Yes, that’s exactly what you read: a girl of only 4 years old is the newest member of the super smart club, since the little one has an IQ of 159. To have an idea, this is just a point below the average of other genius famous in our history, like Albert Einstein and the physicist Stephen Hawking.
Heidi Hankins, from Winchester (England), could count to the number 40 already at 2 years old, and today she has the reading of an 8 year old child. Although Heidi is a special girl, scholars say she cannot predict whether she will be as smart as Einsten or Hawking, for example. This is because it is not possible to compare IQ between different age groups.
“IQ tests compare results within a certain age range. What do we mean that it [Heidi] smarter than 99.5% or 99.8% of people of the same age, but that doesn’t mean you can compare it to another group of individuals of different ages “, explained American psychologist Frank Lawlis to the website MSNBC.
Heidi is part of Mensa, a society made up of people with exceptional IQs that brings together only 2% of the population with high levels of intelligence. Victoria Liguez, marketing coordinator for Mensa Americana, said the youngest member of the institution in the United States is 3 years old, and joined the entity when she was only 2.
The youngest member in the world, Oscar Wrigley, reportedly joined the society at 2 ½ years old, with an IQ of 160. Overall, about 110,000 people in 100 countries are members of Mensa.
For adults, the organization offers networking opportunities and interest groups, but classes are not so different for children. The additions are due to trips to museums, math games and other puzzles for teachers and parents with difficulties in challenging the gifted little ones.
It is worth remembering that Liguez and Lawlis do not believe in the stereotype of “weird geniuses”, because the children who study at Mensa interact like any other.
But what does IQ?
The IQ (acronym for “Intelligence Quotient”) is a measure obtained through tests developed especially to assess a person’s cognitive abilities, according to their age range. The first exams appeared in China, going to France centuries later, and were always standardized so that the average score was 100. People with higher scores at 100 are, in theory, brighter than others – at least in domains measured using IQ tests.
However, these scores have increased over time due to a phenomenon known as the “Flynn effect”, whose main feature is that the new generations have an average IQ greater than 100. There are several theories for this hypothesis, which includes a better nutrition in childhood, increasingly stimulating environments, and a greater number of children who are increasingly familiar with standardized tests.
“Who knows, maybe one day we’ll all be as smart as Einsten?” Said Lawlis.