IQ Is Meaningless Mumbo Jumbo

So what’s your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)?

If you say it is 130 then you are probably wrong.

Actually, you are definitely wrong.

IQ is one of those social status markers that are seen as some sort of superiority badge, especially by parents who are fond of saying things like, “Matilda has an IQ of 165 which is more than Einstein. She is studying to be a doctor and an astronaut and she’s not even 12 years old yet.”

IQ has never been about the child. It’s always been about the parents.

But parents on Child Genius and other excruciating shows devoted to ‘highly gifted’ children are in for a shock – their Mensa credentials are as valuable as a packet of Haribo. To say that your child has a higher IQ than Einstein actually means nothing.

IQ cannot be measured by intelligence tests alone. Mensa themselves say that  “IQ or Intelligence Quotient is an attempt to measure intelligence.  This means many things to many people.”

Yes it jolly well does.

When my car breaks down then I take it to my local garage where the mechanics there are really tuned in when it comes to diagnostics and repairs. They are far more intelligent than me when it comes to cars. I’d say they have a car IQ of 170+.

Yet, if they were to sit a Mensa test then this intelligence wouldn’t be tested so they might not do that well and then they wouldn’t be admitted.

A study came out in 2012 that has sort of been buried and conveniently ignored by Mensa and others. This found that IQ tests are fundamentally flawed and fail to take in to account the complex nature of the human intellect.

In the journal Neuron, an article by Roger Highfield (the first person to bounce a neutron off a soap bubble) along with Adrian Owen and Adam Hampshire of the University of Western Ontario, showed that the unitary nature of “IQ” is too simplistic to capture the spectrum of human intelligences.

Their research involved an on-line survey of 110,000 people from around the world who were asked to complete 12 mental tests which measured different aspects of cognitive ability that would trigger activity in as much of the brain as possible.

They then took a representative sample of 46,000 people, analysed how they performed and found there were three distinct components to cognitive ability: short-term memory, reasoning and a verbal component.

The study looked at how factors such as age, gender and the tendency to play computer games influence our intelligence. They found regular brain training didn’t aid performance at all, yet people who often played other types of computer games did significantly better in terms of both reasoning and short-term memory.

Roger Highfield says,

“The results disprove once and for all the idea that a single measure of intelligence, such as IQ, is enough to capture all of the differences in cognitive ability that we see between people,”

“The idea that intelligence can be measured by IQ tests alone is a fallacy according to the largest single study into human cognition which found that it comprises of at least three distinct mental traits.”

“We can now say, with certainty, that the idea that populations can be compared using a single measure of intelligence is dead.”

Yet families are still falling over themselves to get their kiddies into the British Mensa family – the number of under-11s joining this faux high-IQ society has risen by more than half. Why? Status is everything to some.

The next time someone boasts about their IQ, point them in the direction of this research and wipe the smile off their face.




2 thoughts on “IQ Is Meaningless Mumbo Jumbo

  • September 11, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    Haha what utter drivel. The article you reference doesn’t disprove anything about IQ. Do those researchers not realize that IQ tests DO in fact measure a variety of cognitive processes? The gold standard IQ test, the WAIS IV, has a short term memory component, a processing speed component, a verbal reasoning component, and a perceptual/visuospatial component. Each of these components have numerous subtests. They all come together into a single number. People need to realize that the online IQ tests you see are not at all representative of a real IQ test. I’m sorry, but IQ is the best predictor we have for life success and nothing thus far has been able to disprove that correlation.


    • October 23, 2022 at 3:38 am

      The only people who care about this “IQ” nonsense are nothing more than extremely insecure individuals who need constant validation and reaffirmation for their own self-efficacy (that is, their belief in their ability to do something). If this offends you, makes you angry, or whatever, that’s only because you’re deeply insecure about yourself (and you feel called out by it). Admit it. (You won’t.)

      >I’m sorry

      Be sorry to yourself. It must be extremely mentally exhausting being this insecure about yourself constantly.

      >…but IQ is the best predictor we have for life success and nothing thus far has been able to disprove that correlation.

      And here you are, parroting some shit that you read on another website. Funny how all these IQ-cultists have all the same stock responses whenever their little IQ ideology is challenged… and then you’re probably gonna claim that these are all your “original” ideas, when in reality, this comment might as well have been copied and pasted from another website.


      IQ is really just another silly ideology/religious belief, and like any ideology or religious belief or superstition, it only has value insofar as people ascribe value to it. In other words if everyone thought this concept of “IQ” was bullshit, nobody would give a shit about it, let alone be insecure about it, because it would have no value.

      Also, “intelligence” is nothing more than a social-cultural construct; whatever is considered “intelligent” in a given culture, is dependent on whatever said culture dictates are “indicators of success”. In other words, a given culture dictates “intelligent” whatever attributes lead to “success” in that culture, whatever that culture defines “success” as.

      For example, some cultures, such as Western culture define the mass accumulation of wealth and monetary assets as a form of “success”, while others define “success” as being able to create a large family. Success, like “intelligence” is a social construct, and is entirely dependent on whatever the culture believes.

      The takeaway here is that “intelligence”, “success”, and anything to that effect are socio-cultural constructs, and are completely subjective and relative to a given environment. (In other words, nothing is objective or absolute.)

      If you really to ascribe value to the concept of IQ, the best comparison is a video game score. In other words, just like a score from a video game, IQ doesn’t mean anything outside the context of the game (or test) that you’ve played (or written). In other words, treating this as an absolute concept is no different than obtaining millions of dollars in GTA Online and then bragging to everyone you know in real life, that you’re a millionaire.


      Face it, Philly, you want people to blow smoke up your ass and throw a bunch of arbitrary labels such as “smart” and “genius” in your face, so that you can feel better about yourself. You don’t strike me as a very confident individual based on that comment, and that’s why you need constant reassurance.


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