What is your IQ?
You may well be one of those people who wear your IQ score like a badge of honour, trotting it out at appropriate (and inappropriate) moments in order to impress.
Or you could be like me and simply couldn’t give a flying fig.
I did know my IQ score once. I reluctantly discovered it a few years ago for a newspaper feature on Mensa – the brainy peoples’ secret society of choice.
But I forgot it as quickly as I was told it. I think I was above average, but I can’t be sure.
Maybe that is why I greeted news that today’s teenagers have a collective IQ score two points lower than teenagers tested 20 years ago with a metaphorical shrug of the shoulders.
I don’t see it as a cause for concern because intelligence is measured in so many different ways.
Compared to the average teenager in the 1980s, for example, today’s generation are IT boffins. And as we now live in an increasingly IT-dominated world, the skills and experience today’s teenagers have amassed in such a short space of time better equips them for the years ahead than a largely meaningless IQ score ever will.
I’ve also met a few high-scoring IQers who frankly lacked some fairly basic knowledge, common sense and intelligence.
I can’t help thinking that IQ fails because it doesn’t factor in the most important variable – us.
The human brain doesn’t always work the way it should, or the way we want it to, for all manner of reasons.
As a case in point, a few years ago I found myself nominated for a national award (I didn’t win, but had a very enjoyable lunch out of it) thanks to my big brainy writing skills.
I had to ring up the organisers to confirm my attendance. The telephone conversation went something like this:
- Organiser: Many congratulations on your nomination Mr Groves, can I have your first initial for the official invite?
- Me: Thank you. Yes, my initial is P.
- Organiser: Sorry, was that P?
- Me: Yes, P for…ummmm…P for Patrick.
- Organiser: Well, congratulations again then Patrick.
- Me: ….ummmm…my name is Paul.
- Organiser: Oh, I thought you said it was P for Patrick.
- Me: It is, but my name is Paul.
- Organiser: OK…
- Me: (finally having twigged why she sounded confused after a very pregnant pause). Sorry, I’ve no idea why I said Patrick. It was the first name I could think of.
- Organiser: Right. But your name is Paul?
- Me: Yes. Is there anything else?
- Organiser: No, Mr Groves. That’s all I need.
Maybe that is why I didn’t win the award?
No matter. Hopefully that snippet of conversation shows how our brains sometimes work in mysterious ways and no amount of testing or scoring will factor in such foggy moments.
So I’m not sure it really matters what IQ scores today’s teenagers.
Like so many things in life, it isn’t the size that matters but what you do with it which really counts.
- For those who do care, test your IQ here.