There is a long list of news headlines about children in various countries who reportedly have higher IQs than Albert Einstein, the theoretical physicist whose ideas have altered humanity’s understanding of reality and led to numerous inventions, from television. to lasers.
There wasn’t an adequate test to measure Einstein’s IQ
The problem is that no one can say for sure what Einstein’s IQ was. There is no indication that it has ever been tested. In fact, IQ testing was still in its infancy in the early 1900s, when Einstein first emerged as a scientific luminary. Since then, testing has evolved significantly. The maximum IQ score assigned by WAIS-IV, a test commonly used today, is 160. A score of 135 or higher places a person in the 99th percentile of the population. News articles often put Einstein’s IQ at 160 to 160, although it is unclear what this estimate is based on.
A fundamental problem with estimates I have seen is that they tend to confuse brainpower with domain-specific results, & # x201D; explains Simonton, who in 2006 published a study in the journal Political Psychology in which he estimated the IQ of 42 US presidents. “Of course Einstein was the greatest theoretical physicist of the 20th century, so he must have had superlative IQ.”
But Simonton adds, & # x201C; if you looked closely at Einstein’s early in intellectual development, his IQ seems far less surprising. & # x201D;
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Einstein’s thought experiment when he was a teenager helped scientists determine his IQ
Jonathan Wai, an assistant professor of educational policy and psychology at the University of Arkansas who writes on the study of intelligence for psychology today , argues that Einstein could have scored highly, given the skills he has demonstrated in his work. Wai points to Einstein’s famous teenage thought experiment, in which he visually imagined chasing a ray of light. This, together with the scientists & # x2019; discovering in the 1990s that the part of Einstein’s brain that processes three-dimensional visualization was significantly larger than typical, suggests that Einstein had great spatial talent, explains.
Wai also states that Einstein’s choice of scientific specialty, by itself, also indicates that he would have scored highly. People who earn PhDs in areas such as physics tend to have extremely high IQs; a combination of mathematical, verbal and spatial reasoning skills, & # x201D; Says Wai. & # x201C; This was demonstrated in a stratified random sample of the population, as well as within a sample of gifted individuals deliberately selected to be in the top one percent skill or IQ. This suggests that if someone is a physicist, they are very likely to be well above average in IQ compared to the general population.
Steve Jobs’ IQ was on par with Einstein’s
That could have put Einstein at least on par with the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Wai estimated that Jobs had a high IQ of 160, based on Jobs who once said that by fourth grade, he had tested at a level equivalent to the second year.
The idea of attempting to estimate the IQ of long-time intellectual giants is not new. In 1926, researcher Catharine M. Cox published IQ estimates of 301 historical figures, including Charles Dickens, Galileo Galilei, and Ludwig van Beethoven based on accounts of their youthful traits and achievements.
Some wonder if it is necessary to calculate Einstein’s IQ. & # x201C; I don’t see the value in this type of exercise, & # x201D; says Robert B. McCall, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.
& # x201C; Famous people are famous for their deeds and we should celebrate them for the most part. Furthermore, many of their contributions may only be modestly related to the IQ tested.
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