Interesting I.Q. Q&A

RANDOM QUOTE: "Science is no longer the quintessence of knowledge and of what is worth knowing, but a way. It is a way of addressing and penetrating into unexplored and unmasked realms. ? Education" --- H.G. Gagamer

List of Questions

How are the estimates for famous people made? 
Is it possible to increase our intelligence? 
What is the average IQ of each profession? 
Are men more intelligent than women? 
What is the average IQ? 
Who is the smartest person that ever lived?
If the Japanese are the most intelligent of us, why haven't I heard about any genius from there?
Is it possible for a person with average intelligence to be a Doctor or Computer Programmer?
What relationship exists between IQ and heredity? 
What famous people living today have the IQ levels between 140 to 200?
What exactly is a Bell curve?
What month have the most geniuses been born?
Is it possible to give one a IQ score, based on his handwriting?
Is it possible to measure beauty as it is with intelligence?
Which breeds of dog and cat are the most intelligent?
Who have been the criminals or villains of history with the highest IQ's?

How are the estimates for famous people made?

The main source for the estimates is a study made by a group of psychologists at Stanford University, California. Its origin is from 1926, but it has been revised a couple of times. The last time, is by Dr. Catherine Morris Cox in The Mind, Life Science Library Series, 1964.

The rest is from various sources: Encyclopedia Britannica, Guinness Book of Records, Popular Science (Swedish magazine), Daily News (Swedish newspaper), professors in Mathematics, a comparing study between the geniuses of their centuries in Mensa Research Journal, Buzan, etc.

The estimates are what they are - just estimates. They can't of course be justified.

Is it possible to increase our intelligence?

It is. But with how much depends to a large extent on your age. The younger you are, the more you can improve your scores. With intellectual training, especially with help of a repertoire of problem solving methods and approaches, and practice with IQ-tests, it is possible to score 5 - 10 points, perhaps up to one standard deviation, better on these tests.

However there is no intrinsic value on scoring high on IQ-tests if it's not coupled with true and significant improvement in intelligence, which is not a necessary consequence of IQ-test related training! Intelligence is too complex for that.

What is the Average I.Q. of each profession?

Approximate Percentiles and Intelligence Quotients (Terman) of Job Applicants


Percentile range

IQ range

Professor, Chief Executive Officer 77 - 98 112 - 132
Doctor, Writer, Computer Specialist, Graduate Engineer 69 - 96 108 - 129
Administrator, Engineer, Personnel Specialist, Medical Secretary 62 - 94 105 - 126
Department Head, General Manager, Insurance Sales Representative, Programmer, Underwriter 57 - 93 103 - 124
Claims Adjuster, Inspector, Laboratory Technician, Management Trainee, Purchasing Agent, Supervisor 53 - 91 101 - 122
Accounting Clerk, Computer Operator, Sales Representative 48 - 88 99 - 119
Bookkeeper, Cashier, Data Processing Clerk, Draughtsman, News Writer, Stenographer, Traffic Clerk 43 - 83 97 - 116
Circulation Manager, Customer Service Representative, Electrician, Foreman, General Office Lineman, Office Machine Operator, Receptionist, Technician, Teller 34 - 79 93 - 113
Apprentice, Shop Clerk, Clerk Typist, Reservations Agent, Typist 26 - 75 88 - 111
Keypunch Operator, Messenger, Meter Reader, Police Patrolman, Skilled Trades, Train Crew Personnel 26 - 71 88 - 110
Bus/Truck Driver, Machine Operator, Mail Clerk, Maintenance Worker, Printing Pressman, Utility Man, Traffic Supervisor 22 - 67 86 - 107
Food Service Worker Helper, General Mechanic's Helper, Shipping Clerk 16 - 67 83 - 107
File Clerk, Material Handler, Telephone Operator 16 - 62 83 - 105
Assembler, Factory Worker, General Labourer, Skilled Labour, Unskilled Labour 12 - 57 81 - 103
Custodian, Nurse's Aide, Packer, Warehouseman 10 - 55 79 - 102
Casual Worker 5 - 43 74 - 97
Institutional 0.1 - 4 49 - 72

Median earned income in 1992 for...

Very Bright (125+) $36,000
Bright (110-124) $27,000
Normal (90-109) $20,000
Dull (75-89) $12,400
Very Dull (less than 75) $5,000

Are men more intelligent than women? 

There isn't a chart displaying the differences in IQ between males and females. But there has been an investigation indicating that females are more frequent in the "normal" genius range (150 - 170), and males in the high genius range (>170). IQ tests often favor males a bit, as they in average are slightly better at mathematical thinking. This lack by the females is, in general, in real life compensated by better verbal ability.

However, it is not especially wise to assert that one gender is more intelligent than the other. If anything, male and female intelligence differ somewhat in its nature, not in its power.

What is the average IQ?

Most IQ tests are normed for a definite population so that the average IQ will lie between 90 and 110 (with the mean 100) on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale.

However, an individual scoring at 100 within one population can score above or below that value within another population.

For example, the Japanese are supposed to have the highest average IQ in the world (115 St-Bin). I.e. compared to a calculated mean for the world. Still they have only an average of 100 within their own population.

Who is the smartest person that ever lived?

According to Guiness Book of Records, the smartest person in the world is Marilyn vos Savant who scored IQ 228 Terman as a 10 year old. This would, according to recent research, correspond to about IQ 185 at adult age. That score is, at least, surpassed by the chess player Bobby Fisher (187).

No one knows who is the smartest person that ever lived, that is for sure. But some psychologists believe that William James Sidis reached the maximum capacity possible for a human. The same may apply for eg., the seer of visions, Emanuel Swedenborg, who was so intelligent that he turned mad in the later part of his life.

In the Buzan's Book of Mental World Records, the highest IQ score ever attained is assigned to the history's greatest universal genius Leonardo da Vinci. The estimate is a nearly unbelievable adult IQ of 220 St-Bin!

If the Japanese are the most intelligent of us, why haven't I heard about any genius from there?

Our world is very influenced by the Western culture. There is no evidence that there has been an abundance of geniuses in Europe compared to other parts of the world. But Europe has for a long time in the past been regarded as an intellectual centrum, with a stimulating atmosphere for great minds. One must remember that it is not enough to be a genius for achieving results of epoch-making importance. The genius must improve his mind, be challenged, and be given the opportunity to learn up to his/her potential.

A high average IQ for a nation doesn't automatically mean that there are more geniuses in that nation, as the composition of the population can be very diverse.

Japan have had and have geniuses. We can, for example, mention their Nobel Prize Winners:

    Hideki Yukawa, Physics 1949 Sin-Itira Tomonaga, Physics 1965 Yasunari Kawabata, Literature 1968 Leo Esaki, Physics 1973 Eisaku Sato, Piece 1973 Fukui Kenichi, Chemistry 1981 Susumi Tonegawa, Medicine 1987 Kenzaburo Oe, Literature 1994 Hideki Shirakawa, Chemistry 2000

Is it possible for a person with average intelligence to be a Doctor or Computer Programmer?

The intellectual ability is not the most important when choosing a job. More essential is to have a profile of talent matching what is needed for the particular job. If we, for example, compare a computer programmer and a doctor in medicine, we can see that the demands are quite different.





LINGUISTIC ABILITY Above Average Above Average
CONTACT ABILITY Above Average Very Good
TASTE Above Average Below Average

You should not worry however; The famous Nobel Prize Winner Francis Crick (The man who found the structure for DNA) had only an IQ of 115! So, with hard and dedicated work it is possible to compensate for a lack in intelligence.

What relationship exists between IQ and heredity?

Many different types of experiments have been made showing that the heritage is of great importance. Actually, it is possible to make a numerical estimate of the distribution between heritage and environment (for the current Western world):

80% of the factors influencing intelligence are hereditary.

20% of the factors influencing intelligence are environmental.

That is, the heritage is four times as important as the environment.

What famous people living today have the IQ levels between 140 to 200?

The following are scores according to the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale for Adults (Within 1st parenthesis; score if not on a 10 points level):

IQ 140

Madonna (Singer)
Jean M. Auel (Author)
Geena Davis (Actress)

IQ 150

Sharon Stone (154) (Actress)
Carol Vorderman (154; Cattell?) (TV presenter)
Sir Clive Sinclair (159) (Inventor)

IQ 160

Bill Gates (CEO, Microsoft)
Jill St. John (Actress)
Paul Allen (160+, Microsoft cofounder)
Stephen W. Hawking (160+) (Physicist)

IQ 170

Andrew J. Wiles (Mathematician; solved Fermat's Last Theorem)
Judith Polgar (Formula based; Female World Champion in Chess)

IQ 180

James Woods (Actor)
John H. Sununu (Chief of Staff for President Bush)
Benjamin Netanyahu (Israeli Prime Minister)
Marilyn Vos Savant (186) (Author)
Bobby Fischer (187) (Former World Champion in Chess)

IQ 190

Philip Emeagwali (Extrapolated; Nigerian Mathematician)

IQ 200

Kim Ung-Yong (S. Korea; Showed similar child capabilities as J.S. Mill)

What exactly is a bell curve (definition please) and what does it measure?

Like many other human qualities, intelligence is 'normally' distributed. I.e. if we put people into 'intelligence' classes according to how bright they are, there will be a large number near the average. These will tail off in the typical Gaussian or Bell curve (called so, because of its curved flaring shape), as people do for height or weight or any other human quality.

The Bell curve was derived from the theory of errors. It is the kind of curve produced by examining the variations of measurements of entities affected by a large number of random variables. The curve is in many cases an assumption; that we will assume a normal distribution (Bell curve) until evidence to the contrary is found.

With any complicated entity like a human being there are more things that can render it imperfect than there are things that can improve it.

The Normal Distribution Function below, gives the tail area within the interval [0,z], which can be expressed as a percentile (part of the area to the right of the center of the Bell curve). Erf is often called the Error Function.
Sample mathematical equation for I.Q. Test Q and A


What month have the most geniuses been born?

According to a recent investigation the most geniuses have been born in Mars and April. So it seams best to be born in the springtime.

(The same investigation states that the fewest geniuses are born in August and September)

Is it possible to give one a IQ score, based on his handwriting?

It is hard to believe that someone can estimate IQs only after judging the person's hand-writing. Nevertheless, one can find it probable that it is possible to say if he/she is extraordinary intelligent or not.

It is interesting to compare the signatures (see below) between a great genius such as G.W. von Leibniz and a typical average person such as a certain Tom Smith. Where Leibniz's signature shows a proof of elegance, and efficient and fast pen wielding, so is Smith's merely awkward and unrhythmic. Striking is also the harmony in Leibniz's signature, even from a geometrical point of view (On both sides of a thought horizontal center line in the middle of the signature, you can create two symmetrical asymptotic curves!).Leibniz's signature


Average person's signature


Is it possible to measure beauty as it is with intelligence?

Everyone knows that the ideal of beauty has changed throughout history. But a group of psychologists has tried to take the measurements on the most perfect face. They showed thousands of photos before different persons and ended up in a female and male ideal face with the most perfect proportions and qualities. Only one female face and one male face seemed to satisfy all the requirements.

So, these two persons below should be the most beautiful female and male today as science see it!

Catherine Deneuve - Beautiful Woman

Catherine Deneuve

Leonardo DiCaprio - Handsom Man

Leonardo DiCaprio

Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, It is safe to say that one's looks have no effect on their mental abilities.

Which breeds of dog and cat are the most intelligent?

Often mentioned as the most clever dog is the sheep dog, and among the cats, the Siamese cat. It should not be applicable with the human-related IQ values for animals, nevertheless it has been estimated by some researchers that the most intelligent dogs score close to 40, and the most intelligent cats around 20.

Who have been the criminals or villains of history with the highest IQ's?

It is rumoured that the mafia leader Al Capone had an IQ of 200. An example of a criminal with a verified exceptional intelligence (IQ 170, at age 10) is the Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski. He was a successful researcher in mathematics before he turned against the society. Other famous high IQ scorers among the criminals are Richard Loeb (child iq 160) and Nathan Leopold (child iq 210) at the beginning of the 20th century.


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