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Ronald K. Hoeflin

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Ronald K. Hoeflin
BornFebruary 23, 1944 (1944-02-23) (age 80)
Ocklocknee, Georgia, U.S.
Alma materThe New School
Parent(s)William Eugene Hoeflin
Mary Elizabeth Dell

Ronald K. Hoeflin (born February 23, 1944) is an American philosopher by profession, creator of the Mega[1][2][3] and Titan[4] intelligence tests. In 1988, Hoeflin won the American Philosophical Association's Rockefeller Prize for his article, "Theories of Truth: A Comprehensive Synthesis."[5] His article argues for the interrelated nature of seven leading theories of truth.[6]


Hoeflin was born on February 23, 1944, to William Eugene Hoeflin (July 1, 1902 — 1993) and Mary Elizabeth Dell Hoeflin (born May 15, 1913 in Ocklocknee, Georgia), who married in 1938. Hoeflin has one sister (born 1939), who eventually pursued a career in ballet, and one brother (born 1942), who is now a computer programmer specializing in actuarial work.[7] Hoeflin grew up in St Louis, Missouri. As a young child he memorized pi to 200 places.[8] He received a PhD in Philosophy from The New School for Social Research.[8] For over a decade, he has been working on a thirteen-volume treatise titled "The Encyclopedia of Categories", which has now been published online and is available for free download.[9][10][11]

Intelligence tests and societies[edit]

For over sixty years, psychologists such as Leta Stetter Hollingworth, author of the book Children Above 180 IQ, have suggested that people with extremely high IQs are radically different from the general population. Identifying such people would require IQ tests with reliability not currently available for extreme ranges of IQ.[12]

Ronald Hoeflin has stated to have been a member of Mensa, Intertel, the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry and the Triple Nine Society, which he co-founded, as well as the Prometheus Society and the Mega Society, both of which he founded.[13] He claims an IQ of 164, admitting his scores have ranged from 125 to 175, depending upon the cognitive abilities tapped into.[14]

Hoeflin attempted, along with Kevin Langdon, to develop an IQ test that could measure adult IQs greater than three standard deviations from the population median, or IQ 145 (sd 15). Hoeflin's Mega Test was an unsupervised IQ test without time limit consisting of 48 questions, half verbal and half mathematical. It was published in Omni magazine, in April 1985, and the results were used to norm the test. Hoeflin standardized the test six times, using equipercentile equating with SAT and other scores, and some extrapolation at the highest level.[15]

Societies Founded by Ronald Hoeflin[edit]

Believing that people at the highest IQ levels would be able easily to communicate with each other and have much in common, Hoeflin founded several societies for those with the highest scores.[16] All are active today.[17][18][19][20] These societies are (along with year founded, percentile, and minimum IQ (sd 16)):

Society Year founded Acceptance Percentile Acceptance IQ (SD 16)
Prometheus Society 1982 99.997 164
Mega Society 1982 99.9999 176
The following four groups belong to the Ronald K. Hoeflin Society
Top One Percent Society 1989 99 137
One-in-a-Thousand Society 1992 99.9 150
Epimetheus Society 2006 99.997 164
Omega Society 2006 99.9999 176

Individuals with top scores on Hoeflin tests[edit]

The highest scorers on the Mega Test had their names printed in the Guinness Book of World Records [21] and were also profiled (along with Hoeflin) by Esquire under the title The Smartest Man in America.[22] The Guinness book of World Records has since retired the category of "highest IQ" after concluding that IQ tests are not consistent enough to designate a single world record holder.[23] One such individual of former World Record acclaim, Marilyn vos Savant was additionally profiled in New York magazine.[24] This article also discusses Hoeflin and the Mega Society[25] (the author of the Esquire article, Mike Sager, later used it as part of a book.[26]) The Mega Test has been criticized by professional reviewers of psychological tests.[3] In 1990, Hoeflin created the Titan Test, also published in Omni.[4]


  1. ^ Morris, Scot. "The one-in-a-million I.Q. test". Omni magazine, April 1985, pp 128-132.
  2. ^ Republic Magazine, November 1985, "Beyond Mensa," by Catherine Seipp
  3. ^ a b Carlson, Roger D. (1991). "The Mega Test". In Keyser, Daniel; Sweetland, Richard (eds.). Test Critiques. Vol. VIII. Kansas City (MO): Test Corporation of America. pp. 431–435. ISBN 0-89079-254-2. ISSN 1553-9121. Although the approach that Hoeflin takes is interesting, inventive, intellectually stimulating, and internally consistent, it violates many good psychometric principles by overinterpreting the weak data of a self-selected sample.
  4. ^ a b "Mind Games: the hardest IQ test you'll ever love suffering through", Omni magazine, pp 90 ff, April 1990
  5. ^ Prizes and Awards (American Philosophical Association
  6. ^ Proceedings, "News from the National Office". Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Vol. 62, No. 4. (Mar., 1989), pp. 691.
  7. ^ Hoeflin, Ronald. "About the Author." Noesis, Issue #176 February 2005.
  8. ^ a b "The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World" by A. J. Jacobs (Simon & Schuster, 2005)
  9. ^ "Encyclopedia of Categories [Volume 1-13]". USIA: United Sigma Intelligence Association. 2020-11-17. Retrieved 2021-05-09.
  10. ^ Aviv, Rachel (2006-08-02). "The Intelligencer". Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2006-08-02. This article is primarily a biography of and interview with Dr Hoeflin
  11. ^ Knight, Sam (2009-04-10). "Is a high IQ a burden as much as a blessing?". Financial Times (London). Retrieved 2006-04-20. This article has a section which contains a biography of and interview with Dr Hoeflin
  12. ^ Perleth, Christoph; Schatz, Tanja; Mönks, Franz J. (2000). "Early Identification of High Ability". In Heller, Kurt A.; Mönks, Franz J.; Sternberg, Robert J.; et al. (eds.). International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Pergamon. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-08-043796-5. 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.
  13. ^ Hoeflin, Ronald (July 1987). "About the Editor" (PDF). Noesis, the Journal of the Noetic Society. 16: 11. I have been a member of all six high-IQ societies listed in the Encyclopedia of Associations: Mensa, Intertel, the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry, the Triple Nine Society, the Prometheus Society, and the Mega Society — but I currently belong to only three of these: Mensa, Triple Nine, and Prometheus. I am the founder of Prometheus and of the Noetic Society (formerly called the Titan Society). I consider myself the founder of the Mega Society, although some argue that Chris Harding has at least equal claim to that status. I am also a co-founder of the Triple Nine Society. Thus, I have been at least partly responsible for the establishment of four of the seven currently active high-IQ societies.
  14. ^ Sager, Mike (November 1999). "The Smartest Man in America". Esquire. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
  15. ^ Membership Committee (1999). "1998/99 Membership Committee Report". Prometheus Society. Archived from the original on 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2006-07-26. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ A Short (and Bloody) History of the High I.Q. Societies Archived 2013-09-22 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "TOPSociety groups.io Group". groups.io. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  18. ^ "OATHSociety groups.io Group". groups.io. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  19. ^ "Epimetheus groups.io Group". groups.io. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  20. ^ "OmegaSociety groups.io Group". groups.io. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  21. ^ Guinness Book of World Records, Bantam Books 1988, page 29
  22. ^ Sager, Mike (November 1999). "The Smartest Man in America". Esquire. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  23. ^ Knight, Sam (10 April 2009). "Is a high IQ a burden as much as a blessing?". Financial Times. Financial Times Ltd. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  24. ^ Baumgold, Julie (February 6, 1989). "In the Kingdom of the Brain". New York magazine.
  25. ^ "New York Magazine". 6 February 1989.
  26. ^ Mike Sager, Wounded Warriors, p. 121-36

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