How Do People Figure Out They Are Geniuses?

Answered on Quora.
Do you mean Genius as a metric on the IQ scale?
If you have an IQ of 140+, you have a Genius IQ on the IQ scale. “Genius” is just a word for a metric on the scale.

71–79   - Retarded/Intellectually impaired
71–79   - Borderline/Dull
81–89   - Low Normal
91–109  - Normal
110–119 - High Normal
120–129 - Bright
130–139 - Gifted
140+    - Genius

Keep in mind that on this scale, geniuses are almost as common as weeds. 1/100 has a genius IQ. There are 3.3 million Americans with genius IQ’s.
Or do you mean genius in the way we use as someone with a truly great and exceptional mind?
It is hard to say, but if you are so damn smart or talented that your friends or even strangers start saying you’re a genius, then maybe you are one. This is not a label that one calls oneself. It is a label that is determined by the opinions of others. If people you know are calling you a genius, you deserve to be damn proud of yourself.

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12 thoughts on “How Do People Figure Out They Are Geniuses?”

  1. Important to keep in mind that these are just arbitrary markers. Sort of like the legal difference between a child and an adult. We’ve just picked a number and said this is what a genius is. But this is a continuum with no clear delineation between very smart and genius. What labels we put on it may not be of much importance. More important though is what you actually do with your brainpower.

    1. Tulio, you are the guy with the 125 IQ who is embarrassed by his score, thinks it is too low, and thinks he is not that smart.
      Um, do you realize that a 125 IQ is in the top 6% of the country?! In other words, you are smarter than 94% of the population, and I am smarter than 99.9% of population. Do you honestly there is a difference? You fail to realize that at the high end, the differences do not matter very much. For a long time, I have been trying to figure out how I am smarter than you are, but I have never been able to do it. Most 125 IQ people seem to be right on my level and they are 1.3 standard deviations below me!
      Also I would like to point out that with a 125 IQ, you are smart enough to do anything you want to do. You can even easily get a PhD, as the average PhD has a 125 IQ. In fact, you could get an MD too, as the average physician has a 125 IQ.
      I had a therapist who had a 160 IQ once. That is almost a full standard deviation above me, yet I always struggled to figure out how he was smarter than I was. He was at the very least on my level, and there were a number of times when I had to explain things to him!
      Most everyone from ~125-~160 IQ seems to be pretty much on my level.
      I hope you realize that the differences pretty much wash out at the high levels and it is very hard to distinguish even people who are 22 IQ points apart!
      Bottom line is you are comparing one very smart person with another very smart person. How can you tell which one is smarter? And does it even matter?

    2. No need to feel insecure about that top 6% IQ of yours, Tulio, although I know you do.
      You know what? At the high end, everything seems to wash together. I have dealt with a lot of people with IQ’s say 125-140. That is anywhere from .5 to 1.5 SD’s below mine. You know what? I can’t see much difference between them and me. I have met two women with 156 IQ’s and although one of them was probably the fastest person I have ever met, I didn’t feel like she was smarter than I was. I had a therapist with a 160 IQ, and I didn’t think he was smarter than I was.
      It seems like once you get into the really high IQ’s around top 6% or so, you’ve just got a bunch of insanely smart as Hell people, and even though their scores are different, it’s hard to see much difference in them because they’re all blazingly smart. The differences are not obvious at the high end of the IQ range.

      1. I think the differences will be in the speed in which cognitively rigorous tasks can be completed. I cannot for the life of me understand what the hell string theory is no matter how much it’s explained to me. A doctor I once had who I presume was smarter than me said he cannot understand it either. I think you need a Stephan Hawking level IQ to hash that sort of stuff out.

  2. That IQ thingie is ambiguous at best. I once read something on IQs of various college majors. I’ve a geophysics degree and a Math degree and according to that listing, I’ve an IQ of 130. I don’t feel I’m smarter than the people I know though I do think I’ve a wide scope of interest and that enables me to engage in lots of discussion.
    Once someone,an engineer/lawyer, asked me how to disprove the ‘hollow moon’ conspiracy theory. I immediately gave him a satisfactory answer.
    Would like to see yours.

      1. I would like to see how other people disprove the ‘hollow moon”(inhabited by ET aliens) conspiracy theory.

  3. Tulio, I would say it’s difficult to tell you how to feel about it. But if your height would be like your IQ, you would be a 74inch guy in a country where the average is 70. Robert would be a 78. And his very gifted doctor would be 80.7 . We don’t have tool to measure beyond that even if Mega society people claims to be taller than 82.7. In reality, most of those 30 people are probably below that and there are lots of people somewhere in the world who are above 90.
    Then how you feel with your 74 depends a lot more on your personality traits – that you can’t do much neither – than about your 74 inches mutatis mutandis (wealth, beauty, money, health, humour, happiness, you name it )

    1. Tulio, you are like a guy who is 6’4 in a society where the average man is 6 feet tall. And you are mad about that and angry and worried because you want to be 6’8.
      Nigga please.
      Thinking of it that way, does it really seem so rational now?

    2. Hey Bruno, I hate to say it, but you have to donate. All regular commenters have to donate $10 minimum. That will give you lifetime commenting priveleges here. If you donate $20, you can get into the Crime Forum where we try to solve notorious murders. Also a $20 donation makes you eligible to be a guest author if we think your stuff is good enough. But be careful, we have high standards.
      If $10 is a hardship for you, contact me and let me know and we will see what we can do about that. If you don’t have Paypal, there are other options. I know you are in France, but I get donations and money from overseas all the time. Donate button is at the top under the Support Beyond Highbrow header.
      I really love your comments here Bruno, and I would hate to see you go.
      Thank you for your cooperation.

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