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 high 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. However, in terms of popularity, its membership has been superseded by the International High IQ Society,[2] which was founded by Andrew Nierman [1]; Other societies are Intertel, founded by Ralph Haines in 1966; the Triple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, with some of the tests being tests devised by the organization founders and not validated by psychologists.

The highest reported standard score for most IQ tests is IQ 160, approximately the 99.997th percentile (leaving aside the issue of the considerable error in measurement at that level of IQ on any IQ test).[3] IQ scores above this level are dubious, as there are insufficient normative cases upon which to base a statistically justified rank-ordering.[4][5] High IQ scores are less reliable than IQ scores nearer to the population median.[6]

Some societies[edit]

The entrance criteria for IQ societies vary considerably across both kinds of tests accepted (for example, whether the tests tap primarily numerical, spatial, or verbal abilities, or whether the tests have adequate test security or not) and how high one must score in order to acquire membership.

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):

Membership is open to those who possess an IQ in the top five percent of the population (124 IQ using a 15 standard deviation):

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 January 2016, 1,700 members from 50 countries; annual dues are $10.

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]


  1. ^ Percival, Matt (8 September 2008). "The Quest for Genius". Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  2. ^ https://www.ihiqs.org/members
  3. ^ Hunt, Earl (2011). Human Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-521-70781-7. Lay summary (28 April 2013). 
  4. ^ Perleth, Christoph; Schatz, Tanja; Mönks, Franz J. (2000). "Early Identification of High Ability". In Heller, Kurt A.; Mönks, Franz J.; Sternberg, Robert J.; Subotnik, Rena F. International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Pergamon. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-08-043796-5. Lay summary (6 October 2013). norm tables that provide you with such extreme values are constructed on the basis of random extrapolation and smoothing but not on the basis of empirical data of representative samples. 
  5. ^ Urbina, Susana (2011). "Chapter 2: Tests of Intelligence". In Sternberg, Robert J.; Kaufman, Scott Barry. The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 20–38. ISBN 9780521739115. Lay summary (9 February 2012). [Curve-fitting] is just one of the reasons to be suspicious of reported IQ scores much higher than 160 
  6. ^ Lohman, David F.; Foley Nicpon, Megan (2012). "Chapter 12: Ability Testing & Talent Identification" (PDF). In Hunsaker, Scott. Identification: The Theory and Practice of Identifying Students for Gifted and Talented Education Services. Waco (TX): Prufrock. pp. 287–386. ISBN 978-1-931280-17-4. Lay summary (14 July 2013). The concerns associated with SEMs [standard errors of measurement] are actually substantially worse for scores at the extremes of the distribution, especially when scores approach the maximum possible on a test ... when students answer most of the items correctly. In these cases, errors of measurement for scale scores will increase substantially at the extremes of the distribution. Commonly the SEM is from two to four times larger for very high scores than for scores near the mean (Lord, 1980). 
  7. ^ https://www.mensa.org/about-us#members

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). 
  • Stanovich, Keith (2009). What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-12385-2. Lay summary (9 August 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.