Famous high IQ people which you might not expect

High IQ people that may surprise you
High IQ people that may surprise you

IQ stands for ‘Intelligence Quotient’ and is a score which attempts to characterize people’s intellectual ability. IQ scores reflect the measurement of intelligence via the administration of a standardized IQ test deriving from great IQ researchers such as Cattell, Weschler or Otis. The science behind IQ testing is sound.  IQ testing has been around for over 100 years and many of the well-known IQ tests have been administered to millions of people across the globe. This large number of test observations has allowed scientists to establish that intellectual ability, as proxied by standardized IQ scores, is normally distributed. This means that  IQ scores follow a bell curve, which is able to be derived with the knowledge of two variables: mean and standard deviation. The mean or the average, is usually set to 100. In other words, IQ developers tell us that IQ scores are normally distributed around an average score of 100. Based on the shape of the bell curve, we know that 50% of the population will have an IQ score which is greater than 100, while the other 50% of the population will have an IQ score which is lower than 100. The standard deviation is the dispersion of results around the mean score. And conveniently, statistical properties can help us establish precisely what percentage of the population is expected to have an IQ score between a particular range. The most typical standard deviations on IQ tests are 15, 16 or 24 points. Very high IQ people are those with an IQ score which is in excess of two standard deviations of the mean.

Famous high IQ people: where to look for their IQ scores?

There is a lot of speculation about famous high IQ people on the Internet. Or put differently, some of us are very curious as to what the IQ of famous people may be. For instance, some of us might have searched for “Barack Obama IQ” or “Bill Gates IQ” on a search engine. Search engine results are various but the real problem with these searches is that IQ is a private matter and few people may be willing to publicly reveal their scores, if these are even known by the individual in question. Not everyone has taken a standardized IQ test, and there is further considerable downside for famous people to share their IQ scores, although famous high IQ people may be less reluctant to share their score, particularly if the score in question is impressive. So the vast majority of search engine results purporting to have an answer about the IQ of specific individuals are usually bogus or may represent the product of inference or guess work.

Enter high IQ societies. Mensa is a high IQ society which is open to membership to anyone who has an IQ score in the 98th percentile of the population, or the top 2%. This corresponds to an IQ score of 130+ (15 standard deviation), 132 (16 SD) or 148 (24 SD). So Mensa members, also known as Mensans are high IQ people.

So if someone famous has an IQ in the 98th percentile of the population, that person is eligible for Mensa membership. There is quite a long list of famous high IQ people who appear on the roster of high IQ societies such as Mensa.

Famous high IQ people who you never would have guessed…

1. Asia Carrera: that’s right, the former porn start actress is a Mensan and reported to have an IQ of 156. She also had a scholarship to attend Rutgers University but never graduated. I can’t see that the lack of a college degree stopped her from achieving success, at least in the line of work that she chose.

2. Geena Davis: having starred in The Fly and Beetlejuice is another Mensan who graduated from Boston University with a degree in drama. Who says artsy fartsy types aren’t smart?!

3. Alfred George Hinds was a career British criminal who was locked away for 12 years after being arrested on a robbery charge. Hinds became known as the Houdini of the criminal world as he successfully broke out of three high security prisons and would eventually secure a pardon from the state using his knowledge of the law. The proceeds of his robberies were never recovered.

Famous people with high intelligence may not necessarily want to reveal their IQ scores to the public. But Mensa membership is enough to identify some of the brightest out there.

You could be the next bright spark to become a Mensa member. To test whether you have qualifying IQ, click here or visit – for more information about people high IQ people.