The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
Hoaxes Throughout History
Middle AgesEarly Modern1700s1800-1840s1850-1890s
1900s1910s1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s21st Century2014
IQ Challenge
Status: Practical joke
I evidently don't spend enough time on LiveJournal, because if I did I would have known about the IQ Challenge sooner. (It was evidently quite popular on LiveJournal.) As it is, I completely missed out on it, and now it's over.

What it was (or claimed to be) was an IQ test offered by IQ-Challenge.com. Once you completed the test, it produced a small graphic showing your score that you could post on your site. The joke was that the test gave everyone a high score. But the graphic that you posted on your site would (unbeknownst to you) show a low score. You can imagine the results this produced. Here's one person's description:
a lot of people got really cocky about how they scored on the IQ test. I saw one woman post the results on her blog and beneath the image she wrote something like: “Wow, I scored a 155! [My friend] only scored a 70. I guess I scored so much higher due to life experience and being a good test taker.” But the image said she only scored a 70-something as well.
Someone else’s blog post said, “I’m superior! I always knew I was brilliant!”
Just check out Google blogsearch…there are a ton of posts, mostly on Livejournal, of people proudly showing off their phony IQ scores. A few people even said, “This is a much better and more accurate IQ test than the one at Tickle.com!” Even though you could have guessed any question wrong on the phony test and have scored a 150+.
The weird thing is that I bet those people who believed they scored well on the test will continue to believe they have above-average intelligence, even after finding out that the test results were meaningless. That's just the way the mind works.

The test is no longer online, although I think whoever created it should keep it up. It would be like a permanent trap for the gullible.
Psychology
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 10, 2006


Big Gary, you're very correct. First, the capacity to learn does improve a bit when learning. That's why I always cringe when our psychologist says that you can't get better at memorization. Even putting mnemonic devices aside, frequent memorization will improve the skill. But, I think these changes in natural situations are rather minimal.

Also, back to cultural bias a little, this gem of soon-to-be cultural bias just hit me: one of the items in a popular cognitive test involves identifying missing parts of a drawing. One picture, for example, shows a telephone without the cord leading to the wall. How long will it be before children growing up in homes sans landline telephones are unable to identify the missing cord? Cultural bias!
Posted by Big Gary  on  Fri May 12, 2006  at  08:58 PM
This is hilarious!

At first I thought the posts by Jim Smoth, intjudo, bhubba, and Lonewatchman were all serious...
...Then I realized they are all intentional works of irony that discuss the issue of "true" intelligence on a forum about a hoax IQ test. The characters are very well developed too:

we have Jim, the "Don't hate me because I'm smart, hate me because I'm arrogant and trying not to be." guy.

Then theres bhubba, the "I don't care, but I'll post my opinion because I obviously do care." guy.

...And the "reaction #2" guy, Lonewatchman. I suspect the Lonewatchman post was posted by Jim Smoth just to give the story good ironic balance. I'll have to wait for the next episode to find out for sure, though.

Aaaaaaand my favorite character so far: intjudo! The "I'm above all this, but I still want all you morons to know I'm smart, so I'll insult you by analyzing your insults, but I'll make it only COVERTLY insulting." guy.

Great material, guys! Keep the humor coming!

P.S. (I'm hoping for a walk-on guest appearance as "Bitter and cynical, but trying to hide it." guy, or maybe "Overly-sarcastic doofus that doesn't really understand what we are all talking about." guy.)
Posted by Medicine_Soup  on  Fri May 19, 2006  at  08:27 PM
i love it
Posted by Henry  in  philadephia pa  on  Sun May 20, 2007  at  01:41 PM
Wow, that is really something. I can't believe that so many people were tricked with this.

On another note, I give serious props to the guy who thought of this. There is some serious creativity.
Posted by karn patel  in  United States  on  Sat Jul 19, 2008  at  05:38 PM
High IQ is one thing.

Low self-esteem is another.

Mensa exists to serve the needs of the latter.
Posted by Jones  in  Australia  on  Sun Oct 31, 2010  at  02:37 AM
=)
Posted by chris  in  Costa Rica  on  Wed Mar 16, 2011  at  12:05 AM
Comments: Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.