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A high IQ society is an organization that limits its membership to people who are within a certain high percentile of Intelligence quotient (IQ) test results. The oldest, largest, and most well-known such society is Mensa International, which was founded by Roland Berrill and Dr. Lancelot Ware in 1946. Other early societies were Intertel (founded by Ralph Haines in 1966), the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry (founded by Dr. Christopher Harding in 1974) and Prometheus Society (founded by Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin in 1982).
Membership of most high IQ societies provide a simple way for an individual to demonstrate some intellectual ability. They often state objectives to facilitate interaction between members, either for research purposes or simply for social reasons but, in most cases, a small proportion of the membership participate in these activities. Some (such as Mensa International) encourage analysis on the nature of intelligence itself. Many societies publish a newsletter or journal, although newer societies such as the International High IQ Society and Colloquy are partially or totally Internet-based.
Many people with high IQ's wish to share common interests and experiences, including special or abstract discussions, but also problems and difficulties, within discussion groups and meetings.
High IQ societies typically accept a variety of standardized intelligence tests such as the Stanford-Binet test, WAIS-III (for adults) or WISC-IV (for children) and Cattell Culture Fair III test. Some conduct proprietary or alternative tests to determine membership eligibility.
- Top 5% (95th percentile; 1/20; IQ 125 sd15, IQ 126 sd16): International High IQ Society
- Top 2% (98th percentile; 1/50; IQ 130 sd15, IQ 132 sd16): Mensa International, High Potentials Society, Mysterium Society, Altacapacidadhispana, SocratIQ Society, Encefálica
- Top 1% (99th percentile; 1/100; IQ 135 sd15, IQ 137 sd16): Intertel, Top One Percent Society, Elateneo/s Society, Superdotados-Intelectuales, The Mind Society
- Top 0.5% (99.5th percentile; 1/200; IQ 139 sd15, IQ 141 sd16): Colloquy, Poetic Genius Society
- Top 0.37% (99.63rd percentile; 37/10000; IQ 140 sd15, IQ 143 sd16): Infinity International Society
- Top 0.3% (99.7th percentile; 3/1000; IQ 141 sd15, IQ 144 sd16): Cerebrals Society
- Top 0.2% (99.8th percentile; 1/500; IQ 143 sd15, IQ 146 sd16): ePiq Society, Neurocubo
- Top 0.13% (99.87th percentile; 13/10000; IQ 145 sd15, IQ 148 sd16): CIVIQ Society, Artifex Mens Congregatio ( Artistic Minds Society )
- Top 0.1% (99.9th percentile; 1/1000; IQ 146 sd15, IQ 149 sd16): International Society for Philosophical Enquiry, Triple Nine Society, IQuadrivium Society
- Top 0.09% (99.91th percentile; 9/10000; IQ 147 sd15, IQ 150 sd16): Glia Society, One-in-a-Thousand Society, Milenija
- Top 0.07% (99.93th percentile; 7/10000; IQ 148 sd15, IQ 151 sd16): ISI-Society
- Top 0.05% (99.95th percentile; 1/2150; IQ 150 sd15, IQ 153 sd16, IQ 180 sd24): sinApsa Society
- Top 0.009% (99.991st percentile; 9/100000; IQ 156 sd15, IQ 160 sd16): Vertex
- Top 0.003% (99.997th percentile; 3/100000; IQ 160 sd15, IQ 164 sd16): Prometheus Society, Camp Archimedes, HELLIQ Society, Epimetheus Society, Tetra Society
- Top 0.001% (99.999th percentile; 1/100000; IQ 164 sd15, IQ 168 sd16): The Ultranet
- Top 0.0001% (99.9999th percentile; 1/1000000; IQ 172 sd15, IQ 176 sd16): Mega Society, Mega International, Pi Society, Omega Society, StrictIQ Society
- Top 0.00003% (99.99997th percentile; 3/10000000; IQ 175 sd15, IQ 180 sd16): OLYMPIQ Society, PARS Society
- Top 0.0000001% (99.9999999th percentile; 1/1000000000; IQ 190 sd15, IQ 196 sd16): Giga Society
- Variable entry conditions: Sigma Society (Sigma, Sigma III, Sigma IV, Sigma V, Sigma VI)
The ceiling of most standardized (validated and normed) intelligence tests is at around 99.9th percentile. Measurements above this level need — for a credible result — a calculation, extrapolation and interpretation (including observations during the tests and sub-tests) by psychometricians being experienced in high IQ testing, and at least two differently designed standardized tests (among these at least one supervised) should be performed. Measurements above 99.9999th percentile are rather doubtful as no sufficient correlation studies and normings are available.
Many high IQ societies have specific areas of interest, like creativity (ISI-Society and Vinci Society), social activities (International High IQ Society, Mensa International), poetry (Poetic Genius Society), contributions to humanity (International Society for Philosophical Enquiry), broad and frequented discussion-boards (Cerebrals Society, Civiq Society, ePiq Society, Milenija, Prometheus Society, Camp Archimedes (see below), Superdotados Brutales, Triple Nine Society, The Ultranet), Mathematics and Physics (Milenija, Pi Society, StrictIQ Society), Spanish-speaking individuals (Altacapacidadhispana, Neurocubo, Elateneo/s).
Some high IQ societies and organisations offer public areas in their boards where also non-members may participate (e.g. Cerebrals Society, Mega Foundation, World Intelligence Network, Milenija).
Two organisations represent a network with several independent high IQ societies:
- Mega Foundation: with The Ultranet and Mega International Society
- World Intelligence Network (WIN): with Colloquy Society, ePiq Society, Civiq Society, ISI-Society, Helliq Society, Pars Society, Olympiq Society and Giga Society.