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> Their giftedness as potential group consisted of 198 members of Mensa. Membership in Mensa is granted to individuals who score at the 98th percentile or higher on recognized standardized measures of intelligence.

And almost exclusively sought by those lacking in other forms of achievement or sense of identity. Doesn't really seem like a sample that would be generalizable in the way the article presents it.






I wonder whether the following result stems from that sample bias (Mensa membership, rather than random sample from >= 98th percentile IQ):

> Their most striking finding was substantially diminished levels of meaningfulness and subjective well-being among the giftedness as potential group compared to both the giftedness as achievement group and the control group

EDIT to add: Note that the author addresses the sampling bias in a footnote:

> Of course, a major limitation of this study is the preselection of the gifted populations. It's likely that members of MENSA have their own unique struggles that motivate them to seek out membership and connect with like-minded individuals. While this is a real limitation of the study, at least it's a real attempt to look at the understudied population of intellectually gifted adults, a population that is hard to study because they are statistically rare in the general population. After all, for a non-preselected sample, you would have to administer IQ tests to 5,000 people to attain a modest sample of 100 people in the top 98th percentile!


> And almost exclusively sought by those lacking in other forms of achievement or sense of identity.

Careful, that generalization can be used almost anywhere (like on HN). Warily scream into the abyss.


I'm not really sure HN is really comparable to Mensa but at any rate it doesn't invalidate what the parent is saying. If an article was talking about, say, programmers in general while only sampling HN users it would probably suffer from a heavy bias as well.

I worked remotely for the first few years of my career. I assumed most programmers would be like HN, as reflected by my one other friend who programmed & also happened to read HN. Then I began working in an office with programmers, & was shocked to realize most programmers don't want to go on a forum after work that'll often discuss programming..

Well, there are lots of very high achievers (great engineers at top companies, people with important contributions, industry legends, even people like Alan Kay occasionally) on HN, so there's that...

Mensa probably has a couple antidotes floating around as well, so there's that...

'Mensa members' as a proxy for IQ was literally an example of selection bias in my undergrad research methods course.

I agree to a certain degree but for some it’s just a place to play board games with people who are too into board games.

You applied to Mensa mainly in order to play board games? I find that hard to believe.

I didn't apply but I know some people.

It's not how you test. It's who you know!

Just to be clear, I wasn't a member, I knew the people in a non-mensa function.

Agreed, it's a board game club that makes a lot of people extremely mad.



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