Are IQ test makers geniuses

4. Gladwell illustrates this point by drawing his readers attention to a different kind of intelligence testing. The IQ test usually asks participants to look at a question and choose the correct answer out of a handful of answers: they “converge” on the solution. But a different kind of testing is called “divergence” testing, which involves asking a participant to, for example, list all of the uses he or she can think of for a brick, or a bed sheet. It just so happens that, at one British high school, the student with the highest IQ came up with the least number of ways to use a brick and a bed sheet, while students with lower IQs demonstrated remarkable versatility and creativity in their responses. Perhaps this is why a high IQ doesn’t guarantee a Nobel prize. You may be smart enough, but not creative enough, to achieve that level of recognition.

Gladwell is also sure to make the important point that “intelligence” (as measured by the IQ test) is of a very specific kind. The IQ test cannot measure a person’s creativity, their ability to shift gears intellectually with ease and dexterity, their ability to think creatively. And it has already been demonstrated that just because someone has a high IQ does not mean that these other kinds of intelligence are present. This is one reason that someone with an IQ of 125 is just as likely to win a Nobel prize as someone with an IQ of 185—because other kinds of intelligence matter.