Genius And Near Genius

Intelligence tests have not been in use long enough to enable us to define genius

definitely in terms of I Q. The following two cases are offered as among the highest

test records of which the writer has personal knowledge. It is doubtful whether more

than one child in 10,000 goes as high as either. One case has been

reported, however, in which the I Q was not far from 200. Such a

record, if reliable, is certainly phenomenal.

_E. F. Russian boy, age 8-5; mental age 13; I Q approximately

155._ Mother is a university student apparently of very superior

intelligence. E. F. has a sister almost as remarkable as

himself. E. F. is in the sixth grade and at the head of his

class. Although about four grades advanced beyond his

chronological age he is still one grade retarded! He could

easily carry seventh-grade work. In all probability E. F. could

be made ready for college by the age of 12 years without injury

to body or mind. His mother has taken the only sensible course;

she has encouraged him without subjecting him to


E. F. was selected for the test as probably one of the brightest

children in a city of a third of a million population. He may

not be the brightest in that city, but he is one of the three or

four most intelligent the writer has found after a good deal of

searching. He is probably equaled by not more than one in

several thousand unselected children. How impatiently one waits

to see the fruit of such a budding genius!

_B. F. Son of a minister, age 7-8; mental age 12-4; I Q 160._

Vocabulary 7000 (12 years). This test was not made by the

writer, but by one of his graduate students. The record included

the _verbatim_ responses, so that it was easy to verify the

scoring. There can be no doubt as to the substantial accuracy

of the test. This I Q of 160 is the highest one in the Stanford

University records. B. F. has excellent health, normal play

interests, and is a favorite among his playfellows. Parents had

not thought of him as especially remarkable. He is only in the

third grade, and is therefore about three grades below his

mental age.

It is especially noteworthy that not one of the children we have

described with I Q above 130 has ever had any unusual amount or kind of

home instruction. In most cases the parents were not aware of their very

great superiority. Nor can we give the credit to the school or its

methods. The school has in most cases been a deterrent to their

progress, rather than a help. These children have been taught in classes

with average and inferior children, like those described in the first

part of this chapter. Their high I Q is only an index of their

extraordinary cerebral endowment. This endowment is for life. There is

not the remotest probability that any of these children will deteriorate

to the average level of intelligence with the onset of maturity. Such an

event would be no less a miracle (barring insanity) than the development

of an imbecile into a successful lawyer or physician.