How intelligent do you think you are? Perhaps even highly intelligent? There are probably many people who would answer “yes” now. But as we all know, they can claim more when the day is long. Additionally to IQ tests, which very few people have access to, scientists have identified a few other unmistakable signs of exceptionally high intelligence. Let me tell you what they are. So keep your eyes open and let yourself be surprised!
Intelligence is more than “just” IQ
Before I explain how to find out if people in your social environment or yourself are more intelligent than average, let me briefly classify intelligence. Intelligence has not been uniformly defined and there are generally different types of intelligence, such as emotional intelligence. A measure of intelligence, which one is supposed to be concerned with today, is also the so-called IQ, or intelligence quotient.
The story of IQ began in 1905 when the French psychologist Alfred Binet dealt with the question:
👉 “At what age should children start school?”
In his tests, he asked children of different ages to solve a variety of tasks. Using this method, he was able to discover which problems most four-year-olds, six-year-olds, and even ten-year-olds could solve and which they could not. Based on his results, he then divided the mental performance of a person into a so-called “intelligence age”.
So if a four-year-old could solve all age-appropriate tasks, it corresponded to his intelligence age. If he could not solve these completely, he was less intelligent than the average in his age group. If he could also solve tasks for five or six-year-olds, he was considered more intelligent. This division into an intelligence age by Alfred Binet is regarded as the first significant intelligence test and predecessor of the so-called intelligence quotient.
In the end, it was the German psychologist William Stern who took up this age of intelligence in 1912 and put it about a person’s age. He simply divided the intelligence age by the age of a person. The four-year-old who can also solve the tasks of a six-year-old therefore corresponds to a Simon and Binet age quotient of 1.5. However, the American psychologist Lewis M. Terman found these decimal numbers disturbing and quickly multiplied this Simon and Binet age quotient by the number 100. The modern intelligence quotient was born:
IQ = intelligence age / age x 100
Our exemplary four-year-old with the intelligence age of a six-year-old therefore has an intelligence quotient of 150 — and is therefore considered extremely highly intelligent. With an IQ of 100, you’re within the norm thanks to this formula. According to the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–Fifth Edition (WISC-V) IQ classification, the following classification generally applies:
To avoid age-related distortions, since the age of intelligence increases more and more slowly compared to age, this IQ test was standardized for different age groups in 1937. This standardized test for measuring the intelligence quotient is still in use today and is called the Stanford-Binet test.
How meaningful is such an intelligence test?
Intelligence tests are often criticized. It is said that they are not very meaningful and only measure certain abilities of a person. For example, a person who is good at math but has low emotional intelligence is not necessarily more intelligent than someone with the opposite ability. There may well be a kernel of truth in this argument since, as already mentioned, there are different types of intelligence. Nonetheless:
The intelligence quotient describes a person’s mental ability compared to the average of other people in their age group.
The interesting thing is that this IQ is completely independent of the type of task. A person with a higher IQ is more likely to master all tasks than someone with a lower IQ. In principle, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a math problem, logical connections, or everyday understanding concerns such as
👉 “Why do sales in the toy industry increase in winter?”
Ultimately, the intelligence quotient describes a person’s “general task-solving ability”. This type of intelligence will be discussed below.
Originally posted on Medium