IQ Test Of The Week

I’ve always been sceptical about whether you can really measure intelligence by a specific test. Some of the brainiest people I know are the least practical and often the smartest people, in the sense of being able to make their way in the world, wouldn’t necessarily appear in the upper percentiles of scores, if they sat a conventional IQ test.

But there is some attraction, if only superficial, in establishing how smart (or otherwise) you are and achieving a metric against which you can judge yourself against others. The tests tend to be rather long-winded and, frankly, few of us are interested enough or have the time to see it through to the bitter end.

However, a rediscovered research paper, first published in 2005, by professor Shane Frederick of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology contained a maths test of just three short questions, designed to test your cognitive abilities. He asked over 3,000 participants, from a range of educational backgrounds and abilities, to take it and, astonishingly, only 18% got all three questions right.

What it says about anything is anybody’s guess bit if you want to have a go, here they are:

  1. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
  2. If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
  3. In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?

I will share the answers on Saturday, 10th August

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3 thoughts on “IQ Test Of The Week”

  1. Your scepticism is justified. For generations IQ tests have been used to favour some groups over others. Nowadays, however, well argued objections to such tests are proliferating. Just typing “The problem with IQ tests” into your search engine will produce many examples.

    Here is just one such: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/iq-tests-are-fundamentally-flawed-and-using-them-alone-to-measure-intelligence-is-a-fallacy-study-8425911.html

  2. On the first, $1.05 and $0.05. The other day, I was listening to a few adults discussing a difficult topic. I was fascinated at how empty of any real information they were sharing, yet they all seemed to think they were saying important things. I think that is both due to a life time of not digging deep, but also cultural, possibly the need for acceptance and to sound good in the ears of others. But perhaps, it’s also IQ, whatever that is. I look at it this way. Can a person “see” the need for information, realize when information is good or subjective, and hear understanding? My folks think I must have a high IQ, but I explained that I’m just like everyone else, just that I won’t buy into what others have told me without careful scrutiny and observation. But in talking with others, I’ve considered that many cannot do that. Many cannot scutinize or carefully observe, perhaps. But it also enlightened me more that there are things I do not understand and at present, cannot see. For when I’ve read much regarding historical figures, I’ve seen levels of understanding that, over time, I began to perceive. Patience.

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