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AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet
12-22-2009, 03:20 AM
We all know that it's easy to diganose someone with mild or moderate mental retardation. But how do they calcuate IQ when someone has severe or profound mental retardation.
What does an IQ of 15 mean? What does an IQ of 5 mean?

Dinsdale
12-22-2009, 09:20 AM
Profound mental retardation is defined as an IQ below 20-25. I'm sure someone more expert than I will be along shortly, but I would be surprised to learn that there were significant distinctions below that point.

Kelby
12-22-2009, 10:38 AM
Well, the lowest measurable IQ available in the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fourth Edition is 40, which falls at the lower end of the lower end of the moderate range of mental deficiency. Anything lower would have to be estimated/extrapolated, but the value of doing that is dubious, since you need to deal with the functional level of these individuals, not predict what they may be able to do by a score on paper.

BTW, the scale also tops out at 160. So when you hear folks (I think I've seen it here) brag about their IQ's being above that level, you might be skeptical. They've either had their IQ's extrapolated (possible, but doubtful), taken some type of quacky internet test, or are pulling the score out of their arse.

The Wechlser series is the most widely used in clinical/school practice, followed by the Stanford-Binet Scales.

Wendell Wagner
12-22-2009, 11:09 AM
Remember that I.Q. scores mean nothing except as a measurement of a place on a normal curve. Just as scores of 115, 130, 145, and 160 mean that someone is one, two, three, or four standard deviations above the mean (which is 100), scores of 85, 70, 55, and 40 mean that someone is one, two, three, or four standard deviations below the mean. To assign someone a place of four standard deviations above the mean (which means that only one person in 31,000 gets that score), you would have to give the test to about 100,000 people and say that just the top three people on the test are at least four standard deviations away from the mean and thus have I.Q.'s of at least 160. Assigning I.Q.'s above that level is a very dubious proposition.

It's harder to establish what an I.Q. of 40 means. Such a person can't read, so you would have to use a special test. You generally have a list of simple tasks that any person of average intelligence can do and check how many of them the person can do.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
12-22-2009, 11:10 AM
The IQ is what its name implies--a quotient. Can the IQs of severely mentally disabled be derived by comparison with those who are not so badly handicapped? For example, a person with an IQ of 60 can usually speak normally if simply, may be able to write a little, or perform other tasks involving pencil and paper. Presumably there is a wide array of nonverbal tests which they can undergo as well; being able to do them would be, so to speak, "normal" for an adult with a 50 IQ. Could people more profoundly disabled be tested by having them attempt those tasks, and compare their performance to the 50-IQ benchmark at given ages, thus deriving the mental/chronological age quotient?

Wendell Wagner
12-22-2009, 11:11 AM
Incidentally, an I.Q. of 5 is as impossible as an I.Q. of 195. There haven't been enough people in the history of the world to put someone that far out on the normal curve in either direction.

Wendell Wagner
12-22-2009, 11:13 AM
The I.Q. is no longer a quotient. That's an old-fashioned definition of it. It's now a place on a normal curve. That is, it tells you how many standard deviations you are from the mean, using 100 as the mean and 15 points for each standard deviation.

Kelby
12-22-2009, 11:19 AM
It's harder to establish what an I.Q. of 40 means. Such a person can't read, so you would have to use a special test. You generally have a list of simple tasks that any person of average intelligence can do and check how many of them the person can do.

No comprehensive IQ test I've ever used required the subject to read. Vocabulary terms are sometimes made available to the subject, but always are read by the examiner.

Individuals in the 40 IQ range are difficult to assess because they can do so little of the test. Maybe older folks can mimic the responses of the examiner and get some credit on some tests, but on the whole they can do very little of what the test asks for.

Again, with these indivduals you're dealing with a restricted range of language development and learned behavior.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-22-2009, 11:22 AM
BTW, the scale also tops out at 160. So when you hear folks (I think I've seen it here) brag about their IQ's being above that level, you might be skeptical. They've either had their IQ's extrapolated (possible, but doubtful) taken some type of quacky internet test, or are pulling the score out of their arse.
Why is that "doubtful?" It happened to me. I got tested multiple times when I was a kid because my parents and teachers thought I was some kind of boy genius or something. I went to real shrinks, and took the real tests (there was no internet back then), and was told I went off the chart, (which, I guess is why they tested me more than once....I was tested three times in total) but the second shrink said it was probably around 165 (the first one wouldn't hazard a guess). I don't think my experience was rare.

That estimated score was the bane of my existence in high school. My parents and teachers expected me to be the next Stephen Hawking, but I was lazy, undisciplined, pot smoking underachiever, despite my "accelerated" curriculum. If I'd just tested out as an ordinary idiot, I wouldn't have had to feel so guilty about letting people down all the time.

Kelby
12-22-2009, 11:27 AM
Why is that "doubtful?" It happened to me. I got tested multiple times when I was a kid because my parents and teachers thought I was some kind of boy genius or something. I went to real shrinks, and took the real tests (there was no internet back then), and was told I went off the chart, (which, I guess is why they tested me more than once....I was tested three times in total) but the second shrink said it was probably around 165 (the first one wouldn't hazard a guess). I don't think my experience was rare.

That estimated score was the bane of my existence in high school. My parents and teachers expected me to be the next Stephen Hawking, but I was lazy, undisciplined, pot smoking underachiever, despite my "accelerated" curriculum. If I'd just tested out as an ordinary idiot, I wouldn't have had to feel so guilty about letting people down all the time.

Ever seen Forest Gump?

I'm not saying it's impossible, just extremely rare.

I've NEVER seen any reported IQ that high in any clinical psychological report I've read.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-22-2009, 11:40 AM
You mean you've never seen an estimated score over 160, or you've never seen a report of somebody topping out the Wechsler? I don't know what to tell you, but they said it happened to me. I think that's why they kept making me do it over again. It was my impression that this was unusual, but not so rare that no one would ever see it. Maybe I'm just naive enough to believe what other people have told me about their own experiences, but I'm certain that at least some of those people were brighter than me.

Nava
12-22-2009, 11:45 AM
Well, the lowest measurable IQ available in the Wechsler Intelligence Scale ...BTW, the scale also tops out at 160. ...

The Wechlser series is the most widely used in clinical/school practice, followed by the Stanford-Binet Scales.

Do different scales have different endpoints?

Kelby
12-22-2009, 11:48 AM
You mean you've never seen an estimated score over 160, or you've never seen a report of somebody topping out the Wechsler? I don't know what to tell you, but they said it happened to me. I think that's why they kept making me do it over again. It was my impression that this was unusual, but not so rare that no one would ever see it. Maybe I'm just naive enough to believe what other people have told me about their own experiences, but I'm certain that at least some of those people were brighter than me.

Either. For someone to get every possible item correct on the test is pretty inconceivable to me, but I'm pretty average.

I have no reason to doubt what you are saying. If it is true, consider your brain power representative of 1 in 100,000.

Kelby
12-22-2009, 11:50 AM
Do different scales have different endpoints?

Probably. But the highest ceiling I know of now is 160.

MLS
12-22-2009, 01:29 PM
Do different scales have different endpoints?
Definitely. At both ends. They also mean different things at various intermediate points. The only place all IQ scores mean the same thing is at 100 -- dead average. An IQ score by itself is of limited usefulness unless you also know the test it's based on.

Misleading numbers can also result from continuous re-testing. Or from extrapolating. The incredibly high numbers that are sometimes reported ("smartest woman in the world") are the result of one or both of those.

Shalmanese
12-22-2009, 01:48 PM
Incidentally, an I.Q. of 5 is as impossible as an I.Q. of 195. There haven't been enough people in the history of the world to put someone that far out on the normal curve in either direction.

But when the population of civilization tops 76 billion people, then the dumbest person alive will actually have negative IQ.

Pyper
12-22-2009, 03:10 PM
People at the very lowest end of the scale are frequently assessed using measurements of adaptive living skills, which are more useful in providing intervention and treatment than an I.Q.

Wendell Wagner
12-22-2009, 10:30 PM
Diogenes the Cynic, unless you're old enough that you took I.Q. tests back before the scoring was converted from the old quotient definition to the modern standard deviation definition, no test could have measured your I.Q. as 165. None of them measure a score higher than 160. If what you say is correct, I suspect that what happened with the psychologist who claimed that your I.Q. was 165 was that he looked at the results of the two (or three) I.Q. tests you'd already taken, each of which gave your score as 160, and decided that you were probably even a little bit better than someone who just topped out on the test. He made an arbitrary guess that your I.Q. was about 165.

Could you tell us a little more about your life experiences since then? What did your parents try to do with someone who had a very high I.Q. but didn't seem to be working anywhere close to his potential? What did your schools and colleges do? What have the jobs you've worked at been like?

Nava
12-22-2009, 11:56 PM
Definitely. At both ends. They also mean different things at various intermediate points. The only place all IQ scores mean the same thing is at 100 -- dead average. An IQ score by itself is of limited usefulness unless you also know the test it's based on.

Misleading numbers can also result from continuous re-testing. Or from extrapolating. The incredibly high numbers that are sometimes reported ("smartest woman in the world") are the result of one or both of those.

OK, here's the thing: I have no idea what scales have I been measured on. I was never told. I could probably find out for the only test for which I got a number, since it was Mensa Spain's "official" test at the time. I don't even know whether the "psychological" tests at school ever involved IQ tests; they probably did, but my parents put as much value on that as on the "professional interests" test (i.e., they used it as toilet paper).

So as you say, maybe the people who've been given numbers above 160 were given a number taken out of the tester's left elbow (in which case the one who was lying, as in giving misleading information, and absolutely unprofessional, was the tester), or maybe they were tested under one of those scales which never survived more than a year.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-23-2009, 12:38 AM
Diogenes the Cynic, unless you're old enough that you took I.Q. tests back before the scoring was converted from the old quotient definition to the modern standard deviation definition, no test could have measured your I.Q. as 165. None of them measure a score higher than 160. If what you say is correct, I suspect that what happened with the psychologist who claimed that your I.Q. was 165 was that he looked at the results of the two (or three) I.Q. tests you'd already taken, each of which gave your score as 160, and decided that you were probably even a little bit better than someone who just topped out on the test. He made an arbitrary guess that your I.Q. was about 165.
It was around 1979 or 1980, so if the scoring has changed that might exolain something. My impression was never that my score was freakish, just unusual.

I wasn't told that I had scored 165 on the test, but that I had gone of the chart at 160, and the second shrink who tested me said he thought it was probably around 165 -- He didn't act like it was an Oh my God, Marilyn Vos Savant level or anything, but just a "really smart" kid who could probably stand to skip a grade or two in school.
Could you tell us a little more about your life experiences since then? What did your parents try to do with someone who had a very high I.Q. but didn't seem to be working anywhere close to his potential? What did your schools and colleges do? What have the jobs you've worked at been like?
It first started in 1st grade, when some teachers urged them to test me and maybe move me up a grade. I think they did test me then, but I don't remember much about it, and they decided nt to move me up because they wanted me to socialize normally. Around 6th grade, they started getting questions from teachers again, and then a year or two later, my parents started doing the serious testing. They tested my bothers too, and both of them tested really high as well, but I was the only one who seemed to get all the attention. Eventually, my parents and my high school put me on what they called an "accelerated schedule," in which I was taking upper level classes (even a couple of college level classes) early, and was put on a pace to graduate after my junior year. Because I was such a slacker (and I think the pressure and expectations had a lot to do with it) I ended up still needing one class to graduate after my junior year, so I took half a senior year taking that one class independent study, and taking a bunch of goof off classes like Yearbook and "Office Aid" to fill up my day.

I graduatued and Christmas and went straight into college at 17, which was not a great idea for me at the time. I ended up partying a lot, and dropping out to go and try to be a rock star. I then spent more than a decade playing in rock bands, and trying to be a guitarist/singer/songwriter before finally deciding to pack that in and go back to college once I was approaching my 30's. I got my BA (fairly effortlessly. One of my "gifts" in both high school and college was that I had good enough recall of lectures that I never had to take notes. This always fascinated a lot of my classmates, like it was some kind of magic trick), then got married, went into AmeriCorps, started having kids, and now work as a home health aid for mentally ill people on the weekends while being a stay at home dad during the week. I never realized my potential. In retrospect, I think this is in no small part due to a cretain kind of paralysis I always got about being able to meet expectations. Subconsciously, I think I told myself it was better not to try, and to act like I was above it all and didn't care, then to try and be proven a fraud.

AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet
12-23-2009, 03:07 AM
People at the very lowest end of the scale are frequently assessed using measurements of adaptive living skills, which are more useful in providing intervention and treatment than an I.Q.What if a person has scattered skills in those adaptive living skills?
Do "IQ" numbers corralate to month age in the lower end of the scale?
Like does an "IQ number" mean that a person is basicly 36 months old or 5 months old or ten months old?

Wendell Wagner
12-23-2009, 09:16 AM
Saying that someone has "gone off the charts" is a bad way to put it. What is meant is that such a person has gotten a score of 160 on the test. His true I.Q. (whatever that means) could be 160 or it could be something higher than that. Saying anything else is purely a guess. It can't come from the test, because the test doesn't measure anything higher than that.

I don't understand what sort of distinction you're making between freakish and unusual. A score of 160 means that you're one in 31,000 in the general population. Since far more than one person in 31,000 skips a grade (I would guess that at least one person in 200 skips a grade), if one relied purely on the test to tell if one should skip a grade that would say that you could skip a grade.

The standard deviation definition of I.Q. has been standard since about 1960, while before then the quotient definition was common. That means that while Marilyn Vos Savant can claim that her I.Q. was measured once as 228, since back then they used the quotient definition, anyone of my age or your age would have been scored by the standard deviation method. Anyone who claims to have scored more than 160 since 1960 has been scammed.

Annie-Xmas
12-23-2009, 09:27 AM
I was tested several times in school, having very limited verbal skills, and I've gotton use to seeing jaws drop when I measure in the 140-150 range.

Most people realize that someone with an I.Q. of 50 is different. But they don't realize that someone with an I.Q. of 150 is just as different.

Dinsdale
12-23-2009, 09:44 AM
I'm truly interested in hearing from someone with experience with people with extremely low IQs. I regularly deal with situations in which people have measured IQs from the 50s-70s. But my understanding is that once you get below 30 or so, you are talking abut someone who is incapable of caring for themselves and needs pretty much ongoing care. I would be surprised if someone with an IQ of 20 were even verbal. I would really question the reliability - or usefulness - of drawing distinctions between individuals who were so profoundly disabled.

I do not know of any correlation between extremely low IQs and chronological age/development. If an individual is nonverbal and unable to use the toilet, how many months old are they?

But I have no personal experience and would welcome info from any who do.

Another thing thathas not been expressly stated here but goes without saying, is that an elevated IQ score may measure something, but by no means is it a reliable indicator of what we each would consider intelligence.

Chief Pedant
12-23-2009, 10:44 AM
Another thing thathas not been expressly stated here but goes without saying, is that an elevated IQ score may measure something, but by no means is it a reliable indicator of what we each would consider intelligence.

We see this comment all the time, usually with qualifiers like "reliable" tossed in.

Actually, I think intelligent people do consider (formal) intelligence testing a good indicator of intelligence. Sure; there are variations on trying to define intelligence but if we're talking g or "smart guy" or whatever, it's a pretty good indicator.

It's a much poorer indicator for things like social skills, initiative, character, dependency...on and on...and those things (depending on circumstance) can be equally or more important in overall "success" in modern society.

As a rule of thumb, for most cognitive-intensive tasks, intelligence is necessary but not sufficient, and IQ is a pretty good marker for intelligence. Much of the unpopularity and criticism around IQ testing arise from either its misuse or from the fact that we don't really liked to be ranked on such a fundamental skillset.

Dinsdale
12-23-2009, 11:27 AM
We see this comment all the time, usually with qualifiers like "reliable" tossed in.

Actually, I think intelligent people do consider (formal) intelligence testing a good indicator of intelligence.

Of course, IQ tests reliably measure something. But what I was trying to get across was that people can disagree on how useful whatever they test is, or whether that encapsulates "intelligence." As I intended what you quoted, the most significant qualifier was "what we each would consider" - not "reliable". Sorry I did not make that clear.

I am far from an expert, but I've read many things suggesting that many folk believe there are several different "types" of intelligence or "giftedness". Without researching, perhaps language/math/logic of the type IQ tests measure well, but also interpersonal, spatial relationships, perhaps artistic...

It is not at all uncommon to encounter someone with a "genius-level" IQ score, who is socially clueless. Do you believe that the high IQ score alone truly qualifies someone as "intelligent"? Maybe it is I who is being the pedant, but I believe intelligence is an imprecise term, and can legitimately encompass much more than what IQ tests measure. The same person can be a genius in some respects, and a fucking idiot in others. That's all I meant.

I also believe that drawing precise distinctions based on IQ scores - especially testing done on children - is of limited practical use. Sure, someone with an IQ below 70 is going to have considerable difficulty doing many things that come easily to someone with an IQ of 100. And the 100 scorer will be the same with respect to 130. But once you get much below 70 or above 130 - and even moreso below 50 or above 150, I think the usefulness in IQ testing in delineating meaningful distinctions lessens considerably.

DtC claims to have an IQ which few of us can match. Yet he seems to go out of his way to offend people, and I suspect his abrasive approach turns off more folk than he convinces. Hell, he and I are usually at quite similar ends of most issues, yet I find myself cringing at many of his statements. So whatever his ability to obtain elevated test scores, is he "intelligent"?

IMO, intelligence does not exist in a vacuum, but instead, connotes some degree of "effectiveness" (yet another term requiring definition!) ;)

Mr. Excellent
12-23-2009, 11:48 AM
I was tested several times in school, having very limited verbal skills, and I've gotton use to seeing jaws drop when I measure in the 140-150 range.

Most people realize that someone with an I.Q. of 50 is different. But they don't realize that someone with an I.Q. of 150 is just as different.

Nitpick, but: Is that actually so? I mean, sure, as a definitional matter it is. But in terms of real-world functionality, I rather doubt it. A genius with the appropriate skill-set, talking with (or writing to) an interested person of normal intelligence can make some fairly esoteric ideas understood, albeit at a basic level. That's why there is a whole genre of popular-science books - it certainly takes genius to come up with a lot of this stuff, but once that's done, much of it is comprehensible to people of average intelligence. I can understand what Stephen Hawking is talking about - not in detail, but the broad strokes - if I pay attention and I'm reading books meant for people of average intelligence.

I doubt that holds true for people with seriously below-average IQs. That is, I suspect that people of average intelligence have thoughts and ideas every day that they just couldn't *ever* convey to a person with an IQ of fifty, even in broad outlines. Once you get below the level of intelligence needed for easy literacy, huge chunks of the world are cut off for you - permanently.

Going back to my Stephen Hawking example - perhaps I flatter myself, but I'd guess that it would be a lot easier for Hawking to have a sustained conversation about physics with me than it would be for me to have a sustained conversation about much of anything with a profoundly disabled person.

Dinsdale
12-23-2009, 11:56 AM
Nitpick, but: Is that actually so? I mean, sure, as a definitional matter it is. But in terms of real-world functionality, I rather doubt it.

Good point, and I very much agree.

The other thing I was thinking about was the saying, You know how stupid the "average person" seems? Well, realize that 1/2 of the population is even dumber than they are! ;)

Diogenes the Cynic
12-23-2009, 11:57 AM
Saying that someone has "gone off the charts" is a bad way to put it. What is meant is that such a person has gotten a score of 160 on the test. His true I.Q. (whatever that means) could be 160 or it could be something higher than that. Saying anything else is purely a guess. It can't come from the test, because the test doesn't measure anything higher than that.
He said it was a guess. It didn't come from the test.
I don't understand what sort of distinction you're making between freakish and unusual.
I just meant that their reactions were not particularly shocked. The shrinks didn't act like it was all that remarkable, just like it was above average but not newsworthy.
A score of 160 means that you're one in 31,000 in the general population. Since far more than one person in 31,000 skips a grade (I would guess that at least one person in 200 skips a grade), if one relied purely on the test to tell if one should skip a grade that would say that you could skip a grade.
Not exactly sure what point you're trying to make here, but it wasn't the only thing my parents were relying on, and my schools were willing to do it without any testing at all.
The standard deviation definition of I.Q. has been standard since about 1960, while before then the quotient definition was common. That means that while Marilyn Vos Savant can claim that her I.Q. was measured once as 228, since back then they used the quotient definition, anyone of my age or your age would have been scored by the standard deviation method. Anyone who claims to have scored more than 160 since 1960 has been scammed.
I don't claim to have "scored" over 160. They said I was over 160, but that the test couldn't measure it (I don't remember if they literally used the phrase "off the chart." That might have been my parents. It was 30 years ago. My recall isn't THAT good). One shrink said he guessed it was around 165.

md2000
12-23-2009, 12:26 PM
I asume the response to the question, is to have the subject's handlers go through a series of checklists: (on a scale of 1 to 5 the subject can)
Can dress themselves
Can tell left and right shoes
Tie shoelaces
Feed themselves
Talk in sentences
Talk; undertsnad what they're told
Follow instructions
Remember instructions for how long?
Use toilet properly
... etc.
I doubt anyone really cares about the difference between an IQ 40 and 45.
Also, you can use the above criteria to say the person functions as a "2-year-old" or "4-year-old" etc., which is how many news stories also describe "challenged" people too.

Hmmm... I took one or two informal tests that pegged me in the 130 range. I went to a private school thanks to my parents, but the shock was in dropping out of college and working in the lower end of the real world in an industrial job, and encountering really stupid people for the first time.

Also, there is a moderate correlation between marks and smarts, but not between smarts and success, especially in the corporate world. A lot of success I've observed depends as much on socializing (aka butt kissing). It won't always make up for failure, but it will give someone the edge if they are minimally competent. Also, to be fair, a lot of management involves social skills over technical smarts.

Plus, many "smart" people seem to have Aspergers, which limits their social and empathic skills.

Tom Tildrum
12-23-2009, 12:34 PM
When I took the test earlier this year, they told me I was a 41-year-old with the intelligence of a 47-year-old.

qazwart
12-23-2009, 12:42 PM
We all know that it's easy to diganose someone with mild or moderate mental retardation. But how do they calcuate IQ when someone has severe or profound mental retardation.
What does an IQ of 15 mean? What does an IQ of 5 mean?

As others have pointed out, measuring an IQ less than 40 is rarely done. Officially, an IQ of 40 means a 10 year old child has a mental age of 4. However, when you measure IQs at the extreme ends of the scale, you are talking about major differences in the results in minor score deviations. At that point, it simply gets inaccurate.

You can take a logical guess of an IQ below 40 by looking at the child's mental ability and the child's actual age. A ten year old child who has the mental ability of a one year old would have an IQ of 10.

Silverstreak Wonder
12-23-2009, 12:46 PM
Dinsdale and others, I can tell you why someone who may be all wrong about views and their thinking can test so high in IQ tests, the reason is they are not just testing intelligence at all, but MEMORY. Remember he said he need not take notes in class to do well? That isn't being smart at all, it is having a photographic memory.

Yes, you can make a living and seem smart with just that. There are some jobs that is all you need in fact, teaching, foreign language interpreter being a couple of good examples. But it doesn't mean a person is RIGHT or even smart, at all. We had a smartass at work who could recall every computer rule like a textbook, and as long as that was all needed to answer a question he seemed brilliant. Then he tried to get a high certification test, fails because it "isn't in the book" but rather he must design something using the rules, see???

Memory is important and ought to be measured but separate from smartness or intelligence. I am just the opposite, brilliant with perfect judgment but with the memory of a Commodore 64. My intelligence is not measured properly by IQ because half or more of the test is a memory test when I had it.

Sailboat
12-23-2009, 12:52 PM
How is IQ caluated at the lower ends of the scale?

Using the fingers, at least until you get as high as ten.

Mr. Excellent
12-23-2009, 12:56 PM
Dinsdale and others, I can tell you why someone who may be all wrong about views and their thinking can test so high in IQ tests, the reason is they are not just testing intelligence at all, but MEMORY.

With respect, this isn't so. Most modern IQ tests assess memory, sure - but they also assess analytical ability. (One very basic way they do this, though far from the only one, is through analogies - "Black is to white as up is to ___", and so forth.)

electronbee
12-23-2009, 12:58 PM
Hasn't everyone in the US been tested in elementary school? I remember my classmates and I taking tests back in the 80's. And, IIRC, my HS psych teacher told me we could go to the DOE once we were over 18 and get the result.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
12-23-2009, 12:59 PM
I haven't been able to find it again, but once I was reading an Internet site advocating the abolition of the death penalty for developmentally disabled convicts. It described one case in which the defendant had an estimated IQ of 37; he gave himself away by forgetting to conceal his feet when hiding under some bedding -- the old pitfall of believing, "If I can't see you, you can't see me."

Kelby
12-23-2009, 01:08 PM
A couple of points: The old Stanford Binet did produce scores that could be converted to a "mental age", giving laypeople a very rough idea of how the person performed on the test.
I don't believe that's the case anymore with that or any other good test.

Again, folks with very low IQ's (presumed in some cases, because they can't do much on comprehensive IQ tests) are measured in terms of their functional and adaptive skills. What can they do, and what do they need to be able to do right now. Focus on a needed skill and teach it. An IQ test score would provide very little in the way of diagnostic information beyond what is already known about the individual.

I agree with the idea that IQ measures the kind of intelligence that predicts academic performance potential. Simply put, folks with higher IQ's may be expected to have an easier time in school and be able to go further, depending on their interests and drive. As has been pointed out, the tests do not measure many other areas that are vital to success in life. Folks with Aspergers, as mentioned, can score high on the test but be unable to carry on a normal conversation or make friends. Others with more modest IQ's are become happy and successful by virtue of their personality, drive, and social skills.

There are only a handful of IQ tests considered to be comprehensive and which yield reliable and valid IQ scores. They are administered individually by a qualified psychologist and may take upwards of two hours complete. Other measures that may produce some type of ability score include brief tests, some of which test only one or two attributes of ability, group tests, which are often given in schools or by the military, and various other tests, such as the Wonderlic (given to NFL football players) and numerous others found on the internet (on which nobody can score below average...I've tried).

Silverstreak Wonder
12-23-2009, 01:13 PM
Excellent, well my test was long ago, but even then I do recall those awful anal-things you mention and tried after to find out how in the devil does one study for them? They would be fine if there was one correct answer, but in almost every one there are like 3 of 4 right answers and it is just someones opinion which one is "Better".

That isn't right way to assess intelligence at all. I remrmber writing down several of them and asking after the test, no one could say what was correct as all were. An example would be for an anal-thing for "Blue" where the choices are SKY, OCEAN, LAKE, Stream, Bird, etc. All can be blue, now which is the BEST?

I remember being very mad that THIS had anything to do with my intelligence, a brilliant person like myself wanted to mark all those, but the test clearly said only ONE to be selected, so I picked randomly. That didn't measure anything, and yes the other kids said they picked randomly leaving out only wrong answers like say "rabbit" for the above. You are right that this part was not a memory test at least, but it would only measure anything if there was ONE correct answer only, not opinions.

So I have always called those opinion questions. Can anyone explain why they would have many correct answers? How does one study for this test, is there some trick to it?

More recently I tried the MENSA test, and found it was mostly memory test and not logic, and decided I want no part of that after trying a practice test.

Kelby
12-23-2009, 01:18 PM
Excellent, well my test was long ago, but even then I do recall those awful anal-things you mention and tried after to find out how in the devil does one study for them? They would be fine if there was one correct answer, but in almost every one there are like 3 of 4 right answers and it is just someones opinion which one is "Better".

That isn't right way to assess intelligence at all. I remrmber writing down several of them and asking after the test, no one could say what was correct as all were. An example would be for an anal-thing for "Blue" where the choices are SKY, OCEAN, LAKE, Stream, Bird, etc. All can be blue, now which is the BEST?

I remember being very mad that THIS had anything to do with my intelligence, a brilliant person like myself wanted to mark all those, but the test clearly said only ONE to be selected, so I picked randomly. That didn't measure anything, and yes the other kids said they picked randomly leaving out only wrong answers like say "rabbit" for the above. You are right that this part was not a memory test at least, but it would only measure anything if there was ONE correct answer only, not opinions.

So I have always called those opinion questions. Can anyone explain why they would have many correct answers? How does one study for this test, is there some trick to it?

More recently I tried the MENSA test, and found it was mostly memory test and not logic, and decided I want no part of that after trying a practice test.

Well, "studying" for an IQ test would defeat the purpose. The person tested needs to be completely naive to the test content in order to obtain a valid scores.

Some of the verbal analogies item you refer to are often found on the scholastic aptitude tests, such as the ACT/SAT. They are purported to measure higher level verbal conceptual abilities. They actually do that pretty well. You can "study" some sample items and tests which may help to some degree, but you still have to possess the reasoning abiilty to be succesful with them under actual test conditions with different items.

Silverstreak Wonder
12-23-2009, 01:38 PM
Kelby, yes, many were on those kind of test. But I never could find out right answers to use for the next test? I ended up guessing by system, in other words if there are 2 or 3 the same pick the largest one, like above "Sky" is the biggest blue thing---problem is how does one ever find out which one they DID want?

In the examples on the test there was ALWAYS just one correct answer and 3 or 4 bad answers I'd never pick. On the test there would almost always be 2 or 3 correct answers that fit, so do you pick the largest one as "Better" or what? And just who decides what is the best answer anyway? I think a true test would involve writing a sentence or two to explain the choice, and not having multiple right answers and someones opinion. Then the persons actual logic could be seen and judged. A better way could be that the answers would have explanations and then you'd pick the one with the clearest too, there are many ways to improve that kind of a test.

Getting back to memory testing, I think a memory test is fine too as long as the results are then reported as memory ability and not intelligence ability.

Kelby
12-23-2009, 01:45 PM
Well, with the kinds of items I think you are referring to, the examples are pretty straightforward, then they difficulty increases to the point where most people cannot figure out the relationship between the terms. The vast majority of people miss the higher level items on most subtests.

While there are some direct measures of memory (usually short-term) on ability tests, they make up only a fraction of the content.

Wendell Wagner
12-23-2009, 08:48 PM
qazwart writes:

> Officially, an IQ of 40 means a 10 year old child has a mental age of 4.

No, it doesn't. That's using the old quotient definition of I.Q. In the new standard deviation of I.Q., an I.Q. of 40 means that someone is expected to be (approximately) the lowest in intelligence in a random group of about 31,000.

electronbee writes:

> Hasn't everyone in the US been tested in elementary school?

If I was, they didn't tell me the score. I think that my school may have given everyone an I.Q. test at some point but they didn't let anyone, not student, teacher, or parent, look at the scores unless the school decided that the student was having problems and it was important to figure out what was causing it.

Diogenes the Cynic writes:

> I don't claim to have "scored" over 160.

I didn't say that you claimed to have scored over 160. I wrote:

> Anyone who claims to have scored more than 160 since 1960 has been
> scammed.

Anyone means any random person, not you. If I had meant you, I would have said so. Clearly you made no such claim. Lots of people on the Internet claim to have bizarrely high I.Q. scores. They've been scammed (or are just lying).

Diogenes the Cynic also writes:

> Not exactly sure what point you're trying to make here, but it wasn't the only
> thing my parents were relying on, and my schools were willing to do it without
> any testing at all.

I didn't say that it was the only thing your parents relied on. I wrote:

> Since far more than one person in 31,000 skips a grade (I would guess that at
> least one person in 200 skips a grade), if one relied purely on the test to tell if
> one should skip a grade that would say that you could skip a grade.

At no point in that did I mention your parents. I was talking about some random person. I said that *if* one relied on nothing but the test result, a score of 160 would have certainly be sufficient. I didn't say that someone should or ever has relied on nothing but the test score.

In general, it's a bad idea to try to figure out extrapolations of what I write. I write just what I want to say, and I don't intend to imply things beyond that.

Nava
12-24-2009, 03:33 AM
With respect, this isn't so. Most modern IQ tests assess memory, sure - but they also assess analytical ability. (One very basic way they do this, though far from the only one, is through analogies - "Black is to white as up is to ___", and so forth.)

Agreed, but it would "help" with the retesters, specially in cases like Von Savant, who not only got retested repeatedly but trained in between. Retesting without knowing which results did you get right and which wrong would not be affected by memory, but if you've been given that information (and specially if you've been told the right answer), then hell yeah.

md2000
12-24-2009, 11:15 AM
Well, "studying" for an IQ test would defeat the purpose. The person tested needs to be completely naive to the test content in order to obtain a valid scores.

Maybe - when my wife had to take an aptitude test for a job interview, we googled various tests ahead of time. If you are used to this sort of stuff, or do puzzles a lot for fun, then it might be valid. but she'd been out of school for 15 years and this was the first such test she'd done.

We found some of those black/white/grey triangle/square/circle sequence puzzles. Once she saw a few and got the idea of exactly what they were asking for, it was easy. If someone threw that at you cold, it might be a bit more of an adjustment. The "aha" moment - "Oh, the sequence is a combination of the shape, shade, ... I get it." Similarly, she hadn't done numerical sequence or other math puzzles either, so seeing a few and working through them made a big difference. For math, once you show the concept - they could be regular, 1-3-5; or the differences regular; it could be geometrical progression or squares or repeating patterns... How numerically literate are you?

Funny, a couple of the problems were almost identical to what she found online. So in the end, I'm sure she did a lot better than if she'd seen the test cold; particularly because it removed the confusion factor and enhanced her confidence.

So to a limited extent it helps; but you can't seriously fake being smart.

Pyper
12-24-2009, 09:11 PM
What if a person has scattered skills in those adaptive living skills?
Do "IQ" numbers corralate to month age in the lower end of the scale?
Like does an "IQ number" mean that a person is basicly 36 months old or 5 months old or ten months old?

The checklists that measure adaptive living skills give a breakdown of skills and their age equivalents. So there might be a category like "self-care" listing skills such as bathing, brushing teeth, dressing, combing hair, etc. Then each skill is broken down further- for example with dressing: putting on clothes, being able to fasten clothes, tie shoes, etc. Each skill has an age at which it should be mastered. Usually, it's a broad range. If you can zip your own clothing, you are equivalent to an individual >5 years old. If you can't, you are equivalent to <5 years old. Looking at the average age range of all skills, one can get a pretty good idea of where the person's functioning level is. Frequently, individuals do have highly scattered skills (especially individuals with autism, who frequently have "splinter skills" which they perform very well). This is why I think it's generally not useful to say, "Oh, he has the mind of a five-year-old." Even if an adult has the cognitive abilities of a five-year-old, that doesn't mean that they are emotionally five, with the same interests and concerns as a kindergartener.

Someone has already addressed your other questions, but no, IQ does not equate with mental age. It is more like a bell curve.

elfkin477
12-24-2009, 11:17 PM
Nitpick, but: Is that actually so? I mean, sure, as a definitional matter it is. But in terms of real-world functionality, I rather doubt it. Having both worked with children who were mildly to moderately retarded and known a few people with IQs in the 140-150 range fairly well, I'd say no. While the low IQ child inevitably struggles due to their limitations, many people with IQs that high aren't functioning at their full potential, so they're far closer to a typical person in most ways that count than the other is.

AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet
12-25-2009, 03:24 AM
It described one case in which the defendant had an estimated IQ of 37; he gave himself away by forgetting to conceal his feet when hiding under some bedding -- the old pitfall of believing, "If I can't see you, you can't see me." Kind of OT but I do think that it's sad that we have MR criminals. Some of them may be Fetal Alchohol Syndrome/severe ADD/MR combo......but others may have fallen through the cracks in terms of receiving social services.

constanze
12-26-2009, 03:50 PM
To those who have answered here knowing about IQ: My impression was that the kind of intelligence that a high IQ measured was the ability to see patterns quicker than normal people. Or is this a misconception of Hollywood? Because that (and not photographic memory) is what a lot of "genius" people often seem to display - they say "But don't you see that ------?" to an ordinary person, who only does after explantions.

I've also heard that originally, the IQ tests started out as a way to measure the developmental age and rate of progress for retarded children and was not intended to apply to normal children or adults. The idea was to test children who acted strange and find out whether they were developing normally; were faster and thus goofing off; or were slower and needed special coaching.

However, as John Holt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Holt_(educator)) pointed out in one of his books, a lower IQ thus only means that a child learns at a lower rate, not that he is principally impossible to learn something. He relates this together with watching a fellow teacher give a math lesson to severely retarded children - IQ of 40 or 50 - by using the wooden blocks (each length is a different colour). The teacher shows how the 6 block + 3 block make 9, then removes the 3 block and asks the children to find the missing piece. When they have, he removes the 6 block and asks for the missing piece. With normal 5th graders, a couple of repetitions would clue them into the principle. With these retarded children, they needed more than half a dozen repetions, but then, the lightbulb also went on. Once they got that idea, they moved toward 4+5 being nine, and they were quicker this time around.
Holt tells how he was moved by this demonstration of superb teaching and successful learning from the pupils, and their own joy at experiencing success.

Mijin
12-26-2009, 04:30 PM
To those who have answered here knowing about IQ: My impression was that the kind of intelligence that a high IQ measured was the ability to see patterns quicker than normal people.

Have you heard of the Flynn effect? It is the phenomenon of increasing test scores. Average scores in IQ tests are constantly increasing, so the tests have to be made more difficult or the scoring re-normalised.

A theory has been advanced that IQ tests really measure "scientific" or "categorical" intelligence. And our increasing scores are simply a measure of the changing way we apply our minds (after all; there's no evidence of any change in our neurophysiology).
No cite, sorry, I think I read it in the economist.


That estimated score was the bane of my existence in high school. My parents and teachers expected me to be the next Stephen Hawking, but I was lazy, undisciplined, pot smoking underachiever, despite my "accelerated" curriculum. If I'd just tested out as an ordinary idiot, I wouldn't have had to feel so guilty about letting people down all the time.


I know how you feel. Right now I'm back at uni, as a mature student, and I still can't get my head down, and study...
And I'm still not really into mathematical / geometric puzzles, even though I'm quite good at them. Whenever I'm working on such puzzles, I always try to "cheat"; because I find the puzzle too dull to do the "right" way.


Incidentally, an I.Q. of 5 is as impossible as an I.Q. of 195. There haven't been enough people in the history of the world to put someone that far out on the normal curve in either direction.


Are you sure that's how it works?
Say I give a test to 100 people. I get a neat normal distribution of scores around a mean of 40%, with a standard deviation of 5%.
Then someone comes along who scores 82%.
Now, it could be that my initial sample was not representative. Or, I could have encountered an "outlier". But it seems weird to conclude "I haven't got enough results yet, so I'll call this score 50%", say.
But IANA statistician...

Shodan
12-26-2009, 04:38 PM
However, as John Holt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Holt_(educator)) pointed out in one of his books, a lower IQ thus only means that a child learns at a lower rate, not that he is principally impossible to learn something. I don't know about that. I bet there are lots of things that a profoundly retarded person could never learn to do at a normal level, no matter how much he was coached.
It described one case in which the defendant had an estimated IQ of 37; he gave himself away by forgetting to conceal his feet when hiding under some bedding -- the old pitfall of believing, "If I can't see you, you can't see me."I find this interesting - someone with the ability to commit murder who can't tie his own shoes and sucks at playing hide-and-seek.

Regards,
Shodan

Kelby
12-26-2009, 08:20 PM
I don't know about that. I bet there are lots of things that a profoundly retarded person could never learn to do at a normal level, no matter how much he was coached.

There's no doubt about it. Folks in the lower 80's have problems with abstract thought. Look at the commentators on Fox News, for example.


I find this interesting - someone with the ability to commit murder who can't tie his own shoes and sucks at playing hide-and-seek.

Regards,
Shodan

People that score below 60, for sure, are going to have a helleva time taking another person's perspective on anything.

It is unfortunate that low functioning people are imprisoned when they may not have the capacity to appreciate what they have done. I would submit that this happens in only a very small percentage of cases, however. Most individuals who are very low are in a supervised environment for the most part after they turn 18.

Pyper
12-26-2009, 10:49 PM
I don't know about that. I bet there are lots of things that a profoundly retarded person could never learn to do at a normal level, no matter how much he was coached.


While that's true (a person with an I.Q. of 50 will probably never master multiplication, for instance), I think people generally underestimate mentally retarded individuals' ability to learn. I started working a teenager with moderate mental retardation last year. Since then he has learned how to make simple meals, bathe himself, make his own bed, do his own laundry, and operate the TV and DVD player. No one had ever made an effort to teach him these things before because they assumed it would be pointless.

Tibby or Not Tibby
12-27-2009, 07:13 AM
Well, I has a very, very high I;Q. My test said it was off the chart at 250mg/dl! I’ll never remember the time when my step-mother, step-father and me—all four of us—went in to get the test result from the proctiatrist and he was very excited about my high score—I was very proud. He did say, though, that it would go down if I limited my cholesterol intake (I’m not really sure what he was implicating they’re :confused:).

Apologies for the strained comedic interlude, but I do have a question: how well do the numbers correlate between the “old quotient definition” and the “modern standard deviation definition”?

Wendell Wagner
12-27-2009, 10:59 AM
Mijin, it's the definition of I.Q. that makes it impossible for someone to have an I.Q. over about 200 or under about 0. In fact, it's in practice impossible for someone to have a measured I.Q. over about 190 or under about 10, and in ordinary use it's in fact impossible to have an I.Q. over 160 or under 40. What happens when a I.Q. test is devised is that it's given to a large amount of people. The test is scored and all the results are then plotted on a normal curve, using 100 as the mean and 15 as the standard deviation. A score of 200 (six and two-thirds standard deviations above the mean) or a score of 0 (six and two-thirds standard deviatiations below the meas) could only be given as an I.Q. if you could say that someone has gotten the highest score or lowest score, respectively, among a group of about 100 billion people. Given that there hasn't been quite 100 billion people in the entire history of humanity, that's not possible. A score of 190 (six standard deviations above) or a score of 10 (six standard deviations below) would only be possible if someone was the highest or lowest score in a group of about 100 million. No I.Q. test has ever simultaneously been given to that many people. In fact, usually an I.Q. test is never given to more than about 100,000 people, so it can only be used to give scores between 40 and 160 (a range of four standard deviations above to four standard deviations below). If this doesn't make sense to you, read the Wikipedia entries on standard deviations and on intelligence testing.

Kelby
12-27-2009, 12:31 PM
Mijin, it's the definition of I.Q. that makes it impossible for someone to have an I.Q. over about 200 or under about 0. In fact, it's in practice impossible for someone to have a measured I.Q. over about 190 or under about 10, and in ordinary use it's in fact impossible to have an I.Q. over 160 or under 40. What happens when a I.Q. test is devised is that it's given to a large amount of people. The test is scored and all the results are then plotted on a normal curve, using 100 as the mean and 15 as the standard deviation. A score of 200 (six and two-thirds standard deviations above the mean) or a score of 0 (six and two-thirds standard deviatiations below the meas) could only be given as an I.Q. if you could say that someone has gotten the highest score or lowest score, respectively, among a group of about 100 billion people. Given that there hasn't been quite 100 billion people in the entire history of humanity, that's not possible. A score of 190 (six standard deviations above) or a score of 10 (six standard deviations below) would only be possible if someone was the highest or lowest score in a group of about 100 million. No I.Q. test has ever simultaneously been given to that many people. In fact, usually an I.Q. test is never given to more than about 100,000 people, so it can only be used to give scores between 40 and 160 (a range of four standard deviations above to four standard deviations below). If this doesn't make sense to you, read the Wikipedia entries on standard deviations and on intelligence testing.

That's a very good explanation.

Incidently, there was a question about the IQ's of past president's in this week's Parade magazine. They reported that few scores were available, but did state that JFK's was measured to be 119 and Nixon's 143!

Mijin
12-27-2009, 03:00 PM
Mijin, it's the definition of I.Q. that makes it impossible for someone to have an I.Q. over about 200 or under about 0. In fact, it's in practice impossible for someone to have a measured I.Q. over about 190 or under about 10, and in ordinary use it's in fact impossible to have an I.Q. over 160 or under 40. What happens when a I.Q. test is devised is that it's given to a large amount of people. The test is scored and all the results are then plotted on a normal curve, using 100 as the mean and 15 as the standard deviation. A score of 200 (six and two-thirds standard deviations above the mean) or a score of 0 (six and two-thirds standard deviatiations below the meas) could only be given as an I.Q. if you could say that someone has gotten the highest score or lowest score, respectively, among a group of about 100 billion people. Given that there hasn't been quite 100 billion people in the entire history of humanity, that's not possible. A score of 190 (six standard deviations above) or a score of 10 (six standard deviations below) would only be possible if someone was the highest or lowest score in a group of about 100 million. No I.Q. test has ever simultaneously been given to that many people. In fact, usually an I.Q. test is never given to more than about 100,000 people, so it can only be used to give scores between 40 and 160 (a range of four standard deviations above to four standard deviations below). If this doesn't make sense to you, read the Wikipedia entries on standard deviations and on intelligence testing.

Ah. I knew 100 was defined to be the average score, but didn't know much about the scoring system beyond that.

........

I'm pretty pleased to discover that I scored almost the highest that the Cattell B IQ test can measure :cool:

Mijin
12-27-2009, 03:08 PM
btw, I notice that a lot of celebs are often attributed surprisingly-high IQs.
e.g. Sylvester Stallone, 160; Sharon Stone, 154; James Woods, 180.

These usually turn out to be via online tests (one thing which sucks is that to join mensa, ordinary mortals must do a supervised test, but celebs can get in via online testing alone).
Aside all the other reasons to doubt these figures, would I be right in understanding it would mean that many of the most intelligent people on the american continent are all working as actors in hollywood?

constanze
12-27-2009, 04:28 PM
Aren't a lot of IQ scores calculated via the SAT tests that many Americans take, and where the scores can be looked up? Unless each US school in each state does really test each 4th grader with an official IQ test, and then release this confidential data to the Press, I don't see how they get the scores for Presidents. But then, the US has a very different attitude towards data protection.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
12-27-2009, 08:18 PM
That's a very good explanation.

Incidently, there was a question about the IQ's of past president's in this week's Parade magazine. They reported that few scores were available, but did state that JFK's was measured to be 119 and Nixon's 143!Whatever one thinks of his policies or his duplicity, Nixon was certainly no intellectual midget. He was first in his class at Whittier, then third at Duke Law. Supposedly he financed his first political campaign with poker winnings from his time as a WWII naval officer, which I have no trouble at all believing.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
12-27-2009, 08:40 PM
Aren't a lot of IQ scores calculated via the SAT tests that many Americans take, and where the scores can be looked up? Unless each US school in each state does really test each 4th grader with an official IQ test, and then release this confidential data to the Press, I don't see how they get the scores for Presidents. But then, the US has a very different attitude towards data protection.To the best of my knowledge, Americans' IQ scores and detailed academic histories are supposed to be kept confidential; for example your university can only confirm that you attended, and that you earned such and such degrees. I can't believe that they would reveal the results of an intelligence test (which by no means all university students undergo).

I'm not sure about SAT tests, but what you suggest is somewhat true about the GRE and SAT. A given total score (quantitative + verbal) is said to correlate fairly well to a given IQ range, and this is not too surprising since the test is essentially an evaluation of your ability to quickly acquire, comprehend, and apply information. Unlike a traditional IQ test, however, it is possible to significantly improve your performance on the GRE or SAT by concentrated study and practice. However, this improvement may not be terribly significant in IQ correlation. If your weak subject is math, you may be able to achieve a very gratifying improvement in your quantitative score, say on the order of 100 points. But when you look at the estimated IQ correlation, you'll find the change is not that significant. The results of all these tests are supposed to be kept confidential too, of course, but when it comes to prominent people private information does have an unfortunate way of getting out. I can't blame famous actors and other celebrities for such extravagances as private islands and walled estates, since our society affords them privacy in no other way.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
12-27-2009, 08:42 PM
ETA: I should mention that Mensa, the high I.Q. society, used to accept GRE scores above a certain level, up to 1996 or so. At that time the test was changed, and they stopped doing so.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
12-27-2009, 10:18 PM
To the best of my knowledge, Americans' IQ scores and detailed academic histories are supposed to be kept confidential; for example your university can only confirm that you attended, and that you earned such and such degrees.
ETA: Of course, they will send a detailed transcript of your grades to someone--usually another school that you are applying to--but that only happens at your request.

I Love Me, Vol. I
12-28-2009, 12:15 AM
Actually, I think intelligent people do consider (formal) intelligence testing a good indicator of intelligence. Sure; there are variations on trying to define intelligence but if we're talking g or "smart guy" or whatever, it's a pretty good indicator.

It's a much poorer indicator for things like social skills, initiative, character, dependency...on and on...and those things (depending on circumstance) can be equally or more important in overall "success" in modern society.
I agree with this--especially the second paragraph. It is a standard, unfunny, joke response of mine whenever these sorts of threads come up to merely answer something like:


198

11.5



These numbers are exaggerated, facetious claims to certain measurements that are often of great concern to many people. The truth is neither of my numbers are that high, yet they are rather large. I just don't care to say what they actually are. Another truth, which I find rather odd, is that both of my measurements have been shrinking slightly over the last 10 years or so.

However, in this post I'm only talking about IQ's, and the fact that while mine is unexpectedly high (for such a spacey, and occasionally dim-witted person), I have realized more and more over time that there are so many so-called "intellectual abilities" that I'm simply not very good at.

I don't know what that means; fortunately, I don't really care.

I Love Me, Vol. I
12-28-2009, 12:19 AM
I believe intelligence is an imprecise term, and can legitimately encompass much more than what IQ tests measure. The same person can be a genius in some respects, and a fucking idiot in others. That's all I meant. Yes. This is me. That is what I was talking about in my previous post. And it's kind of a living Hell. I would prefer to be just one or the other... none of this confusing mish-mash. Blaggghhhh!

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
12-28-2009, 09:08 PM
However, in this post I'm only talking about IQ's, and the fact that while mine is unexpectedly high (for such a spacey, and occasionally dim-witted person), I have realized more and more over time that there are so many so-called "intellectual abilities" that I'm simply not very good at.

It's a reflection of the fact that intelligence is a poorly understood grab-bag of mental acuities. While I think it's fair to say in general it's the ability to receive and process information, and then produce a useful result, it's obvious that there are many different facets of this. Two people might take the same IQ test and get the same score, but there can be lots of variations in how the correct answers were distributed. For instance, I never do well on the questions where you have to pick out a recognizable picture or geometric pattern from a patchwork-quilt-like jumble, but I do fairly well on the tests generally.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
12-28-2009, 09:36 PM
While that's true (a person with an I.Q. of 50 will probably never master multiplication, for instance), I think people generally underestimate mentally retarded individuals' ability to learn. I started working a teenager with moderate mental retardation last year. Since then he has learned how to make simple meals, bathe himself, make his own bed, do his own laundry, and operate the TV and DVD player. No one had ever made an effort to teach him these things before because they assumed it would be pointless.I read a newspaper article years ago about how some workers with IQs in the 50 range managed to hold down very responsible jobs like driving a truck. These folks managed to compensate for their inability to read in a variety of ways. I don't remember the details, but I think above average social skills played a part. Most clinical definitions of retardation now combine the aspects of raw intelligence with social and adaptive skills, which makes me think that some of the people discussed would not have met the clinical definition. The article pointed out that, apart from any obvious physical symptom (e.g. Down syndrome), you could talk to an adult with an IQ in that range and not notice anything unusual for quite some time, at least if the conversation was just about lightweight, everyday stuff.

AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet
12-29-2009, 12:48 AM
Most clinical definitions of retardation now combine the aspects of raw intelligence with social and adaptive skills, which makes me think that some of the people discussed would not have met the clinical definition. The article pointed out that, apart from any obvious physical symptom (e.g. Down syndrome), you could talk to an adult with an IQ in that range and not notice anything unusual for quite some time, at least if the conversation was just about lightweight, everyday stuff.
Yes. Meaning an inner city kid or a rural kid who is low IQ wouldn't nessarily be MR unless they have adaptive skills defiects. It is possible to have adaptive skills defects with normal IQ as well. (people with cerebal palsy, Asperger's, learning disabilites etc)

Scruff
12-29-2009, 01:20 AM
ETA: I should mention that Mensa, the high I.Q. society, used to accept GRE scores above a certain level, up to 1996 or so. At that time the test was changed, and they stopped doing so.

Dude, if you can get 1996 on your GRE, you deserve to be in Mensa.:p

The Bith Shuffle
12-29-2009, 01:45 AM
One thing I've been curious about for a long time is the relationship between IQ testing, the normal distribution, and randomness. You see, the normal distribution is meant to model the distribution of a quantity that depends on a variety of random factors. Since psychologists tend to think that intelligence is the result of a wide array of genetic factors (rather than just a few genes), they figure this explains the normal distribution of intelligence.

But since the normal distribution is the distribution of quantities depending on various random factors, it also is the distribution of scores based on a bunch of random guesses. If I asked twenty thousand people to answer A or B 500 times (and only A or B was right or wrong each time), the distribution of how many correct answers a person got would also be a normal distribution.

Someone who scores 150 on an IQ test is then very unlikely to be of average intelligence. On the other hand, if a bunch of average-IQ people take IQ tests and are forced to guess on many problems, there will be a small number who get impressive IQ scores through luck.

I don't know exactly how the relationship between random-guessing and actual intelligence affects the study of intelligence and the use of IQ scores, but I imagine that there could be multiple significant effects. Or maybe there could be no effects at all; I could just be clueless.

Kelby
12-29-2009, 02:02 PM
I read a newspaper article years ago about how some workers with IQs in the 50 range managed to hold down very responsible jobs like driving a truck. These folks managed to compensate for their inability to read in a variety of ways. I don't remember the details, but I think above average social skills played a part. Most clinical definitions of retardation now combine the aspects of raw intelligence with social and adaptive skills, which makes me think that some of the people discussed would not have met the clinical definition. The article pointed out that, apart from any obvious physical symptom (e.g. Down syndrome), you could talk to an adult with an IQ in that range and not notice anything unusual for quite some time, at least if the conversation was just about lightweight, everyday stuff.

I'd like to see that article.

The individuals I've encountered who are functioning the 50's IQ range are almost always quickly distinguishable from normal peers. Their expressive speech would be clearly lacking in content and complexity.

I'm also not aware of anyone that low functioning ever obtaining a driver's license. In fact, most of these folks are considred disabled and receive SSI benefits. They are employable, but usually in assembly-line type jobs that are highly structured and closely supervised.

Kelby
12-29-2009, 02:09 PM
One thing I've been curious about for a long time is the relationship between IQ testing, the normal distribution, and randomness. You see, the normal distribution is meant to model the distribution of a quantity that depends on a variety of random factors. Since psychologists tend to think that intelligence is the result of a wide array of genetic factors (rather than just a few genes), they figure this explains the normal distribution of intelligence.

But since the normal distribution is the distribution of quantities depending on various random factors, it also is the distribution of scores based on a bunch of random guesses. If I asked twenty thousand people to answer A or B 500 times (and only A or B was right or wrong each time), the distribution of how many correct answers a person got would also be a normal distribution.

Someone who scores 150 on an IQ test is then very unlikely to be of average intelligence. On the other hand, if a bunch of average-IQ people take IQ tests and are forced to guess on many problems, there will be a small number who get impressive IQ scores through luck.
I don't know exactly how the relationship between random-guessing and actual intelligence affects the study of intelligence and the use of IQ scores, but I imagine that there could be multiple significant effects. Or maybe there could be no effects at all; I could just be clueless.

There are very few subtests on an individually administered scale that can be influenced by luck. Most tasks require a constructed response.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
12-29-2009, 02:35 PM
I don't know exactly how the relationship between random-guessing and actual intelligence affects the study of intelligence and the use of IQ scores, but I imagine that there could be multiple significant effects. Or maybe there could be no effects at all; I could just be clueless.For the GRE and SAT there's a wrong-answer penalty of, IIRC, a quarter point; this should theoretically neutralize any productive value in guessing. I don't know if the same is true of typical IQ tests, but I would assume so. Conceivably, by sheer luck one could still guess most of the answers correctly and achieve a high score, but here I think we're veering into the realm of typewriters, monkeys, and Shakespeare.

Irishman
12-29-2009, 07:31 PM
Mr. Excellent said:
With respect, this isn't so. Most modern IQ tests assess memory, sure - but they also assess analytical ability. (One very basic way they do this, though far from the only one, is through analogies - "Black is to white as up is to ___", and so forth.)

I can't remember what the opposite of up is, but I know it's that way \/ ! ;)

electronbee said:
Hasn't everyone in the US been tested in elementary school? I remember my classmates and I taking tests back in the 80's. And, IIRC, my HS psych teacher told me we could go to the DOE once we were over 18 and get the result.

There's a fair amount of standardized testing (and moreso now than when I was a munchkin), but I don't recall IQ being one of those. But I might just not remember.

Silverstreak Wonder said:
Excellent, well my test was long ago, but even then I do recall those awful anal-things you mention and tried after to find out how in the devil does one study for them? They would be fine if there was one correct answer, but in almost every one there are like 3 of 4 right answers and it is just someones opinion which one is "Better".

Ever think that maybe those did have just one correct answer, that those were the questions that you weren't smart enough to get? Seriously, how do they sort the 140 IQ from the 160 IQ if they don't have questions at the top end? If they don't have questions that even the 160 folk can't get right?

So I have always called those opinion questions. Can anyone explain why they would have many correct answers?

I think maybe you missed something in the question.

How does one study for this test, is there some trick to it?

Get smarter. ;) Seriously, I bought one of those IQ test books and took several of them. My score did slightly improve from the first to the last, largely because of familiarity with a couple of the puzzle types. The first time it was puzzling, but I studied it to figure how it worked, and on subsequent tests I was more easily able to pick out the pattern from that kind of puzzle because I knew how it was put together and how the first one worked. But my score didn't dramatically improve across the set - something like 125 to 132 across 5 or 6 tests. And IIRC there were one or two puzzles I couldn't figure out even with the correct answer provided.

One can "study" by encountering lots of different puzzles and familiarizing oneself with the way the puzzles are built, with the kinds of patterns that are commonly used, etc. Practice improves your abilities, whether it's having a large vocabulary (which helps dramatically on the SAT), or studying spatial relationships so one can visually "move" a 3-D image in your mind and keep track of the faces. Learn exotic number sequences, such as prime numbers, Fibonacci, whatever.

Ultimately, though, the tests are timed to put additional pressure and measure how fast you recognize the patterns, not just that you do figure them out.

Silverstreak Wonder said:
In the examples on the test there was ALWAYS just one correct answer and 3 or 4 bad answers I'd never pick. On the test there would almost always be 2 or 3 correct answers that fit, so do you pick the largest one as "Better" or what? And just who decides what is the best answer anyway? I think a true test would involve writing a sentence or two to explain the choice, and not having multiple right answers and someones opinion. Then the persons actual logic could be seen and judged. A better way could be that the answers would have explanations and then you'd pick the one with the clearest too, there are many ways to improve that kind of a test.

But that's the point. To a 160 IQ person (or maybe the hypothetical 180 IQ person), the actual answer is just as obvious as the simple example questions are. If you're not able to deduce the logic, then the test is doing its job - filtering the high level performers. If they provided the explanations and you picked from those, they wouldn't be testing your cognitive ability, they would be testing your ability to judge someone else's reasoning. Those questions serve exactly the purpose they're supposed to. Just because you can't figure out the right answer doesn't mean there isn't a right answer. And as for why they don't tell you the answer, if they told you what the reasoning was (after the fact), then that kind of puzzle would likely cease to be useful. Because once you see the reasoning used in one, it is easier to duplicate that reasoning than to create that reasoning for yourself.

constanze said:
To those who have answered here knowing about IQ: My impression was that the kind of intelligence that a high IQ measured was the ability to see patterns quicker than normal people. Or is this a misconception of Hollywood? Because that (and not photographic memory) is what a lot of "genius" people often seem to display - they say "But don't you see that ------?" to an ordinary person, who only does after explantions.

That may be Hollywood shorthand for how to convey someone is a genius (he figures out these complicated things and does so quickly - the "Elementary, Watson" approach to conveying intelligence). But I think that is actually a reasonable depiction of what IQ tests are testing. The cognitive abilities being addressed are various forms of reasoning: logical (deduction and induction), spatial (this shape looks like this from one side, what does it look like from the other?), comparison and contrast (analogies, this is to this as that is to __, etc). A genius is someone who can rapidly spot whatever pattern is in question. It's not just the ability to recognize the pattern, but the ease or speed with which it occurs.

constanze said:
I don't see how they get the scores for Presidents.

Those scores have to be determine through some type of evaluation process from their extant writings and historical record. Here is an interesting article.

http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/users/gary/iq.html

Note that there was an interent urban legend circulating about Presidential IQs that was a hoax, as cited in that article and on snopes.

http://snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/presiq.asp

The first site above includes a table of computed scores for the first 42 Presidents. Interesting that Jefferson scores highest (3.1 on "Intellectual Brilliance", with Kennedy in #2 at 1.8), while Harding scores lowest at -2.0 His IQ scores still fall 107.8 to 139.9, while Jefferson's are 145.5 to 160.0. Make of that what you will.

hibernicus
12-30-2009, 01:45 PM
Dinsdale and others, I can tell you why someone who may be all wrong about views and their thinking can test so high in IQ tests, the reason is they are not just testing intelligence at all, but MEMORY. Remember he said he need not take notes in class to do well? That isn't being smart at all, it is having a photographic memory.

Yes, you can make a living and seem smart with just that. There are some jobs that is all you need in fact, teaching, foreign language interpreter being a couple of good examples.

Absolutely not. If memory were all that were required to be an interpreter, machines would be able to translate effectively between languages. They are not.

Your remark suggests that you seriously underestimate the differences between languages, and the skills of the interpreter.

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