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Pet Peeve – Inflated IQ Scores

March 25, 2010

No, my IQ is NOT really 156. It’s decent – around 130 according to my 1987 SAT score, 1993 GRE and a few other tests that correlate well with IQ’s – but nowhere near the above score. A score of 156 is almost two full standard deviations above my real score – or about the same spread that separates someone who qualifies for Mensa from a person with an IQ of 100.

I figure online tests like these are designed to flatter the people who take them, encourage them to come back for more and view ads/pass on personal info/subscribe to email lists etc… It bugs me because it’s dishonest about something I do take pride in. I LIKE being smart, but I prefer being honestly bright to being dishonestly brilliant. I mean ego stroking is nice – I’ve yet to find an honest compliment that I didn’t appreciate – but when it is disingenuous, it is worse than a criticism. It is, in fact, an INSULT to the very intelligence that it purports to praise.

Oh, and The International High IQ Society has a more realistic test. You don’t need to join – If you pay money for the privilege of saying you’re smart, you’re not smart – but the test is not inflated (actually, I didn’t do as well as I expected to, but it’s close and it’s entirely reasonable that a person in his 40’s who has been away from a learning environment for a while could lose a point or three).

A more realistic IQ score

A more realistic IQ score


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