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Mensa International

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Mensa logo

Mensa is the largest, oldest and best known high-IQ society in the world.[1][2][3] It is a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised intelligence quotient test.[4][5] Mensa is formally composed of national groups and the umbrella organization Mensa International.

Mensa means "table" in Latin as is symbolized in the organization's logo.

Founding

Roland Berrill, an Australian barrister, and Dr. Lancelot Ware, a British scientist and lawyer, founded Mensa in the United Kingdom in 1946. They had the idea of forming a society for bright people, the only qualification for membership being a high IQ.[4] It was to be free from all social distinctions represented by the name of the organization, which comprises two Latin words: mens, which means "Mind" and mensa, which means Table (furniture), indicating that it is a round-table society of minds. Mensa also was to be a non-political organization, reflected in its constitution: "Mensa encompasses members representing many points of view. Consequently, Mensa as an organization shall not express an opinion as being that of Mensa, take any political action other than the publication of the results of its investigations, or have any ideological, philosophical, political, or religious affiliations."

Membership

Mensa's only requirement for membership is that one score at or above the 98th percentile on certain standardized IQ tests, such as the Stanford-Binet. Because different tests are scaled differently, it is not meaningful to compare raw scores between tests, only percentiles. For example, the minimum accepted score on the Stanford-Binet is 132, while for the Cattell it is 148.[6]

Mission

Mensa's constitution lists three purposes: to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity; to encourage research into the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence; and to provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members.[7]

To this end, the organization is also involved with programs for gifted children, literacy, and scholarships, and it also holds numerous "gatherings".

Interestingly, at Mensa's 50th Anniversary, Dr. Ware, one of the founders, addressed Mensans by stating that he hoped that “Mensa will have a role in society when it gets through the ages of infancy and adolescence.” He also said, “I do get disappointed that so many members spend so much time solving puzzles,” expressing his desire for Mensans instead to be solving some of the world's problems.[8]

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, page http:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensa International, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.

References

  1. Percival, Matt (2006-09-08). "The Quest for Genius". CNN. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  2. Moore, Hilary. "American Mensa and Activepackets Team to Provide Mobile Users With Mensa Genius Challenge". American Mensa. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  3. Sharma, Mukul (January 30, 2007). "IQ tests are about innate intelligence". The Times of India. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Mensa Information". Mensa International. 
  5. "What is Mensa?". British Mensa. 
  6. "Qualifying test scores". American Mensa. 
  7. "Mensa Constitution" (PDF). Mensa International. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  8. Miyaguchi, Darryl (19 January 2000). "A Short (and Bloody) History of the High I.Q. Societies". Retrieved 2007-07-05.