My friend Tel wrote a comment on my post on IQ tests, and I liked it so much that I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing it below, along with the offensive question.
The article Tel links to is well worth reading, as it summarises nicely the kinds of arguments I wrote in my post. The offensive IQ question was:
John likes 400 but not 300; he likes 100 but not 99; he likes 3600 but not 3700. Which does he like: 900, 1000, 1100, 1200.
Horrible question, the “obvious” answer depends on the assumption that
John is as mathematically naive as the writer of the question.
This month’s issue of the AustMS gazette has a nice article by Imre
Problem 1. 1,2,3,x,… Find x.
He goes on to give examples which show the question is ill-formed. The
question in the intellignece test and many questions like it are
ill-formed and thus do not have a solution.
See Bokor’s article, well worth the read