Does a high IQ mean more than the ability to make intelligence tests really well?
“Suppose you're on a game show, and you're given the choice of three doors. Behind one door is a car, behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say #1, and the host, who knows what's behind the doors, opens another door, say #3, which has a goat. He says to you, "Do you want to pick door #2?" Is it to your advantage to switch your choice of doors?” (Savant, 1990)
This famous problem is known as the Monty Hall problem. It has gained a lot of publicity when Marylin Vos Savant wrote about it in her blog. Marylin Vos Savant is the person with the highest IQ (intelligence quotient) and is listed in the Guiness book of world records. She claimed the answer is “Yes, you then have 2/3 chance to win”, which led to great controversy in the math world (wikipedia has beatiful proof, "from the book"). People with high IQs would not accept this unintuitive answer, while the explanation is understandable for most high school students. I have always wondered if this Marylin is also the smartest person in the world. Therefore making a link between a high IQ score and intelligence, which proves untrue as I will explain later. I will also explore another interesting aspect of the IQ, the so-called Flynn effect. The Flynn effect says that the IQ of an average person rises with about 5 points every decade.
Let me first explain how IQ is measured. An IQ test is a test devised to measure someone’s intelligence. It has a very flat learning curve and therefore one should not be able to train for the test. The test is standardized to have an average of 100 with a standard deviation of 15 points, at the moment it's made. This means that when one scores 115 points one belongs in the top 32%. If one scores two standard deviations from the average (130), then this person is 95.4% percentile. (Wikipedia, 2011) Most IQ tests involve finishing rows in a logical order, filling in words and testing spatial abilities.
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