Before we could talk about IQ scores, we have to think about human intelligence and about what it represents. It is difficult to define intelligence in a single sentence and cover all that it might consist of.
However, we could agree with the famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking who believed that intelligence is something of a survival mechanism, freely to interpret his definition. He claimed that intelligence is our ability to adapt to changes.
There were other similar opinions and all are perfectly plausible, we would say. Our intellect helps us understand the world around us and drive conclusions from what we see, feel and experience as a whole.
That way, intelligence in fact helps us learn from experience and learn from the mistakes we make. The point is not to repeat the mistake, but to improve our doings. We can do this, by using our given intelligence.
Over the lifetime, we gain more and more experience and our intellect serves us to take something out of it. People that are more intelligent are likely to process things more efficiently and lose less time in driving conclusions.
However, what is also important is that intelligence helps us produce ideas and things that help us adapt to changes mentioned.
Thus, intelligence certainly does have to do with creativity and inventiveness, besides general understanding, comprehension and perception.
All these are rough ideas about intelligence, though understandable. Many other factors must play a role in it.
Emotional intelligence has been more and more claimed to be even of greater significance than intelligence alone, if we take IQ scores as a measure of general intelligence.
There are examples of people with high IQ scores that are emotionally unstable or anxious or socially anxious or whatever else, so their high IQ does not present in all its potential.
On the other hand, there are people with average IQ who are self-confident, determined and focused, calm and patient enough to work on their goals and take the best out of their intellectual capacities or even to improve it.
Of course, there are many variations and combinations of both and more; these were only extreme examples.
The thing is, IQ scores alone can rarely be taken as predictors of what a person would achieve in life.
After finishing an IQ test and getting the result score, most people are curious about whether theirs is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, especially if it was somewhere within the average range.
Those with higher scores are often at loss if theirs is of use being that high, especially if they have not achieved anything in particular regarding their career or education or else.
The problem is that people generally take a wrong approach to IQ scores, considering them reliable predictors of future success.
The Complexity of Human Intelligence
Human intelligence should be observed as a complex. The approach to intelligence as multifold is probably one of the most pleasing options.
According to this view, human intelligence in fact consists of different types, or aspects, of intelligence, which all present in an individual, to a greater or a lesser degree. That said, we all possess all aspects of intelligence.
These aspects could be observed separately, but they share general intellectual ability. What are those aspects or types of intelligence?
According to multifold intelligence view, they include logical or mathematical intelligence, verbal or linguistic intelligence, visual and spatial intelligence, musical and rhythmic intelligence, physical or kinesthetic intelligence, existential or spiritual intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, natural or naturalistic intelligence.
The original author of this theory, Howard Gardner, argued that IQ tests simply do not cover all types or aspects of human intelligence.
Many would agree that IQ test are not exactly reliable, in this regard. The first IQ test and the base for all future tests was invented in the beginning of the pervious century and it was meant to test the intellectual capacity of children, so to determine which ones would need assistance during school education.
The author himself claimed it is insufficient to test overall intelligence of a human being.
The test observed three parameters, which were task processing speed, memory capacity and the level of attention. The greatest breakthrough of this initial test was definitely the proposal of the mental age category.
However, the author, Alfred Binet, himself has claimed that additional factors, such as social surroundings and conditions of growing up, for example, should be taken into account.
High IQ Scores
Speaking about IQ tests, we have to concentrate on the result provided by such tests. Let us briefly go through ranges and the labels attributed to them, according to the most widely practiced IQ test, which is WAIS or Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.
This test is currently in its fourth edition in practice, while the fifth is planned for 2020. According to the scale, we can name specific ranges. Here they are.
All scores that are below 50 points of the scale are considered ‘sever retardation’, while those from 50 to 70 are classified as ‘moderately retarded’.
Scores that fall within the range from 71 to 80 are considered of ‘borderline intellectual functioning’.
Scores from 80 to 89 are ‘below average’, while 90 to 109 are considered ‘average’ or ‘normal’ intelligence. Those from 110 to 119 are of ‘high average’ intelligence’.
Scores from 120 to 129 are considered ‘superior intelligence’. Scores above this are high. On some scales 130 is considered ‘gifted’, while on the old scales 140 and above is a score of a ‘genius’.
According some modern scales, it is score of 160 that could be labeled as ‘genius’ High IQ scores are generally difficult to interpret and classify. More tests are required to ‘interpret’ such intelligence.
High IQ scores qualify one for Mensa membership. According to Wechsler’s scale, IQ scores of 131 and above qualify for Mensa, according to Binet-Simon it is the score of 133 and above and 148 and above according to Catell’s scale.
Mensa is the oldest and the greatest international society of highly intelligent individuals, founded in London, in 1946.
The main goal of Mensa is apolitical, free from any racial and religious differences and stereotypes.
The goal is to identify and develop human intelligence for the sake of the whole humankind, to support the research about nature, characteristics and practical use of the intelligence; to provide supportive intellectual environment and social conditions that would contribute to development and improvement of human intelligence.
Mensa acts trough national societies, while those operate through local groups. It engages in various activities provides adequate stipends to its most prominent members.
IQ 158 Score Meaning
IQ score 158 definitely qualifies one for Mensa membership. Besides that, what does such a high score mean in terms of life functioning of an individual?
This score is, by many, considered a ‘genius’ score. Some of the greatest minds known in history had scores around this one.
For instance, Albert Einstein was told to have had the IQ score of 160, just as previously mentioned Stephen Hawking. Such a high IQ score means one has great chances for educational achievements.
The problem is that IQ scores do not interpret nor measure full potentials of an individual and it applies to all, including those with high scores.
In terms of IQ scores seen as predictors of future life success that is associated with educational and this with professional success, the IQ score of 158 means one would most likely have no problem in getting a PhD degree.
However, the thing people miss pout is whether the individual wants a PhD or not.
It is not obligatory to do things by the book, but as you wish. Having such a high IQ is commonly described as a two edged blade, as many with IQs from 150 to 160 would testify.
The thing is that a person with high IQ is capable of actually realizing things and making fine, sophisticated conclusions other would require many days or weeks or years even to do.
This means that a high scorer is pretty much isolated, in this regard.
People with high IQ are naturally aware of their potentials, which commonly leads to pressing yourself to do something about it.
The thing is, a high IQ scorer is indeed poised for greater achievements in comparison to those with average score, but this inner (or outer) pressure might appear burdening.
People with high IQ would naturally feel better when surrounded with others of similar level of intelligence. This usually means investing your time and effort into your education.
On the other hand, you may find satisfaction in, say, an ‘average’ life, but that entirely depends on your personality, on your emotional intelligence and other similar factors.
A high IQ as that of 158 definitely means your reasoning and your task processing speed are sophisticated, much more refined than in other people, but it does not mean you are going to be successful or that you are condemned to feel disappointed if you were not successful in terms of academic achievements, in the first place.