Are IQ scores biased?

Who tops Goethe's IQ?

Today nobody can say with certainty whether Goethe really had the fabulous IQ value of 185. Albert Einstein is said to have had a value of 172, Copernicus only 105. Such estimates are interesting but controversial. Because none of these geniuses has undergone a test to measure the intelligence quotient (IQ). It was only the psychology of our time that developed refined procedures for this. According to this, one is considered to be normally gifted with a value between 90 and 110. But who knows their IQ? Hamburger Abendblatt, Haspa, DGZ DekaBank and Hochschulsport invite Hamburg's students to the CCH for "Unicus IQ" (named after Haspa's student service package), the first IQ test of its kind, and all of that for a good cause. Anyone who registers can participate. 1500 places are available. "Unicus IQ" is an entertaining spectacle, moderated by TV entertainer Jörg Pilawa, in which everyone knows their IQ value in the end. The top ten will be rewarded. The prices: a Deka-Smart and Deka investment fund shares. Can intelligence be measured? The Frenchman Alfred Binet was one of the first scientists to try it. In 1905 the psychology professor had pupils of certain age groups solve math problems on behalf of the Ministry of Education and thus came to an "intelligent age". If an eight-year-old was able to do the tasks that he had assigned to the "intelligence age" nine, i.e. the requirements of nine-year-olds, he assumed he was above average. Only the German William Stern set the value 100 as an average, age-appropriate measure according to the formula: Age of intelligence divided by actual age, times 100 gives the IQ. An average developed child then got the IQ of 100. What does the IQ test do? IQ can be measured with test questions - but also intelligence? A person's ability to think and recognize relationships depends on more factors than can be measured in a method that is no matter how thorough. In addition, there is the daily form of the test person. And: an IQ value alone does not say anything about career opportunities. Because many skills can hardly be recorded in a standardized questionnaire: creativity, artistic, sporting skills or the art of being able to motivate and lead other people. The psychologist and intelligence researcher Joy Paul Guilford comes up with over 100 different factors that need to be tested to determine intelligence. In Germany alone there are 80 different IQ tests on the market, some with different scales. Ultimately, the IQ only describes the differences within the group tested. He says little about individual abilities. A student with a high IQ score can fail in his studies, a fellow student with an average score can pass a good exam. An intelligence test, however, not only measures skills, but also knowledge and education, for example in tasks on vocabulary or adding to images, which are often linked to our cultural habits. At the beginning of the 20th century, for example, routine tests among immigrants in the USA found Italians with below-average values. The next generation hit the American average - evidence of cultural bias from the test method. Who compiles the test questions for "Unicus IQ"? The Dortmund graduate psychologist and book author Dr. Wolfgang Reichel selects the 81 tasks from 14 categories. Reichel was also the "test father" of the RTL television show "The Great IQ Test" in September last year. 9.42 million viewers had watched Günther Jauch's four-hour marathon on their home screen, 100,000 fellow thinkers clicked on via the Internet. In the large student test at the CCH, the questions are answered using a multiple-choice procedure. A digital voting system enables the results to be evaluated immediately. The ten participants with the highest value will be presented during the event and in the subsequent Hamburger Abendblatt. Everyone else can find out their personal IQ after the event on the Internet at You can read the questions and answers of the test on Tuesday, June 4th in the "Knowledge" journal of the Hamburger Abendblatt. How would physics genius Albert Einstein pass such a test today? The fact is: he was a late developer, spoke sluggishly, later said of himself: "My main weakness was a bad memory for words and texts." So: Even a bad test result does not rule out a later Nobel Prize.