Isn't "IQ" rather arbitrary and dependent upon which series of tests are taken? How can estimates of the IQs of dead people make any sense if the number itself doesn't mean much.

I turned off the estimated link provided when it claimed that the (small sample) average score for soldiers was 133. As one with access to all records in the Marine Corps office, I'd estimate the average to be closer to 105 - which is close enough to what is considered to be, by definition, the overall population average, right?.

I'd always heard that "genius" was above 160, but then it doesn't make sense that Einstein was 160. He's the paragon of  "genius". I'd have thought that Einstein would be approaching the level of H3xx at 180.

I know what my military test score was (it was called GCT, I think), but what is it a count of? I've just sent an email to Mensa asking what a Mensa score means. I believe membership is Mensa indicates top 2%. But I wonder if there's a number associated with that.

Who knows what IQ means = (outside "Intelligence Quotient")?

Tags: genius, intelligence, tests

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@Tom - I don't know if you watch any TED talks but Jon Ronson did a great one on psychopathy, and I'll link it here in case you get a chance to watch it.

Thanks, Strega. People I know say they like TED talks but they watch more computer than I (hm, some people watch tv; others watch computer?) I liked it: informative, well presented, and short.

Jon Ronson. An interesting name; it could be Ron Jonson.

Belle, they would have become cyber-criminals rather than holding up convenience stores, taking their criminality up a couple notches. 

"Character is what you have when the lights go out." A bad person will be bad with whatever tools are at hand. A good person can be trusted.

some of them are. However, there are other ways to become wealthy and have a sense of power that are much more desirable to many of today's convicts.

Most criminals in prison are criminals to get by without work (or perhaps because they can't find work), not in an attempt to become wealthy,

You must distinguish character for a sociopath vs a shall we say "normal" person. Remember: They have no conscience. The lights are never on by our standards of how we would measure character.

Okayyy... What is your point? Mine was that a bad person is a bad person. Most of the time, once they convince themselves that being bad is okay, there is little chance of turning them back. Sure it happens, but not as often as the opposite.

The socioeconomic and sociological factors that contribute to them becoming a criminal makes a lot of the choices for them, and also contributes to the development of psycopathy.

While socioeconomic and sociological factors may present people with criminal opportunities they find tempting, the choices they make are free in the usual sense of the word. 

You can't say that these factors contribute to psychopathy. The "nature vs. nurture" argument as regards psychopaths and sociopaths is anything but settled.

I started researching psycho/sociopathy around 1980 (years before the WWW). Much of what I found was anecdotal, including that people who'd studied psychology preferred the term psychopathy and people who'd studied sociology preferred the term sociopathy. A psychiatrist told me that psychotic behavior and poverty are related, while pychopathic behavior and wealth are related.

She explained, saying that wealthy folk might want children but don't want to care for them and send them to boarding schools where they get good educations but don't make the emotional connections that home-raised kids make.

A college psych instructor advised against lying to psychopaths because they pick up signals that people don't know they are sending.

The term antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a recent invention, due perhaps to the wide use and misuse of the terms it replaces.

While information found on the web requires a skeptical eye until it's confirmed, some brain scan research suggests that nature v. nurture plays a part in ASD, in that damage to brain grey matter has genetic causes while damage to brain white matter has environmental causes.

No. My position is that we make choices. You sound like you think a psychopath has none. So, you are a hard determinist?

So what you are saying is that negative societal influences (nurture) play a part in whether a potential genius actually realises his or her potential, or is even discovered to have that potential.

Your position is that if all these anomalies were somehow factored in, that the figure of 2% could be a lot... higher?  lower?.

Your intelligence is determined by your genetic (nature). Your IQ is an indicator of your potential intellectual capacity. It is not an indicator of your knowledge. If your potential is allowed to develop (nurture) when you are growing up then your capacity to learn and process information will be greater than someone with less capacity or whose potential is not developed. You cannot increase someone’s IQ by from say 100 to 130 by sending them to the best schools giving them the best teachers. Good education will however afford them to make the most of the potential they are born with. If your IQ is 160 and you never get more than a basic education then someone with an IQ 50 points lower will probably appear smarter if they have been allowed to reach their potential.

As mentioned earlier in the post some people are born with a potential to be psychopathic. There is a genetic propensity to become one given how one is nurtured.  If they carry the “warrior” gene (MAOA gene) and are poorly cared for when young their potential to become aggressive in later life is more predictable than those born without but reared in similar circumstances. It is the same with other genes that cause certain cancers. Some people can smoke all their lives and not get lung cancer (zero trace) while others can get it early in life from second hand smoking.  I have references to these studies somewhere, just not to hand right now.

If IQ is an indicator it should not be seen as a rigidly set figure. It should have a confidence of a few percentage points either side of the figure. So test results taken over a lifetime show that it does not vary too much. If anyone is going to take an IQ test then I would suggest spending time doing similar tests (timed) beforehand as practice will fire up new pathways and train your brain for them but it won’t make anyone any more intelligent than you already are. It will help you to get a more accurate figure of the potential you were born with.

As a personal observation I would suggest that a good way of increasing a child potential is to give them a love of reading. Leave books everywhere. Engage them in decision making and planning even if it is just a trip to the shops and what order to visit them in. Planning ahead is an evolved skill and takes man aspects of intelligence into play. Get even more books than you decided on a minute ago.

The test you took in the Marines was the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery)

First time I heard about that test, it was in a verbal dialogue and I went away convinced they'd said AbFab, which is the colloquial way we refer to the TV show Absolutely Fabulous.

I don't think Patsy would do well on the ASVAB, she would be smoking and would leave burn marks on the paper.

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