Social Question

Hibernate's avatar

On a scale ranging from 0 to 10 how smart are you ?

Asked by Hibernate (9058points) May 14th, 2011

The scale :
0 – a bit smart [ above mediocrity ]
10 – top dawg scientist

So let’s see how smart you feel or how smart others tell you that you are.


Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

73 Answers

Hibernate's avatar

I’ll start. Most times only a 1 [ a bit above .. I tend to see things faster than others ] bu I do fall a lot below 0 ^^

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’m just barely smart enough to realize how stupid I am.

I don’t see stupid anywhere on your scale.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

i tink i R barry mArt.

poisonedantidote's avatar

7, Really I’m just a 6, but all the 1’s and 2’s in the world keep boosting me up a point.

dabbler's avatar

The scale seems to cover the top 50% of the population, from average to ExtremeSmartiePants. Maybe 10% of people I meet seem smarter than I am, so that puts me at a 7 or 8 on your scale. But that sure varies by category of info. I have poor retention for actors and movie titles, who knows why, give me a -5 on your scale (-10 being a rock). In some gadget-y/science-y fields I’d bump myself up to 9.

Sunny2's avatar

About a 7, but at my age, I should be wise. I guess that’s another question.

Blackberry's avatar

Compared to who? I’m a 1 when compared to Richard Feynman, and a 10 compared to a 5 year old lol.

krrazypassions's avatar

i see @RealEyesRealizeRealLies has already answered on my behalf!
i guess @johnpowell would be happy to see his permalink trick being put into use :) :p

I think this method of pointing out to other relevant answers in the current and other threads can be used very effectively, especially in high activity threads, where a lot of discussion goes on

CaptainHarley's avatar

I don’t respond well to questions like this. I let others decide whether they think I’m smart or not.

Blueroses's avatar

There’s an inherent danger in believing you’re smart. I’d say I might be a 9 about a couple of the things that interest me and a 1 on the scale of all I have left to learn.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Smart is such an ambiguous word.

etignotasanimum's avatar

This is a difficult question for me to answer, because I think as @Blackberry says, it depends on who I am comparing myself to. If I’m comparing myself to kids I went to high school with, I’d be higher up on the scale. If I’m comparing myself to the kids I go to college with, I’d perhaps be somewhere on the middle of the scale because I consider my intelligence level fairly equal to theirs. If I’m comparing myself to someone who works on theoretical physics, I would be at the bottom of the scale.
In general, I believe that I’m somewhere in the 6–8 range, depending on the topic being discussed and the company I’m in/who I am being compared to. Again, this is a difficult question to answer because it’s hard to be objective about your own intelligence and to be able to quantify something that is so relative.

Coloma's avatar

Hard to say…as always a mixed bag. I’d say I am a 10 in certain areas and a -10 in others. lol
I am very intelligent in an intuitive manner, and have strong written and language skills along with a very creative mind, I write, draw, sculpt and decorate with more than a dash of brilliance. haha
BUT… when it comes to complex mathematics, science and other more left brained strengths I am more than a little lacking. lol

I don’t believe in standard IQ tests, far too much margin and many people, like myself, can be near genius in some areas and completely retarded in others.

I say celebrate your strengths and don’t get hung up on your weaknesses.

RTT's avatar

I would say I am a three. I am smart with street smarts. I was very good with math and social. studies (History) I am not as smart as science and spelling. I need a dictionary while I am writing a letter. I need spell check while typing a letter on the computer.Thank you,RTT

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

With a little lurve for @zen, we can bump that score up! I’ve done my part.

aprilsimnel's avatar

If I’m so smart, why aren’t I rich?

Berserker's avatar

I denno, but I know what street I live on, so that’s good enough for me.

Coloma's avatar


Just because you’ve never won a race doesn’t mean you are not a Thoroughbred!

Maybe galloping around your own pasture is good enough. That’s the way I see it.

incendiary_dan's avatar

At/about what?

rebbel's avatar

If you whip the cream, preferably by hand, for about three minutes i think you will be okay.

everephebe's avatar

It’s long but it’s well worth the read, Sir Ken Robinson says:

Another thing I do when I speak to groups is to ask people to rate their intelligence on a 1-to-10 scale, with 10 being the top. Typically, one or two people will rate themselves a 10. When these people raise their hands, I suggest that they go home; they have more important things to do than listen to me.

Beyond this, I’ll get a sprinkling of 9s and a heavier concentration of 8s. Invariably, though, the bulk of any audience puts itself at 7 or 6. The responses decline from there, though I admit I never actually complete the survey. I stop at 2, preferring to save anyone who would actually claim an intelligence level of 1 the embarrassment of acknowledging it in public. Why do I always get the bell-shaped curve? I believe it is because we’ve come to take for granted certain ideas about intelligence.

What’s interesting is that most people do put their hands up and rate themselves on this question. They don’t seem to see any problem with the question itself and are happy to put themselves somewhere on the scale. Only a few have challenged the form of the question and asked what I mean by intelligence. I think that’s what everyone should do. I’m convinced that taking the definition of intelligence for granted is one of the main reasons why so many people underestimate their true intellectual abilities and fail to find their Element.

This commonsense view goes something like this: We are all born with a fixed amount of intelligence. It’s a trait, like blue or green eyes, or long or short limbs. Intelligence shows itself in certain types of activity, especially in math and our use of words. It’s possible to measure how much intelligence we have through pencil-and-paper tests, and to express this as a numerical grade. That’s it.

Put as bluntly as this, I trust this definition of intelligence sounds as questionable as it is. But essentially this definition runs through much of Western culture, and a good bit of Eastern culture as well. It is at the heart of our education systems and underpins a good deal of the multibillion-dollar testing industries that feed off public education throughout the world. It’s at the heart of the idea of academic ability, dominates college entrance examinations, underpins the hierarchy of subjects in education, and stands as the foundation for the whole idea of IQ.

This way of thinking about intelligence has a long history in Western culture and dates back at least to the days of the great Greek philosophers, Aristotle and Plato. Its most recent flowering was in the great period of intellectual advances of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that we know as the Enlightenment. Philosophers and scholars aimed to establish a firm basis for human knowledge and to end the superstitions and mythologies about human existence that they believed had clouded the minds of previous generations.

One of the pillars of this new movement was a firm belief in the importance of logic and critical reasoning. Philosophers argued that we should not accept as knowledge anything that could not be proved through logical reasoning, especially in words and mathematical proofs. The problem was where to begin this process without taking anything for granted that might be logically questionable. The famous conclusion of the philosopher Rene Descartes was that the only thing that he could take for granted was his own existence; otherwise, he couldn’t have these thoughts in the first place. His thesis was, “I think, therefore I am.”

The other pillar of the Enlightenment was a growing belief in the importance of evidence in support of scientific ideas – evidence that one could observe through the human senses – rather than superstition or hearsay. These two pillars of reason and evidence became the foundations of an intellectual revolution that transformed the outlook and achievements of the Western world. It led to the growth of the scientific method and an avalanche of insights, analysis, and classification of ideas, objects, and phenomena that have extended the reach of human knowledge to the depths of the earth and to the far ends of the known universe. It led too to the spectacular advances in practical technology that gave rise to the Industrial Revolution and to the supreme domination of these forms of thought in scholarship, in politics, in commerce, and in education.

The influence of logic and evidence extended beyond the ‘hard’ sciences. They also shaped the formative theories in the human sciences, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, and medicine. As public education grew in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it too was based on these newly dominant ideas about knowledge and intelligence. As mass education grew to meet the growing demands of the Industrial Revolution, there was also a need for quick and easy forms of selection and assessment. The new science of psychology was on hand with new theories about how intelligence could be tested and measured. For the most part, intelligence was defined in terms of verbal and mathematical reasoning. These were also processes that were used to quantify the results. The most significant idea in the middle of all this was IQ.

everephebe's avatar

Continued So it is that we came to think of real intelligence in terms of logical analysis: believing that rationalist forms of thinking were superior to feeling and emotion, and that the ideas that really count can be conveyed in words or through mathematical expressions. In addition, we believed that we could quantify intelligence and rely on IQ tests and standardized tests like the SAT to identify who among us is truly intelligent and deserving of exalted treatment.

Ironically, Alfred Binet, one of the creators of the IQ test, intended the test to serve precisely the opposite function. In fact, he originally designed it (on commission from the French government) exclusively to identify children with special needs so they could get appropriate forms of schooling. He never intended it to identify degrees of intelligence or ‘mental worth.’ In fact, Binet noted that the scale he created ‘does not permit the measure of intelligence, because intellectual qualities are not superposable, and therefore cannot be measured as linear surfaces are measured.’

Nor did he ever intend it to suggest that a person could not become more intelligent over time. ‘Some recent thinkers,’ he said, ‘[have affirmed] that an individual’s intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity that cannot be increased. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism; we must try to demonstrate that it is founded on nothing.’

Still, some educators and psychologists took – and continue to take – IQ numbers to absurd lengths. In 1916, Lewis Terman of Stanford University published a revision of Binet’s IQ test. Known as the Stanford-Binet test, now in its fifth version, it is the basis of the modern IQ test. It is interesting to note, though, that Terman had a sadly extreme view of human capacity. These are his words, from the textbook The Measurement of Intelligence: ‘Among laboring men and servant girls there are thousands like them feebleminded. They are the world’s “hewers of wood and drawers of water.” And yet, as far as intelligence is concerned, the tests have told the truth . . . No amount of school instruction will ever make them intelligent voters or capable voters in the true sense of the word.’

Terman was an active player in one of the darker stages of education and public policy, one there is a good chance you are unaware of because most historians choose to leave it unmentioned, the way they might a crazy aunt or an unfortunate drinking incident in college. The eugenics movement sought to weed out entire sectors of the population by arguing that such traits as criminality and pauperism were hereditary, and that it was possible to identify these traits through intelligence testing. Perhaps most appalling among the movement’s claims was the notion that entire ethnic groups, including southern Europeans, Jews, Africans, and Latinos fell into such categories. ‘The fact that one meets this type with such frequency among Indians, Mexicans, and Negroes suggests quite forcibly that the whole question of racial differences in mental traits will have to be taken up anew and by experimental methods,’ Terman wrote.

‘Children of this group should be segregated in special classes and be given instruction which is concrete and practical. They cannot master, but they can often be made efficient workers, able to look out for themselves. There is no possibility at present of convincing society that they should not be allowed to reproduce, although from a eugenic point of view they constitute a grave problem because of their unusually prolific breeding.’

The movement actually managed to succeed in lobbying for the passage of involuntary sterilization laws in thirty American states. This meant that the state could neuter people who fell below a particular IQ without their having any say in the matter. That each state eventually repealed the laws is a testament to common sense and compassion. That the laws existed in the first place is a frightening indication of how dangerously limited any standardized test is in calculating intelligence and the capacity to contribute to society.

IQ tests can even be a matter of life and death. A criminal who commits a capital offense is not subject to the death penalty if his IQ is below seventy. However, IQ scores regularly rise over the course of a generation (by as much as twenty-five points), causing the scale to be reset every fifteen to twenty years to maintain a mean score of one hundred. Therefore, someone who commits a capital offense may be more likely to be put to death at the beginning of a cycle than at the end. That’s giving a single test an awful lot of responsibility.

People can also improve their scores through study and practice. I read a case recently about a death row inmate who’d at that point spent ten years in jail on a life sentence (he wasn’t the trigger man, but he’d been involved in a robbery where someone died). During his incarceration, he took a series of courses. When re-tested, his IQ had risen more than ten points – suddenly making him eligible for execution.

Of course, most of us won’t ever be in a situation where we’re sterilized or given a lethal injection because of our IQ scores. But looking at these extremes allows us to ask some important questions, namely, What are these numbers? and, What do they truly say about our intelligence? The answer is that the numbers largely indicate a person’s ability to perform on a test of certain sorts of mathematical and verbal reasoning. In other words, they measure some types of intelligence, not the whole of intelligence. And, as noted above, the baseline keeps shifting to accommodate improvements in the population as a whole over time.

Our fascination with IQ is a corollary to our fascination with – and great dependence on – standardized testing in our schools. Teachers spend large chunks of every school year preparing their students for statewide tests that will determine everything from the child’s placement in classes the following year to the amount of funding the school will receive. These tests of course do nothing to take the child’s (or the school’s) special skills and needs into consideration, yet they have a tremendous say in the child’s scholastic fate.

downtide's avatar

Where on your scale is middle/average for the entire population? I’d be about half a point above that.

everephebe's avatar

continued ^^ The standardized test that currently has the most impact on a child’s academic future in America is the SAT. Interestingly, Carl Brigham, the inventor of the SAT, was also a eugenicist. He conceived the test for the military and, to his credit, disowned it five years later, rejecting eugenics at the same time. However, by this point, Harvard and other Ivy League schools had begun to use it as a measure of applicant acceptability. For nearly seven decades, most American colleges have used it (or the similar ACT) as an essential part of their screening processes, though some colleges are beginning to rely upon it less.
The SAT is in many ways the indicator for what is wrong with standardized tests: it only measures a certain kind of intelligence; it does it in an entirely impersonal way; it attempts to make common assumptions about the college potential of a hugely varied group of teenagers in one-size-fits-all fashion; and it drives high school juniors and seniors to spend hundreds of hours preparing for it at the expense of school study or the pursuit of other passions. John Katzman, founder of the Princeton Review, offers this stinging criticism: ‘What makes the SAT bad is that it has nothing to do with what kids learn in high school. As a result, it creates a sort of shadow curriculum that furthers the goals of neither educators nor students . . . The SAT has been sold as snake oil; it measured intelligence, verified high school GPA, and predicted college grades. In fact, it’s never done the first two at all, nor a particularly good job at the third.’
Yet students who don’t test well or who aren’t particularly strong at the kind of reasoning the SAT assesses can find themselves making compromises on their collegiate futures – all because we’ve come to accept that intelligence comes with a number. This notion is pervasive, and it extends well beyond academia. Remember the bell-shaped curve we discussed earlier? It presents itself every time I ask people how intelligent they think they are because we’ve come to define intelligence far too narrowly. We think we know the answer to the question, ‘How intelligent are you?’ The real answer, though, is that the question itself is the wrong one to ask.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

i’m smart enough to not waste my time reading @everephebe‘s entire post

everephebe's avatar

Basically the question should not be, “How intelligent are you?” rather, “How are you intelligent?” That is in which ways are you intelligent.

The above quote is from his book The Element.
And here is the link I got the quote from.

Mariah's avatar

I’m discovering I’m very “blackboard” smart, but my “hands-on” and “street” smarts leave a hell of a lot to be desired. Unfortunately for me, the kind of smarts I have are the ones that have no viable use in the real world. Due to these wide discrepancies, I have no idea where I would belong on a 0–10 sliding scale.

downtide's avatar

I’m not smart enough to understand any of @everephebe ‘s post…

ucme's avatar

Duh, wat does dis kwestan meen?
Oh rite, I cee….me is a 12ty 2. Does that add up?

Cruiser's avatar

+12 Smart Ass. :)

DominicX's avatar

Everyone should subtract at least 1 point from their self-rating to make up for the Lake Woebegon principle. :P

As for me, I really have no clue. And I’m not just saying that to be “modest”, I honestly don’t know where I would place on such a scale. I like to think that I’m above average for a variety of reasons, but don’t we all…

I’m a fan of Howard Gardner’s theory of “multiple intelligences”. So perhaps it’d be easier to rate myself in the different categories. But even then, it seems difficult to be accurate.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Smart enough to know better, stupid enough to do it anyway.

ratboy's avatar

Unquestionably 10 (caveat: I’m using base 2).

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

It depend on the subjekt. I do gud with anything realted to Engrish and gramerr, and I think Im purty smert in a few other arias.

I’m also smert enough to not grade meself on smerts, becuz that seems a little narcys egoetis like bregging.

Brian1946's avatar

Based on your scale of 0=a bit smart, then I’d give myself a 1.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I was asked to join Mensa while in college, maybe a 9.8.

AshLeigh's avatar

For my age? I’d be like a seven.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

“I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.” – Plato, in reference to Socrates.

klutzaroo's avatar


And I’m too smart to tell you why.

dxs's avatar

It’s a scale up to 10, so I question the people who rated above that…
10 for me :)

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@dxs I’d also question the people who rated 10. Unless we have some Nobel Prize winners on here I don’t know about?

dxs's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh But what is “smart” measured by…

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@dxs Generally an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) score, which is a function of Mental Age (MA). This is derived from a relative comparison of an individual’s test scores to those of an ‘average’ group of people of the same birth age.

ddude1116's avatar

I probably could be like an 8, but that’s way too much effort, so.. 3? Yeah, I’ll settle for 3.

wundayatta's avatar

So many smart people here.

Zero is average? I’d probably come in at a -2 or a -3. I know, I know. I throw the jelly demographic off it’s feed, but what can I say? You can’t keep me from coming here. Well, I guess you could. If you lobby @augustlan enough.

But that’s why I write so much. I have not got the smarts to edit things down like others, so I just throw it all out there on the wall and see what sticks. Actually, I don’t write my comments myself. I have the assistance of a random monkey generator. I mean a random word generator that uses the virtual monkey algorithm.

Then I’ve got a semantic differential engine that can distinguish between those comments that mean nothing and those that mean less. But don’t worry. It only takes a below average smart quotient to use those machines. Plus, no typing! It feeds right into the fluther typing boxes. Or whatever you call them. I’m not smart enough to know that work.

Hibernate's avatar

@most of ou

0 – a bit smart [ above mediocrity ]

That means MORE than the average Joe.

But on what you replied here 90% of you picked a very bad career [ but that happens because you over value yourself ]

Go pick something to match your smartness.

everephebe's avatar

“Unless we have some Nobel Prize winners on here I don’t know about?”
@FireMadeFlesh Well, the noble prize committee keeps calling for me, but Dr. J keeps telling them I’m busy fluthering. :D Not that I’d rate myself at all, let alone a ten out of ten.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@everephebe Well we can’t have them interacting your fluther time, can we? I think you’ve made the right choice!

@Hibernate It seems you still don’t understand why this question sucks. Let me spell it out for you.

1. You have not indicated how your scale is to be read. If zero is average, and 10 is the smartest it is possible to be, how are the points spaced? Do they reflect a classical probability distribution in the same way an IQ score does, or is it supposed to be a linear representation of absolute intelligence?
2. A person’s perception of their own intelligence is more closely linked to their self esteem than their actual intelligence. A self assured idiot will rate themselves rather highly, while an intellectual who lacks self confidence will say that they’re not all that smart compared to the people they know.
3. People are generally unaware of their own intelligence, because they tend to predominantly engage in activities to which their type of intelligence is suited. The average accountant doesn’t know whether or not they are capable of understanding quantum electrodynamics because they have never attempted it. The average physicist doesn’t know whether or not they can successfully insert deep brain stimulation electrodes, because they’ve never been educated in neurosurgery. That doesn’t make any of these people any less intelligent, just educated in different fields.
4. The term ‘smart’ is too broad to be defined as a single number. For the sake of clarity I have been assuming intelligence as measured by an IQ score, which generally includes mathematical ability, spatial reasoning, comprehension and memory recall exercises. However ‘smart’ may also refer to social awareness, fashion sense, combat ability, survival skills etc.

I’m sorry, but you simply can’t pose such a vague, ill-defined question, and then criticise people for choosing the wrong career based on their answer to said ill-defined question.

dxs's avatar

@Hibernate I answer a lot of yur posts, seeing as they are very general and anyone can relate to them, especially the scale ones (I think I said that on one of my posts). It is on the social page, and so I don’t understand why you have to be rude to all the people posting on your threads at lest approach it in a nicer way or set some sort of standards. I always thought “Smart” meant clever or sly or even sassy, not necessarily what @FireMadeFlesh thinks (intelligent).

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@dxs I only assumed ‘intelligent’ as the intended meaning because of the definition of 10 as “top dawg [sic] scientist”.

dxs's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I suppose…but “smart” still can be up for interperetation

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@dxs Certainly. I never thought of all those other options you did though!

wundayatta's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were taking this question seriously.

@dxs What if you are not smart enough to be clever or sly or sassy?

In my opinion, the more smart you say you are, the less smart you are likely to be. If you were really smart, you wouldn’t talk about your smarts.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@wundayatta Glad you know better then! That must make you at least a 6.5!

Stinley's avatar

My clothes haven’t been ironed so about 1. Not sure why scientists get chosen to be the 10. I suppose those white lab coats are quite smart.

dxs's avatar

I was exagerrating because I was full of the moment when dissing all who rated over 10 (hence the aside in the first part of the post and the smile at the end)
And your definition of smart still uses an alternate to what it can be.

AshLeigh's avatar

Can we not be civil in here? Goodness…

Hibernate's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh you still aren’t attentive because you still don’t read what I write.

0 = above mediocrity [ wich is still smart ]

And I was clear [ how smart you are or how smart others tell you that you are ]

Still a few people read the entire post.

Hibernate's avatar

In any case thanks for replies.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Hibernate Do you not understand my points? I realise 0 is above mediocrity, but you haven’t specified whether this is a linear, logarithmic, exponential, standard distribution, parabolic etc. scale. Is being better than 80% of people enough to rate as a 3, or do you need to be 3 standard deviations above ‘mediocrity’? You also weren’t clear whether you were trying to measure how ‘smart’ a person is or their perception of how ‘smart’ they are. Should they adjust their IQ score to fit into the 0–10 scale, if they initially rated over 100 in their IQ test, or should they count the number of people they can best in a game of chess? Arbitrary numbers are meaningless. For a number to accurately represent a quantity, it needs to be clearly defined. You still haven’t clarified what ‘smart’ means either.

JilltheTooth's avatar

oh, pooh. This was a fun Q to follow. Not so much, now.

filmfann's avatar

@dxs My rating was a reference to the movie “Spinal Tap”.
I hate when one has to explain the joke.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
dxs's avatar

@filmfann oh…whatever. I wasn’t being serious

bob_'s avatar

I’m fucking smart.

Magdalene's avatar

Sometimes 1, sometimes 2, sometimes 3, sometimes….......10

Well I act according to the situation and I feel that’s being the smartest..sometimes there are situations when we have to show only level 2 smartness and if I would show level 10 smartness at that time, I feel there is no one else much dumb than me! So Think twice, act wise!

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