Ronald K. Hoeflin

Ronald K. Hoeflin (born February 23, 1944) is an American philosopher by trade, creator of the Mega[1][2][3] and Titan[4] intelligence tests. In 1988 Hoeflin won the American Philosophical Association's Rockefeller Prize for his article, "Theories of Truth: A Comprehensive Synthesis."[5] His article argues for the interrelated nature of seven leading theories of truth.[6] Hoeflin claims an IQ of 164, admitting his scores have ranged from 125 to 175, depending upon the cognitive abilities tapped into.[7]

Ronald K. Hoeflin
BornFebruary 23, 1944 (1944-02-23) (age 76)
Ocklocknee, Georgia, U.S.
Alma materThe New School
Parent(s)William Eugene Hoeflin
Mary Elizabeth Dell


Hoeflin was born on February 23, 1944, to William Eugene Hoeflin (July 1, 1902 — 1993) and Mary Elizabeth Dell Hoeflin (born May 15, 1913 in Ocklocknee, Georgia), who married in 1938. Hoeflin has one sister (born 1939), who eventually pursued a career in ballet, and one brother (born 1942), who is now a computer programmer specializing in actuarial work.[8] Hoeflin grew up in St Louis, Missouri. As a young child he memorized pi to 200 places.[9] He received a PhD in Philosophy from The New School for Social Research.[9] He is currently writing a three-volume treatise entitled "The Encyclopedia of Categories: A Theory of Categories and Unifying Paradigm for Philosophy".[10][11]

Intelligence tests and societiesEdit

For over sixty years, psychologists such as Leta Stetter Hollingworth, author of the book Children Above 180 IQ, have suggested that people with extremely high IQs are radically different from the general population. Identifying such people would require IQ tests with reliability not currently available for extreme ranges of IQ.[12]

Hoeflin attempted, along with Kevin Langdon, to develop an IQ test that could measure adult IQs greater than three standard deviations from the population median, or IQ 145 (sd 15). Hoeflin's Mega Test was an unsupervised IQ test without time limit consisting of 48 questions, half verbal and half mathematical. It was published in Omni magazine, in April 1985, and the results were used to norm the test. Hoeflin standardized the test six times, using equipercentile equating with SAT and other scores, and some extrapolation at the highest level.[13] The highest scorers on the Mega Test had their names printed in the Guinness Book of World Records [14] and were also profiled (along with Hoeflin) by Esquire under the title The Smartest Man in America.[15] The Guinness book of World Records has since retired the category of "highest IQ" after concluding that IQ tests are not consistent enough to designate a single world record holder. Note now while a 15-year-old C. Minor is the only one to complete The Mega Test and Titan Test flawlessly, and to perfectly and ethically pass either one in a single attempt, conservatively implying a correspondence at or well above IQ 199-208[16] and the highest global level of fluid intelligence - without any age-correction and prior to any precision norms or protonorm extrapolations whatsoever - simultaneously, the High-Range IQ Tests of at least two other reputable authors suggest that one to possibly two other individuals are too close to the same IQ range to differentiate without further testing innovations, and are subject to change in relative ranking over time. One such individual of former World Record acclaim, Marilyn vos Savant - also one of Ronald Hoeflin's highest scorers - with Minor, was additionally profiled in New York magazine.[17] This article also discusses Hoeflin and the Mega Society[18] (the author of the Esquire article, Mike Sager, later used it as part of a book.[19]) The Mega Test has been criticized by professional reviewers of psychological tests.[3] In 1990, Hoeflin created the Titan Test, also published in Omni. After Rick Rosner used several eponymous and pseudonymous submissions to become the first to find a complete score on this test early on, it would be well over a decade before a teenaged C. Minor would surpass Rosner by clearing the test on a first-attempt basis without rule violations.[20]

Believing that people at the highest IQ levels would be able easily to communicate with each other and have much in common, Hoeflin founded several societies for those with the highest scores.[21] Not all are active today.[dubious ] These societies are (along with year founded, percentile, and minimum IQ (sd 16)):

Societies Founded by Ronald Hoeflin
Society Year founded Acceptance Percentile Acceptance IQ (SD 16)
Prometheus Society 1982 99.997 164
Mega Society 1982 99.9999 176
The following four groups belong to the Ronald K. Hoeflin Society
Top One Percent Society 1989 99 137
One-in-a-Thousand Society 1992 99.9 150
Epimetheus Society 2006 99.997 164
Omega Society 2006 99.9999 176


  1. ^ Morris, Scot. "The one-in-a-million I.Q. test". Omni magazine, April 1985, pp 128-132.
  2. ^ Republic Magazine, November 1985, "Beyond Mensa," by Catherine Seipp
  3. ^ a b Carlson, Roger D. (1991). "The Mega Test". In Keyser, Daniel; Sweetland, Richard (eds.). Test Critiques. VIII. Kansas City (MO): Test Corporation of America. pp. 431–435. ISBN 0-89079-254-2. ISSN 1553-9121. Although the approach that Hoeflin takes is interesting, inventive, intellectually stimulating, and internally consistent, it violates many good psychometric principles by overinterpreting the weak data of a self-selected sample.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  4. ^ "Mind Games: the hardest IQ test you'll ever love suffering through", Omni magazine, pp 90 ff, April 1990
  5. ^ Prizes and Awards (American Philosophical Association
  6. ^ Proceedings, "News from the National Office". Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Vol. 62, No. 4. (Mar., 1989), pp. 691.
  7. ^ Sager, Mike (November 1999). "The Smartest Man in America". Esquire. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
  8. ^ Hoeflin, Ronald. "About the Author." Noesis, Issue #176 February 2005.
  9. ^ a b "The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World" by A. J. Jacobs (Simon & Schuster, 2005)
  10. ^ Aviv, Rachel (2006-08-02). "The Intelligencer". Village Voice. Retrieved 2006-08-02. This article is primarily a biography of and interview with Dr Hoeflin
  11. ^ Knight, Sam (2009-04-10). "Is a high IQ a burden as much as a blessing?". Financial Times (London). Retrieved 2006-04-20. This article has a section which contains a biography of and interview with Dr Hoeflin
  12. ^ Perleth, Christoph; Schatz, Tanja; Mönks, Franz J. (2000). "Early Identification of High Ability". In Heller, Kurt A.; Mönks, Franz J.; Sternberg, Robert J.; et al. (eds.). International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Pergamon. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-08-043796-5. norm tables that provide you with such extreme values are constructed on the basis of random extrapolation and smoothing but not on the basis of empirical data of representative samples.
  13. ^ Membership Committee (1999). "1998/99 Membership Committee Report". Prometheus Society. Archived from the original on 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2006-07-26. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ Guinness Book of World Records, Bantam Books 1988, page 29
  15. ^ Sager, Mike (November 1999). "The Smartest Man in America". Esquire. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  16. ^ Knight, Sam (10 April 2009). "Is a high IQ a burden as much as a blessing?". Financial Times. Financial Times Ltd. Retrieved 7 October 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  17. ^ Baumgold, Julie (February 6, 1989). "In the Kingdom of the Brain". New York magazine.
  18. ^ [1].
  19. ^ Mike Sager, Wounded Warriors, p. 121-36
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ A Short (and Bloody) History of the High I.Q. Societies Archived 2013-09-22 at the Wayback Machine