11-25-2003
"Children Above 180 IQ":
Follow-Up Interviews with Children I, J and L  

    Patrick Wahl has sent a link to an article describing follow-up interviews with children I, J and L described in Leta Hollingworth's book, "Children Above 180 IQ".  Reading about them back in 1945, I was fascinated by the children she described, and would have given a pretty to meet them, and to find out what became of them. And now, thanks to Patrick, we can.
    Here's the summary I wrote about each of them.

 

Child I:

1. Born: 1929

2. Early History:


         STARS
The stars are shining bright tonight
   I wonder why they shine so bright
I guess to make it light at night.
      Age 5 years

              THE CAVE MAN
The cave man was a hunter,
    A hunter brave and bold,
He wore the skins of those he killed
   To keep him from the cold.
And many ages later, when he had passed away,
    Men found in caves the sharpened stones
That he used every day.
           Age 7 years 5 months

                        FLOWERS
Red and yellow tulips blooming on the lawn,
Blooming in the woodland, trampled by the fawn,
Little yellow dandelions hiding in the meadows,
Given to the cow to eat every time she bellows.
Pretty red roses upon a bush
Like a little lady bursting with a blush.
White and purple lilacs on a bush of olive green
As a birthday present were given to a queen.
   Age 7 years 5 months

                       SEARCHING
A wandering stranger am I
I believe in nothing but the great power of the gods,
The whole world have I searched for their wisdom.
But such wisdom found have I not.

Though I have searched the whole world over
    Not a trace of such can be found.

I have searched on the hilltops, in the valleys----
    I wonder if such things there are in this whole wide world of wonder.

The rocks have I broken
   To find this great wisdom
But the wondrous marvels are not to be found.
           Age 8 years

3. Childhood Personality Characteristics:

4. Mental Measurements:
 
Age
Yr.-Mo.
Ratio
IQ
Deviation 
IQ
Army
Alpha
Thorndike
CAVD
7-7
184
 165
 ----
 ----
8-3
----
----
----
361*
8-6
----
----
 ----
SAT: 12-3
9-0 ----  ---- ---- SAT: 13-5
10-0 ---- ---- ---- SAT: 17-8
11-0 ---- ---- ---- SAT: 18-5
AverageIQ
       

*- Median 7th-grade (12-5) score.
    The 3 SAT scores at ages 9, 10, and 11 are beyond the range of the test.

5. Follow-Up:
    No follow-up was possible beyond the age of 9.
    Child I would now be 74 years old.
 

Child J:

1. Born: 1929

2. Early History:

       A MARCH SNOWFALL
It's March, yet snow is falling fast,
And one may hear the wintry blast.
A budding tree, a sign of spring,
Will to me great gladness bring.
When crocuses have put their heads,
Above the softened garden beds,
An when in all the fields around
Lively little lambkins bound,
And green creeps up across the lawn
I'll be glad the snow has gone.

3. Childhood Personality Characteristics:

4. Mental Measurements:
 
Age
Yr.-Mo.
Ratio
IQ
Deviation 
IQ
Army
Alpha
Thorndike
CAVD
7-10
197+
 172+
 ----
 ----
10-0
200+
174+
----
----
9-9
----
----
 ----
384
7-6 ----  ---- ---- SAT: 14-4
Average
IQ
       

5. Follow-Up:
    In J's case, as in I's, there was no follow-up beyond the age of 11.
    Child J would now be 74 years old.
 

Child L:

1. Born: 1927

2. Early History:

3. Childhood Personality Characteristics:


4. Mental Measurements:
 
Age
Yr.-Mo.
Ratio
IQ
Deviation
IQ
Army
Alpha
Thorndike
CAVD
8-5
153*
 145
 ----
 ----
9-5
195
171
----
----
10-8
>183
>164
 ----
----
10-0 
199
 173
----
 ----
9-6 
----
----
----
392
 11-6 
----
----
----
416
9-7 
 15-6*
 ----
 ----
----
10-7 
 17-6*
 ----
 ----
 ----
11-7 
 18-2*
 ----
 ----
 ----
12-7
 UM*
 ----
 ----
 ----
Average
IQ
       

* - On Otis Self-Administering Test.
* - Scholastic Achievement Tests
 

5. Follow-Up:
  Planning to become a mathematics professor when last seen. Doing well, and preparing for college.
    Child L would now be 76 years old.


    The linked article tells it all. However, it's interesting that the two women consider their children to be their greatest accomplishments. These life histories tell a familiar tale of what I consider to be latent talent never fully delivered to the world. Of course, the conventional idea is that "genius will out", and that it's up to the individual to thrust his or her talents upon the world. And for most people, this might be the only way it can be done, but for our ultra-intelligent, the loss is mostly ours. We lose when they can't or don't deliver. And we expect the same Lilliputian tasks out of them that we do out of the slow learner.
    Not very smart of us, methinks.

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