The 2010 MacArthur “genius” fellowships were announced today, meaning 23 individuals just received $500,000 in recognition of their “making our world a better place.” The recipients, artists, scientists, and others, can do whatever they want with the cash. Every year when these fabulous funds are given out, people tend to ask: “What makes them so special,” and “Don’t I deserve a genius grant?”
Perhaps a psychologist is better qualified to answer those questions, but we’re happy to see if our dictionary gnomes can provide some insight regarding the concept of “genius.” One of the most popular online definitions of genius would seem to be I.Q. scores. Prepare to be disappointed.
It’s true that an intelligence quotient of 140 or higher is considered by some experts to be “genius” level, but it is our duty as a Web site devoted to meaning to tell you that this number on its own is useless. I.Q. is a complex and controversial measure that is arguably useful in conjunction with other tests conducted by professionals. An online I.Q. test will only eat up time you could be spending reading Toni Morrison or Lewis Carroll, or doing anything else that actually stimulates your brain.
Genius goes back to Latin, where the meaning varies from our modern sense: a “guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth.” Wouldn’t it be nice to have a smart person watching out for us all the time? The sense of “person of natural intelligence or talent” comes from the 1640s. The root of “genius” is gignere, “to produce,” which perhaps offers the insight we seek. A genius is best defined by what they create, not an abstract quotient residing in the brain.
That makes total sense. If it was the case of just IQ, well it wouldn’t be that special then.
I had a male friend that simply *couldn’t* overcome the fact that my I.Q. was ten points higher than his (we took the official battery tests together, administered by a psychiatrist). I tried repeatedly to console him by explaining just how meaningless and irrelevant the results were (a numerical expression of something as nebulous as “intelligence” is arbitrary to begin with, but a ten-point difference is completely disregardable — especially since even the test administrators will tell you that your score can vary by ten points based on things like time of day, what you had for breakfast, et cetera), but he was permanently embittered. When I scored twelve points higher on the ACT, he stopped talking to me completely.
Anyone figured out what the deal is with comments being mysteriously eaten? I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with moderators.
Intelligence Quotient: a measure of a person’s intelligence as indicated by an intelligence test; the ratio of a person’s mental age to their chronological age (multiplied by 100)
Apparently, it measure how smart you are. I find those IQ tests as a waste of time. You know how smart you are! Don’t let a computer trick you! ):
I agree with Saf. I.Q. tests can’t possibly measure all the complex variables related to intelligence/experiential knowledge. Only a modicum of an indiviual’s traits can be classified via a standardized test, let alone at all. I recently completed an I.Q. test and scored 140. Minutes later I realized I locked my keys in my car. Yep, unadultered brilliance at work again.
[From a note to a lovely female college friend role model]
The gift, was, Aye, cute,
The giver, Aye, cuter,
Hope, with all that math she’s taking,
She’s more than an eye-cue-test….
when god create man he said lets create man to our own image that does not mean that we are gods but we can achieve what ever we want to or discover whatever we want too because everything is there for us it is up tous to discover the things we wish.also we we are temple of the holly spirit we can create discover achieve predict or destroy .thats way the mind is called the most perfect computer.
Who is Toni Morrison,Jim’s sister?
i be a genious to nikka
“I tried repeatedly to console him by explaining just how meaningless and irrelevant the results were (a numerical expression of something as nebulous as “intelligence” is arbitrary to begin with, but a ten-point difference is completely disregardable”
Haha. The fact that you explained this analysis to your friend, as if he was unable to understand it himself, just re-enforces that you are smarter than him. Anyways, I agree, Intelligence is qualitative, IQ is quantitative. It’s a problem of types.
When I was a child I had an IQ test done by a psychologist.
I cheated a little.
I still am not sure if the score was higher than it was supposed to be, or accurate after all
Thanks Johnny,I think you have it covered,finally.
I wonder what those “geniuses” are going to do with $500,000 dollars. Probably not putting it back into providing underprivileged geniuses with the opportunity to do something noble with their genius.
[...] know we ain’t know genius with an IQ of sixty-six — and we’re fortunate we be like the third piggy living in a [...]
I never thought of that. >_<
Also it’s important to know IQ varies between tests – a person can score 130 on one that is more slanted towards math and 180 on one that is more slanted towards language.
Also aside from just score, it’s important to see what percentile your score falls into (i.e. how much higher you scored than other takers of the test) – it’s the percentile that high IQ societies such as Mensa or the Triple Nine Society use as admission requirements (for Mensa you must score at or above the 98th percentile and they call it the Triple Nine Society because your IQ score must be at or above 99.9%).
Lastly to expand a bit on the scoring of a test (and to simplify it a bit):
When a test is scored the score translates to a “mental age” (i.e. the age of other test takers who got the same amount right as you). For example let’s say that the average person who got 37 questions right on a particular test was age 50 – so if you got 37 questions right your Mental Age would be 50. Now to get your IQ from that you would divide your mental age by your real age and then multiply it by 100. So in this example if a person were 25 years old their IQ would be 200 (50/25 * 100). Knowing that, you can then figure out a persons mental age by knowing their IQ. For example if a person’s IQ is 125 then their mental age is 1.25 times their actual age (so if they are 40 then they have the mental age of a 50 year old).
This is also why any IQ test that doesn’t ask your age (for example most online IQ tests) can’t possibly score your IQ. Just think about it – if the test doesn’t factor in the takers age, then if a 5 year old and a 40 year old got the same questions right the test would tell them they had the same IQ – which would obviously not be the case. (BTW there are a few exceptions with tests that are so incredibly hard that if you can answer the questions at any age in any amount of time (i.e. take 5 years to do it) you are considered a genius).
Anyway, hope that wasn’t too much info!!
Blizzard is right that is true
What one achieves will always be far more important and have greater impact than a number generated by an arbitrary test of one’s intelligence. Intelligence is potential – not results.
A few points to note about IQ and IQ tests. First, IQ is more of a measure of the capacity to learn, not actual knowledge. Someone may be born with great athleticism, but unless they practice they’ll never be a great basketball player. Second, early childhood is when these tests are most effective and accurate. Knowledge acquire throughout life can skew these scores. Third, these tests tend to lose validity as the scores go beyond 1-2 standard deviations. So most of these tests can tell you you’re above 140, but aren’t very good at distinguishing between 140 and 155. They are more accurate in the middle of a standard bell curve distribution and can measure the difference between a 100 and 110.
In grade 9 my class took some Super Country-wide Math test, you scored 8 points for a correct answer with full work, 4 points for a correct answer without full work, 2 points for leaving a question blank, and 0 points for wrong answers.
I scored the highest in my class because i left half the questions blank, because I KNEW i didn’t have any idea how to get it, while they attempted and got them wrong.
Was I the smartest? God no. Did I milk it and gloat like i was? Heck yes.
Self-aware tactical thinking > numbermunching. ^_^
For a fact, there are people who never been to School all in their lives, and they can get an I.Q. over 150 and be in Mensa International already.
People like to go judge I.Q. like to make a statement(s) that emphasize “Since your grades are poor, and or GPA is low” your I.Q. is low too. It’s ridiculous, I know one thing that Grades prove very little on intelligence.
Using “I.Q.” saying if it’s low then you’re dumb or if it’s high then you must know everything. Even a Mensa him or herself can make actions that are misguided. I.Q. doesn’t do entirely on Intelligence.
The real intelligence is with action, and the knowledge. People who represent Intelligence that really makes one see that person is obvious with great knowledge would use what they do with the information they know. That’s masterful, not people who like to imply that they are superior by “saying” it rather than “showing” it. That is true wicked experience of Enlightenment.
One more thing, telling someone they are “stupid” doesn’t make one any smarter!
Genius is to retain the insight of a child in the person of an adult – much progress and innovation surely has a childlike, obvious quality to it – you just have to be the one doing it.
Einstein is deemed a genius, but said his work was used, against his wishes, for destructive purposes (woops!). Stephen Hawking is deemed to be a modern genius, but once went to Stringfellows, and believes in alternative Narnias.
Don’t you just love the folks on this website who claim to not put any stock in IQ scores but find it necessary to tell us what they scored.
“Golly, I scored 10 points higher than Jesus on the IQ test. I tried to tell him it was only because I had eggs for breakfast but he was inconsolable. Then when I scored 12 points higher than he did on the my cholesterol test, he stopped talking to me.
Btw, I think intelligence tests are meaningless. I got a 140.”
I totally agree with Dave. I can also tell you that a real, proctored IQ test does NOT contain any “math or english” problems. Most of the stuff on IQ tests are pattern recognition, problem solving, etc. They are measuring your ability to think, not your knowledge.
Everyone’s knowledge base is different. For example, Stephen Hawking is regarded as having a high IQ, certainly higher than mine, yet in a match of KNOWLEDGE like a game of Jeopardy!, I could absolutely KILL him depending on the categories! That said, a 5 year old boy would wipe the floor with both of us if the categories were video games and Pokeman and Saturday Morning cartoons….because that is HIS knowledge base.
I’ve always thought of things like this:
Intelligence – Problem solving ability. Not what you know, but HOW you work the problem and come to a solution.
Knowleldge – Information. Memorization of facts and the ability to call upon them at appropriate times and express them in articulate ways. This is learned information that everyone has. Some know more than others, some are experts in certain fields, but at the end of the day, knowledge is the sum of the things you have been taught.
Wisdom – Experience. An understanding gained through exposure and routine. To me, wisdom is more the ability to understand how a solution will play out.
KNOWLEDGE is your ability to recognize that the stove burner is on. INTELLIGENCE is your ability to figure out HOW it could’ve possibly been turned on.
WISDOM is your ability to know not to touch the burner.
As a side note, ignorance is not necessarily a bad thing. Ignorance is just a lack of knowledge. EVERYONE is ignorant on some point. For example, I am ignorant as to how to fly a plane.
Hope that makes sense and sparks some converasation!!
As I explained to my Comm. Arts teacher, I believe that IQ has nothing to do with how smart you are, and that people do not get treated differently because their IQ is higher or lower than others. Because, after all, what normal person walks up to people, asks them what their IQ is, then slaps them if their IQ is 100 instead of 101? (Well, that is a bit of a hyperbole, but that point was there.) Anyways, I believe that people get treated differently when they start to act like their IQ. So unless you go around yelling at people telling them “Oh, my IQ is 23857928, so you have to treat me like I’m a genius,” then you’re not going to get any better treatment.
wow i never thought that! anyway i want to be those geniuses getting a prize!! well that just me >.< lol O.o -__-
“there are a few exceptions with tests that are so incredibly hard that if you can answer the questions at any age in any amount of time (i.e. take 5 years to do it) you are considered a genius”
Nick, I would love to take one of those tests, I might do absolutely terrible on it, but it would be worth a try and I’d love to see how I would do.
I have a IQ of 160 and all I do all day is some bud. Now that’s some brain stimulation!
man…… i really thought i was a genius. im 14 and have an iq score of 144 and that doesnt mean anything…
NathanD, you might want to do a little research on what happens with most of the MacArthur funds. You might be suprised at how many dollars get put back into education, social initiatives, and do in fact provide opportunities to other potential geniuses.
But, When Ultra-IQ meets Extreme-IQ, you get more-interesting discussions…like the following–
Do you believe the physicists’ claim that they have solved the equation of the universe, with one hand tied behind their back?
(reviews both hands)
Yeah… But they don’t know which, hand.
So you’ve known about that already.
(restrains smirk a beat)
Did Daniel tell you his favorite joke about God making matter with no intelligence, to give physicists an even chance?
I always wondered that about God, how He could have made anything, without intelligence;- but, Daniel has a different version of it … So, Tell me, Pete: Is an even chance, zero chance, or two chances?- Zero and two both being even.
I’d suppose, Even is two chances,- with each side sharing its covalent odd chance.
Ray. [From: Professors' Spring Returns: 2nd of the trilogy]
But on the serious side …
The gods like Adam Geb lived 900 years each, so–
If they used 10% of their brains in 90 years, then they must have had their brains full at 900 years…
Now, This is actually considerable, because, the supralongevity gods like Ra who ruled previously 7000 years as Amun and 1000-more as Ra Atem, said they were self-created: So they must have entirely overwritten or overridden their memory of being children….
Of course, it should be pointed out that the gods used mnemonics to help them remember so they didn’t fill their brains so fast … They structured their families in mimicry of nature, Ra the sun god etc….
And today, a third, important, point, to consider–
Science, is expanding so fast in this century, that, keeping-up requires exponentially-rapid acquisition of intellect and intelligence… And IQ, must be obsolete, or, a nonlinear-scale… Age, no longer means anything on the ratiocinated axis.
So, What’s the function?
Actually JAFO, I think it would be more intelligent to turn the stove burner off, rather than sitting around thinking about how it got turned on…
IQ tests, even the ones, conducted by professionals, are a complete waste of time they don’t prove anything the only reason i could see the use of an IQ test is purely for bragging rights, but in that case if you need to take an IQ test to some how make your self happy then thats just sad, ive taken an IQ test and i scored pretty well but i also saw the many flaws in the process, all im trying to say in this giant run on sentence is that IQ tests have no meaning or value in real life other then to boost you confidence or deminish it either way its completely pointless.
oh, one more thing you may not have know that albert einstein’s IQ was so low that they actualy kicked him out of elementry school because they thought he was retarded, we now know what his mind was truely capable of.
oops i just relized the mistakes i made in my last comment, but i figured i would make a few
And all together that makes common sense, which I have none. Like I KNOW, but I can’t figure out how to fill it even though I’m in the bathroom leaning on a sink and didn’t realize I can just turn on the facet and fill my waterbottle. Like I said, I may be somewhat smart, but I have absolutely no common sense.
Intelligence Quotient (I.Q) means the measure of person’s as intelligence as indicated by an intelligence test; the ratio of a person’s metal age to their chronological age (multiplied by 100).
The person who is kind to all mankind and animals is a genius.
A GUINE IS A PERSON WHO CAN STAY ON TASK
@matt: What did you put your $500,000 into?
Kassidi on September 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm
“For a fact, there are people who never been to School all in their lives, and they can get an I.Q. over 150 and be in Mensa International already.”
I agree with this, and i think people should stop using this excuse for minorities with lower IQ averages. we are created equal but somewhere along the way we split into cultures who value intelligence and harness it or ones who “go stupid”
@matt: The fact is none of them are very clear about what they would do with the money, probably partly because it is such a large sum of money. Those that have a semblance of what to do with it, only want to further their own academic interests…which is NOT in the spirit of the award: to apply their genius to better the world.
Instead, they intend to apply their new found wealth to increase their genius.
Rather than questioning my research, maybe question the moral implications of giving “geniuses” half a million dollars, instead of ending world hunger, stunting progress in terms of alternative energies, and halting the space program which has nothing but inspire the unfortunate to attain a sociocentric level of genius.
There is not necessarily a correlation between being a genius and having a high IQ. It depends on the notion of “genius” used. Genius with regards to intelligence? In this case IQ would probably currently be the best measure for genius (although in actuality there’s much more to “intelligence” than can be inferred from an IQ test). Genius as expressed by creativity in the arts or music? I don’t think IQ tests can effectively measure this. Depending on the notion of genius used, having a high IQ is not necessary to be a genius, and being a genius does not necessarily imply having a high IQ. Mozart is widely considered a genius in the field of music, but had he taken an IQ test, would he have scored very high? We don’t know, and IQ does not seem to be a significant factor in the criteria used in labeling someone a genius with regards to musical ability.
I believe I.Q. test are meaningful measures of intelligence (as long as you don’t get all wound up about 5 or 10 points difference.) Having said that I’ve always found that dedication and hard work accomplishes much more than smarts. In our chemical engineering class, some awful smart people flunked out and some very mediocre people graduated. Most of these geniuses are smart but also put in 80 hour weeks!
After reading all of the comments regarding IQ, I’d like to say that I believe the world is less influenced by high IQ than by low IQ. Remember – one half of the people you meet are of below average intelligence! In my experience, it seems the events of daily life are determined more by the action of morons than geniuses.
Saf, how does one go about eating a comment? I guess I’m just stupid, but that one just goes over my head. I think the fact that a person is using this site says something about there intelligence. At least there trying.
What does nebulous mean anyway? Never mind, I’ll look it up.
@SAF: I think your male friend demonstrated his childish fear of being perceived as inadequate in any way. It’s regrettable, but there’s nothing you can do. Move on, dear heart.
i know people who have higher IQ than me but then i’m doing better than them.
Ray, are you saying you believe in those gods?? I mean, how does that stuff even make sense? That they used up 10% of their brains in 90 years and after 900 years their brain capacity was full and now they die. It’s ridiculous. “Oh look at that—my brain is at 99% capacity. Hmmm… Oh I didn’t know Albert Einstein had a low IQ! Oh my gosh it’s at 100%! I guess it’s time to die now. Bye.”
And what do you mean God made matter with no intelligence? He knows everything!
Okay I would just like to say your IQ really doesn’t matter.I mean come on,do you believe the people who created the IQ test is that smart? And if they are then I think they have way to much time on there hands.
If you’ll notice, I never actually mentioned what my score was. That would be a good thing to take into account, since that’s what you’re attempting to troll me for.
ummm obviuously nerds r the smart ones i could win that money
Just wanted to share this with yall… MENSA in Spanish means Stupid!! LOL how ironic…
Did you ever notice that people who are really insecure about their intelligence tend to be paranoid? These are the same folks who are always trying to work their IQs into any conversation–even with total strangers–usually in a roundabout way through the use personal anecdotes.
“I remember some years ago I had a terrible fight with my friend over Bo Derek. I wanted to watch Bolero but he was adamantly opposed to the idea. For some inexplicable reason he utterly despised the woman and refused to allow me to put the tape in the VCR. When I finally pressed him on the issue, he told me he hated Bo Derek because she starred in 10 and every time he saw her, it reminded him that he had scored 10 points lower than I did on an IQ test. That was 12 years ago, or 144 months, which coincidentally is the score I got on the test. Weird how that worked out, huh?”
IQ Score: 190.
I love how everyone on here starts out by saying that IQ scores are unimportant and then start bragging about their own score.
Guess what? IQ tests do a very good job at measuring intelligence. Guess what else? My IQ is 168 and I’m proud of that fact. Guess what else? I am smarter than most of the people I know. Does that make me better? No. Does it enable me to learn more proficiently? Yes. Does it make me better for certain jobs? Absolutely it does. Do I go around telling everyone what my IQ is? Nope, not gonna do it.
The article is about what IQ defines a genius; I’m pretty sure that everyone that left a comment here was looking up on the internet to see how their IQ’s compared. Oooh, I might be using too much logic there! Really, who do you all think you are fooling?
Peace and quit being hypocrites.
I have an IQ of 145
Personally intelligence isn’t just measured on the ability to process and understand information but also on one’s ability to create. Creativity is scarce nowadays. Facts come from ideas and ideas come from creativity, for instance one would have to assume that matter can’t be destroyed just changed from one object to another, taking on different mass in a given circumstance. It would just be a theory… so now you have to prove it in order for it to become fact. Most people twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts. Basically put…. we are all of us creative in our own ways… it’s not just about abstract thought and logical reasoning.
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we are all genious
we just ave to harness it within ourselves… and who knows if we even know we have,.,,
In Ancient Rome ‘genius’ was a name for a home god. This word from Latin stands for someone who produces something ecxeptional like ‘genius’ the god.
This is in response to mark, when he said that Albert Einstein got kicked out of school because his “iq was too low.”.
I just wanted to let u know thats not true, it’s a rumor. Albert einstein was never kicked out of school. I’m not sure but I think he left on his own his senior year of high school bc he didn’t agree w the teaching styles. But that whole story about how he flunked out, and the story where he was kicked out, and just stories. He was smart, he never failed I’m school, and he certainly never got kicked out.
If you school then how come you the comment ID says Marlene?