As we saw in in part 1, a reader had some questions about high range power tests.
The reader asks:
What, if any, capacities might tests of the high-range “power” format disclose that standard IQ tests cannot, or, at least, do not?
As I mentioned in part 1, they probably measure the personality trait TIE (Typical Intellectual Engagement) and perhaps some cognitive abilities that conventional IQ tests miss like executive function. And as discussed in the comment section, they’re probably less sensitive to test anxiety because you can take them in a relaxed non-threatening environment.
But there’s more.
Chris Langan stated:
Certain high-ceiling intelligence tests, generically called “power tests”, are composed of extremelyFrom Discussions on Genius and Intelligence Mega Foundation Interview with Arthur Jensen pg 23
difficult items requiring higher levels of problem-solving ability than the items on ordinary IQ tests. Since these items
usually have no known algorithms, their solutions cannot be looked up in a textbook, and where subjects do not know each
other, one must rely on intrinsic problem solving ability.
Arthur Jensen replied:
…Solving problems, or even thinking up problems, for which there are presently no algorithms, takes us into theFrom Discussions on Genius and Intelligence Mega Foundation Interview with Arthur Jensen pg 24
realm of the nature of creativity. There are as yet no psychometric tests for creativity in a nontrivial sense. We can’t
(yet) predict creativity or measure it as an individual trait, but can only examine its products after the fact.
I find Jensen’s reply curious. He just admitted that the type of psychometric test Langan was describing involved creativity and then denied any tests measure it. Although I was extremely impressed by the questions Langan asked, he should have asked for clarification here.
The so-called distinction between creativity and intelligence is interesting. Intelligence is commonly defined as your ability to problem solve, but what is creativity if not original solutions to problems? So I guess people deny conventional IQ tests measure creativity because the solutions aren’t original enough. Why don’t conventional IQ tests require original solutions? Because such solutions would be so numerous that the test scoring manual could not include them all, or if there’s only one, in order for it to be original, too few people would discover it, making it useless for mass testing.
But because untimed power tests include many problems very few people can solve, by definition they measure original problem solving and thus creativity. One could claim that the problems must have social significance to be true measures of creativity, but what is significant is context dependent and creativity, like all traits, is relatively stable.
For example, before coronavirus became a global pandemic, creating a vaccine would have been unimportant but if someone had created one in 2018, they wouldn’t think “if I had only waited until 2020, I could have been creative, instead I’m merely extremely intelligent”. There could be a parallel universe where problems on the Mega Test have enormous real-world implications, while discovering relativity is merely a hard item on the Mega Test. Creative is something you either are or aren’t, it’s not something that changes with the social value a particular society puts on a given problem at a given time.
Commenter “Mug of Pee” jealously goes ballistic when anyone values tests other than the ones he scored high on (SAT, GRE). In order to devalue such tests, he’s claimed, somewhat facetously, that the Mega Test measures autism. While it’s true that the Mega Test requires you to focus for very long periods of time (an autistic trait), it also requires you to be interested in a wide variety of subjects, as opposed to the narrow autistic focus. I suppose there could be some autistics whose area of obsession is just puzzle solving in general, but I know of no confirmed cases.
Without doing brain scans, autism is much harder to measure as objectively as IQ but if forced to do so, I would use one’s composite score on the following four variables:
- income adjusted for IQ (the lower the more autistic)
- occupational status adjusted for IQ (the lower the more autistic)
- head size adjusted for IQ (the larger the more autistic)
- theism adjusted for IQ (the higher, the less autistic)
In other words, autistics would tend to be those who are poorer, less respected, bigger brained and less theistic than their conventional IQs predict. Anecdotal evidence suggests people with high Mega Test scores would fit the first three criteria, but perhaps not the fourth. However I’m assuming a linear relationship between IQ and all these variables. If at the highest levels, IQ predicts “success” in a curvilinear way, we might find that the socio-economic underachievement of some Mega society members is not atypical of their IQs as measured by conventional tests (with high ceilings).
More research is needed.
What effect does ADHD have on IQ scores? Probably reduces it significantly. Is there any data on the effects of ADHD treatment and a rise in IQ in individuals? Would be interesting to know.
On the Wechsler scales it would likely impair one’s scores on the working memory and processing speed index and thus drag down full-scale IQ. That’s partly why they created general ability index (which allows you to summarize one’s overall intelligence without including domains that are impaired by such learning disabilities).
Vegan DHA said:
“but what is creativity if not original solutions to problems?”
Creativity is not only that. There are many types of creativity, at least according to the scientific definition. I think (though I’m not sure) they define convergent thinking as problem solving, though there appear to be separate tests for problem solving and convergent thinking. Go figure. In CT tests there is only one solution, as far as I know (the common trait between the items presented) though in theory more than one common traits might exist.
Originality (again, as far as I know) is only a factor in divergent thinking tests. You can be very creative in fluid or flexible thinking, but not in original thinking.
Not sure if Jensen’s comment is flawed. Perhaps he meant, there are no *other* tests (aside of the Power IQ tests) that measure creativity (though I just debunked that) or that those Power tests as well as the tests I mentioned (measuring convergent and divergent thinking etc) are trivial, because they don’t predict creativity. Not sure what he means by that.
I don’t think IQ tests’ inability to measure creativity has to do with their solutions not being original. They’re not unoriginal either. They’re unique. There isn’t a set of valid solutions which belong in a spectrum of originality.
I’d like to add that I recently read about divergent thinking being correlated to achievement in math, and also this quote:
“Good, he did not have enough imagination to become a mathematician”.
— Hilbert’s response upon hearing that one of his students had dropped out to study poetry.
PS: Perhaps Richard Feynman had very advanced divergent thinking skills?
wikipedia defines creativity as “a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed.” That’s why I equate it with original (novel) problem solving (value).
As for divergent thinking tests, Grady Towers writes:
Creativity research has produced some of the most defective studies in psychometric literature. Tests were constructed that purported to measure this elusive quality, but turned out to have no correlation with real-world achievement in any field. Subjects were often school children, sometimes elementary-school children, as though the “creativity” of a ten-year-old could be compared to that of a Newton or a Goethe. Claims about the relationship between IQ and creativity were often based on mixtures of tests that measured different functions, had inadequate ceilings, and were of uneven reliability, rather than being based on the results from one good test. But the biggest flaw in these research designs was that the creativity being studied often wasn’t creativity at all, in any meaningful sense. Finding a hundred uses for a brick is in no way comparable to discovering a new scientific principle, or inventing a new experiment.
Vegan DHA said:
I appreciate the link and quote.
I think Mr Towers is too skeptical.
1) Actors, for example, have been found to be better at divergent thinking, and I think most people regard actors as more creative than the average human. So, kind of a real-world achievement and DT correlation?
2) When researching/test creativity, why not also study children? Not all tests need to estimate Newton/Goethe achievements level potential. Can most 25yo people’s creativity be compared to that? Also, many adults are being tested as well.
3) Again, narrow definition of creativity. It’s like saying there is no point in generating ideas unless they’re formally science-y or high-art. Also, can he provide evidence that the one (humble) is not linked to the other one (grand)?
Practically impossible to measure potential for ideas that are a) basically a collection of smaller ideas b) requiring knowledge, logic, planning, creativity and perhaps other things as well.
4) He doesn’t mention convergent thinking.
5) He doesn’t make a “Another Brick in the Wall” pun.
I agree divergent thinking is an important part of creativity, but I think it can also be measured very well by questions with 1 right answer, as long as that 1 right answer is sufficiently rare to be considered original.
Vegan DHA said:
Oh, f**k, I see he was murdered (a long time ago, but still..). I hope I didn’t seem to harsh on him. Even if I’m right (or partly right), it’s not a big deal of an issue, so I think my comment doesn’t disrespectful.
Creativity may not be easy to directly measure in the individual, but in the large, I would say creativity is a cognitive faculty that follows IQ, at least in group terms. Civilizations which produce the greatest scientists and mathematicians also are the greatest in artistic fields such as music and literature. The Greeks are known as the most brilliant people of the ancient world and they also had the greatest literature. Jews have the Old Testament. And the new actually. Europe in general has its classical music tradition. The problem is, there is a subjective element in art, so there’s nothing to stop a puerile critic from arguing that Tupac is better than Shakespeare.
name redacted by pp, march 4, 2021 said:
[redacted by pp, 2021-03-04]
the mega test tests autism because only an autistic person would take it seriously, think it measured what it claims to measure, not because autistic people would score high.
no test can measure ability beyond the highest scorer in its sample.
soi dissant IQ tests have samples of like 2,500 at most. the GRE, SAT, LSAT, GMAT, etc. have samples in the millions and from a select population.
IT’S PSYCHOMETRICS AND SOCIAL IQ 101:
1. THE ONLY TESTS OF HIGH ABILITY ARE THE COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS.
2. PROFESSIONAL IQ TEST GIVERS (PSYCHOMETRISTS) HAVE AN ECONOMIC INTEREST IN DENYING THIS.
But the Mega Test was normed by equating its scores to the SAT/GRE with which it correlates 0.8 after range restriction correction.
name redacted by pp, 2021-03-04 said:
what i remember from so long ago was hoeflin basically showed his test was crap when he correlated it with the GRE…
but he was too autistic to know it.
i mean there were GRE-tards who scored high on his test.
the idea of a high ability take home test is great…
but you have to have lots of peeps taking it…
to know if it’s not just “puzzles”.
…Ware said: “I do get disappointed that so many members spend so much time solving puzzles.
what i remember from so long ago was hoeflin basically showed his test was crap when he correlated it with the GRE…
Only before range restriction correction
my sexiness has moved mountains. said:
the first female president of the American Mathematical Society scored 98 on some soi-disant IQ test in school. feynman scored 120. fischer supposedly scored 180.
reality: it depends on the IQ test AND all reports of school age results on soi disant IQ tests must be “taken with a grain of salt”…a yuge grain of salt.
because ron hoeflin says “this is an IQ test” you know it’s not an IQ test…unless you have autism.
Feynman might have been verbally retarded. He was told that he spoke like a dunce or something. This would then correspond to a high non-verbal IQ for him to be 120 or 125 overall.
aesthetics don't lie...about IQ? said:
i have been told elliot spitzer looks smart. he had a near perfect SAT score supposedly.
my aunt’s dog looks smart. it’s the half poodle.
it’s one of those things…
you know it when you SEE it.
taste the soup!
Some Guy said:
Since Jensen says “measure it[creativity] as an individual trait”, that would exclude these kinds of tests, no?
Not sure what you mean
Some Guy said:
That these tests don’t have separate scores for creativity, IQ, executive function etc. It’s a composite with creativity as a one aspect, it doesn’t measure creativity as an individual trait.
I thought that’s what you meant, but wasn’t sure.
Time for a general commentary.
“As I mentioned in part 1, they probably measure the personality trait TIE (Typical Intellectual Engagement) and perhaps some cognitive abilities that conventional IQ tests miss like executive function.”
Disagree about the last part. If anything, they probably have a much lower loading on executive function since they’re untimed and ADHD can screw people over on timed tests.
“Since these items usually have no known algorithms, their solutions cannot be looked up in a textbook, and where subjects do not know each other, one must rely on intrinsic problem solving ability.”
The rumor, as has reached me through Grady Towers, is that Hoeflin borrowed many of his non-verbal items from the works of Martin Gardner. Even if that isn’t true, many of Hoeflin’s problems DO have solutions that could be looked up in a reference work. Even the answer to the hardest problem on the Mega Test can easily be found on Google now. They would just be tough to find, especially prior to the search engine era. Of course, the test will cede its validity to Goodhart’s Law if you don’t solve them without external help, as intended. The ability to learn and apply methods invented by others is a crucial part of practical, “real life” problem-solving ability, but it’s not what an IQ test is supposed to measure.
“…Solving problems, or even thinking up problems, for which there are presently no algorithms, takes us into the realm of the nature of creativity. There are as yet no psychometric tests for creativity in a nontrivial sense.”
And, as far as mainstream psychometrics is concerned, there never will be. Most academics couldn’t recognize true creativity if their life dependended on it, because their paychecks don’t, and they’re selected for not being too “against the grain.” Academics might push the boundaries of knowledge one tiny step at a time, or sometimes even in sizable leaps, but recognizing true genius is beyond them because they’re necessarily too psychologically normal.
“Although I was extremely impressed by the questions Langan asked”
Classic Langan was brilliant, although his writings were notoriously hard to follow. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Now he spends his days promoting conspiracy garbage on Twitter and advertising “CTMU Holistic Healing” shit.
“But because untimed power tests include many problems very few people can solve, by definition they measure original problem solving and thus creativity.”
Not at all. Creativity isn’t just about presenting a problem posed to you. Almost anyone with a high enough IQ can do that. Creativity is about posing the questions in the first place. That’s why most people with ultra-high IQs aren’t geniuses: they never venture down the deviant lines of thought required for genius, even though they could.
“Commenter “Mug of Pee” jealously goes ballistic when anyone values tests other than the ones he scored high on (SAT, GRE). In order to devalue such tests, he’s claimed, somewhat facetously, that the Mega Test measures autism.”
Then why didn’t he get a perfect score on it?
“While it’s true that the Mega Test requires you to focus for very long periods of time (an autistic trait)”
Not even close to a universal autistic trait, though.
“I suppose there could be some autistics whose area of obsession is just puzzle solving in general, but I know of no confirmed cases.”
If you don’t know of any confirmed cases, I can say right now that you haven’t been too involved in some of the high-IQ societies.
“Without doing brain scans, autism is much harder to measure as objectively as IQ”
They can detect autism just from brain scans now?
“Anecdotal evidence suggests people with high Mega Test scores would fit the first three criteria, but perhaps not the fourth.”
Speaking from personal experience, high-IQ society members as a group are much less religious than the general population, with many being explicitly irreligious and few being openly devout. But there are exceptions even at ultra-high levels, some of them even being follows of conventional organized religions.
“More research is needed.”
Agreed. But finding subjects is hard when they, by definition, exist among us at a rate of one in many thousands at most. If we’re really talking about people who have a serious shot at qualifying for the Mega Society by honestly taking one of Hoeflin’s tests, I’m skeptical as to whether even one commenter here would be included. I do know one such person on the Internet, though; someone who qualified for Mega with a score of (if memory serves) 44 on the Titan Test, but didn’t join.
Not at all. Creativity isn’t just about presenting a problem posed to you. Almost anyone with a high enough IQ can do that.
Then anyone with a high enough IQ is creative.
Creativity is about posing the questions in the first place.
But if they don’t pose questions that solve a problem, then their questions have no value and by definition are not creative. Creativity is valuable originality which implies problem solving.
“Not at all. Creativity isn’t just about presenting a problem posed to you. Almost anyone with a high enough IQ can do that.”
typo on my part, I meant solving a problem presented/posed to you
“Then anyone with a high enough IQ is creative.”
Probably, but not *that* creative
Then why didn’t he get a perfect score on it?
I laughed so hard I nearly spit out my Black Cellar Shiraz Cabernet.
I don’t know what Black Cellar Shiraz Cabernet is but I can tell you right out that I can’t afford it
That name reminded me of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran:
“Creativity isn’t just about presenting a problem posed to you. Almost anyone with a high enough IQ can do that. Creativity is about posing the questions in the first place.”
“I’m skeptical as to whether even one commenter here would be included. I do know one such person on the Internet, though; someone who qualified for Mega with a score of (if memory serves) 44 on the Titan Test, but didn’t join.”
Despite knowing what was intended, I considered asking: “presenting”? I see you’ve clarified. Good insight nevertheless.
creativity curves inward and outward. it is recurrent intelligence.
creativity is a property of intelligence but intelligence is not a property of creativity. or at least thats what i assume he meant.
creativity and intelligence are made by a combination of introversion and extraversion.
He’s using a hegelian concept.
“they probably measure the personality trait TIE (Typical Intellectual Engagement) and perhaps some cognitive abilities”
What’s the specified measured object, the object of measurement and the measurement unit for “some cognitive abilities” (which?) and “the personality trait TIE”?
You’re very high in TIE in my opinion.
that didnt answer the question lol. we already know rr is a narcissist why arent answering the question asked instead of feeding into the narcissism.
because I already answered it a year ago
The Philosopher said:
Is tie supposed to be intellectual grit basically?
More or less
How am I a “narcissist”? Thanks, armchair psychiatrist (a field full of BS vendors).
Where has PP answered the question? If you have, then reproduce the answer.
Nevanlinna Did Nothing Wrong said:
What are your thoughts on the unidimensional nature and potential inflation due to small sample size and self-reporting that affect HRTs?
I’ve recently taken another older test of vaguely similar nature to the Mega (albeit with a smaller sample size), the SLSE 48 by Dr. Jonathan Wai, earning a raw score of 24.5/48.
Obviously there can’t be any real precision or accuracy with such a small norming group but the test is an interesting one because it includes more truly visuospatial processes than other nonverbal power tests. I find it difficult to believe what the statistics, taken at face value, would imply in terms of compositing for decent performers on these tests.
Because of his detailed statistical reports, I’ve been favorable to Theodosis Prousalis and his amateur tests. Recently I also attained the top scores of 26/33 (169 TIQ), 32/37 (169 TIQ), and 27/36 (171 TIQ) on three of his tests (respectively Verba Logica, SEE37, and SRA).
These tests all feel far too easy to warrant their norms (and inflation of such tests is a well known phenomenon), but I am especially curious about how the involvement of different factors from a traditional intelligence test may or may not change what the inter-test correlations would theoretically be in a sufficiently large sample (thus changing the extremity of composite scores). Also worthy of note is that unidimensional HRTs are often normed off of reported composite scores on standard tests, not results at the specific ability level.
^ Pepe I know this guy and can vouch that he is ultra high IQ. Way smarter than I am
But c’mon Le-Le, pumpkin doesn’t know enough about the minutiae of obscure high-range tests to analyze your claims meaningfully