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What does "IQ" stand for

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1151827.  Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:46 am Reply with quote

Hi, I am 62 years old and I remember in my primary school I was put forward for a series of "IQ" tests. I was told by MENSA that this stood for Intellect Quotient.
Lately I am told (by younger people) that this actually means Intelligence Quotient and thus a "lively debate" ensued.
Can you please enlighten me...
(I decided not to join MENSA because my "intelligence" told me that it was a waste of money just to get a "pat on the back")

1151860.  Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:50 am Reply with quote

The term IQ was first used by a German named William Stern.

In a 1912 monograph published in German (Die psychologischen Methoden der Intelligenzprüfung) he used the term Intelligenz-Quotient, and abbreviated this to IQ. His work was translated into English two years later and spoke of the Intelligence Quotient, again abbreviated to IQ.

Mensa's website does by now state that IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient, but I do not rule out that at one time Mensa preferred Intellectual Quotient.

The latter form is found in some papers. I have a vague feeling - with no evidence at this stage - that someone (Stanford University, possibly) may at a time have claimed ownership of the term Intelligence Quotient.

If anyone really did own that term it was Professor Stern, and he died in 1938 - but even so, it might just have been easier to avoid using a term over which another was claiming ownership.

I'm with you on Mensa. I dare say they'd have me if I chose to seek membership, but I have less than no interest in it. That's largely to do with Victor Serebriakoff (which he claimed as his real name, although the similarity to cerebral has always seemed far too convenient to me). He was a eugenicist, and right until he died in 2000 Mensa publications did not allow article opposing his viewpoint.

1151890.  Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:01 pm Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure my IQ score has gone down since I took a test online six or so years ago, simply because I have not been doing any math/logic-related puzzles of note, while before I had maths at school at least.

On the other hand, my QI score has gone up massively in the same time. :P

Mensa and the whole idea of high IQ societies sound rather sickening, even if the idea was born out of two highly intelligent people finding it enjoyable to talk to each other despite coming from different backgrounds.. It seems Suze is quite capable of having okay conversations with us mere mortals anyway. :P

Alfred E Neuman
1151923.  Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:17 pm Reply with quote

I suspect that many on this forum would make the cut, and I think we have at least one who is a member of Mensa. I had a colleague who was a member, and he sort of put me off - he was at best a pompous windbag.

1152052.  Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:24 pm Reply with quote

MENSA - contrary to popular belief - comes from an ancient language so archaic that only a chosen few have heard of it.

Opinion among scholars still varies but the two most favoured etymologies of the word are:

MENNIS + A - Mennis meaning "men" or "people" or according to some sources, "true humans", the "A" suffix indicating "not"

The alternative etymology suggests that it is an acronym although that text is garbled - the best interpretation so far is "Modern Eejits (Non-subscriptionally associated).

1152062.  Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:30 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote
Victor Serebriakoff (which he claimed as his real name, although the similarity to cerebral has always seemed far too convenient to me

Perhaps he simply had silver hair?

1152086.  Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:50 am Reply with quote

they'd have me if I chose to seek membership

Several international Mensa websites do offer a basic online test, e.g. MinD.

If a group of questions isn't clear, then you can first give it a try to translate a few lines in German.

An advantage of the German test, without questions in German, is that it doesn't fully hide all results. You are able to see a score after completing the test, like 28 out of 33 right.

The official Mensa IQ test is anything but cheap. Please note that the best 2% of a population isn't that special. That comes down to best in class. There are a lot of classes.

1152098.  Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:50 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
Perhaps he simply had silver hair?

He did as an older man, but then most do.

Surnames connected with silver and gold have a tendency to be Jewish. Mr Serebriakoff never spoke about his religion (if any) in public, but if his official biography - that he was born in London of White Russian émigrés - is true, then he may well have been of Jewish heritage.

In which case, isn't his support of eugenic ideas even harder to fathom?

Meanwhile, d'oh! All the Slavic languages have a similar word for "silver". Even so, I'd never actually clocked before that the Bosnian place name Srebrenica - scene of infamous events during the Bosnian War - means "silver mine". Of course it does ...

1152103.  Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:42 am Reply with quote

14-11-2014 wrote:
Please note that the best 2% of a population isn't that special.

With no particular hope of a response but, how do you make that out? Surely the top 2% of a population is "special" by any reasonable definition?

1152214.  Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:10 pm Reply with quote

interesting? quite

1152247.  Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:54 pm Reply with quote

Surely the top 2% of a population is "special" by any reasonable definition?

Everyone is special. Is that what you were hoping for? You've now mentioned an own definition, and apparently all other definitions cannot be reasonable.

Best in class is special if the on-topic population is the class, but that would also implies that there are about 1.3 mln. special people in the UK, and that an IQ score of 130 is as special as an IQ score of 160. Unless the generally accepted scientific scale is special, very special, very, very special and very, very, very special.

Most people who where best in (a) class will experience that they are no longer best in class when they leave the bottom of the pyramid of education.

I'm not going to bother anyone with unreasonable definitions, but I'd exclude the bottom of the pyramid of people who were best in (a) class, and I'd include people who were too smart to survive school.

I'd hope that an organisation like Mensa would help those people, and I'd hope that a number of 1.3 mln. special people in the UK would make clear that perhaps a better definition is required. There are a lot of classes.

A Mensa membership isn't an exclusive privilege. Most people with an IQ score of 130-145 won't have experienced any relevant problem because they were too smart. Trying to define special has no use at all, FWIW. Just pretend that everyone is special, unless you don't want an excellent EQ score.

By the way, ISTR that Mensa is a co-producer of a quiz, broadcasted by RTL. SlimmerIQen (Brainics), a "Battle of the brains". The personal life of the candidates, including children (12+ years old), was discussed and shown too, so the (lack of) possible social problems certainly played a role. It wasn't about showing off their special skills.

But yes, in a nutshell, in this specific on-topic case I'd use a different definition of special. I'll append being unreasonable to the long list of suggested issues.

1152261.  Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:38 am Reply with quote

Well, I got a response..........😞

1152262.  Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:42 am Reply with quote

14-11-2014 wrote:
crissdee wrote:
Surely the top 2% of a population is "special" by any reasonable definition?

Everyone is special. Is that what you were hoping for?

Errrrrr, no? What I was hoping for was a coherent acceptance of exactly the opposite.

1239620.  Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:32 am Reply with quote

Did he go to a JC???? If he hadnt play a down of college football does that make him a free agent? What are the rules on this?


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