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KeithP

What was Ayn Rand's IQ?

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Why?

Those tests are very subjective and are very prone to failure. They ask general questions and expect it to represent the whole. Well they don't because you don't have to know any specific information to be smart. I am sure there where smart people back in the 1300's but they would fail horrible on these tests.

As a side note, why do you care? Does her brilliance need validation?

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Why?

Those tests are very subjective and are very prone to failure.  They ask general questions and expect it to represent the whole.  Well they don't because you don't have to know any specific information to be smart.  I am sure there where smart people back in the 1300's but they would fail horrible on these tests.

As a side note, why do you care?  Does her brilliance need validation?

Her brilliance speaks for itself. But, if genius can be quantified I would like to know what hers was. Since I am not familair with the subjectivness of IQ tests then perhaps it is irrelevent.

But, my understanding of IQ is ones CAPACITY for intelligence. And hers seemed pretty immense. A person of another time could have also had a large capacity and mis-used it for some vocation such as translating the bible. But, their intelligence remains.

Keith

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...my understanding of IQ is ones CAPACITY for intelligence....

All i am saying is that the tests are flawed and cannot be relied upon. They say they test capacity, but they do so in a flawed manor. It is like me judging your intelligence by how well you use Russian grammar. If you did know Russian you would appear brilliant, if not you as smart as pondscum. Like i said they are just not valid.

I think it is best to merely state that AR (through my knowledge of her works) is one of the smartest people i know. :nuke:

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I once had a discussion with my mother, a psychologist/educator, about what actually constitutes intelligence and we came up with probably an odd answer: it is the speed with which one can learn, integrate, and use new information.

Is there a better definition than this?

Dictionary.com defines intelligence as "the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge." Sounds pretty similar to me.

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Those tests are very subjective

I don't see that at all. It's so objective that a computer can give you the answer, without the need for a human scorer.

and are very prone to failure.
What does it mean to "fail", in this context? Can you give any example at all of a "failure"?
They ask general questions and expect it to represent the whole.
The whole what? A specific question should "represent" something specific, and a more general question should represent something more... general. So what exactly are you objecting to?
Well they don't because you don't have to know any specific information to be smart. I am sure there where smart people back in the 1300's but they would fail horrible on these tests.
Why are you so sure? Are you confusing the Graduate Record Exam and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test? The standard multiculturalist objection to intelligence testing is that it doesn't test intelligence in an absolute vaccuum, on the theory that specific factual knowledge of toxicity of various wild roots in the Namib desert is considered equivalent to the ability to use logic in reasoning, so that the typical !Kung hunter-gatherer is not "less intelligent" than, say, Ayn Rand. There is a perfectly valid objection to intelligence testing, that you have to have some experience and training in such modes of reasoning. But this is natural: only a Kantian would believe in an a priori notion of "intelligence" that is totally divorced from experience. Of course your ability to score well on those exams has to do with your experiences. The proof is that the typical !Kung hunter-gather can perform just as well on these exams after they have received training in modes of reasoning that we have developed in the west after millenia of struggle.

I bet $500 that any educated person from the 1300's would do as well as one from the 2000's. Money will meet mouth: all you need to do is provide the test subject.

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I once had a discussion with my mother, a psychologist/educator, about what actually constitutes intelligence and we came up with probably an odd answer: it is the speed with which one can learn, integrate, and use new information.

I think this is exactly right. This cuts through all of the culture-specific nonsense. It's reasonable to object that some particular test might be biased, but that's a standard detail of implementation problem (which, unfortunately, gets ignored in the actual testing). At least that articulates a goal that these tests should strive for.

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And therefore, there is no way to determine Ayn Rand's intelligence simply by looking at what she wrote.

The fact that most of her articles took a very short time for her to write, and that a book like Atlas Shrugged could actually be written in her lifetime, tell you it's way above average. :-D

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The IQ tests themselves originally gave better marks to women, so the questions were changed until men and women did equally well. To me, this invalidates IQ score claims as anything other than a loose general gauge of intelligence. It signifies that there are vast swings in measured intelligence by the amount of certain types of questions.

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DavidOdden,

I don't see that at all. It's so objective that a computer can give you the answer, without the need for a human scorer.

The answers to the test may be objective,being as how they can be scored by a computer, but the questions themsleves are designed/worded/constructed by men, and that makes them subjective. Rather that the men who make up the test think that they can test IQ with the questions makes it subjective. (i am not implying that man is subjective, merely that he can act in that fashion)

What does it mean to "fail", in this context? Can you give any example at all of a "failure"?

If you do not know the subjects or have insufficient knowledge in the fields they are asking questions from then you "fail" or get a low score. This is not truly a test of his IQ but a test of his knowledge, a separate thing.

The whole what? A specific question should "represent" something specific, and a more general question should represent something more... general. So what exactly are you objecting to?

I ask you 20 general questions, you answer 18 right, or 90%. Therefore i say you are in the top 10 percent of intelligent people. Is this a good test? Or should i ask 1000? 10,000? Asking some questions cannot encompass all of knowledge, which is not the same as IQ

There is a perfectly valid objection to intelligence testing, that you have to have some experience and training in such modes of reasoning. But this is natural: only a Kantian would believe in an a priori notion of "intelligence" that is totally divorced from experience. Of course your ability to score well on those exams has to do with your experiences. The proof is that the typical !Kung hunter-gather can perform just as well on these exams after they have received training in modes of reasoning that we have developed in the west after millenia of struggle.
My general objection is this: A man can be "smart" or "intelligent" without having been taught anything. He can use the power of his mind to get by from basically zero. Where do you think we came from? God didn't wave his hand and make us with everything we have, therefore at some point before now there was point when man had to learn for himself, and i would argue that the ones responsible for the advances that brought us today where intelligent. Give these same men that harness fire for the first time or the discoverer of the lever a basic IQ test today and he will fail (IE get a low score). He is not dumb he just doesn't know the subject manor (he may also not know how to read and therefore get a zero)

Maybe i am not efficiently conveying my message, we may just be going around each other.

I bet $500 that any educated person from the 1300's would do as well as one from the 2000's. Money will meet mouth: all you need to do is provide the test subject

As a side note: If i ever develop a method to travel through time or to pull people from other areas in time(not possible) then i would be to busy making money hand over fist to remember to collect your $500 :huh:

<edited for spelling>

Edited by Inquisitor80

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While I am not at all a expert in regards to IQ, I too have always thought it measured (or should measure) the speed a person's brain makes connections between concepts. I have always thought it's similar to the processing speed of computers.

So a person with a genius IQ (140 or greater) can make conceptual connections (abstractions) much faster than someone of an "average" IQ of about 100. I think given enough time the average man can acquire the same knowledge but it takes longer and requires much more work on his behalf compared to a "genius".

Obviously "geniuses" being able to make much quicker connections between abstract concepts will be much more likely to be the world's innovators; and they are!

On a personal note, when I was in junior high school I was administered an IQ test and recieved a score of 128. That put me in the "gifted" category. Since then to test that IQ test's accuracy I decided to do a little empirical test of my own. I took a series of online IQ tests from about 7 or 8 different sites. I had a group of results in the range of 127 to 135. I also had one that came out to just 118(ouch) and a high of 138. I threw out the two extremes and figured a mean of about 130 seemed to be accurate.

My point here is that it seems most IQ tests give a relatively consistent result plus or minus about 5 percentage points.

So overall if consistancy isn't a problem *and* what a IQ test is measuring is integration speed *and* we understand that there can NEVER be a completely unbiased test in reality, *then* we should in general accept most IQ tests accuracy.

But we must also remember that since a proper IQ test should essentially measure a brains processing speed and NOT its content of knowledge that the brain still needs to be taught the *right* way to effectively use that processing power. And that is precisely why learning philosophy and especially Objectivism is so important.

So to take the brain/computer analogy one step further if the brain is NOT supplied with the correct programing and the right conceptual basis even the fastest computer or brain ends up at the wrong conclusions. Garbage in. Garbage out.

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There is a test that has been developed by researchers that essentially just scans your brain and derives your IQ that way without the subjectivism that is being alluded to here. It closely replicates the IQ score given by traditional means and bypasses the alledged subjectivism.

I forget where I read about it but will look when I have time. I suggest any that dought my word to maybe try a google search. I think I may have read it in the magazine The New Scientist.

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IQ test questions are "subjective" in the sense that it is questionable exactly what a correct answer to a given question means about a person's intelligence. Given the state of psychology today, a field which does not believe in conceptual consciousness, it may not quite clear how to test a person's intelligence, ie, how to design meaningful questions, and it may not be quite clear how to interpret the results of a given question.

I would say that intelligence is the proficiency with which one can learn, integrate, and use new information. Speed would be one component of proficiency. An extensive and well-organized hierarchy of concepts is another component, and affects speed as well. An extensive, consistent, and relevant library of automatizations in one's subconsciouis is still a third, and affects speed as well.

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I would say that intelligence is the proficiency with which one can learn, integrate, and use new information. Speed would be one component of proficiency. An extensive and well-organized hierarchy of concepts is another component, and affects speed as well. An extensive, consistent, and relevant library of automatizations in one's subconsciouis is still a third, and affects speed as well.

I agree with this definition and if you look at my posts I used words like integration and processing along with speed. I just didn't state it as precisely as your above definition did.

Using your more precise definition I think my main idea that it is more important to use the proper philosophy to gain knowledge rather that simply having a higher IQ and the wrong philosophy is still valid.

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*If* my above posts are reasonbly accurate, *then* I think the question of what Miss Rand's IQ was is largely irrelevent (though personally I think it was much above average). What is relevent is that she discovered and therefore was the first to use history's most powerful validation of reason and knowledge; her own creation, Objectivism.

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I would say that intelligence is the proficiency with which one can learn, integrate, and use new information. Speed would be one component of proficiency. An extensive and well-organized hierarchy of concepts is another component, and affects speed as well. An extensive, consistent, and relevant library of automatizations in one's subconsciouis is still a third, and affects speed as well.

Since both of those additions affect speed, are they not included in a measure of speed? So why do you need the extra qualifications?

Proficiency is also another term for skillfulness; I don't equate intelligence with skill, I equate it with raw processing power. My understanding from what I've read is that your IQ is supposed to be static; which is why they cross-reference it with your age.

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I wouldn't put too much trust in IQ tests.

I remember a question from one that I took a while ago:

Pick the one that is different:

a) Orange

B) Grape

c) Coconut

d) Banana

I picked Grape, because it grows on a vine, whereas the others grow on trees. The test counted that as incorrect because it wanted the banana on the basis that it was the only one that wasn't round.

Was I wrong? Or smarter than the test?

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I picked Grape, because it grows on a vine, whereas the others grow on trees. The test counted that as incorrect because it wanted the banana on the basis that it was the only one that wasn't round.

You could also pick coconut, as it is the only one with a hard shell.

So much for the objectivity of the tests...

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I recall that the automaker, Bentley, maker of some of the largest and most luxurious yet powerful cars, rather than specifying or boasting of engine horsepower, simply listed horsepower as "adequate."

I think Ayn Rand's IQ could be similarly described. Adequate, for creating a revolutionary and true philosophy and the best novels written. She had all the intelligence she required to accomplish her goals.

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I've never taken one of those ridiculous multiple-choice IQ tests. When I was in Junior High a professional psychologist administered one of those all-day one-on-one tests for me.

It was bizarre. What I most recall was being given a bunch of pictures and asked to put them in sequential order.

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Her brilliance speaks for itself. But, if genius can be quantified I would like to know what hers was. Since I am not familair with the subjectivness of IQ tests then perhaps it is irrelevent.

But, my understanding of IQ is ones CAPACITY for intelligence. And hers seemed pretty immense. A person of another time could have also had a large capacity and mis-used it for some vocation such as translating the bible. But, their intelligence remains.

I don't think that IQ tests are valid. First of all, nobody can define what they measure. I asked my psychology teacher about it a few years back, and although I don't remember her exact words, it was quite clear to me then that she had no idea.

Second; I had a chance of having my "IQ" tested on several occasions, and I noticed that some problems had two possible solutions, depending on how you look at the problem.

Third, my IQ test scores range from 90 to 150 ;) .

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I agree with this definition and if you look at my posts I used words like integration and processing along with speed. I just didn't state it as precisely as your above definition did.

Using your more precise definition I think my main idea that it is more important to use the proper philosophy to gain knowledge rather that simply having a higher IQ and the wrong philosophy is still valid.

One can build up one's intelligence, or one's proficiency at learning, integrating, and using new knowledge. One critical component is having a proper philosophy.

Since both of those additions affect speed, are they not included in a measure of speed?  So why do you need the extra qualifications?

Proficiency is also another term for skillfulness; I don't equate intelligence with skill, I equate it with raw processing power.  My understanding from what I've read is that your IQ is supposed to be static; which is why they cross-reference it with your age.

Each component of of intelligence affects all the others. Speed is one way to measure them all at once, since it measures the efficiency with which each component operates alone and in tandem with the others.

Your IQ is adjusted to your age group. It's not static. IQ is a measure of the intelligence of a person such that the mean intelligence of an age group within a population is 100 and the standard deviation 15. It's not directly a measure of intelligence; it's a measure of your intelligence compared with others of similar ages within a population. As such, to estimate intelligence, an IQ number is almost useless. To estimate relative intelligence, it has some use.

I remember reading Ayn Rand wonder in her journals about whether she had an excess of intelligence, or of honesty, in respect to those around her. She said she was inclined to pick honesty as the attribute that most contributed to her success.

Honesty in thought contributes to intelligence. Intelligence is not a static figure throughout a person's life, but rather depends on what a person has done to build it up.

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I recall that the automaker, Bentley, maker of some of the largest and most luxurious yet powerful cars, rather than specifying or boasting of engine horsepower, simply listed horsepower as "adequate."

LOL That is the Art of Understatement at its best! If you think about it, it actually says that the car has enough horsepower to meet ANY customer's standards, while implying that Bentley finds it natural to meet the highest standards.

I think Ayn Rand's IQ could be similarly described. Adequate, for creating a revolutionary and true philosophy and the best novels written.

Indeed!

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