Mensa – does it mean anything to join?

posted 1 week ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
1466 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

No, I don’t think qualifying for Mensa means much, unless you doubted your intelligence previously and haven’t taken other tests like it.  People who qualify for Mensa are clustered exactly where you think they are in society, and that isn’t the accolade they mention. 

Intelligence and social skills aren’t necessarily at odds with one another. After all, elite politicians and CEOs aren’t known for low intelligence or poor social skills.

You should be proud of your intelligence, not necessarily the Mensa invite. It is a nice chit to throw out at a chauvinist, though!

Post # 3
Member
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2021

My fiancé is in Mensa! Honestly, I think the meaning of the group is what you want it to be. I think my fiancé qualified based on the IQ scores he received as a child. When he joined, he was seeking some community with people who thought like him. He joined the online local Mensa group for our area, but unfortunately all he found there were a bunch of men (seriously, it was pretty much all men) who were egotistical and arrogant and totally insufferable. I think that a lot of the people who are active in Mensa are people who are insecure in their intelligence and need constant affirmation that they’re smart… my fiancé and I are both PhD students, and the community within our program at our university is much more supportive and kind, even though it’s probably full of people just as smart as any Mensa chapter. Your local group might not be that way, though! I’ve heard about Mensa chapters that are really fun and who do a lot of good service for the community. If you’re seeking that experience too, you should definitely check out your local group and see if it’s a good fit for you. 

Post # 4
Member
9105 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@timonandpumba:  I am not aware of any studies that say intelligent people have more social problems, or that people with social problems have higher intelligence. I imagine the cross-over is proportional. If you feel there is some relationship between the two, you could join some Mensa interest groups or a local chapter and see how you get along with fellow members. I think you should be prepared for things to be quite similar to your interactions with others up to this point though. I have no doubt that you are intelligent, but I don’t think that’s why you have trouble with social cues and obsessive behavior such as continuing to give this jackass space in your head YEARS after you knew he was a jackass.

Post # 6
Member
3868 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

I think joining Mensa means something to the people who have joined Mensa. I don’t think it means much to anyone else. If you are interested in joining a local chapter then I think it’s worth a try. You might meet great people who are fun to be around and talk to, or as PP shared, you might meet a bunch of insufferable people whose whole existence is grounded in being a Mensa member.

Post # 7
Member
378 posts
Helper bee

It’s just a weird flex that doesn’t really matter.

Post # 8
Member
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - City, State

It doesn’t mean anything. I know people in Mensa and they are not any smarter or more accomplished than other smart, accomplished people who are not in Mensa.  The most successful people in the world are not in Mensa.  Plus, there’s much more to success than IQ. Success is also largely the result of qualities like adaptability, perseverance, learning from one’s mistakes, emotional intelligence, etc. I noticed that you doubted yourself when you got kicked out of med school and did not do well on tests. Those things are unfortunately more reflective of ability to succeed in the real world than Mensa membership. You should look into what happened there to address whatever held you back rather than tell yourself, “It’s ok, I’m a Mensa.”

Post # 9
Member
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2021

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@yogahammy:  As a teacher and education scholar, I want to push back on the notion that tests are a reflection of any kind of ability to succeed in the “real world.” The tests you take in school don’t really mean anything at all. Neither do the grades you earn. Test scores and grades are just snapshots in time and don’t reflect how smart or capable somebody is. Not being a fit for a certain academic program, such as medical school, also doesn’t reflect on someone’s capability or intelligence. 

Post # 10
Member
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - City, State

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@bluejellyfish:  I said that tests are a *better* reflection of real world success than Mensa, not the ultimate reflection of chances for success. *Reading comprehension* Also, sorry, but grades and school success are *some* reflection of intelligence and suitability for a particular career. Would you like to see a “doctor” who didn’t graduate med school or a “lawyer” who couldn’t graduate law school? Didn’t think so.

Post # 11
Member
891 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

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@bluejellyfish:  Heh, the tests you take and grades you earn mean nothing? Boy, tell that to the students who worked hard as hell to get an A in some challenging upper-level programs; no doubt they’ll agree with you that their hard work and A meant “nothing.” 

Post # 12
Member
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2021

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@yogahammy:  I totally agree that grades in a particular program can be a reflection of sutability for a particular career! But I do not agree that grades reflect intelligence or general intellectual capacity in any way. Some of the smartest students I’ve ever had were also the students with the worst grades. Just because a person is intelligent doesn’t mean she’s good at channeling her intelligence in a way that reflects well on a test, you know? 

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@obviousanonymous:  I earned an A in every class I took in high school, in every class I took for my bachelor’s degree (except for one, I think it was Theories of Terrorism…), every class I took in my master’s program, and every class I’ve taken so far in my PhD program. And some of those graduate courses have been very tough classes, and I worked my butt off, and continue to work my butt off, to do well in those clasess (I’m typing this comment as I take a break writing a transcription for my qualitative methods course). But my grades mean absolutely nothing. They don’t say anything about me as a person or my intelligence. 

School doesn’t ever measure intelligence. School only matters how good you are at doing school. An IQ test only measures how good you are at taking IQ tests. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not “intelligence” is a real quality that can even be measured at all. 

Post # 13
Member
891 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

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@bluejellyfish:  You should probably stop conflating the ideas that grades “mean nothing” with grades “not being an indicator of intelligence.” 

Additionally, if your grades mean nothing to YOU, that’s fine and dandy — but good grades can mean something to someone else, and it’s sure as shit not for you to decide that someone else’s grades mean “nothing.” 

Post # 14
Member
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2021

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@obviousanonymous:  I totally agree! Everyone has the right to determine what’s meaningful to them. All I’m saying is that the meaningful part of the grade should be understood as coming from the hard work and learning it reflects. Not that a person who received a A is smarter than a person who received a C. 

Post # 15
Member
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - City, State

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@bluejellyfish:  Well, maybe it doesn’t mean that A is overall smarter then the person who received the C, but in that particular task, the A WAS smarter. 

Academic success says a lot about someone’s intelligence, perseverance, ability to commit and sacrifice if that person wants to succeed in an academic field. Sure, some of the kids who you saw get bad grades were overall intelligent. Perhaps they excel at other non academic things. That doesn’t mean that the academically successful students’ accomplishments mean nothing except what it means to them. Their success objectively means something. It’s actually kind of frightening that you are an academic scholar but conflate so many concepts, drawing logically faulty conclusions. 

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