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Paul Cooijmans: Independent Psychometitor; Administrator, The Giga Society; Administrator, The Glia Society (Part Three)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2015/07/15


Interview with Paul Cooijmans. Independent psychometitor and administrator of The Glia Society and The Giga Society. He discusses: public recognition of excellence through awards and their personal meaning; personal work, development of intelligence tests separated by verbal, numerical, spatial, and logical factors, and the creation, development, refinement, administration, statistical norming, and publication of a legitimate testnature of creativity, genius, and human functioning, and associative horizon, conscientiousness, and intelligence; and the existence of alien and extraterrestrial life, absolute as opposed to relative scales of intelligence, average intelligence of previous human civilizations, variegated intelligence of the contents of the universe; and the evolution of intelligence in the possible future.

Keywords: administrator, awards, creativity, genius, human civilizations, intelligence, logical, numerical, Paul Cooijmans, psychometitor, spatial, The Giga Society, The Glia Society, universe, verbal.

*Incomplete, common reference style listing without access dates.*

7. You earned a number of awards.[1],[2] These include Winnaar Rabohank Scholenkwis 1976 Peelland (voor Mariaschool, Lieschout) in April of 1976, second prize in the composition content of Brabants Conservatorium in October of 1990, and the Raadselige Roos 1994 for Prose (literature prize) in December of 1994.[3] What does each public recognition of excellence mean to you?[4]

Concerning the composition and literature prizes, they tell me that recognition, success, awards and the like are bad indicators of quality. Those works are not the best I have written, and if they had been, I would not have won the prizes. My experience is that when I make something according to my own insights and to the best of my ability, it tends not necessarily to be hugely successful, but is at best appreciated by a rather small audience. Adaptation to a more mainstream taste or to some in-group paradigm does not suit me, and neither do “networking” or any kind of “marketing” trick. I can only use my own intuition to guide me, having been born such that trying to go against it makes me vomit in unpleasant convulsions.

The 1976 school quiz is a different matter. Each school could send four participants, obviously the best they had. We won easily, and someone said afterwards I had had all the questions right. I had announced our victory beforehand in the bus driving to the quiz, and that I would eat my coat in case we did not win. In the week before the quiz, we had been preparing by reading books and following the news, and attending special classes for the four of us, led by our teacher (the nun). This was the only form of “enrichment” I have ever seen in my school years.

The prize, 500 guilders, was used to redecorate the manual training room at school. Since I hated that subject, I was not pleased.

8. You have summarized personal work in the following terms:

Designing high-range intelligence tests and studying high intelligence, personality, creativity and genius; Providing communication fora for intelligent individuals; Writing articles and literary prose in English and Netherlandic; Composing music (mainly in the past); Guitar playing and (in the past) teaching; Computer programming and making web sites. Focus is on the intelligence-related matters. A major goal is to explain creativity in terms of personality features

Specialties: Statistical processing of data from high-range intelligence tests, and designing such tests.[5]

You developed a number of intelligence tests of varied difficulty separated by verbal, numerical, spatial, and logical factors – even one with a possible prize entitled Prize of the Beheaded Man.[6],[7],[8] Other awards too.[9],[10] How does one create, develop, refine, administer, statistically norm, and publish a legitimate test?

Those are many questions, but I will try to briefly sketch the procedure. One needs to gather problems to include in the test, either newly created ones or problems from earlier tests or proof tests. The problems should require the candidate to utilize mental abilities, and span a range of difficulty levels. Test administration nowadays goes chiefly via the Internet and electronic mail, and is unsupervised. In the 1990s it was still done by regular mail and publication or advertising in I.Q. society journals or other magazines or newspapers. I have also created a few supervised tests, but extremely few have tried them, possibly because of the need to travel here.

Norming a high-range test is mostly achieved by anchoring it to one or (mostly) more other tests, with methods like rank equation or z-score equation. Norming, in statistical terms, means to predict one variable (for instance I.Q.) from another (raw score or scaled score on the test). The word “predict” is used here in the statistical sense, not as in fortune telling.

The tests are now published as electronic documents and delivered via the Internet or e-mail. When I started publishing tests though, I used to type them on a typewriter and make photocopies, which I sent by mail to people who responded to calls I placed in magazines and papers. My very first, unpublished, tests were written with fountain pen on paper. I have almost always been my own publisher when it comes to tests.

Tests can be refined by studying incoming answers and comments, and by statistical item analysis. One can thus identify bad items and remove or revise them.

Regarding the working mechanism of I.Q. tests, it can be said that intelligence is an all-pervasive unhideable trait that involuntarily expresses itself in virtually everything a person does or says. As a result, it is surprisingly difficult to design a test that does not measure intelligence, hence the relative success of the many dilettante high-range test constructors active today. Indeed, it is easier to create a functioning high-range I.Q. test than it is to create a test that purposely lacks any validity in the high range; the latter may take some quite intricate statistical labour.

The Prize of the Beheaded Man, and other awards and honorary societies, serve to encourage people in taking the tests, thus bringing in more data for norming and other statistical purposes.

Finally, one needs to deal with various forms of fraud, like illegal unauthorized criminal discussing, spreading, and publishing of test items and answers by evil candidates seeking an unfair advantage. For security reasons I can not reveal the strategies used to counteract this, but we are working on a tight network of excutators to track down such offenders and kindly and humanely keep them from repeating. My novel “Field of eternal integrity” provides extensive details as to the treatment of offenders in high-range mental testing.

9. Your personal research into the nature of creativity, and genius separates facets of human functioning. You wrote on the nature of genius based on “wide associative horizon and large amounts of conscientiousness and intelligence.”[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20] You wrote on creativity too, which you have summarized in the following manner:

My current view on creativity (and therefore genius) could be summarized as:

Conscientiousness contributes to creativity but disposes for neurosis;

Associative horizon contributes to creativity but disposes for psychosis;

Intelligence contributes to creativity but disposes for normality.[21]

In addition, in an interview, you stated:

There are three groups of personality traits or aspects that are important to be creative: Ability, Conscientiousness, and Associative horizon. The combination or synergy thereof is what enables the individual to bring into being what was not there before. All three are needed; Each one is of limited value without the other two. And they do not always go together. In fact it is rare to find them combined in large amounts into one individual, and when that happens, you have a genius.[22]

Furthermore, in the same interview, you wrote:

In terms of personality, genius is the high end of creativity, and creativity in turn is a synergy of conscientiousness, ability, and associative horizon. There exists also another type of definition of genius, which says a genius is someone who makes a lasting contribution in any field, but that is of course an “after the fact” definition. Two of the three elements in my definition are related to psychiatric disorders; conscientiousness to neurosis, associative horizon to psychosis. The trick is to have exactly the right amounts of those, so that you stay just below the threshold where you would have a debilitating neurotic or psychotic illness.

Intelligence, when that term is used in relation to human personality, is the cognitive aspect of personality, the aspect that comprises mental ability. The word “intelligence” is unfortunately often used in a number of other meanings too, so that is it not usable in scientific contexts; the best term for it is probably “g”, the general factor in mental ability. In the above definition of genius, intelligence would belong to the ability element.[23]

What sets of sub-traits exist within each of the core traits of associative horizon, conscientiousness, and ability?

I have written a number of articles about that, but in short I see associative horizon as consisting of three groups of traits: (1) Divergent abilities like fluency in association and mental flexibility. (2) Resistance to narrowing mammalian phenomena, like resistance to conformism, to suggestion, to conditioning, to automating tasks, to non-verbal communication, to socialization, to empathy, and to emotion. (3) Vulnerabilities, such as high sensitivity, disposition for the placebo effect, and disposition for psychosis (but not actual psychosis).

Conscientiousness too has three divisions: (1) Ability-fostering traits, such as accuracy, carefulness, coherence, consistency, dependability, diligence, perfectionism, persistence, punctuality, respect for detail, self-discipline, and tolerance of repetitive work. (2) Ego-strength, such as being determined, driven by inner motivation, holding on to insights despite opposition, impulse-controlling, insensitive to habituation, strong-willed, and uncompromising. (3) Ethics-related traits, such as being fair, loyal, respectful, responsible, sincere, trustworthy, and truthful regardless of consequences.

Ability cascades from the most general level – general intelligence – to the most specific abilities. The more specific an ability is, the greater the degree to which it can be learnt or improved. The more general, the greater the degree to which the ability is inborn.

10. In one previous interview, you answered a query on the existence of alien and extra-terrestrial life, as follows:

Yes, I believe extraterrestrial aliens exist. Whether they have visited Earth is a different matter. I think that would be known worldwide instantly, and not possible to cover up. I also think the vast majority of civilizations in the universe are at a lower level than current human civilization (but those smart enough to travel here would be at a higher level, naturally). I have estimated the average I.Q. of civilizations in the universe at about 80. When rising far above that, forces of a decadent-degenerative nature become active that pull society back toward that more primitive level. This can be observed throughout the history of Earth humans – all civilizations have fallen so far – and it seems reasonable to assume it will be no different on other planets. The development of civilization is not a straight upward line, but is discontinuous in time and space. While theoretically some civilization somewhere in the universe could reach the point where interstellar travel becomes feasible, we have not seen that yet, and it is not a priori certain that such is possible at all. In any case it is very naive to think that the current rate of technological improvement in our civilization will always continue.[24]

You have measured intelligence in absolute, as opposed to relative, terms. From this line of reasoning, and researching, you developed an absolute scale for intelligence in addition to linkages with expectations of civilizations’ development at each I.Q. score. You discussed the average intelligence level of previous human civilizations, or even the variegated intelligence of the contents of the universe.[25],[26],[27] What might be the mean intelligence level of the human species (or of novel species developed through speciation from Homo sapiens) decades, centuries, millennia, hundreds of thousands, or millions of years from the present time, especially in the light of rapid scientific and technological advances in the 20th century alone?

On the short term, say decades to centuries, there are mixed prospects. On the one hand, genetic intelligence is going down in Western countries through dysgenic effects, and therewith the basis for scientific and technological advance is disappearing. During the twentieth century, this decline has been masked by the “Flynn effect”, but that rise of test scores (probably environmental and partly hollow with respect to general intelligence) seems to have maxed out and levelled off meanwhile, so that the true development is becoming more visible and felt. When average I.Q. sinks too much, progress will stop, and society may even regress to a pre-technological state. All civilizations have ended so far, and it would be a naive and fatal mistake to exclude the West from that rule.

On the other hand, the latest few sunspot cycles indicate that a long-term solar minimum is likely imminent, and such a minimum, according to research by the German psychologist S. E. Ertel, appears to cause an increase of the productivity of eminent scientists and artists, which might counteract a possible decline. Under such a minimum, one may also expect less war, uproar, revolutions, mass migrations, and other such negativity.

And, there is little doubt that a long-term minimum cools the global climate, may even cause a little ice age. Colder conditions stimulate the evolution of genetic intelligence, so help to invert the dysgenic trend, while also discouraging migration from warm (low-I.Q.) regions to moderate and cold (high-I.Q.) regions. As a word of caution, from my privileged position of knowledge I feel responsible to warn that a colder climate will also result in many deaths through decreased food production, and this will hit humanity particularly hard after having been misled by decades of political drum-beating on a coming “warming” by greenhouse gasses emitted by humans.

If the dysgenic trend wins out, average I.Q. may in a bad scenario drop to around 80 in the next several centuries. We are still Homo sapiens then, but technological civilization will have to start over from scratch. If eugenic times return, I believe that biological humans can theoretically reach averages around 130 in that time frame, and eventually form a new species. Cyborgs or completely artificial beings could go higher. But a problem is that the high civilization that results from high average I.Q. levels tends to introduce dysgenic factors that pull the mean down again, so that it is exceedingly hard to reach the stage where biological humans obtain averages of 130 to 140, and where cyborgs, robots, or computers reach, say, I.Q. 200 or more.

In the long run, I fear that humans or their descendants will keep regressing toward 80, with brief periods of blossoming, and if you wait indefinitely – like hundreds of millions of years – there may once be a group, species, or genus with I.Q.’s in the 200-250 range. Those would likely be capable of interstellar and/or time travel. But the fact that we have not been contacted by extraterrestrials or extracontemporaries – and what is more, that my predicted flying saucer abduction has not materialized yet! – tells us it is extremely rare and difficult to reach and sustain such heights.

Far more important than scientific feats and astronomical I.Q. numbers is the inverse and causal relation between I.Q. and evils like violence and crime. Were average human I.Q. to rise to a mere 115, I dare say we would be rid of most of that, and peace and happiness all around. For information, the present world average I.Q., depending on whether or not one weights the national average I.Q.’s by population sizes, is about 90 (weighted) to 84.5 (unweighted). This is based on national I.Q.’s published by Lynn and Vanhanen. It explains why our world is not yet the place of peace we are yearning for.

[1] See Letter Kundig Museum (n.d.). Literaire prijzen.

[2] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Detailed personal information.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Paul Cooijmans.

[6] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). List of Tests.

[7] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Prize Of The Beheaded Man.

[8] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Awards To High-Range I.Q. Test Candidates.

[9] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Imhotep.

[10] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Thoth.

[11] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Straight talk about asperger syndrome.

[12] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). I.Q. Tests For The High Range – Goals.

[13] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Genius and Creativity.

[14] See Cooijmans, P. (2010). Conscientiousness.

[15] See Cooijmans, P. (2010). Associative Horizon.

[16] See Cooijmans, P. (2010, July). Synergy.

[17] See Cooijmans, P. (2010, August). Subgroups of traits clarified by their low ends.

[18] See Cooijmans, P. (2015, April). Solar activity and behaviour — A causal hypothesis.

[19] See Cooijmans, P. (2006). Rareness and discontinuity of genius.

[20] See Cooijmans (2009). Inferiority – the opposite of genius.

[21] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Genius.

[22] See Cooijmans, P. (2009, February 25). Creativity and Personality.

[23] See Volney, K. (2013, September 2). Interview with Paul Cooijmans: Administrator of the Giga Society.

[24] See Ibid.

[25] See Cooijmans, P. (2010). Human evolution.

[26] See Cooijmans, P. (2010, September). Human degeneration.

[27] See Cooijmans, P. (2010, August). Extended intelligence scale.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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