High IQ society

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A high IQ society is an organization that limits its membership to people who have attained a specified score on an IQ test. The oldest and best-known such society is Mensa International,[1] which was founded by Roland Berrill and Lancelot Ware in 1946. Other societies are Intertel, founded by Ralph Haines in 1966; the Triple Nine Society, founded in 1978; the Prometheus Society; and the Mega Society.

Entry requirements[edit]

High IQ societies typically accept a variety of IQ tests for membership eligibility; these include WAIS, Stanford-Binet, and Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, amongst many others deemed to sufficiently measure or correlate with intelligence. Tests deemed to insufficiently correlate with intelligence (e.g. post-1994 SAT, in the case of Mensa and Intertel) are not accepted for admission [2][3][4]. As IQ significantly above 146 SD15 (approximately three-sigma) cannot be reliably measured with accuracy due to sub-test limitations and insufficient norming[5], IQ societies with cutoffs significantly higher than three-sigma should be considered dubious.

Some societies[edit]

Some societies, including widely known societies such as Mensa, accept the results of standardized tests taken elsewhere. Those are listed below by selectivity percentile (assuming the now-standard definition of IQ as a standard score with a median of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 IQ points):

  • Mensa International – as of May 2017, ~134,000 members[6] from ~100 countries; current annual dues as of November 2017 for American Mensa are $79 (dues differ by country); Life membership cost varies by age.

Top 2 percent of population (98th percentile; 1 person out of 50; approximately IQ 130):

  • Intertel – as of January 2014, 1,300-1,400 members; annual dues are $39

Top 1 percent (99th percentile; 1 out of 100; approximately IQ 135):

  • Triple Nine Society – as of November 2017, 1,800+ members from 46 countries; annual dues are $10; Life membership is $183.

Top 0.1 percent (99.9th percentile; 1 out of 1,000; approximately IQ 146):

Top 0.003 percent (99.997th percentile; 1 out of 30,000; approximately IQ 160) (not reliable with current tests):

Top 0.0001 percent (99.9999th percentile; 1 out of 1,000,000; approximately IQ 172)

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Kaufman, Alan S. (2009). IQ Testing 101. New York: Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8261-0629-2. Lay summary (10 August 2010). 
  • Shurkin, Joel (1992). Terman's Kids: The Groundbreaking Study of How the Gifted Grow Up. Boston (MA): Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-78890-8. Lay summary (28 June 2010). 
  • Terman, Lewis Madison; Merrill, Maude A. (1937). Measuring intelligence: A guide to the administration of the new revised Stanford-Binet tests of intelligence. Riverside textbooks in education. Boston (MA): Houghton Mifflin.