What does high IQ mean anyway?


I hear people say that high IQ doesn’t mean you are automatically good at something, but what does it mean then, in terms of physical properties of the brain? And how do they translate to one’s abilities?

In: 682

High IQ means high ability to solve IQ tests, nothing more, nothing less. The IQ tests usually involve dealing with symbolic information and recognizing various patterns.

“Intelligence is what an IQ test measures” is a famous quote.

And it might not mean what you think, its critizising that we dont realy know what intelligence even is. We just came up with a test and made it a standartised test and call what it measures IQ. It has for sure something to do with puzzle solving and logic but thats not the same as being smart or educated. And the scale is just defined to have 100 as the average result.

IQ test are just a long list of puzzles like finding the next element in a row and who is good at solving these quiz test has a high IQ by deffinition. What that actualy means is not so clear.

Higher IQ does correlate with higher income.

Speaking as someone who used to test at the high end of school IQ tests, it means you are good at demonstrating the things IQ tests measure *under exam conditions*. Usually that’s shape and spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, memory, sometimes things like reading comprehension, vocabulary and logic – and it significantly overvalues quick thinking over accurate thinking, because tests are usually timed. The tests taken in childhood produce a score for where you are expected to be for your age and ideally also your background (if you never saw a book you won’t be able to read, for an extreme example), and compare your test scores to that to give an index that might measure how smart you are. I read better aged 7 than many adults do, for example, and can still get through an entire novel on a two hour plane flight aged 40.

‘High IQ’ like I have (had?) is pretty well associated with being good at the kinds of tests you do in maths and science at school. I got great grades and hardly worked for them. I am still very convinced that I do not think any better than people closer to the mean on IQ tests, but I did think noticeably much *faster* than my peers at Cambridge (many of whom were, not being funny, very very much better than me at all the things I’m supposed to be good at) and I come across in conversation as a lot smarter than I actually am.

It’s also a danger to a kid’s education to let them skate based on their test taking skills. My teachers didn’t get on my case about homework because I literally couldn’t have better test grades. I nearly crashed and burned at Cambridge University – I had to re-learn how to study *aged 19*, on my own, when I could no longer get by on photographic memory, reading comprehension and basic logic.

It measures cognitive abilities, and it is one of (not necessarily the most important in all cases) factors that predict (correlation, not necessarily causation) academic and work success.

It is the subject of a lot of controversy, as curiously sports competitions that rank specific physical abilities that may correlate to specific real life abilities are OK, but anything trying to rank specific intelligence abilities are sort of taboo.

Also because it may be a perverse self fulfilling correlation, as it may boost or harm your self confidence and dedication, which has an even higher correlation to success in many cases than IQ alone.

Some argue that it is biased, but then academia and jobs is also biased, and the correlation has been measured.