Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Does this logic make sense?

Asked by Dutchess_III (26647 points ) 3 months ago

Discussion on Facebook about MENSA. Dude wrote “Mensa accepts the top 2% (1 out of 50) of all people. Therefore any couple has a 4% (1 out of 25) chance of at least one of them being in Mensa. Since every member of Mensa has two parents then they have a 1 out of 25 chance of having one or more parents in Mensa.” Is that logical?

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28 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

No. Most I.Q. isn’t inherited. Maybe from the mother, but mostly no.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Those were my thoughts, @talljasperman.

Why do you say “Maybe from the mother?”

canidmajor's avatar

This Article from the WSJ talks about the genetics of IQ and the effect environment has.

talljasperman's avatar

@Dutchess_III I watched some television show that said that a intelligence is sometimes inherited by the mother. I don’t know what show it is.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You’re missing the fact that far fewer than one person in 50 wants anything to do with mensa.

Dutchess_III's avatar

To try to become a MENSA member is just posturing, IMO. Something to brag about.

jerv's avatar

Math fail!

PhiNotPi's avatar

The major problem is that MENSA doesn’t contain 2% of all people. The top 2% of people may be eligible for MENSA, but very few people actually join. So, MENSA membership is probably actually a fraction of one percent. This is the largest problem by far, since every other number is thus completely wrong.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Did you ever notice how close to menses mensa is?

Response moderated
cazzie's avatar

Mensa is for posers. Our local chapter is a perfect example. The head of the chapter is a girl of barely 30 and she had an affair with my ex last year which makes her incredibly stupid in my book. :) She got much smarter when she dumped him just before Christmas.

canidmajor's avatar

Gee, you folks have had very different experiences than I have. I’ve worked in a number of venues that have hosted Mensa events and found the members to be pleasant, friendly and especially good tippers. A couple of the events were fund raisers for worthy causes that did well thanks to the generosity of the attendees. But I guess any group that seems elitist to non-members will always be criticized by some.

cazzie's avatar

Who says I was a non member? They weren’t elitist. They were socially awkward, or at best, dysfunctional people who put themselves first and completely lacked empathy. No thanks. I’ll hang with people I have more in common with than the ability to solve puzzles.

jerv's avatar

After taking a few practice tests, I have to wonder what there is about Mensa membership that is worth bragging about. It seems that their standards are a bit low to warrant any sort of bragging rights.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@jerv That’s been my experience as well.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Mensa is a fascinating organization for a variety of reasons. After all, it’s a collection of people with the same assortment of flaws as any random sampling of people, excluding the flaw of cognitive impairment (I assume). It makes sense that folks with their particular “affliction” would want to band together. If you think about it, in a classroom of six year olds, who do you suppose might be the first to figure out that there might be negative consequences to a reputation for being the smartest person in the room. So you can’t win. We’re all going to be labeled. It’s just another one of those facts that convinces me that life is just a big joke that if you yell either “HEY DUMMY” or “HEY NERD” at a crowd, someone will cringe.

jerv's avatar

@stanleybmanly Have you ever hung around tabletop gamers? Most of the ones I’ve known have been rather intelligent; the ones that don’t have the math skills to min/max like a munchkin are weeded out by natural selection, leaving just the engineers, physicists, and other big-brains. No idiot could comprehend how Ashnod’s Altar plus Goblin Warrens plus Kyren Negotiations equals instant victory.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@jerv tabletop gamers in my era meant chess. And yes, let me tell you, had I put 1/10th the productive time devoted to chess toward generating a profitable living, I would be well off indeed. The chess obsession, and those enslaved by it is one of the great object lessons of my 20s. Today I cannot believe that I actually had the time to lead a virtual life that revolved around that insidious chess room.

jerv's avatar

@stanleybmanly Try GM-ing sometime. And given the age of some of the gamers I know/have known, that “in your era” line means that you’re currently no younger than 90, probably closer to 150.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@jerv Don’t misunderstand me. I have a strong tendency to overindulge in things which interest me, and games are at the very top of the long list. I only feel like I’m 90–150. But like a temperate alcoholic, I’ve learned to say “no” to certain intoxicants.

jerv's avatar

If you think it takes intelligence to play those games, think of how much smarter you have to be in order to hold down a highly technical job and maintain a happy marriage in addition to such a hobby!

cazzie's avatar

@jerv and @stanleybmanly Would you say that obsessive compulsive/addictive personalities go hand and hand with high IQ?

jerv's avatar

@cazzie No, but they practically define ASDs, along with social awkwardness and lack of empathy. Then again, more intelligent people tend to be a bit more detail-oriented since we’re more aware of details in the first place (if that makes sense). I don’t go looking for details; they’re blatantly obvious to me, so of course I’m going to seem obsessive.

jerv's avatar

One possible correlation between IQ and obsession is occupation. In my line of work, 0.0005” sometimes makes the difference between a sellable part and a piece of scrap metal (along with many hours of wasted labor,with all the costs that entails), and typing 3.7596 instead of 3.7956 can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in actual damage, not to mention lost productivity in the tens of thousands, and maybe even kill someone. It’s the sort of job where you want only smart people, but it’s also a job that can cause one to become obsessive.

The military is another such occupation. While you don’t have to be smart to serve, it is a job that can lead to OCD tendencies and/or alcoholism. It’s not the IQ exactly, so much as it’s smarter people tending towards more high-stakes jobs.

Just a theory.

cazzie's avatar

I can’t seem to learn the lesson, ‘People don’t like to be corrected.’ I’m getting better. One of my best friends is bossy in the best possible way, and she doesn’t listen to me when I know she is wrong, so I can’t argue with her. I have to wait for her to see it herself, and she does, eventually. She does’t get mad at me like other people do. I’m more pragmatic than most people when it comes to analysing numbers because I learned tricks during my accounting days for assessing cost/benefit. My OCD isn’t really crippling, as long as I’m not feeling stressed. Last year, going through my divorce, my eating problems kicked in and I got down to a scary 50kg at one point and I was having to control my intense desire to see the scale read 40-something. I never studied too much math, but I know when a game’s algorithm is off. I can’t play Small World with fewer than 4 players. Frustrates the hell out of me.

bolwerk's avatar

Taking @Dutchess_III‘s paragraph to mean MENSA-eligible people.

If you select two people at random out of the population, then maybe there is a 4% chance one is MENSA-eligible. Assuming intelligence tests are that accurate, anyway.

I don’t know if anyone gave you a straight answer, but here is why the reasoning in the description is wrong: couples aren’t assigned randomly. Each couple is made up of two people who select each other based on a basket of traits, and I would think each is at some level evaluating the intelligence of the other partner. There can be gaps in the intelligence between two partners, but if I had to place money on it I’d bet chasms are pretty unusual.

I know that intelligence is partly inheritable, but I don’t know what effect that has. I doubt it’s particularly random either.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good point @bolwerk. Which inspires me to ask my next question.

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