The Social Construction of Intellect Part 1: Internet and TV IQ tests

Being smart is ranked as #203 on the list of Things Bogans Like. Non-bogans like it too, they are just less forthcoming in sharing their stories of taking online IQ tests 2AM. Unless of course, they achieve a really high score in which case they might casually ask a psychologist mate’s opinion about the validity.

I don’t particularly care if someone wants to use a series of brain teasers and call it an IQ test for the sake of entertainment. However, I have a massive problem with taking a standardised test for colour-blindness (specifically, Dalton, 1798) and implying that the perception of colour has anything to do with intellect. I saw the example below on an Australian website where I, like many people, might go to look up what’s on TV that night.

Use of the term IQ is perhaps getting a bit out of hand, as is the term genius. Being a genius is a bit like being insane in this regard. Practically nobody in Australia has had recent success in using the insanity plea. Very, very few children are actually geniuses (no matter how adorable they are), however, this need not preclude them from working at an Apple Genius Bar when they grow up.

Australia loves censorship as a general rule, yet the government chose not to ‘protect’ us from the National IQ test on channel 9. If only Foxtel had the TV rights instead and then we could all iQ our IQ.


Dalton, J. (1798). Extraordinary facts relating to the vision of colours: with observations. Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, 5, 28–45.