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Mensa is a society of the smartest people on the planet, which everyone can get into
Mensa is a society of the smartest people on the planet, which everyone can get into

What can you recommend to a person who has already reached many heights or, on the contrary, has lost hope for recognition from the world? Take tests and try to become a member of Mensa - and feel like you are among the elite. Even if the feeling of being chosen was familiar before, this club of those who hit the “two percent” is unlikely to leave anyone indifferent.

Train incident

Mensa's appearance is the result of one chance encounter on an English train. It happened shortly after the end of World War II. The two gentlemen, lawyers, talked about human intelligence and how to evaluate it. One, Ronald Burrill, defended the theses of phrenology - a trend in scientific, or rather, pseudoscientific thought in those years, the second, Lancelot Ware, insisted on the effectiveness of tests to determine IQ, with which he worked a lot during the war. It was not without a test right on the train, in the field, and the continuation of the acquaintance was the idea of ​​organizing in London a community of the smartest people - the intellectual elite.

Lancelot Ware became the founder and, of course, a member of Mensa

Ronald Burrill was born in 1897 in Australia, but in early childhood he found himself on English soil, as a result of the family's move. He received an excellent education and entered the Bar Association, and he had the status of a barrister, that is, one who conducts a case (as opposed to solicitors who prepare cases for proceedings). Now Burrill's views seem rather extravagant - in addition to phrenology, which connected the peculiarities of the human psyche with the structure of his skull, he believed in palmistry and astrology, which, however, did not prevent the lawyer from succeeding in creating a world-famous society of intellectuals.

Mensa writers included Isaac Asimov and Roger Zelazny

Lancelot Ware, born in 1915, managed to get an education in both law and biology by the time of his meeting with Mensa's co-founder, had a scientific degree and was seriously interested in the study of human capabilities. On October 1, 1946, Mensa, a community based at Lincoln College, Oxford, admitted everyone who had a sufficiently high IQ score. Mensa's charter stipulated that society does not recognize differences in any other criterion other than IQ numbers, all Mensa members or candidates for this status were perceived the same regardless of gender, race, political opinion and social status.

During the meetings of Mensa members, board games competitions are especially popular

It is noteworthy that at one of the first meetings after the emergence of the society, a proposal was made by one of the members to exclude blacks from Mensa. The initiative was met with silence, after which the head of the society, Ronald Burrill, put to the vote something else - "to exclude green people with yellow stripes", this initiative was accepted, and the status of the society as free from any prejudice and discrimination was confirmed. society got from the Latin word "table". The organizers abandoned the original idea to name their brainchild Mens ("mind") due to possible discrepancies.

Who can become a Mensa member

The condition for getting into Mensa was getting a certain level of results after passing the tests. Since, depending on the test scale, different IQ (intelligence quotient) numbers could reflect different levels of a person's development, the principle of relative was applied instead of an absolute one to be recognized as a worthy candidate: it was necessary to score more points than 98 percent of those who passed the test.For example, for the Stanford-Binet intelligence scale, one of the oldest, this result is achieved with a total of 132 points. The IQ level is determined within the age group, that is, the IQ of a child may coincide with the coefficient of a university graduate.

Adam Kirby is one of the youngest members of Mensa

There is no single standard for passing an IQ test, but similar criteria are used to assess the intelligence of subjects. These are tasks for logical and spatial thinking, arithmetic problems, modeling practical situations, generalizing facts, checking memory, etc. The founders of Mensa expected to see members of the society as intellectuals who put their mind and its work above all else, but their expectations were somewhat deceived: among the smartest people According to the tests, there were many representatives of the working class, who, to the chagrin of Burrill first of all, were occupied more with practical issues than with ideas for the development of intelligence and the development of a concept for the development of mankind in this direction.

Actress Gina Davis is one of the smartest people on the planet

Serious disagreements arose between the founders, and in 1950 Ware stepped down as leader of the society, returning only after the death of Burrill. He died in 1962, having managed to take about four hundred people into the ranks of Mensa.

Who successfully passed the tests and got to Mensa

Currently, the total number of members of the Mensa community is 134 thousand people from a hundred countries. There are national groups in about fifty countries, Russia is not among them. The Mensa tradition is to meet regularly, during which the smartest people on the planet simply exchange news and discuss programs for the development of education, support for gifted children, and participation in cultural events. Among other things, they play games - "Scrabble", "Mafia", chess. The world's largest Mensa national group is American, with 57,000 members, followed by the British with 21,000, and the third by the Germans with 13,000 members.

Albert Einstein is considered to be the man whose IQ was especially high - but the scientist was already outstripped by the Mensa members

Among those who received the highest scores in passing the test, you can meet representatives of almost any profession, there are businessmen, writers, politicians, workers and actors among them. There are no restrictions even by age - in the American community, Christina Brown became the youngest member of Mensa, and in English - Adam Kirby. Both showed excellent test results at the age of two.

Mensa logo

Does Mensa membership provide any benefits? From the point of view of communication, exchange of information and experience, the opportunity to make friends with people with close views - of course. The image factor is also important: to gain access to the community means to become in the eyes of those around someone from the intellectual elite, whatever that means at the present time. However, there is also a more “elite” community for smart people: Intertel unites those who tests, not 98, but 99 percent of the population.

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