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History UsefulNotes / IQTesting

15th Jan '16 3:31:02 PM FordPrefect
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People in TV shows never ever qualify their [=IQ=] tests in any way. This is akin to saying you got a 36 on the college admissions test with out saying which one it is; as a 36 could mean perfect score, top 75%, or below the lowest possible score; depending on whether you're talking about the [=ACT=], the International Baccalaureate, or the [=SAT=] respectively. Just giving a score assumes that all [=IQ=] tests have the same standard deviation, or measure the same kinds of brainpower. They don't. Tests have standard deviations ranging from 10 to 20 or higher; for example a score of 132 on the Stanford-Binet is equivalent to a 148 on the Cattell.

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People in TV shows never ever qualify their [=IQ=] tests in any way. This is akin to saying you got a 36 on the college admissions test with out without saying which one it is; as a 36 could mean perfect score, top 75%, or below the lowest possible score; score, depending on whether you're talking about the [=ACT=], the International Baccalaureate, or the [=SAT=] respectively. Just giving a score assumes that all [=IQ=] tests have the same standard deviation, or measure the same kinds of brainpower. They don't. Tests have standard deviations ranging from 10 to 20 or higher; for example a score of 132 on the Stanford-Binet is equivalent to a 148 on the Cattell.
15th Jan '16 3:29:31 PM FordPrefect
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[=IQ=] test scores are designed to follow a normal (bell curve) distribution--meaning that, if an IQ test is normed at 100 and has a standard deviation of 15 points, about 68% of the population has an IQ between 85 and 115 (one standard deviation from the norm), and fully ''95%'' of people are between 70 and 130. UsefulNotes/{{Mensa}}, the best-known international society for people with high [=IQs=], requires a score of at least 132 on the Stanford-Binet or Wechsler tests, corresponding to the 98th percentile. [=IQs=] over 145/under 55 number about one in a thousand; [=IQs=] over 160/under 40 (four standard deviations from the norm), about one in ''thirty'' thousand. The occurence of the more ridiculously high levels that come up in fiction become difficult to calculate, even in theory, but [=IQs=] over 190 (6 standard deviations from the norm), are about one in a billion while [=IQs=] over 229 (8.6 standard deviations from the norm), would be about one in ten-trillion: an interstellar level of IQ.

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[=IQ=] test scores are designed to follow a normal (bell curve) distribution--meaning that, if an IQ test is normed at 100 and has a standard deviation of 15 points, about 68% of the population has an IQ between 85 and 115 (one standard deviation from the norm), and fully ''95%'' of people are between 70 and 130. UsefulNotes/{{Mensa}}, the best-known international society for people with high [=IQs=], requires a score of at least 132 on the Stanford-Binet or Wechsler tests, corresponding to the 98th percentile. [=IQs=] over 145/under 55 number about one in a thousand; [=IQs=] over 160/under 40 (four standard deviations from the norm), about one in ''thirty'' thousand. The occurence of the more ridiculously high levels that come up in fiction become difficult to calculate, even in theory, but [=IQs=] over 190 (6 standard deviations from the norm), norm) are about one in a billion billion, while [=IQs=] over 229 (8.6 standard deviations from the norm), norm) would be about one in ten-trillion: ten trillion: an interstellar level of IQ.
13th Jun '14 7:12:49 PM DoctorDetective
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ImprobablyHighIQ and ImprobablyLowIQ are staples of the writer's trade; in reality, [=IQs=] range somewhere between 50 and 200. While in theory the average (statistical mean) IQ is 100, in practice the average of people in the street tends to be slightly higher because people with IQ scores under 70 are typically under various levels of care or supervision. Additionally, due to cognitive sorting, people tend to hang around with other people of similar intelligence so it would not be uncommon for a college grad with an IQ of 120 to have friends who average about the same.

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ImprobablyHighIQ and ImprobablyLowIQ are staples of the writer's trade; in reality, [=IQs=] range somewhere between 50 and 200. While in theory the average (statistical mean) IQ is 100, in practice the average of people in the street tends to be slightly higher because people with IQ scores under 70 are typically under various levels of care or supervision.supervision, though not by much, since the vast majority of people fall into the "average" range. Additionally, due to cognitive sorting, people tend to hang around with other people of similar intelligence so it would not be uncommon for a college grad with an IQ of 120 to have friends who average about the same.
6th Apr '14 11:41:49 AM Clevomon
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In addition, most IQ tests have at least two components, if nothing else, something separating an equivalent to verbal IQ (language and decoding) from performance IQ (perceptual abilities and/or executive function). It is not unheard of for someone taking an IQ test to come out at opposite extremes of the two scales, leaving the composite (total) score worthless for informational purposes - in such a case the composite score shows an average IQ, when the useful information is a very high score on one part and a very low one on the other.
15th Nov '13 2:13:13 PM 66Scorpio
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ImprobablyHighIQ and ImprobablyLowIQ are staples of the writer's trade; in reality, [=IQs=] range somewhere between 50 and 200.

to:

ImprobablyHighIQ and ImprobablyLowIQ are staples of the writer's trade; in reality, [=IQs=] range somewhere between 50 and 200.
200. While in theory the average (statistical mean) IQ is 100, in practice the average of people in the street tends to be slightly higher because people with IQ scores under 70 are typically under various levels of care or supervision. Additionally, due to cognitive sorting, people tend to hang around with other people of similar intelligence so it would not be uncommon for a college grad with an IQ of 120 to have friends who average about the same.



[=IQ=] test scores are designed to follow a normal (bell curve) distribution--meaning that, if an IQ test is normed at 100 and has a standard deviation of 15 points, about 68% of the population has an IQ between 85 and 115 (one standard deviation from the norm), and fully ''95%'' of people are between 70 and 130. UsefulNotes/{{Mensa}}, the best-known international society for people with high [=IQs=], requires a score of at least 132 on the Stanford-Binet or Wechsler tests, corresponding to the 98th percentile. [=IQs=] over 145/under 55 number about one in a thousand; [=IQs=] over 160/under 40 (four standard deviations from the norm), about one in ''thirty'' thousand. That far from the middle, test makers have trouble finding enough people to produce a nice reliable sample. Even then, and even assuming such a person had nothing better to do than help psychiatrists norm their IQ tests, the same person would likely achieve slightly different scores each time due to differences in the tests, the specific questions, and the conditions under which the test was taken.

to:

[=IQ=] test scores are designed to follow a normal (bell curve) distribution--meaning that, if an IQ test is normed at 100 and has a standard deviation of 15 points, about 68% of the population has an IQ between 85 and 115 (one standard deviation from the norm), and fully ''95%'' of people are between 70 and 130. UsefulNotes/{{Mensa}}, the best-known international society for people with high [=IQs=], requires a score of at least 132 on the Stanford-Binet or Wechsler tests, corresponding to the 98th percentile. [=IQs=] over 145/under 55 number about one in a thousand; [=IQs=] over 160/under 40 (four standard deviations from the norm), about one in ''thirty'' thousand. The occurence of the more ridiculously high levels that come up in fiction become difficult to calculate, even in theory, but [=IQs=] over 190 (6 standard deviations from the norm), are about one in a billion while [=IQs=] over 229 (8.6 standard deviations from the norm), would be about one in ten-trillion: an interstellar level of IQ.

That far from the middle, test makers have trouble finding enough people to produce a nice reliable sample. Even then, and even assuming such a person had nothing better to do than help psychiatrists norm their IQ tests, the same person would likely achieve slightly different scores each time due to differences in the tests, the specific questions, and the conditions under which the test was taken.
21st Oct '13 3:15:45 PM morenohijazo
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A test that can successfully classify 95% of the population will be adequate for nearly all conceivable uses... but eventually it will run into a ceiling. If two people get a perfect score, the test provides no way to measure which of them is more intelligent. A more difficult test must be used, and this is not commonly done. Mensa and other high [=IQ=] societies are some of the few groups that are interested in quantifying IQ scores at the extreme high end of the range. Since a special test must be used to give an accurate and precise score for these individuals, and since most people never need to do this, it's common for people with high intelligence to not know their exact [=IQ=] score beyond a fuzzy range.

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A test that can successfully classify 95% of the population will be adequate for nearly all conceivable uses... but eventually it will run into a ceiling. If two people get a perfect score, the test provides no way to measure [[RankedByIQ which of them is more intelligent.intelligent]]. A more difficult test must be used, and this is not commonly done. Mensa and other high [=IQ=] societies are some of the few groups that are interested in quantifying IQ scores at the extreme high end of the range. Since a special test must be used to give an accurate and precise score for these individuals, and since most people never need to do this, it's common for people with high intelligence to not know their exact [=IQ=] score beyond a fuzzy range.
25th Sep '13 9:42:24 PM Doryna
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Of course, the Rorschach test is one of the most contested tests, with multiple analysis sets and training. Two researchers who have been trained to analyze responses in the same way will likely draw the same conclusions, but their results may not match those of another analytic model. That being said, that makes the Rorschach about as a reliable as most conventional [=IQ=] tests, and since it's often administered as part of a package, it allows a sufficiently trained researcher to make a credible guess as to someone's [=IQ=]. This method is rarely shown on [=TV=], as [[ThereAreNoPsychologists no one needs therapy]] and it's hardly as impressive as having a character simply rattle off a concrete number.[[hottip:also:The public display of actual Rorschach images -- either on TV or described in text -- is considered an enormous taboo, as much of the Rorschach's utility is removed if the subject has already been exposed to the images.]]

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Of course, the Rorschach test is one of the most contested tests, with multiple analysis sets and training. Two researchers who have been trained to analyze responses in the same way will likely draw the same conclusions, but their results may not match those of another analytic model. That being said, that makes the Rorschach about as a reliable as most conventional [=IQ=] tests, and since it's often administered as part of a package, it allows a sufficiently trained researcher to make a credible guess as to someone's [=IQ=]. This method is rarely shown on [=TV=], as [[ThereAreNoPsychologists no one needs therapy]] and it's hardly as impressive as having a character simply rattle off a concrete number.[[hottip:also:The [[note]]Also:The public display of actual Rorschach images -- either on TV or described in text -- is considered an enormous taboo, as much of the Rorschach's utility is removed if the subject has already been exposed to the images.]]
[[/note]]
21st Feb '13 2:56:33 PM KLSymph
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IQ scores and IQ testing do not work the way that they are depicted in most fiction. Since there are [[ImprobablyHighIQ a couple]] [[ImprobablyLowIQ of tropes]], both dealing with the two most common (and unfortunately flawed) portrayals of these, here's the lowdown on how IQ actually works.

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IQ Intelligence Quotient scores and IQ Intelligence Quotient testing do not work the way that they are depicted in most fiction. Since there are [[ImprobablyHighIQ a couple]] [[ImprobablyLowIQ of tropes]], both dealing with the two most common (and unfortunately flawed) portrayals of these, here's the lowdown on how IQ actually works.
29th Sep '12 8:37:00 AM polymath
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!!!Just To Make Things Worse...
Although the term "[=IQ=]" implies that a test has been taken, it is possible for psychologists and psychiatrists to ''estimate'' a person's [=IQ=] without ever administering a formal [=IQ=] ''test.'' The famous Rorschach test ("inkblot test") is less concerned with measuring what the person thinks the shape looks like but ''how'' they think it looks like, which provides insight into a person's thought processes. The [=TAT=] asks a patient to put a series of simple sketches in chronological order and then create a narrative. These tests, along with many others, often provide sufficient insight into a person's thought processes and level of reasoning to allow an expert to estimate the subject's [=IQ=] number.

Of course, the Rorschach test is one of the most contested tests, with multiple analysis sets and training. Two researchers who have been trained to analyze responses in the same way will likely draw the same conclusions, but their results may not match those of another analytic model. That being said, that makes the Rorschach about as a reliable as most conventional [=IQ=] tests, and since it's often administered as part of a package, it allows a sufficiently trained researcher to make a credible guess as to someone's [=IQ=]. This method is rarely shown on [=TV=], as [[ThereAreNoPsychologists no one needs therapy]] and it's hardly as impressive as having a character simply rattle off a concrete number.[[hottip:also:The public display of actual Rorschach images -- either on TV or described in text -- is considered an enormous taboo, as much of the Rorschach's utility is removed if the subject has already been exposed to the images.]]

However, all processes still face the same hurdles: controlling for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotype_threat stereotype threat]]; validity (does the test measure what it says it measures); reliability (does the test consistently yield the same results); and a sufficiently large sample size to produce meaningful results. Whether or not human intelligence can be accurately plotted as an [=IQ=] number is unclear. However intelligence is defined, even tests that measure that definition of intelligence are going to have to overcome all the hurdles previously discussed. There is also a sizable language gap in how [=TV=] writers and psychologists (et al) define [=IQ=], nevermind the fact that researchers can compare how a person does on multiple tests and derive multiple [=IQ=] numbers.

In short, the result that matters is determined by what the test is being used for: a student who significantly deviates from the mean on an [=IQ=] test is being underserved by their school in some respect, with focus less on the number than on the degrees of separation from the mean; a criminal whose [=IQ=] is significantly low, to the point that there is doubt as to their ability to form criminal intent, will need to be tested extensively, as inability to perform higher-order logical reasoning processes is critical when determining eligibility for the death penalty in the [=USA=]; and then there's Mensa and other private companies that will offer to tell you your number for a fee, if you truly want to know a "number."
6th Sep '12 9:37:09 PM Nightsky
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ImprobablyHighIQ and ImprobablyLowIQ are staples of the writer's trade; in reality, [=IQs=] range somewhere between 50 and 200.
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