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    indigo Offline OP
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    11-Year-Old Iranian Girl Gets the Highest Mensa IQ Score, beating Einstein, Hawking
    by Bryan Ke
    NextShark
    May 30, 2019

    Originally Posted by article
    The 11-year-old student scored 162 points on the test, which is two points ahead of Einstein, a theoretical physicist who is considered as one of the two pillars of modern physics, and famous cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking.
    Not to detract from this student's score, but the article's author made an apples-and-oranges comparison; there is a difference between scores of various test instruments (as summarized on this Hoagies page). No doubt the scores attributed to Einstein and Hawking are not Mensa IQ test scores; therefore the scores are not directly comparable.

    Further media coverage in this SBS article hints that the score comparisons may not be definitive.

    That having been said, kudos to Tara Sharifi, a student at Aylesbury High School, UK, for taking the test. It will be interesting to see whether knowing she has high capabilities may result in modifications to her education, and impact the opportunities available to her in the future.

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    What an odd story.

    "focused on the student’s ability to understand the meanings of words" is not how I'd describe any comprehensive IQ test I've ever seen. It reminds me of the spelling bee winners.

    Mensa was only formed in 1946, so Einstein never took a Mensa IQ test.

    "“genius benchmark” of 140." - huh?

    "Highest Mensa IQ Score" - does this mean it's the ceiling for this specific test? It's certainly high, but statistically there should be millions of higher scorers in the world.

    Sounds like just more click-bait "journalism". Some of the story comments are hilarious.

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    I'm pretty sure that the "'genius benchmark' of 140" comes from Lewis Terman. No modern test or professional would classify somebody as a "genius" simply based on an IQ score.

    IIRC the verbal test used by British Mensa is the Cattell III B, which has a standard deviation of 24. The estimates for Einstein and Hawking (as well as quite possibly being way off) are usually expressed in SD 15.


    "The thing that doesn't fit is the most interesting."
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    indigo Offline OP
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    Agreed!
    smile

    Evidently American Mensa does not administer its IQ tests to kiddos under 14, while Mensa UK administers its IQ tests to those 10-1/2 or older, and also does group test administrations for schools. This webpage from Mensa UK explains IQ score differences and the use of percentiles to attempt to correlate scores from different tests. Unfortunately, that information is not presented by the media.

    Considering the "journalism" as a separate issue from the tests themselves and the test administrations, several articles show the erroneous, misleading, apples-and-oranges comparison to the IQ of Einstein and Hawking.
    1) May 2019 - The Sun - 13 year old girl
    2) June 2017 - Independent - 11 year old boy
    3) May 2017 - Times of India - 12 year old girl
    4) Sept 2015 - Science Daily - 12 year old girl
    5) Sept 2010 - Daily Mail - King's School

    It is unfortunate that more esteemed news outlets do not cover the high IQ results, and that coverage is not in terms of educational modifications which the students may need or benefit from.

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    I am sure the kid is very bright but unless Einstein and Hawking took the same test (which Einstein at least won't have) then they are making some pretty shonky claims. I feel sorry for the girl as I am sure she really doesn't need all that publicity especially heading into high school in the UK.


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    Whatever version she took (Cattell B or Culture Fair), it's still within the 99th percentile. However, the claims about the "genius benchmark" of 140 are definitely ludicrous and "clickbait".

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    indigo Offline OP
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    Yes, the reporter stating that an IQ of 140+ was designated as genius probably did not do any research.

    In just a few clicks, I found a handy summary in a wikipedia article: "IQ Classification."
    While the crowd-sourced wikipedia articles vary widely in quality and stability, they often include citations and links to sources, as this article does.
    Terman's Stanford–Binet original (1916) classification
    ...
    above 140 "Near" genius or genius
    ...
    The second revision (1937) of the Stanford–Binet test retained "quotient IQ" scoring, despite earlier criticism of that method of reporting IQ test standard scores. The term "genius" was no longer used for any IQ score range.
    It appears that the reporter (or Mensa UK) coulda/woulda/shoulda looked into IQ score classifications/interpretations/meanings and become aware that:
    - genius or near genius applied to SB scores of 140+ in 1916,
    - the assessments being currently administered are not SB, therefore the term genius would not necessarily apply to these scores,
    - the term genius was retired in 1937, therefore the term genius would not apply to any current scores.

    In summary, the use of the term genius was dated, misleading, and an apples-and-oranges comparison... as you said: click-bait!
    wink


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