Grey power: Battle of the brains

From BBC News:Brain

The problem with intelligence has been to find ways of fairly assessing both types – and many others. Try these two questions:

    • How do you define “fallacy”?
    • If I say to you a random series of 9 numbers, for example: 7, 4, 8, 7, 3, 6, 6, 2, 5, can you repeat them back to me in reverse order?

Can intelligence really be measured by tests like these? The Horizon programme took seven people who are all experts in their own field and put them through a range of “intelligence” tests. We had Quantum physicist Seth Lloyd; ex-Wall Street Trader Nathan Haselbauer, who runs the International High IQ society; musical prodigy Alex Prior; artist Stella Vine; RAF fighter pilot Garry Stratford; international chess grandmaster Susan Polgar and dramatist/critic Bonnie Greer.

The IQ-type tests produced predictable results. The IQ expert and Quantum physicist came out on top. But what about “creativity”? It is not really tested by an IQ test. We assessed creativity by using a test developed in the 60s: “Name as many uses as you can for a sock in 10 minutes.” The intriguing thing about this “alternative uses” test is that it is not just the number of alternative uses that count, it is the originality of them and the extravagance of the description that also count. So a sock that could be used as a “bikini bottom, tied on with string – provided you were waxed – and that you were daring”, suggested by Bonnie Greer, gets a good score.

More here.