Girl With IQ of 161 Makes Headlines, But Skeptical Readers Ask Questions

Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013 10:25 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A 16-year-old English girl scored 161 on a Mensa IQ test, making her smarter than Bill Gates and Albert Einstein, British tabloids are claiming, but skeptics are wary.

Lauren Marbe, of Essex, said she's happy her astronomical IQ can help squash the dumb blonde stereotype.

"I love my fake tan and fake nails as well so I guess I am a bit of an Essex girl in that sense," Marbe told the Daily Mail. "But I'm glad that I might be able to show people that we aren’t all ditzy and blonde."

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Marbe's 161 reportedly puts her ahead of the 160 IQ score held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and geniuses Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. (Einstein never actually took an IQ test but experts predict that he would have scored a 160.)

The IQ test is designed to test a range of abilities to determine the level of intelligence of a person. In the UK, the average score is 100. Marbe, a straight-A student, took the test along with other high achievers at her school, but had no idea how well she'd do.

"It was such an achievement and I got a bit tearful to tell you the truth," Marbe told the Daily Mail. "I was one of the last people to get my result and everybody before me had got around the 130 mark so that was the kind of result I was expecting. My teachers knew I was quite clever because of my grades but they had always thought I was blonde and a bit ditzy."

Marbe is now a member of the prestigious high-IQ society Mensa, British Mensa Chief Executive John Stevenage told the Mail.

"Lauren Marbe achieved a score in the top two percent on a Mensa IQ test making her eligible to join Mensa."

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Some skeptics doubt the validity of Marbe's purported 161 IQ. As of Wednesday morning, the story was only running in British tabloid papers, which contain contradicting details.

Related stories:

Kids' IQs Fluctuate During Teen Years

Study: Pesticides May Harm Kids' Brains, IQs

Small Preemies Have Lower IQ as Adults

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