An intelligence quotient (IQ) is a total score derived from several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence.

An IQ test consists of a number of tasks measuring various measures of intelligence including short-term memory, analytical thinking, mathematical ability and spatial recognition. Like all IQ tests it does not attempt to measure the amount of information you have learned but rather your capacity to learn.

Intelligence is NOT knowledge! Knowledge is the collection of skills and information a person has acquired through experience or learning whereas intelligence is the ability to apply such knowledge. A person who knows nothing may still be highly intelligent:

“I know that I know nothing.”
– Socrates

The “Flynn Effect”

The fact that each generation scores higher on an IQ test than the generation before it is called the “Flynn effect”. It is fully present in pre-school children, does not increase during the school age years and is greater for non-verbal abilities than for verbal abilities.

In this fast-paced spin through the cognitive history of the 20th century, moral philosopher James Flynn challenges our fundamental assumptions about intelligence.

Are we actually getting smarter, or just thinking differently? He suggests that changes in the way we think have had surprising (and not always positive) consequences.

The CFIT

CFIT stands for Culture Fair Intelligence Test. What does ‘culture fair’ mean? This nonverbal intelligence test is culture fair because it avoids cultural and language biases and focuses on logical reasoning only.

The benefits are quite obvious: All may step up at the starting line with the very same equal opportunity, regardless of their cultural (therefore ‘culture fair’) i.e. educational, language and other backgrounds. Even a illiterate person can take such a CFIT and benefits from common prerequisites.

At its extreme, culture does impact IQ scores. That means that what we think of as intelligence here means a lot in some places and rather little in others. According to some researchers, the “cultural specificity” of intelligence makes IQ tests biased towards the environments in which they were developed – namely white, Western society. This makes them potentially problematic in culturally diverse settings.

The test may be based on the highly scientifically validated progressive matrices test of John Raven but was originally constructed by Raymond Cattell as an attempt to measure cognitive abilities devoid of sociocultural and environmental influences.

Cattell proposed that general intelligence comprises both fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence is the ability to solve novel reasoning problems and is correlated with a number of important skills such as comprehension, problem solving, and learning. Crystallized intelligence, on the other hand, involves the ability to deduce secondary relational abstractions by applying previously learned primary relational abstractions.

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
– Stephen Hawking

Normal IQ Range

Calculation in relation to 100: The standard of scoring on an IQ test is based on a scale from zero to 200 that is based on the general average score in the larger population. IQ scores are defined so the average score for a population is 100 and so the most common scores will also fall near or around 100. A graph of the most common IQ scores will appear as a hill with its peak at 100. This is called a bell curve. So for any IQ scale, normal intelligence will be around 100. If you score 100 on an IQ test, you’re in the 50th percentile of scoring. This means you’ve scored higher than 50 percent of people who’ve taken the test.

Stanford-Binet Scale

The Stanford-Binet test and scale was developed in the early 20th century to evaluate children’s intelligence. A Stanford-Binet test measures five qualities of intelligence: knowledge, fluid reasoning, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing and working memory.

In the Stanford-Binet scale, levels of intelligence are defined by their distance from 100. Average intelligence is defined between 90 and 110 points, with 80 to 89 being defined as “dullness” and 110 to 120 as “superior intelligence.” A genius level score on the Stanford-Binet scale is over 140 while scores under 70 indicate mental retardation.

Cattell’s Scale

The Cattell Culture Fair III Test is designed to test intelligence while avoiding a bias toward Western students. The Cattell test, along with the Wechsler, is used as qualification for Mensa. The Cattell Scale, like other IQ scales, places its average score at 100. However, it uses a standard deviation of 24, rather than 15, in its scoring system, allowing it to provide a more accurate assessment of scores that are farther from 100.

The Cattell scale defines average intelligence between 100 and 119, with scores in the 90s as “below average” and those in the 120s and 130s as “above average.” Genius level IQ falls above 160 points.

Wechsler Scale

The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale was created in the 1950s to measure intelligence in adults and adolescents. Both the Wechsler and Stanford-Binet scales use a standard deviation of 15 points from the average. This means that 68 percent of scores fall between 85 and 115, and 95 percent of scores fall between 70 and 130. Only 1 percent of scores fall below 15 or above 145.

Wechsler’s scale measures four areas of intelligence: verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory and processing speed, which are combined to provide a total IQ score. Scores between 80 and 119 are defined as average, with scores in the 80s as “low average” and scores in the 110s as “high average.”

The Wechsler scale does not include a “genius” level, but defines scores over 130 as “very superior.”

Physicist Stephen Hawking. When asked his IQ, he replied: “I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers.”

Comparability

I always get very much amused if one talks about IQ tests, results thereof and even dares compare these outcomes with one another. There are countless IQ test varieties out there and so naturally are the results.

That’s why it’s impossible to compare such results unless they are based on the very same IQ test and conditions or at least correctly converted according to IQ classifications (also taking into account stdevstandard deviation), for example:

  • Cattell-IQ = (Wechsler-IQ – 100) * 24/15 + 100
  • Wechsler-IQ = (Cattell-IQ – 100) * 15/24 + 100

Convergent Validity is the extent to which the CFIT correlates with other tests of intelligence, achievement, and aptitude. The intercorrelations between the Culture Fair Intelligence Test and some other IQ tests have been reported as shown in the table here: Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test.

See also: Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

“Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore.”
– Albert Einstein

My IQ Test Results

With this CFIT, I scored above average with 104 and that puts me in a group range that represents a third of the population.

With this test, only 5% of the people in the world score 124 or higher – the minimun required to become a member of the International High IQ Society (IHIQS). Interested in becoming a member? Go ahead and take the online available free short demo IQ test. Who knows? Perhaps, you even qualify for The Tripple 9

With the test provided by the Switzerland chapter of Mensa International, I scored 25 correct (out of a possible 33). This implies an IQ of about 150 on the Cattell scale (stdev 24), about 133 on the Stanford-Binet scale (stdev 16) or about 131 on the Wechsler scale (stdev 15).

Mensa’s requirement for membership is a score at or above the 98th percentile on certain standardised IQ or other approved intelligence tests, such as the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales. The minimum accepted score is 132 on the Stanford–Binet scale, while it is 148 for the Cattell.

Conclusion

According to IQ classifications, my IQ test results put me in a range somewhere between…

…(according to Cattell) highly intelligent, (according to Wechsler) very superior / upper extreme and (according to Stanford-Binet) gifted or very advanced.

→ Personality traits summary: Combined conclusion

Related