Mensa High Intelligence and Autism News

In The News

Mensa, High Intelligence, and Autism

In The News - James Tissot - Going to Business

(PD) James Tissot - Going to Business - In The News

Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2023 - June 06, 2023

(Note: the previous articles — Structure Thinking To Become More Logical, Flynn Effect Revisited, and IQ is Irrelevant to Intelligence — relate to this article.)

A small flurry of news reports are (again) sensationalizing and embellishing a survey of Mensa's "highly intelligent" members. The non-supervised survey (sent by email, not supervised, nor proctored by any means whatsoever) allegedly suggests that individuals with "high intelligence" are more prone to having autism than people with average intelligence. Some news reports are going so far as to inventively claim that it is "bad news" for people with "high intelligence".

Reportedly, the survey in question was emailed to approximately 5,000 Mensa members. The survey is said to ask about the Mensa Members' psychological and physiological health problems that include attention-deficit, allergies, asthma, autism, autoimmune disorders, bipolar, depression, dysthymia, hyperactivity, and obsessive-compulsive. Reportedly, 3,715 (about 75%) of the emailed Mensa members responded to the email.

And give note that the survey makers did not themselves evaluate the Mensa members. All that the survey makers did was to count numbers of what the survey takers claimed of themselves. Wow that's dumb.

Numbers and Percentages

Before progressing to the news' claims, it is useful to first look at the claims' numerical relevance. The following numbers are rounded-off for ease of illustration.

Reported USA population estimate (as per the US census website): 334,000,000. Two percent (2%) of the population (eligible to join Mensa): 6,680,000. Mensa America's reported membership: 50,000 (0.75% of eligible people in the USA). Reported number of Mensa members who were emailed a survey questionnaire: 5,000 (10%). Reported number of Mensa members who replied to the email: 3,715 (75%).

There are about 6,680,000 people with IQs in the top 2%. The surveys recorded information from 3,715 people, which is about 1 person in 1,798 individuals whose IQ is in the top 2%. The surveys' results are based upon about 0.056% of the individuals whose IQ is in the top 2%.

From the 0.056% of individuals with IQs in the top 2% who chose to join Mensa, who also chose to remain a member of Mensa, and who also chose to reply to the survey, the news reports claim that [1] approximately 26.7% of the individuals claimed to have been diagnosed with a mood disorder, and [2] 20% claimed to have an anxiety disorder.

Generally, and according to the news, the survey claimed that about 1 person in 3,500 to 9,000 of people (~.028%) who were qualified to join Mensa, had mood and/or anxiety problems, and, that, therefore, it somehow proved that people with IQs above average have mental problems.

Not reported, is that 100% of the survey itself was dumb.

Interestingly, around 99.25% of the individuals with a 98+ percentile IQ do not want to be a member of Mensa America. Why is that?

Mensa Canada reports having about 2,000 members. Canada is reported to have a population of about 38,781,291 people. The number of Canadians eligible for Mensa membership would be approximately 775,626 (2% of the total population). Therefore, only about 1 in 388 eligible individuals are members of Mensa Canada. 1 in 388 equals about 0.26%. Therefore about 99.74% of individuals with a 98+ percentile IQ in Canada do not want to be a member of Mensa. Why is that?

High IQ Observations

'Terrible twos', 'fearsome fives', awkward early teenage years, fifty-year-old crazies, everyone goes through phases of development. The membership requirement for Mensa is 1 in 50, while other IQ societies require IQ ratings of 1 in 100, 1 in 1,000, 1 in 10,000, 1 in 1,000,000, etc.. One high intelligence society has a requirement of 360 on a test of mental cognition, of which IQ alone is not capable of attaining a score above zero. To people with lower IQs of around 100, Mensa's ~130 IQ range may appear to be for high IQers, but to people of higher IQs (160-200+) and mental cognition (360+), Mensa is judged to be of average IQ, and to exist within the realm of normalcy.

The people who created the survey must have been of average IQ, else they would have known that Mensa is not a 'high IQ' society to anyone except to people with similar or lower IQs. The news reports claiming that the surveys were for people with "high intelligence" purposefully sensationalized false information.

As is common within social media, people with manners often leave chat rooms because of vulgar people's lack of manners. Similarly, mature individuals of high IQs often leave Mensa because of Mensa's immature members. Mensa is as an awkward phase of progressing from bell-curve average to bell-curve rare. Just like any other organization, Mensa is useful to the individuals who share similar opinions, and Mensa is not useful to the individuals who do not share similar opinions.

In a nutshell, to mature individuals with higher IQs (160-200+), Mensa is as the awkward early teenage years; a phase of life that many individuals go through on their journey to maturity. The survey makers ought to have known that, or, perhaps the survey makers did know that, and they purposefully surveyed the individuals who would be most prone to validate the survey makers' preconceived claims. Either way, the survey is not worthy of attention as it currently stands.

Same Ole' Autism Claim

As previously mentioned in the 2013 article Prodigy Myths Autism and History: "Autism, however, is not judged by the symptoms, but rather autism is judged relative to what is normal for normal humans. Autism implies a condition that is sufficiently debilitating to the degree that the otherwise normal individual may not be capable of living independently as a normal human in a normal society. Autism symptoms are judged relative to the observer's own personal point of view, and the manner of how autism symptoms are described in popular psychology indicates 'the reciting of words without comprehending the words.' The common-average point of view is that if a high level prodigy cannot fit-in with the most mediocre of societies then the prodigy must have a mental defect, and thus the prodigy must have the 'symptoms' of autism. The average point of view assumes that he/she is at the pinnacle of intelligence and skill, and that if a prodigy cannot easily mirror the same mind and behavior as the average human, then the prodigy is mentally defective. The simple fact is, if a prodigy can easily cope with life in a normal society, then the prodigy is normal and not a prodigy."

The news reports' general theme is that individuals with "high intelligence" have the 'defect' of autism (or in other words, the low intelligence people hate on people with high intelligence by the low intelligence people claiming that high intelligence is a mental defect).

A well-written paper from 2016 helps to lend an idea of how some individuals are forming their claims:

"A suite of recent studies has reported positive genetic correlations between autism risk and measures of mental ability. These findings indicate that alleles for autism overlap broadly with alleles for high intelligence, which appears paradoxical given that autism is characterized, overall, by below-average IQ. This paradox can be resolved under the hypothesis that autism etiology commonly involves enhanced, but imbalanced, components of intelligence. This hypothesis is supported by convergent evidence showing that autism and high IQ share a diverse set of convergent correlates, including large brain size, fast brain growth, increased sensory and visual-spatial abilities, enhanced synaptic functions, increased attentional focus, high socioeconomic status, more deliberative decision-making, profession and occupational interests in engineering and physical sciences, and high levels of positive assortative mating. ...any diagnoses of autism should be regarded not as any sort of endpoint, but as a rough, initial signpost toward eventual determination of the genetic, developmental, hormonal, neurological, psychological, and/or environmental causes of each individual’s altered autism-related cognition, affect and behavior." (Autism As a Disorder of High Intelligence, ©2016, Bernard J. Crespi)

Crespi's paper is perhaps the most rational known of a science-based opinion. "Allele" generally infers 'one form of the same gene at a specific location on a chromosome'. "Etiology" implies 'cause, causes, explanation, origin'. If what Crespi wrote is validly based upon evidence, then questions immediately arise: What caused the cause? What are the originating ingredients? If the cause of autism is a variance of genetics, then why are people labeling autism as a defect? Why are Darwinian science believers not rejoicing in their having evidence of 'random mutations' that are leading the evolution of mankind? Why are autistic people being hated on by those of low intelligence?

As is common within most all descriptions of intelligence, the known lists always focus on the brain, while the lists always omit the ingredients of self-will, self-effort, self-determination, and environmental influences (i.e. ancestors' occupations, interests, and lifestyles). The human creature has a tremendous potential of betterment in all aspects, but, the potential cannot occur without the self-effort of self-striving for self-improvement. Only people with low intelligence are able to believe that high intelligence is able to magically arrive without effort.

Generally, when a theory focuses solely on the brain as being the seat of intelligence, the favored choice is to immediately stop reading and to then walk away: the theory had already proven of itself to be a worthless invention.

I myself have not seen the actual data spoken of within Crespi's article, but since the article's focus is on genetics as the cause of "high intelligence", then, well, just walk away.

The First Question To Ask About the Mensa Survey

What was the intelligence of the survey makers' and the news reporters'? If the survey makers were not themselves of a level of intelligence far above that of all high IQ society members, then already the survey is invalidated. The number 1 cannot measure the number 100.

The answer is easily observed: the individuals stated "high intelligence" for "Mensa" members. By their own words the news reporters and survey makers' intelligence was lower than the top 2%, and so low that they not only interpreted Mensa to be an organization of "high intelligence", they also claimed that IQ tests are able to measure intelligence. There, permanent fail. Fake news. Pseudoscience and pathological science.

The Favored Response

Just walk away; the topic has been thrashed countless times already, and still the 'experts' continue making the same mistakes as before. There is no reason nor usefulness in attempting to reason to people of whom themselves have not enough intelligence to reason.

Survey Proves that Most People Behave as 2 Year Olds

Okay, so let's do a new survey of 3,500 individuals, and we will find that over 25% of the people will behave as two-year-olds. Therefore, according to the scientific method, 25% of everyone on earth must behave as two-year-olds. All we have to do to prove our hypothesis true, is to only survey people who are two years old.

The Mensa survey did similarly, by purposefully choosing the smallest percentage of individuals within the weakest link between average and higher IQ scales. The Mensa survey's claims are fraudulent.

The survey makers and news reporters are of so tiny of intelligence that they believe that IQ scores relate to intelligence. It is highly unlikely that any survey will ever be given to individuals of intelligence higher than the norm.


Everyone goes through phases in life. Everyone experiences phases in life that are later looked back on with humor or embarrassment. Mensa is a phase for individuals progressing up to the next level. If the Mensa members continue to exert self-effort to self-improve, then they will later move on to higher goals. Mensa members have potential, but the survey takers have no potential. The best choice is to ignore everything that the xiaoren (tiny people) claim; just walk away.

The next article Sensory Perceptions Exhibit Intelligence is a continuance from this article.