“People who boast about their IQ are losers.” — Stephen Hawking
Hawking has a point — nobody likes a sore winner. That being said, the intelligent quotient (IQ) test is one of the most valid and reliable psychometrics ever created.
According to the mental health website verywell Mind, “An IQ test is an assessment that measures a range of cognitive abilities and provides a score that is intended to serve as a measure of an individual’s intellectual abilities and potential.”
High IQ = Better Life
- The average income of Terman’s subjects in 1955 was an impressive $33,000 compared to a national average of $5,000.
- Two-thirds had earned college degrees, while a large number had gone on to attain post-graduate and professional degrees. Many of these had become doctors, lawyers, business executives, and scientists.
In case you were wondering, the average IQ score is 100. And anything above 140 is considered a high or genius-level IQ. Einstein’s IQ was 160. Jacob Barnett’s IQ is 170. Barnett was a child prodigy who graduated college at age 10.
He’s now an astrophysicist at age 22.
The Lowest IQ Ever Recorded
The U.S. military helps us indicate what low IQ is. The armed forces won’t accept anyone with a score of less than 83.
Why? Because decades of psychometric research revealed that anyone with an IQ of 83 or less is a liability to the military. The lowest recorded IQ in human history isn’t held by George Bush, Paris Hilton, or Miss South Carolina.
No one knows who it is. But my money is on Lil Xan.
Interestingly enough, 10 percent of the U.S. population has an IQ lower than 83.
All this being said, is IQ fixed? And what are your odds of increasing yours over the course of a lifetime?
Common Questions That Determine IQ
Before we jump into the flux (or lack thereof) of IQ, let’s talk about the infamous test itself.
There are several types of IQ tests, but for the most part, they all boil down to a series of complex critical thinking-based questions.
Here are a few typical IQ questions (Don’t hurt yourself now).
- A bat and a ball together cost $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
2. Which of the following can be arranged into a 5-letter English word?
a. H R G S T
b. R I L S A
c. T O O M T
d. W Q R G S
3. Actual Hell.
In case you struggled, or if you didn’t find out that the answer to №1 was “5 cents,” not 10 or that the answer to №2 was both b and c, don’t fret.
Lucky for you, and all the non-geniuses of the world, there’s good news when it comes to increasing your intelligence quotient.
The Truth About IQ
Studies show that most of our intelligence is genetic. However, IQ can be increased and there seems to be one surefire way to do it —
“Just do it.” — Nike
Yes, no jokes, nothing up my sleeves, this is the foolproof method to hacking your IQ — “just doing it.” Ok, more specifically, doing activities such as playing music, exercising, reading, learning, adventuring, exploring — all of it, JUST DO IT!
Exercise, for instance, boosts neuroplasticity, which is the process of your brain making connections and creating new neurons.
Want to learn a new language? Why not exercise. A 2017 study conducted by the University of Zurich in Switzerland revealed the process of learning a new language is expedited by physical exercise.
The study looked at college-aged Chinese men and women who were trying to learn English. Those who rode exercise bikes at a gentle pace outperformed those in vocabulary tests who did no exercise at all.
Musicians Also Have Higher IQs.
Vanderbilt University psychologists Crystal Gibson, Bradley Folley, and Sohee Park found that professionally trained musicians use both the left and the right sides of their frontal cortex more heavily than the average person.
“We studied musicians because creative thinking is part of their daily experience, said Folley in regards to the study. We found that there were qualitative differences in the types of answers they gave to problems and in their associated brain activity.”
Even your taste in music affects IQ.
So before your next test make sure to listen to Sufjan Stevens or Frank Zappa. Definitely not Lil Xan. Anything is better than him.
Aging Also Affects IQ
In another study, 33 British students were given IQ tests and brain scans at ages 12 to 16 and again about four years later. Nine percent of students showed a significant change of 15 points or more in IQ scores.
This is why there’s tremendous respect for elders in Eastern culture.
Instead of placing their elderly in retirement homes, they take care of them until death. Wisdom comes with age.
IQ is one of the greatest indicators of success. But as successful people like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, or Ralph Lauren will often tell you, solely relying on natural talent or genetics can only get you so far before hard work catches up.
You determine happiness in the end.
“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” — Émile Zola