You Don’t Have to be Super-Smart to be Successful Tyler Robarge 2-23-2011
Christopher Langan • Many call Christopher Langan the smartest man in America. An average person has an I.Q. of 100 , Einstein an I.Q. 150 and Christopher has an I.Q. of 195. • Over the past decade he has become a celebrity outlier. The television show 20/20 hired a neuropsychologist to give Langan an I.Q. test and his score was off the charts, then he took an I.Q. test that was specially designed for people too smart for ordinary I.Q. tests and with the exception of one question got all of them correct. • Langan started speaking at the age of 6 months and when he was three would listen to the radio on Sundays for the comics and he would follow until he taught himself to read. At the age of 5 he began to question his grandfather about the existence of God. One of his brothers, Mark, stated that everyday during high school he would do math for an hour then French, Russian and Philosophy. Another one of his brothers said that Christopher could draw things and it would be just like a photograph. At age fifteen he could match Jimi Hendrix lick for lick. • He went on the game show 1 vs. 100 and the host Bob Saget asked him if he needed a high intellect to do well on 1 Vs. 100 and Christopher answered that it actually might be a hindrance. He states that when you have a high I.Q. that you tend to specialize and avoid trivia. On 1 Vs. 100 when his winnings reached $250,000 he appeared to make a mental calculation that the risks of losing everything were greater than the potential benefits of staying in and so he walked.
Lewis Terman • Terman’s was a young professor of psychology at Stanford University. • He specialized in intelligence testing. The Stanford Binet, the standard IQ test that millions of people have taken was his creation. • In 1921, Terman decided to make the study of the gifted his life work. He had sorted through 250,000 elementary and high school students, identified 1,470 children whose IQ averaged 140 and ranged as high as 200. This group of kids came to be known as the “Termites”. • Over the years Lewis Terman had the “Termites” followed; he had their educational attainments noted, marriages followed, illnesses tabulated, psychological health charted and every promotion and job change were recorded. • He recorded his findings in the Genetic Studies of Genius. • Terman believed that his “Termites” were destined to be the future elite of the United States.
Why Are Manhole Covers Round? • The answer is that since manhole covers are round, they can’t fall in no matter how you turn it. If the manhole covers were rectangular all you would have to do is tilt it sideways. • This is a standard question that Microsoft asks applicants if they don’t know the answer then they are not smart enough to work for Microsoft.
Raven’s Progressive Matrices • Most widely used intelligence test • It requires no language skills or specific body of acquired knowledge. It is a measure of abstract reasoning skills. • It consists of forty-eight items, each one harder than the one before. Your IQ is based on how many you get correct.
Basketball and IQ • It is definitely apparent that a person with an IQ of 170 can think better than a person with an IQ of 70, written by British psychologist Liam Hudson. • A scientist with an IQ of 130 is just as likely to win the Nobel Prize as a scientist with an IQ of 180. • Basically what Liam is saying is that IQ is kind of like Basketball. Does someone short, like 5’6”, have a chance to play professional basketball. Most likely no, a basketball player needs to be at least 6’ to play but it is better to be taller. After a certain time height stops mattering; a 6’8” player doesn’t always play better than one at 6’6”. • A Basketball Player only has to be tall enough. • Michael Jordan– 6’6”- 30.1 PPG • Larry Bird– 6’9” 24.3 PPG
Nobel Prize Vs. IQ • We always seem to think that Nobel Prize Winners in science must have the highest IQ scores imaginable; that they all went to the top colleges in the country. This however is a list where some of the Nobel Prize winners in medicine got their undergraduate degrees. • Antioch College • Brown University • UC Berkeley • Columbia University • MIT • Hamilton College • Holy Cross • Texas University • Gettysburg College • Hunter College • Harvard University
Nobel Prize VS. IQ • Here is a list of colleges of some American Nobel Laureates in Chemistry: • City College of New York • Stanford University • Georgia Institute of Technology • Dartmouth College • Augsburg College • University of Florida • MIT • To be Nobel Prize winners you only have to be smart enough to get into a college at least as good as Notre Dame or the University of Illinois.
Divergence Test • Divergence tests require you to use your imagination. • With a divergence test they are not looking for right answers they are looking for the number and uniqueness of answers. • Write down as many different uses that you can think of for the following objects: • 1. Brick • 2. Blanket
Divergence Test Examples • These are some Brick and Blanket answers from a student named Poole from a top British High School. • (Brick)- To use in smash and grab raids. To help hold a house together. To use in a game of Russian roulette if you want to keep fit at the same time (bricks at ten paces, turn and throw- no evasive action allowed). To hold the eiderdown on a bed tie a brick at each corner. As a breaker of empty Coca-Cola bottles. • (Blanket)- To use on a bed. As a cover for illicit sex in the woods. As a tent. To make smoke signals with. As a sail for a boat, cart or sled. As a substitute for a towel. As a target for shooting practice for short sighted people. As a thing to catch people jumping out of burning skyscrapers. • These are some answers from one of the highest IQ students at the same school, his name is Florence. He is known as being a prodigy. • (Brick)- Building things, throwing. • (Blanket)- Keeping warm, smothering fire, tying to trees and sleeping in (as a hammock), improvised stretcher.
Why does this stuff matter? This Stuff matters because it tells us that just because someone is super smart doesn’t mean that they are always successful. Lewis Terman himself did not see this, two of the kids he overlooked actually went on to become Nobel Prize winners. Just because someone is smart, it is of little use to know the chances of that person being successful.
Some Pictures • Christopher Langan Lewis Terman