Monday, February 08, 2010

Intelligence Test?

Yes another one of those links this time forwarded from DaBoss. Try it here, but before you do yet another reason I dislike such things.

One of the questions requires you to have knowledge of a sport not played extensively in this country. (4)
One of the questions requires you to have knowledge of the Christian religion. (10)
One of the questions is ambiguous as to whether it's discussing a physical object or an effect. (8)

and as a minor point one question muddles the affair by using a specific place, but should still be answerable if you ignore that point. (5)

Anyway passing over those three and they're not bad as questions. I got 9 DaBoss got 4.


Orphi said...

This isn't an “intelligence test”, this is an “omgz, this thing is teh shiznic! emale all u friend!!1!eleven!” page.

As it turns out, almost all of the questions are actually just an exercise in answering trick questions. (E.g., how many months have 28 days? What they actually meant is how many months have at least 28 days.)

Obligatory XKCD reference.

FlipC said...

Yes I should have said ignore most of the results page. Then again if you were intelligent you wouldn't need me to tell you that :-)

There is a difference between the XKCD link and this and that the questions are possible to answer if you stop and read them.

That's what makes this interesting to me, reading what's there rather than what you expect to be there. It highlights one of the shortcuts the brain uses to process language.

We're primed to answer questions along the lines of "There are three apples and you take two how many are left?" at school and that sinks deep. Try "There are three apples and you take two how many apples are there?" The fact that you have to stop and re-read it shows how part of your brain works; and I find that interesting.

Orphi said...

How the brain works is that it interprets a series of grunts — or, in this case, ink splodges — and attempts to determine what the brain that created them meant by that.

This process works remarkably well. Humans regularly say things which, taken literally, make absolutely no sense at all. And yet the majority of the population instantly comprehend what is intended.

Why, you can even construct sentences containing the word “and”, and replace that with “or”, and observe how the sentence retains its original meaning. Now anybody with the most rudimentary grasp of logic theory can tell you that this should drastically alter the meaning of the sentence. And yet, it does not.

Humans say things which are not strictly true, or are even logically nonsensical, and yet other humans understand them perfectly. By contrast, there are many statements of mathematics which seem utterly impossible and/or nonsensical, but are in fact true.

The human brain doesn't interpret what words say, it interprets the meaning behind them. And so when you deliberately write things in a way to conceal your actual meaning, surprise!, people misunderstand you.

FlipC said...

The way I interpret it is that the brain runs it through two filters. The quick one it takes what appear to be key parts and intuits the middle bits, then it passes it through the slow filter and flags any discrepancies.

Which is why when someone says something in a way you don't expect you start to answer and then stop as your brain catches up to what was actually said, and sometimes this slow pass doesn't take place.

As an aside I'm having trouble commenting on your site the hash keeps throwing back an error. So with regard to your car I'll answer here.

We're good at differentiating between shades of green, so cars of that colour should be easily spotted; apparently yellow is the easiest to see.

The fine for not displaying your tax disc is £350 last time I heard.

Where did you buy the car from? Did it state it had a 6-CD changer?