Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Smart dummies

Is George W. Bush an example of a person who, despite having a high IQ, isn't very smart? New Scientist contributor Michael Bond certainly thinks so:

"Bush's IQ score is estimated to be above 120, which suggests an intelligence in the top 10 per cent of the population. But this, surely, does not tell the whole story. Even those sympathetic to the former president have acknowledged that as a thinker and decision-maker he is not all there."

The silly Bush bashing detracts from what is actually quite a good article examining IQ and good thinking - a high IQ not guaranteeing good thinking. Read the whole thing.

Attached to the article are three seemingly easy questions that are actually a bit tricky - only 17 percent of those tested got all three right. I'll post the answers later so you know how you went.

1) A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

2) If it takes five machines 5 minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

3) In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of it?

Answers: 1. five cents     2. five minutes     3. 47 days


Anonymous Chistery said...

1) bat + ball = 1.1
and bat - ball = 1

therefore bat = 1+ ball
therefore (1+ball) + ball = 1.1
therefore 1+ 2xball = 1.1
therefore 2 x ball = 0.1
therefore ball = 0.05 (5 cents)

I got the other two right, but they are all maths questions. Lucky for me there weren't any of those spacial pattern recognition questions.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous bingbing said...

I hate this. That's why I teach ESL.

1. Bat $1.05
Ball 5c

2. 100 minutes aka 1 hour 40

3. 24

And no, I didn't google it.

The above poster seemed to do it right. I tried the algebra at first but it's a.m., day off tomorrow with korea's swine flu (not mine - tidy precaution on the schools behalf [see Korea Beat])...much soju...I did ball =10c bat=1.10 knowing it wouldn't quite work but would be close, and knowing the answer would be kinda easy anyway. that ain't right drop 5, hey it works!

#2 was easy as pie (assuming I got it right) 555 to the 100 100 100

#3 assuming I got it right 48/2... seen it b4 though. 24.. yet potentially more embarrassing if wrong.

Margos, this is why I did a Journo degree. This is why I teach ESL. This is why I usually don't post as drunk as this.

3:58 AM  
Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

For future reference, can I suggest you post answers to such things in comments, or further down the page, such that readers don't see it immediately as I did, ruining the challenge.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

I got it right.

7:44 PM  

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