Yep — I used to administer those tests. I also developed and evaluated neuropsych tests. Don’t even get me started on all the problems with the tests that actually make it to market!
These tests aren’t designed for highly intelligent people. They’re designed to measure averageness on one or more domains.
That’s why 50% of people score in the dead center (with the majority not too far away) and why people scoring in the top or bottom ranges are exceptionalized and ultimately ostracized for simply being different in some way.
Thing is, we’re all still human, each with our own uniquely combination of strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, there are enough people on earth that we all fit in somewhere. We’re all average at something.
Unfortunately, most schools and workplaces are one-size-fits-most. And as you mentioned, “most" is still defined by archaic cutoffs.
Personalized experiences exist only on the internet for most people. Accessing personalization in real life is increasingly inaccessible for most people.
When it comes to lack of access, most people fall squarely in the middle.
See, it works out that smart people have a way to fit in after all. Most if us are poor, just like most other people.
Being exceptional one measure (e.g. IQ) doesn’t mean that anyone personally will be exceptional on other measures (e.g. income). It’s merely a correlation (not a cause), one that is influenced and confounded by any number of other factors (e.g. social status, politics, etc). And we cannot infer individual level conclusions from population data.
The chances of any one highly intelligent person also being a highly wealthy person are slim — while the chances of someone from a group of highly intelligent people also being wealthy is high.
Needless to say, it’s been a rude awakening for all of us who were convinced as kids that we were so special that we would change the world **and** make a lot of money doing it.
I imagine we are indeed making the world a better place in our own eccentric ways. We just happened to be born into a time and place where success is mostly dependent on one’s willingness to trample on the backs of others, claiming their work as our own.
But I digress.
Like I said, don’t get me started!!