQ doesn't equate to success. Maybe towards innovation.

@trafalgar - IQ (did I spell that correctly like Trump? LOL) tests do have some utility where the qualities like problem solving ability, memory retention etc. are important - for example pilots. You are correct in pointing out that they do not really take into account a lot of aspects of our persona
Great to see a longish post from you after a while. Love your satirical style of writing and suggestions like getting smarter parents. LOL




So, with your 150 IQ, can you please give us your definition of intelligence ?

The man himself is said to have an IQ of over 160. I bet people that are smart have figured out how to use the text editor to write on the right side of images like this one

Well, I've never taken an I.Q. test, but I don't think it would be a very high score. However, I have worked out how to write on the right side of an image. I used one of the methods outlined in the image, guess which one.

A link to how that works in case anyone is interested. By the way, easy does it!
P.S. This does not make me Yoda:)

What is the difference between intelligence and cleverness?

The moment you come to a conclusion as to what intelligence is, you cease to be intelligent. An intelligent mind is a mind which is not satisfied with explanations, with conclusions; nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another form of conclusion.

i always enjoy your blogs- thanks this gives me food for thought

thanks for having a look

Superb post..Thankx for sharing this


thank you

I'm very stupid :(

lol join the club

I thought of them as nothing but clickbait type of studies. I wonder how much accurate they can be.

those short online iq test mostly are just clickbaits

Awesome Re Vote!!!

IQ tests may be useful until a point but I am in the opinion it can't show the reality because as I know there are 8 types of intelligences such as verbal, dlgital visual etc. For example my verbal intelligence is more more higher than digital one. I can learn a new language very quickly but I can't solve a math problem. So If I am opposed to an IQ TEST which is based on digital intelligence, what I will be measured? Stupid? :)

haha i think we're opposites here
i suck at learning new languages
not quite as bad with maths etc

Maybe in an "institutional" rational but I say take the brightest and stick em' out in the woods over night and then let's see how they do? Enjoyed!

the spartan way, i like it

Nice @trafalgar! Intelligence and happiness both are attractive things but it is not easy to decide which is more valuable than the other. But I have observed that more intelligent people tend to be less happy. I am intelligent and creative but I am not much happy. I have seen that less intelligent people tend to be bold and practical but intelligent people think excessively. Einstien was a great man but look into his private life. But I don't want to be more happy by sacrificing my intelligence and creativity. :-).

I'm not too sure if it's absolutely true that there's a strong correlation between intelligence and happiness, I didn't come across this, but i didn't look that hard either

i do agree that most of the anecdotal testimonies claim so



there is no because friend

Saya benar-benar sangat menyukai postingan anda, follow me @tjunaidi.

I think that IQ test can sometimes be really inaccurate as some people are just not good at doing those kinds of tests. I think that there are other ways that people can measure intelligence like success and measures like that which are not based entirely on test performance.

I believe that intelligence is like talent in that it can be grown. This is why it is hard to quantify it to a degree like IQ tests are doing. I do agree with you that is influenced by a persons present situation. IQ tests do hold good benefits though, taking it can show you what to improve on or having a high one can possibly help self-esteem.

yes i completely agree with you

There are other types of intelligence that can be measured too... musical, physical (sports, dance, martial arts, etc), and memory. I think.

Amazing ...
Good post
Thanks for sharing

good this post

Getting new parents ....hahahaha...ow man....

good post

IQ must be balanced with EQ.

Yes that's the solution
Get smarter parents
I guess it feels to be the one no one wants to stand next to

I don't bother with iq tests anymore they always tell me I am not that smart 😂 as I believe I am

Iq or EQ what is most important to you?

I guess it's always tempting to go with the one in which you're stronger
my EQ is non existent, so IQ gets my vote

Haha lol.

It was already a great post, but you won me with "I bet people that smart have figured out how to use the text editor to write on the right side of images like this one".
Satirical columnist indeed hahah
Upvoted and following :D

Meh, IQ test or not, I know I am smart ;)

lol guess its hard to argue with that

Imagine we could have used 100% of our brain .
IQ we are defining when people can use only 2-5% of our brain

Very nice post! Did you know...?
. Until recently, it was a “fact” that you were born with a set level of intelligence and number of brain cells. But it has since been discovered that your brain has the capacity to change throughout your lifetime due to a property known as brain plasticity. The brain can continue to form new brain cells via a process known as neurogenesis. (50)
Best wishes! - @splendorhub

Yes very true, also called Nero plasticity. However, I think that has more to do with Nero connections than size.

yep, definitely true

I'm already a smart mother ;)...

How many people actually take IQ tests?

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