What is 50 IQ

SZ: Will you tell us your IQ?

Matthias Moehl: I don't even know exactly what it is anymore and I would have to look. It is somewhere between 130 and 145. From a value of 130 you can become a member of Mensa. The test measures to 145.

What if someone is smarter? Sharon Stone supposedly has an IQ of 154.

In theory, the upper limit of the scale is open. To measure higher values, one would have to develop more difficult tests. But nobody in Germany has solved the previous test completely correctly.

It is said of Goethe that he had an IQ of 170.

It is completely dubious to say something like that. Goethe never took a test. Of course, like da Vinci or Einstein, he was exceptionally intelligent. They were exceptional geniuses. But you cannot assign any IQ value to them retrospectively.

In England a two-year-old was recently accepted into the cafeteria club. Allegedly she has an IQ of 152.

It's not entirely clear to me how that was proven. On the one hand, you need a lot of test candidates in order to have a reasonable scale that shows who is below average and who is above average. But linguistically, I also imagine it to be difficult with a two-year-old. Our youngest member in Germany is four years old.

They offer intelligence tests across Germany. How many Germans do you think have a chance of becoming a cafeteria member?

We're trying to get the smartest two percent. That is 1.6 million people in Germany. So an IQ of 130 or higher is nothing special.

What does the IQ value say anyway?

It shows how well someone can think abstractly. Other skills such as emotional intelligence are not included. The average intelligence is 100, from an IQ of 130 one is considered highly gifted. But you shouldn't overinterpret that. That says nothing at all about humans.

Can you train such tests?

You can get used to the situation so that you don't get too excited. Test anxiety naturally reduces performance. But the tasks themselves cannot be practiced. You should check how you can find your way in unknown contexts. You have to have an eye for it.

But surely there is a learning effect once you understand how the tasks are structured and what is required?

You can certainly get used to the nature of the task. But you will not be able to increase your IQ value from 80 to 130 by participating several times.

Some gifted children have difficulties in getting through school. Are there also highly gifted people who fail the test despite their above-average intelligence?

The phenomenon of the "underachiever" does exist, but most of them get through school and university well. Of course, it can happen that you take the test from various personal dispositions, for example because of high test anxiety, under your own means.

Could you and other cafeteria members solve the intelligence tasks published by sueddeutsche.de in no time at all and without errors?

We'd all have to think twice. And many would certainly make mistakes.

How intelligent do you have to be to come up with an intelligence test?

That's a good question. The test was developed at the University of Vienna, among others. I don't even know how high the IQ of the professors who were involved is.