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intellectual curiosity versus IQ

innomen
Posts: 10,052
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5/20/2012 3:54:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
There is a difference, and just because someone has a high IQ doesn't mean they are naturally intellectually curious.

I don't claim to have some absurdly high IQ, in fact if you play me in chess you'll have serious doubts about my intellectual capacity at all. However, I will say that I've had an ever present, and far above average intellectual curiosity. I think there are some that are on this site who are also really curious intellectually, and their primary drive is on wanting the questions answered more than memorizing the answers.

I wonder how much of one's intellectual success is due to their curiosity versus their capacity.

Thoughts?
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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5/20/2012 4:06:45 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
You're looking correctly at this. One can be highly intelligent, but very little intellectually motivated. This is detrimental for his potential. On the other hand, it is entirely possible to be an intellectual without being particularly intelligent.

As for success, I don't think it's easy to find out that whether people are mostly lead toward it by their intelligence or their intellectual curiosity. (Except if we have a strict definition of success.) Consider this: Marilyn vos Savant has an IQ around 185, but mentioning her name doesn't ring a bell for most people. She hasn't done much that is considered marvelous, but feels that she has fulfilled her objective. She is clearly successful from her PoV, but compared to say, John Kennedy, who had a significantly lower IQ (around 116), one wouldn't say she was too successful.

From a theoretical point of view, one's intellectual curiosity is far more likely to lead one toward personally defined success. Our brains are far more capable of making use of their potential when we do things that catch our interests. Being intelligent just means you have the tools to gain success from an intellectual PoV, but in no way guarantees that you will make use of the tools. There are lots of intelligent people who are dumb and rather unsuccessful. I think we can blame a large portion of this on compulsory education, which completely hinders individuals in following their motivations.
innomen
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5/20/2012 4:16:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/20/2012 4:06:45 PM, Mirza wrote:
You're looking correctly at this. One can be highly intelligent, but very little intellectually motivated. This is detrimental for his potential. On the other hand, it is entirely possible to be an intellectual without being particularly intelligent.

As for success, I don't think it's easy to find out that whether people are mostly lead toward it by their intelligence or their intellectual curiosity. (Except if we have a strict definition of success.) Consider this: Marilyn vos Savant has an IQ around 185, but mentioning her name doesn't ring a bell for most people. She hasn't done much that is considered marvelous, but feels that she has fulfilled her objective. She is clearly successful from her PoV, but compared to say, John Kennedy, who had a significantly lower IQ (around 116), one wouldn't say she was too successful.

From a theoretical point of view, one's intellectual curiosity is far more likely to lead one toward personally defined success. Our brains are far more capable of making use of their potential when we do things that catch our interests. Being intelligent just means you have the tools to gain success from an intellectual PoV, but in no way guarantees that you will make use of the tools. There are lots of intelligent people who are dumb and rather unsuccessful. I think we can blame a large portion of this on compulsory education, which completely hinders individuals in following their motivations.

Yes, 'success' is a pretty subjective term, and by this I mean living up to the potential that one has - I think.

I really believe that intelligence as we see it in a person performing in their life is far more complex than what we know of IQ, and there are different areas of our brain, or our thinking that have different capacity, and it isn't so measurable. A gifted artist may have a particular eye for critically understanding the world around him, but can't do a whit of trigonometry. I think that the curiosity that a person has in how they address the world plays a very big part of how they best use what they have.
Mirza
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5/20/2012 4:24:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/20/2012 4:16:28 PM, innomen wrote:
Yes, 'success' is a pretty subjective term, and by this I mean living up to the potential that one has - I think.
Yes, I think that seems to be the most reasonable way of defining that term. We could also look relatively at it and define it by comparing the successes of individuals, and thereby measure bottom, average, and top. One with a relatively high success (ranking top) would be say, Mitt Romney. He has earned more fame than most people, more money, more political power, etc.

I really believe that intelligence as we see it in a person performing in their life is far more complex than what we know of IQ, and there are different areas of our brain, or our thinking that have different capacity, and it isn't so measurable. A gifted artist may have a particular eye for critically understanding the world around him, but can't do a whit of trigonometry. I think that the curiosity that a person has in how they address the world plays a very big part of how they best use what they have.
Indeed, but we do have different categories of IQ. The system is quite precise, because one who scores 130 on a mathematical/logical IQ test over one who scores 100 will most likely also perform better at math. However, the one who scored 100 on the m/l IQ test might score very high on the EQ (Emotional Intelligence) test, which could pave his way toward success in say, fields of psychology.

Some abilities cannot be precisely measured by IQ tests, such as intuition. (Though EQ tests come quite close.)
innomen
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5/20/2012 4:34:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/20/2012 4:24:15 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 5/20/2012 4:16:28 PM, innomen wrote:
Yes, 'success' is a pretty subjective term, and by this I mean living up to the potential that one has - I think.
Yes, I think that seems to be the most reasonable way of defining that term. We could also look relatively at it and define it by comparing the successes of individuals, and thereby measure bottom, average, and top. One with a relatively high success (ranking top) would be say, Mitt Romney. He has earned more fame than most people, more money, more political power, etc.

I really believe that intelligence as we see it in a person performing in their life is far more complex than what we know of IQ, and there are different areas of our brain, or our thinking that have different capacity, and it isn't so measurable. A gifted artist may have a particular eye for critically understanding the world around him, but can't do a whit of trigonometry. I think that the curiosity that a person has in how they address the world plays a very big part of how they best use what they have.
Indeed, but we do have different categories of IQ. The system is quite precise, because one who scores 130 on a mathematical/logical IQ test over one who scores 100 will most likely also perform better at math. However, the one who scored 100 on the m/l IQ test might score very high on the EQ (Emotional Intelligence) test, which could pave his way toward success in say, fields of psychology.

Some abilities cannot be precisely measured by IQ tests, such as intuition. (Though EQ tests come quite close.)

I had no idea it was so comprehensively examined by the IQ test. I took one in 5th grade, and wonder if they were looking at all the aspects of the thinking person then.
JaxsonRaine
Posts: 3,606
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5/20/2012 4:40:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I strongly believe that personal drive is much more important and influential in their success compared to innate ability.

As for achieving their potential... I think extremely intelligent people can be limited by their own intelligence. I have a brother who is very genius(in some aspects), but he has a Phenomenon-style problem where he can't make the ideas stop, hard to sleep, sometimes hard to concentrate because he'll get distracted by his own thoughts, etc...

He's also extremely talented in the area of spatial-analysis. He can't live in a place with the textured walls/ceilings, they have to be smooth or he is tormented by patterns.
twocupcakes: 15 = 13
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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5/20/2012 4:47:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/20/2012 4:34:34 PM, innomen wrote:
At 5/20/2012 4:24:15 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 5/20/2012 4:16:28 PM, innomen wrote:
Yes, 'success' is a pretty subjective term, and by this I mean living up to the potential that one has - I think.
Yes, I think that seems to be the most reasonable way of defining that term. We could also look relatively at it and define it by comparing the successes of individuals, and thereby measure bottom, average, and top. One with a relatively high success (ranking top) would be say, Mitt Romney. He has earned more fame than most people, more money, more political power, etc.

I really believe that intelligence as we see it in a person performing in their life is far more complex than what we know of IQ, and there are different areas of our brain, or our thinking that have different capacity, and it isn't so measurable. A gifted artist may have a particular eye for critically understanding the world around him, but can't do a whit of trigonometry. I think that the curiosity that a person has in how they address the world plays a very big part of how they best use what they have.
Indeed, but we do have different categories of IQ. The system is quite precise, because one who scores 130 on a mathematical/logical IQ test over one who scores 100 will most likely also perform better at math. However, the one who scored 100 on the m/l IQ test might score very high on the EQ (Emotional Intelligence) test, which could pave his way toward success in say, fields of psychology.

Some abilities cannot be precisely measured by IQ tests, such as intuition. (Though EQ tests come quite close.)

I had no idea it was so comprehensively examined by the IQ test. I took one in 5th grade, and wonder if they were looking at all the aspects of the thinking person then.
The classical IQ tests do involve a wide range of ability tests. (You probably took this one.) This includes mathematical/logical, memory, pattern recognition, etc. Again, a person might excel in all these abilities, yet lack the necessary intellectual motivation (or aggression) to achieve some necessary goals. This is what our inflexible educational systems ignore. They assume that every child can be taught everything the exact same way, which simply isn't going to happen. It's a shame that children cannot follow their motivations. Instead, they have to be assembled and divided by mere ages, instead of their interests. This hinders them from making use of their intellectual potentials.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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5/21/2012 9:38:42 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/20/2012 4:47:09 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 5/20/2012 4:34:34 PM, innomen wrote:
At 5/20/2012 4:24:15 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 5/20/2012 4:16:28 PM, innomen wrote:
Yes, 'success' is a pretty subjective term, and by this I mean living up to the potential that one has - I think.
Yes, I think that seems to be the most reasonable way of defining that term. We could also look relatively at it and define it by comparing the successes of individuals, and thereby measure bottom, average, and top. One with a relatively high success (ranking top) would be say, Mitt Romney. He has earned more fame than most people, more money, more political power, etc.

I really believe that intelligence as we see it in a person performing in their life is far more complex than what we know of IQ, and there are different areas of our brain, or our thinking that have different capacity, and it isn't so measurable. A gifted artist may have a particular eye for critically understanding the world around him, but can't do a whit of trigonometry. I think that the curiosity that a person has in how they address the world plays a very big part of how they best use what they have.
Indeed, but we do have different categories of IQ. The system is quite precise, because one who scores 130 on a mathematical/logical IQ test over one who scores 100 will most likely also perform better at math. However, the one who scored 100 on the m/l IQ test might score very high on the EQ (Emotional Intelligence) test, which could pave his way toward success in say, fields of psychology.

Some abilities cannot be precisely measured by IQ tests, such as intuition. (Though EQ tests come quite close.)

I had no idea it was so comprehensively examined by the IQ test. I took one in 5th grade, and wonder if they were looking at all the aspects of the thinking person then.
The classical IQ tests do involve a wide range of ability tests. (You probably took this one.) This includes mathematical/logical, memory, pattern recognition, etc. Again, a person might excel in all these abilities, yet lack the necessary intellectual motivation (or aggression) to achieve some necessary goals. This is what our inflexible educational systems ignore. They assume that every child can be taught everything the exact same way, which simply isn't going to happen. It's a shame that children cannot follow their motivations. Instead, they have to be assembled and divided by mere ages, instead of their interests. This hinders them from making use of their intellectual potentials.

I agree with this very much, and at different ages more prominent interests emerge. However, I wonder if that intellectual curiosity is genetic, in that people are simply born with a more curious nature than others. I can say that at an extremely early age I was getting into trouble because of my curiosity, and it never stopped. It also was never encouraged or discouraged.
Mirza
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5/21/2012 10:39:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/21/2012 9:38:42 AM, innomen wrote:
I agree with this very much, and at different ages more prominent interests emerge. However, I wonder if that intellectual curiosity is genetic, in that people are simply born with a more curious nature than others. I can say that at an extremely early age I was getting into trouble because of my curiosity, and it never stopped. It also was never encouraged or discouraged.
I think one's early experiences might determine the level of his curiosity. I don't think that a person at say, 30 can be intellectually motivated if he weren't so before. If that were possible, people would be manipulated more easily too.

Think of motivation like this: A person excels in strategic video game (or many games in that genre), but performs dully at chess. Does this mean he isn't very intelligent? Nope. Just shows he can use his intellect better in a strategic area that catches his interests, rather than one that bores him to hell.

I think people on debate.org have quite a good balance between intelligence and motivation. Notice how many youngsters who are significantly more bright than their average peers know about certain philosophical subjects, let alone the meaning of philosophy. But many of these, I've noticed, hate mate. Again, they don't hate it because they aren't capable of being good at it, but probably because they don't have the curiosity or motivation.
MouthWash
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5/21/2012 10:44:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I've never seen the point of IQ. Intelligence cannot be "summed up" in a single number, and even if it could be all the tests for it suck.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
Mirza
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5/21/2012 10:49:47 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/21/2012 10:44:21 AM, MouthWash wrote:
I've never seen the point of IQ. Intelligence cannot be "summed up" in a single number, and even if it could be all the tests for it suck.
IQ can determine how people will perform in many areas. As I said, one who scores 130 on a logical/mathematical IQ test compared to one who scores 100 will most likely also perform better at math.
kowalskil
Posts: 68
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5/21/2012 6:42:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/21/2012 10:44:21 AM, MouthWash wrote:
I've never seen the point of IQ. Intelligence cannot be "summed up" in a single number, and even if it could be all the tests for it suck.

I tend to agree. On the other hand, I know how to distinguish inlelligent people from those who are not.

Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
.
Ludwik Kowalski, author of "Diary of a Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality." <http://csam.montclair.edu...

http://csam.montclair.edu...

It is a testimony based on a diary kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA).

The more people know about proletarian dictatorship the less likely will we experience is. Please share the link with those who might be interested, especially with youn
YYW
Posts: 36,289
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5/23/2012 3:49:23 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is, for me, an incredibly interesting topic, although probably because I have a personal connection to it.

When I was in elementary school my IQ was tested by a psychologist, and basically from that alone I was transferred from "regular" classes to "academically gifted" classes. (We called it "academically gifted" then.) I, at the time, didn't even know what the test was. I was just put in front of a computer screen and told to "do my best." I was in the 4th grade. A few years later, I found the paperwork after I went prowling. I learned what I scored, but didn't know what it meant.

When I was in middle school I would take those online tests in front of people to show off, and because it was fun, and when I was in high school I thought that because I could consistently score in high percentiles (on IQ tests, the SAT and etc.) that I was better than other people.

Now, after a few college classes in psychology -although I by no means claim to be an expert, I know what the test actually measures. For what it does, IQ tests are valuable, but like me in grade school, I think most people who go around bragging about their scores think that the score alone means more than it does.

Being a member of a high IQ society doesn't mean that you will accomplish great things, have enormous potential or etc. Two members of my family are Mensa members, neither of them are especially decent human beings. Something to think about, anyway.

About intelectual curiosity though, I think it's more a nurture thing than a nature thing. IQ scores are most likely impacted by genetics, and being of at least moderate intelligence probably is a necessary prerequisite to sustained intellectual curiosity, but ultimately, wanting to learn is about who you are and what you were raised to value, or decided to value, etc.

Of course, this is all just speculation... but this is a fantastic topic though nevertheless.
Tsar of DDO
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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5/23/2012 5:09:37 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/23/2012 3:49:23 AM, YYW wrote:
This is, for me, an incredibly interesting topic, although probably because I have a personal connection to it.

When I was in elementary school my IQ was tested by a psychologist, and basically from that alone I was transferred from "regular" classes to "academically gifted" classes. (We called it "academically gifted" then.) I, at the time, didn't even know what the test was. I was just put in front of a computer screen and told to "do my best." I was in the 4th grade. A few years later, I found the paperwork after I went prowling. I learned what I scored, but didn't know what it meant.

When I was in middle school I would take those online tests in front of people to show off, and because it was fun, and when I was in high school I thought that because I could consistently score in high percentiles (on IQ tests, the SAT and etc.) that I was better than other people.

Now, after a few college classes in psychology -although I by no means claim to be an expert, I know what the test actually measures. For what it does, IQ tests are valuable, but like me in grade school, I think most people who go around bragging about their scores think that the score alone means more than it does.

Being a member of a high IQ society doesn't mean that you will accomplish great things, have enormous potential or etc. Two members of my family are Mensa members, neither of them are especially decent human beings. Something to think about, anyway.

About intelectual curiosity though, I think it's more a nurture thing than a nature thing. IQ scores are most likely impacted by genetics, and being of at least moderate intelligence probably is a necessary prerequisite to sustained intellectual curiosity, but ultimately, wanting to learn is about who you are and what you were raised to value, or decided to value, etc.

Of course, this is all just speculation... but this is a fantastic topic though nevertheless.

Really YYW? You think that tests that measure only math skills, 3d shape visualization, reading and worst of all how fast you can solve them is useful? If there is one thing that they do not do, it's measuring the ability of the brain to learn and understand. I've always been suspicious of psychology.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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5/23/2012 5:16:43 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Here is a nice little link for you: http://en.wikipedia.org...
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
YYW
Posts: 36,289
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5/23/2012 5:53:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/23/2012 5:09:37 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 5/23/2012 3:49:23 AM, YYW wrote:
This is, for me, an incredibly interesting topic, although probably because I have a personal connection to it.

When I was in elementary school my IQ was tested by a psychologist, and basically from that alone I was transferred from "regular" classes to "academically gifted" classes. (We called it "academically gifted" then.) I, at the time, didn't even know what the test was. I was just put in front of a computer screen and told to "do my best." I was in the 4th grade. A few years later, I found the paperwork after I went prowling. I learned what I scored, but didn't know what it meant.

When I was in middle school I would take those online tests in front of people to show off, and because it was fun, and when I was in high school I thought that because I could consistently score in high percentiles (on IQ tests, the SAT and etc.) that I was better than other people.

Now, after a few college classes in psychology -although I by no means claim to be an expert, I know what the test actually measures. For what it does, IQ tests are valuable, but like me in grade school, I think most people who go around bragging about their scores think that the score alone means more than it does.

Being a member of a high IQ society doesn't mean that you will accomplish great things, have enormous potential or etc. Two members of my family are Mensa members, neither of them are especially decent human beings. Something to think about, anyway.

About intelectual curiosity though, I think it's more a nurture thing than a nature thing. IQ scores are most likely impacted by genetics, and being of at least moderate intelligence probably is a necessary prerequisite to sustained intellectual curiosity, but ultimately, wanting to learn is about who you are and what you were raised to value, or decided to value, etc.

Of course, this is all just speculation... but this is a fantastic topic though nevertheless.

Really YYW? You think that tests that measure only math skills, 3d shape visualization, reading and worst of all how fast you can solve them is useful? If there is one thing that they do not do, it's measuring the ability of the brain to learn and understand. I've always been suspicious of psychology.

So this would probably be a good time to point out what I did say, and apparently it's necessary to also spell out what I didn't say. But that's ok.

Having a high IQ means only that you have a high IQ, and nothing else. That's the point I was making that I think you were wanting to take issue with. When I was in middle/high school, I thought that having a high IQ and being able to score well on standardized tests meant that I was better than other people. The implication of that statement was, simply, now that is not the case.

And yes, I do think IQ tests are very useful, for measuring a person's IQ. Of course, the concept of the intelligence quotient is contentious in the medical community, for various reasons, and has heard criticism far and wide. I do think that many people become unhealthily obsessed with the concept of the intelligence quotient, both professionals and laymen alike, for widely contrasting reasons. The disagreement of all parties tends to begin with a disagreement over the function and meaning of the IQ score. Which is fine, but the genesis of that disagreement typically begins with a visceral reaction to how those things are measures. Scholars on both sides of the issue continue to disagree... and that will probably be the case for the foreseeable future. To summarily dismiss the concept of the intelligence quotient or the possibility of its function, for any reason though, is a bit preposterous.

All that to say though, I'm not trying to convince you to change your mind here, because it really doesn't matter to me wether you accept the legitimacy of the IQ test or not. Many people do. Some people don't. That's ok with me. I think it's neat, but probably overemphasized on both meta and personal levels, in varying capacities, to the disservice of those who overemphasize it. That's about it.
Tsar of DDO
RoyLatham
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5/28/2012 5:06:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Great topic. IQ is the ability to score well on IQ tests. The question is what IQ correlates to. One of the first uses of an IQ test was to select candidates to become Army pilots in World War I. It worked well for that purpose. In the 1930s Harvard promoted the use of IQ tests to admit students, because they wanted more qualified students who hadn't achieved because they had gone to poor high schools. Up until 1992, the SAT was an IQ test.

There are metrics that measure "success." Highest educational attainment, income earned, number of published scientific papers, number of patents earned, and so forth. Generally, success metrics correlate well with IQ up to about an IQ of 130. Above 130, additional success seems to depend upon other factors. There are many high IQ people who don't do much that is interesting.

I don't know, but my guess is that intellectual curiosity correlates with IQ up to about 130 as well. There seems to be a lot of variation among high IQ people.

There has been a move in recent years to establish different types of intelligence, like aptitudes for artistic creativity and such. My impression is that this hasn't come to much. Other measures are valid, but something close to IQ is the most useful predictor. One interesting one is a supposed ability to successfully assess complex situations from conflicting information. The best U.S presidents, military leaders, and corporate leaders are claimed tobe especially good at that.