Founded in 1982 by Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin to facilitate psychometric research, the Mega Society is a high IQ society open to people who have scored at the one-in-a-million level on a test of general intelligence credibly claimed to be able to discriminate at that level. The Guinness Book of World Records stated that the most elite ultra High IQ Society is the Mega Society with 26 members with percentiles of 99.9999 or 1 in a million.
The public profile of the Mega Society increased with the publication of the Mega Test in 1985 by Dr. Hoeflin. Notable people who took the Mega Test, meeting the Mega Society entrance requirements, include author and columnist Marilyn vos Savant, mathematician Solomon W. Golomb, Chris Langan, and former governor of New Hampshire and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu.
Timed and supervised IQ tests usually do not accurately measure at the one in a million level. For example, the range of the Stanford-Binet is 40–160, which is four standard deviations of 15 about the mean of 100, so that a score of 160 corresponds to a population rarity of 1 in 30,000. The Mega Society accepts members on the basis of untimed, unsupervised IQ tests that have been normalized using standard statistical methods. There is controversy over whether such tests measure the same thing as timed, supervised IQ tests.
The Mega Society accepts for admission tests that are not compromised by publication of their answers.
The society's journal, called Noesis since July 1987, has been published regularly since January 1982, when it was called the Circle.
- Rachel Aviv. The Intelligencer, Village Voice, August 2, 2006. This article is primarily a biography of and interview with Dr Hoeflin.
- Mega Society (August 2005). Constitution of the Mega Society. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
- (1985-7) “Highest I.Q.”, Guinness Superlatives Ltd.: The Guinness Book of World Records, 18. ISBN 0-85112-433-X.
Hoeflin, Ronald K. "World's Most Difficult IQ Test.", Omni magazine, April 1985, pp. 128 ff.
From the article:
- "Mensa, the most famous [IQ] group, is open to one person in 50... The Triple Nine Society has a 1-in-1,000 cutoff (the 99.9th percentile, hence the name). And the Prometheus Society shoots for 1 in 30,000. But the most restrictive group is the Mega Society, which is theoretically limited to one person in a million (the 99.9999th percentile)."
- Seipp, Catherine. "Brains -- They’re the smartest people in L.A.", Los Angeles (magazine), November 1987, pp. 210–216.
- Graham, Ellen. For Minds of Mega, the Mensa Test, is a Real No-Brainer, The Wall Street Journal subs. req., April 9, 1992, p. A1. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
- Simonton, Dean Keith (1994). Greatness: Who makes History and Why. Guilford Press, 225. ISBN 0-89862-201-8.
- Genius Issue, Esquire (magazine), November 1999. Retrieved on 2009-09-23.
- (1999) Lawrence A Pervin, Oliver P John (editors): Handbook of Personality. Guilford Press, 632. ISBN 1-57230-695-5.
- Jacobs, A. J. (2004). The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Man in the World. Simon & Schuster, 243. ISBN 0-7432-5060-5.
- "Mind Games: the hardest IQ test you'll ever love suffering through", Omni magazine, April 1990, pp. 90 ff.
- Baumgold, Julie. "New York magazine", February 6, 1989.
- Anderson, Jack, Dale Van Atta. "Is 176 I.Q. Enough for White House?", Washington Post, November 28, 1988.
- Introduction to the Hoeflin Tests. Retrieved on 2006-07-29. Similar reports about the actress Uma Thurman are an urban myth.
- Roid, Gale H. (2006). Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (SB5), Fifth Edition. The Riverside Publishing Company. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
- z score Calculator. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
- Hoeflin, Ronald K.. Mega Test Norms. Retrieved on 2006-07-25. Dr. Hoeflin's norming of the Mega and Titan tests extrapolating from reported scores on supervised, timed tests.
- Membership Committee (1999). 1998/99 Membership Committee Report. The Prometheus Society. Retrieved on 2006-07-26. A committee of ten people including four psychologists found that the Langdon Adult Intelligence Test, the Mega Test, and the Titan Test are able to discriminate at the 4.75 sigma (one in a million) level.
- Towers, Grady. Norming of the Mega Test. Retrieved on 2006-09-26. Dr. Grady Towers uses the Rasch model of item response theory to norm the Mega and Titan tests.
Roger D. Carlson, Ph.D. (1991). Daniel J. Keyser, Ph.D., Richard C. Sweetland, Ph.D. (General Editors): Test Critiques, Volume VIII. PRO-ED, 431-435. ISBN 0-89079-254-2.
From the article:
- "Although the approach that Hoeflin takes is interesting, inventive, intellectually stimulating, and internally consistent, it violates many good psychometric principles by overinterpreting the weak data of a self-selected sample."
- Mega Society (August 15, 2005). Tests Accepted for Admission to the Mega Society. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.