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An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range (Part Six)

May 22, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 23.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Nineteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: May 22, 2020

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,162

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Matthew Scillitani, member of The Glia Society and The Giga Society, is a web developer and SEO specialist living in North Carolina. He is of Italian and British lineage, and is predominantly English-speaking. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at East Carolina University, with a focus on neurobiology and a minor in business marketing. He’s previously worked as a research psychologist, data analyst, and writer, publishing over three hundred papers on topics such as nutrition, fitness, psychology, neuroscience, free will, and Greek history. You may contact him via e-mail at mattscil@gmail.comHe discusses: intelligence as a global character; gap in the research before; test reliability and validity; caution about highest scores, highest measured scores, and so on; and other things to keep in mind.

Keywords: Giga Society, Glia Society, high-IQ, high-range, intelligence, Matthew Scillitani.

An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range: Member, Giga Society; Member, Glia Society (Part Six)[1],[2]*

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: This is the final session before the release of the book. Let’s wrap some things up, about half or a teensy bit more of the known Giga Society membership agreed to and conducted interviews over the period of about 4-5 years. As always, interviewees co-copyright the materials and can distribute for their own independent purposes. Now, this period of research comes to a close, except for additional versions of e-books or new e-books. What makes intelligence a global character of human thought when measured in the relevant reliable ranges of 40 to 160 IQ at S.D.15?

Matthew Scillitani: Intelligence is a very important feature that, I.Q. tests aside, we can all determine by communication alone. I think everyone knows that qualities like beauty, intelligence, and athleticism are important. But, because intelligence is the only one of those that can’t be perceived with our eyes, it’s harder to find, and easier to fake.

When someone’s lacking positive qualities the instinct is to keep searching until they find one in themselves. Lots of people, especially young people, focus on their intelligence (or lack thereof) when that happens. It’s made easier that intelligence is quantifiable on a familiar scale from I.Q. tests.

2. Jacobsen: If anyone has recommendations of IQ 160+ people – get them in now, this is the time for the interviews in the Summer (ending August 22). In addition, if any have IQs less than 160 S.D.15 while having some unique or special quality, then, please, send appropriate recommendations of others or oneself, I want to have the voices presented here. By the way, on the high range testers, why was this such a huge gap in the research before?

Scillitani: Small sample size, both in the tests and participants. Not many mainstream tests attempt to measure above I.Q. 160 (15 S.D.) anymore, and few people are willing (or seek) to take high-range I.Q. tests from fear of not doing well. Finding high-quality I.Q. tests with good reliability along with the participants to take those tests is hard. Paul Cooijmans formed the Giga Society as an incentive for test candidates to take more tests and do their best.

3. Jacobsen: Some important lessons for everyone to bear in mind here. The mainstream IQ tests – WAIS-IV, Stanford-Binet, Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices, etc. – ranging IQ 40-160, depending on the test, (160 would be perfect verbal and quantitative scores on the GRE, for example, or near it accounting for margins of error) on S.D. 15 averaged on 100 are the most reliable by far and with a trained professional psychometrician present or administered by a professional psychologist. There are sincere and honest efforts for above 4-sigma. However, as I have placed as a cautionary note in most or all relevant contexts of interviews recently, there should be a consideration. Some base their entire identities on one, maybe two, test scores, or a few media reportages years ago, and then proclaim themselves greatest mind in the history of the human race, or simply lie. Several cases of this abound in the niche community. It’s on the documentary record. Any thoughts here? I am breaking questions here, as I believe more needs statement.

Scillitani: It’s not good when someone bases their entire identity on an I.Q. test score, especially when it’s a jackpot score or from an unreliable test. Unfortunately, I’ve come across a fair share of high-range I.Q. test constructors who charge an incredible amount of money and clearly give scores much higher than the test candidate’s true level. When someone’s identity is really weak, it’s dangerous for them to take I.Q. tests, especially from those test makers. If the mean I.Q. of a test is 150-160 (15 S.D.), there is little variance in scores, it’s self-scoring, or allows re-tests then it’s safe to assume that test should be ignored.

There’s not really a point in worrying about who has the highest I.Q. or not because, besides low accuracy in that range, we don’t know if or when there are diminishing returns with higher scores.

4. Jacobsen: One common example as I like to note: Only five societies make the cut based on Wikipedia: Mensa International, Intertel, Triple Nine Society, Prometheus Society, and Mega Society. That’s for a good reason. One reason came from members of the high-IQ communities, some, faking names/having pseudonyms and trying to warp the editorial record of Wikipedia in their favour. Some of them got caught and heavily penalized internally to Wikipedia. That’s publicly known, on the record, and most relevant people remain aware of this, or can be informed with some research. That’s well-known, and often lied about to their relevant constituencies. That’s nothing surprising, ordinary human behaviour. [Ed. It can get a lot worse – eyes wide-open folks.] With that covered, it becomes a sort of “move along, nothing to see here” phenomenon. Next! So, on another large trend, there are, for example, 84 active high-IQ societies listed in the World Intelligence Network of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis (Founder and President) and Dr. Manahel Thabet (Vice-President) here: https://www.iqsociety.org/iq-societies/iq-societies-alphabetical-list/. Wikipedia deserves kudos for its public service and narrowing down the listing to the safer and reliable societies, including the Guinness Book of World Records, as Dr. Ronald Hoeflin noted, about the Guinness Book of World Records and some of the contexts of the high-IQ societies, to me:

The Guinness Book of World Records abandoned its “Highest IQ” entry in 1989 because the new editor thought (correctly) that it is impossible to compare people’s IQs successfully at world-record level…

..Leta Speyer and Marilyn vos Savant, both of whom I had dated for a time, had been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having world-record IQs of 196 and of 228, respectively, Marilyn having displaced Leta in the 1986 edition. Leta felt that the 228 IQ of Marilyn was fake, but I was aware that these childhood scores could go well beyond 200 IQ because they fail to conform to the normal curve that Francis Galton had hypothesized as the shape of the intelligence curve in his seminal book Hereditary Genius (first edition 1869, second edition 1892). I was unable to contact Alicia Witt to see if she would be interested in joining the Mega Society. I should note that the three key founders of the ultra-high-IQ societies (99.9 percentile or above) were Chris Harding, Kevin Langdon, and myself. Harding founded his first such society in 1974, Langdon in 1978, and myself in 1982. Mensa, the granddaddy of all high-IQ societies with a 98th percentile minimum requirement, was founded in 1945 or 1946 by Roland Berrill and L. L Ware, and Intertel, with a 99th percentile minimum requirement, was founded in 1966 or 1967 by Ralph Haines. I don’t care to quibble about the precise dates that Mensa and Intertel were founded, so I have given two adjacent dates for each. In its article “High IQ Societies” Wikipedia lists just 5 main high-IQ societies: Mensa, Intertel, the Triple Nine Society, the Prometheus Society, and the Mega Society (minimum percentile requirements: 98, 99, 99.9, 99.997, and 99.9999, respectively; or one-in 50, one-in-100, one-in-1,000, one-in-30,000, and one-in-1,000,000; dates founded: roughly 1945, 1966, 1979, 1982, and 1982; founders: Berrill and Ware, Haines, Kevin Langdon, Ronald K. Hoeflin, and Ronald K. Hoeflin, respectively.

In short, any “Highest IQ in the world” claim is highly dubious – never believe it – based on the aforementioned reasons. “Highest measured IQ” may be tolerable, but then look at the test validity and reliability while bearing in mind the golden mean range of 40 to 160 IQ on S.D.15 or 4-sigma in either direction from the average. However, as I have learned, and others, too, “among the highest” may be a reasonable claim if amongst the highest rigorous high-range tests known to date, e.g., the Titan Test, and only first attempts under a person’s real name. Any further thoughts come to mind here?

Scillitani: I think that’s a smart idea, saying “among the highest” instead of “the highest” when discussing high scorers. Regarding the highest measured I.Q.s, it’s also probably best to discuss the top score(s) on any particular test and not across all tests due to differences between high-range tests. So, something like, “he had a record score on the WAIS” instead of “he had the highest I.Q. ever recorded” would be better.

Jacobsen: As a public service, I put this on most interviews with these individuals in the high-range environments now, at least somewhere:

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.*

Any thoughts on this? I would encourage others to do the same, as a public service or as a public service announcement.

Scillitani: That makes a lot of sense and is much better than stating matter-of-factly that I.Q. tests are either completely accurate or total bunk in the high-range.

5. Jacobsen: What else should be kept in mind about the communities here?

Scillitani: That they’re not perfect, there’s no or low standards for admission into most I.Q. societies, and we should continue to be skeptical about the validity of extremely high I.Q. claimants. I really do hope that, in the future, we’ll tighten up admission into these societies and focus on promoting collaboration and productivity.

6. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Matthew.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, Giga Society; Member, Glia Society. Bachelor’s Degree, Psychology, East Carolina University.

[2] Individual Publication Date: May 22, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-six; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/. Image Credit: Matthew Scillitani.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range (Part Six) [Online].May 2020; 23(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-six.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, May 22). An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range (Part Six)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-six.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range (Part Six). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 23.A, May. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-six>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range (Part Six).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 23.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-six.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range (Part Six).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 23.A (May 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-six.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range (Part Six)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 23.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-six>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range (Part Six)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 23.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-six.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range (Part Six).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 23.A (2020):May. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-six>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Matthew Scillitani on Cautionary Notes About the High-Range (Part Six) [Internet]. (2020, May 23(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/scillitani-six.

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In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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