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Author Topic: Genius or Cheat?  (Read 5891 times)
Sueblue
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« on: April 14, 2011, 11:23:43 AM »

I wrote this recently on my blog:

The following “60 Minutes” show recently aired in New Zealand:

http://ondemand.tv3.co.nz/60-Minutes-60-Minutes-Smarty-Pants/tabid/59/articleID/2493/MCat/22/Default.aspx

Here, you can see Brennan Martin, who had previously scored 201 (SD16) on one of Paul Coojiman’s tests, interviewed by the TV station about his “180+ Challenge”.  Running up to the show, Brennan solicited bets of US$100 against his achieving an IQ score of 180+ on the Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CFIT).

Brennan completed the test in record time (15 minutes) without a single mistake. The testing session you see on the show seems to be a second shot at the test staged for the benefit of the camera, and so the point where Brennan bizarrely seems to be answering more than one question at a time may be as a result of memorizing some answers from the first testing session.

However, there are nevertheless some strange anomalies. When Brennan is put on the spot by the TV producers to take another test without advance warning, he is strangely reluctant to do so. The explanation proffered by Brennan is that he was very tired.

The other test he was asked to take, the Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) is very similar to the CFIT – both consist entirely of visual pattern-recognition type questions. After some persuasion, Brennan capitulated and agreed to take the RAPM for the TV show.

Despite Brennan’s speedy and accurate performance on the 49 questions that comprise the CFIT, the 36 questions of the RAPM seemed to present much more of a challenge. He spent an hour labouring over the test, and did not score even close to every question correctly. In fact, he failed to even make the top 2% cut-off point for qualification in Mensa.

Even the experts seemed divided as to why the huge discrepancy in scores. Professor Flynn mentions on the show that there can be a variance in IQ scores from one test to another. While it is very possible for there to be a discrepancy between scores on different tests, as this article discusses, it is difficult to support the idea that the discrepancy could be 50+ points between two tests which are very similar in nature. The Mensa psychologist on the show comments that she would not have expected such a wide variance in scores.

The TV presenter asks Brennan outright if he cheated on the CFIT, something which he strongly denies. These type of tests are only sold to licensed psychologists and are normally kept under lock and key. Nevertheless, where there is a will, there is a way.

So, I will leave readers to draw their own conclusions. Do you think it is possible Brennan cheated, or is he beyond doubt one of the smartest people alive?
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PBaxter
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 08:04:43 AM »

nice blog, thanks for sharing
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 02:15:43 PM »

He was most probably cheating. Truth will unearth one day all by its own. But at the same time, none knows if their opinion is correct. Moreover there exists some things which are beyond our understanding.
-Ranjith
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