Never Know Your IQ

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Quite a few of my previous postings have been, well moanings, so I thought I'd make a break

offer some advice.

Never Know Your Own IQ

IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, is supposed to be a measure of a person's
intelligence1, and it is determined through testing, usually a multiple choice exam,
although psychiatrists can also administer the test.

One of the biggest testing groups is MENSA, the high IQ society. They offer free testing at
their centres or at local organised events.

So what's the problem with knowing your own IQ? Children are never supposed to learn their
IQ, as it can lead to superiority or inferiority complexes, but adults are just as vulnerable to

There are three main possibilities.

Lower Than Average IQ

Anything lower than 100 is below the national average for the UK. If you score lower than 100,
it can be depressing and over time become overbearing. People can develop inferiority complexes.
You can imagine how they feel. Think about walking down a street in your town, and thinking that
everyone you pass is smarter than you2.

Average IQ

Scoring an IQ rating of 100 sounds OK, you are averagely intelligent. But the more you dwell on

it, the more the meaning of the words change. Averagely intelligent. 50% of the population
are smarter3

Higher Than Average IQ

Now this may sound like the best outcome. If you score really high, 110, 120, 130... but the
higher this figure goes, the more severe the depression can get. The typical thought is 'I'm this
smart and I'm still stuck in this crummy job...'


It can also lead to difficulties of both partners in a relationship know each other's IQs.
Jealousy and envy can set in and it can be used as a painful armament in any arguments.

The IQ Scale

In addition to these points, there is the very real question: What does an IQ score really mean?

It is a fairly meaningless number assigned to a person. In the workforce, what you can do and how
well you do it are far more important than how smart you are, as determined by an arbitrary

In the film Trading Places, Dan Aykroyd's character has a higher IQ than Eddie
Murphy's, but Murphy has a higher EQ. This allows him to adapt better to the change in
circumstances. In the end of the film, both the high IQ of Aykroyd and the high EQ of Murphy are

needed to resolve the conflict and put one over the two misers, Duke and Duke, played by Ralph
Bellamy and Don Ameche.

Take Heed

I'm not saying that you shouldn't know your IQ4. If you really want to find out, there are plenty of places to do
the test. You can even do it online (although these are not supervised, so the score is more of an
approximation). I just want you to be aware of the consequences of knowing your IQ, which you
might not be aware of before you take the test.

If you have been tested and the result is depressing you, just remember, it's only a number. It
has no real bearing on your life or your relationships. What matters is being happy and

And before you ask, no I'm not going to tell you what my IQ is.

The Atlantic_Cable


10.06.04 Front Page

Back Issue Page

1Although many argue that EG (Emotional Quotient) is a more reliable
2Although from a statistical point of view, this
is not true.
3Although again, statistically this is not true either.4OK, maybe I am, but don't take
me too seriously.

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