Tuesday, July 28, 2009


As a general rule, people are not very clever. This can come as a surprise to those of us who are blessed with cleverosity, largely because a) we tend to mix with other clever people and b) we don't often stop to ask random strangers difficult logic questions. But nevertheless it's true.

As a case in point, take this quiz. Go on; it's almost laughably easy. However 90% of people who took the quiz got at least one question wrong. Nearly half got more than five questions wrong. And one out of three quiz takers with a tertiary education didn't know what a laser is! Unless the demographic sample of college graduates was skewed toward people who graduated from The Ponds Institute and Hollywood Upstairs Medical College, this is almost unbelievable.

Of course it's valid to argue that this quiz doesn't test intelligence; merely scientific awareness. But it's also valid to note that the two have a strong correlation.

I love this sort of statistical data and the fascinating factoids that one can harvest from them. For example, while the average score for women was 0.5 points lower than the average score for men, women scored higher than men in the three medical-based questions, as opposed to astronomy, physics, technology and earth sciences. And even more interestingly, these three questions were the only ones in which, on average, women scored higher. The ramifications for male and female psychology, neurology and/or priorities are intriguing.

But for me overall this quiz would tend to suggest two pertinent things. One, the majority of the population is almost too dumb to function. And two, the fact that they do function very successfully means that intelligence is not as important as we smarty-pantses might think.


Anonymous Chubby Zebra said...

According to the test, I'm full of intelligentism too. Where's my certificate?

11:55 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Your Certificate of Smartitude is in the mail!

12:22 AM  
Blogger hazelblackberry said...

But would I get 100% in a general knowledge quiz for surviving a winter in the tundra? It doesn't really mean anything, does it?

11:29 AM  
Blogger MC Etcher said...

As one would expect as a reader of this most excellent of blogs, I received a 100%.

Yes, each question was very simple, and I feel a simple pride.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous TFSM1 said...

I thought Pluto was a cartoon dog.
btw, have you discovered vintage ads yet? Right up your street...

5:49 AM  

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