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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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.


A psychiatrist told me that psychotic behavior and poverty are related, while pychopathic behavior and wealth are related.

approximately 25% of the ENTIRE population is sociopathic. The difference between those who go to prison for violent crimes vs. those who sit in Congress (oops, my bad, LOL...) or in any "high position of power" (CEO? Military Captain...etc etc..) or places of prestige or simply being a law abiding citizen but still psycopathic nonetheless is the socioeconomic factors that influence them from their upbringing...Precisely part of my point... thanks for the ammo!!! LOL!!!

@Unseen: are you sure? It seems that you are implying that "nurture" doesn not play a role in either psycopathy, or I understanding your position correctly?

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

Most definitely not Unseen. I am not a "hard determinist." I wouldn't necessarily even call myself a determinist. I would say that I approach many subjects from a sociological perspective though.

Perhaps I haven't articulated very well what I'm trying to say. I've been texting my arguments between "life"...and I think you might possibly be drawing different conclusions than what I'm trying to say.

So we're discussing IQ...we're talking about Mensa and Reg pointed out that to be a member it shows you're in the top 2%...etc etc...

One of the points you and me were discussing was my stance on how being brought up in a third world country can have an impact on the "capacity to develop an IQ within the 2%" and the additional barriers at play that may prevent this from happening for an individual. There are multiple factors. To list a few that come to mind: Nutrition, language acquisition, literacy level, education, level of academia completed by the parents, early childhood experiences and overall sociological influence that shape an individual's attitude towards academics in general...

For the prison population some of these same sociological barriers exist, but for different reasons. While a large percentage of the inmate population is from economically disadvantaged homes, (and fatherless homes) the majority of inmates in this country are afforded at least enough education to make them functionally literate, but what I'm saying is that while a large portion of the inmate population may in fact have a high IQ or be capable genetically for developing an IQ high enough to qualify for mensa membership there are barriers that prevent them from doing so, which are not all due to choices of their own. If they are capable of having a high IQ but their parents do not read to them (for example) they may miss this opportunity to develop the same brain capacity that a child of equal intelligence would be afforded from a higher income family that is somewhat aware of childhood development and affords their children the opportunity...

Ultimately I'm not a determinist, but I'm aware of how the "nurture" effect can influence IQ in various disadvantaged population groups, therefore IMHO making the claim that only 2% of the population a "genius" a bit skewed, because I believe if more of the world population were afforded the same social conditions to develop to ones potential, the percentage of "geniuses" would be higher. I'm basically saying long-story-short: IQ is influenced sociologically just as much as it is (if not more so) genetically.

but no, I'm not a determinist in the way you suggest. I am more of a sociologist.

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

Not a "lot" necessarily...but yes - higher. our current standard for detecting "genius" based on the current Mensa exam and other similar multiple choice tests.

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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