The Mensa Foundation is regarded as one of the oldest IQ societies in the world. The foundation is non-profit in nature, which makes it easy for a person to join. The goal of this essay is to provide an insight into the Mensa International. Some of the things that will be covered in the paper are background information on the group, its specification, terms of entry, group members, and the benefits that a person gets from becoming a group member.
Roland Berrill, a barrister, and Dr. Lance Ware, a lawyer and scientist, were the two people that founded the Mensa Foundation in 1964. The reason why they formed the foundation was to create a community made up of bright and intelligent persons. The society members were to be free from any form of distinction, either religious or racial. It is imperative to note that the original aims of the founding members are still operational in today’s Mensa Foundation (Cox and Rathvon 23). Staying true to its goal of representing a society of bright people, the group accepts the applicants with very high IQ level. After its establishment, Mensa has sufficiently grown in size. Current statistical numbers reveal that there exists over 120,000 Mensans located in over 100 countries globally. Every continent in the world has an active Mensa organization.
The foundation has a well-laid down organizational structure. The over 120,000 members worldwide are fitted into 50 large national groups. For those people who want to join the Mensa and have a national group in their country, it is possible to join the organization. Those people who are in the countries that do not have a national group may directly join the Foundation. American Mensa is the largest national group out of the many national communities in the Foundation. American Mensa is the home for over 57,000 people. At the tail of the American Mensa is the British Mensa that includes more than 21,000 on average (Gordon 45). The third largest Mensa to the number of members is the German Mensa, which has an estimated number of 11,000 people. One unique feature about the Mensa is that its members are free to conduct themselves in a way that they find suitable for themselves. It is from this freedom enjoyed by the Mensa members that there has been the formation of special interest groups (SIGs) within the Foundation. It is imperative to note that these special interest groups are established all the way from the international to local levels. The special interest groups formed at the Mensa are a representation of the wide range of interests that its members have. It is significant to note that the members have the avenue through which they can air their special interests while in the Foundation. Mensa members mostly feel motivated to remain at the Foundation, as their interests are taken care of by the community. The liberty of the members to represent their specific interests by the formation of SIGs within the Foundation is the main reason why there exist numerous special interest groups. For instance, sports SIG include the members who cover such interests and hobbies as football, basketball, or baseball. Importantly, the Foundation also contains SIGs in winemaking, cartooning, clowning, breadmaking, and silversmithing.
The Mensa has certain goals that it seeks to achieve. One of the community’s goals is to benefit humanity through the identification and fostering of human intelligence. The other goal that Mensa involves is to encourage further research on matters of intelligence. Through the intelligence research, it is easy for individuals to know various features of intelligence. In addition, research on the characteristics of intelligence is helpful in the identification of its further use. To show the way of conducting research on intelligence, the Mensa conducts some programs that are used by the bright students in various schools worldwide (Longo 76). In addition, the foundation provides scholarship programs to the bright students who would want to develop their education. The organization does this as a means of ensuring that the intelligence of the students is not wasted and used for a better purpose.
For a person to be a member of Mensa, he or she must have high IQ level. To prove his or her high IQ level, a person is examined by the intelligence test, from where the results will determine his or her IQ level. A person must score at least 98 percentile on the intelligence tests that he or she is put through. IQ tests that a person is subjected to at the Mensa are meant to measure his or her general ability of problem solving. In addition, the tests are used to study if a person is able to identify relationships that exist between two or more notions. The reasoning capacity of a person is also examined by IQ tests. The people who want to apply for the Mensa Foundation membership have a choice of submitting the results of the past intelligence tests that they have passed for the Mensa Foundation intelligence tests (Wilk 87). For those people that might want a picture of what the Mensa tests represent, they are free to take a trial test from the Mensa Home Test found in the American Mensa Ltd. However, it is imperative for individuals to understand that they do not qualify to become the members of the Foundation if they have passed mini-tests.
It is evidently beneficial to be one of the Mensa’s members. On Mensa’s website, there are listed various benefits that a person gains from being a member of the community. One of the advantages for a person is that he or she is able to receive intellectual stimulation while being a part of the community. Most of the people in Mensa are taught of ways in which they can train their mental muscles. Training of the mental muscles is considered to allow an individual to recognize the opportunities existing in the world. At the Mensa, numerous intellectual resources such as local newspapers and magazines provide useful information for the people. The fact that the Mensa involves numerous members is helpful in ensuring that there are people with common interests (Longo 72). For a person intending to join the Foundation, there is a huge possibility that he or she will find a person with similar passion and interests. Another benefit that Mensa members gain is broad knowledge in almost every aspect in their lives. This becomes possible because the institution offers nearly 200 different SIGs. Mensa members receive broader knowledge in different fields of study, such as foods, biology, systems analysis, popular culture, sports.
Social interaction is the other benefit that a Mensa member gets. According to the website, the meetings conducted at the Mensa are informative, educational, interesting, and enjoyable. For instance, the community has ensured that the meetings conducted by the members happen at least once a month, although there are those groups that meet ten times a month (Gordon 34). Surprisingly, the meetings are not restricted to one particular place and thus members can meet at a place of their choice. For instance, there are groups of the Mensa Foundation that decide to have their meetings over the dinner or travel around the world together. In addition, there are those groups of the communities whose members arrange to meet at the time of their own convenience or have some drinks at restaurants. A person communicates with the people who are of similar intellectual interests, thus, the meetings are a source of wide social interaction. One of the means through which the Mensa Foundation ensures social interaction is through the many annual conventions and parties that it conducts for its members. The groups of people who are situated at nearby regions are the members who participate in these annual meetings. During these workshops, parties, and conventions, the members of the Foundation who are situated in different regions interact with each other by sharing their personal experiences about the community. In conclusion, it is imperative to note that the Foundation does not force its members to participate in these numerous social activities.
Mensa Foundation members mainly communicate via the use of publications. Every member of the foundation is assured of finding a publication that informs of a variety of subjects. In the distributed magazines, there is a journal known as the Mensa World Journal, a publication that is meant to create interest and provoke ideas to its readers (Longo 39). The journal is a compilation of the views of the community members from different parts of the world. There are Mensa Foundation members who are located in the countries where the group also distributes local newsletters. Most of the information in these distributed local newsletters is connected with the local events and activities that the members should participate in continuously. However, the local newsletters may be used to spread the news of special information to the members. The members in regions that are far away from the others are also catered for through the special newsletter known as “Isolated M”. The newsletter contains information that should keep them updated with the recent undertakings of the Foundation. In compensating members of isolated areas, the newsletter is sold at very low prices to these members. Not only does the Mensa Foundation offer publication materials to its members but also offers such materials to the members of the public. They get information about the Foundation via the Mensa Research Journal (MRJ). The research articles present in the journal are a compilation of studies conducted on many themes. It is correct to suggest that the MRJ is one of the ways through which the foundation communicates with the society. Most of the materials in the MRJ are on the current issues affecting the society. Significantly, the Foundation charges very little cost for the MRJ, helping as many people as possible to buy the journal.
The society is another beneficiary of the activities done by the foundation. For instance, Mensa members are always training their mental muscles, which allows them to be creative and invent various innovations. One of the main aims of the Mensa is to ensure that its members are able to fully utilize their intelligence. One of the requirements of a person applying for the organization is that he or she should be in a position of solving as many problems as possible. The members of the foundation are required to be unique in the fields proven by their intelligence prowess. While at the Foundation, the members are trained on the ways of improving their intelligence level, a move that is advantageous to the other people in the society (Wilk 67). Another benefit that the members of the society gain from the foundation is exhibited through the scholarship programs that they give to the bright students in schools. One of the things that the Mensa is popular with is the annual learning scholarship that is provided to the students who portray higher intelligence as compared to their mates at schools. One of the things that the Mensa Foundation ensures is that its members are free from any political or religious distractions. Most of the problems that are present in today’s society arise due to the differences that people have on political and religious matters. With this in mind, it is easy to conclude that the members of the Mensa Foundation do not in any way contribute to such problems.
In conclusion, the Mensa Foundation is one of the communities that is of interest to many people due to its unique features. The Foundation’s main objective is to create a society of the most intelligent persons in the society. The organization remains transparent in its operations, activities, and research. The foundation is known to recruit the persons who have the highest IQ in comparison with other people. The foundation states clearly that for a person to become its member, he or she has to pass several texts with the best possible results. Although Mensa’s members could be located in different parts of the world, its effective organizational structure ensures that communication occurs seamlessly (“What Is Mensa?”). One of the ways through which communication takes place in the foundation is through journals which are not only distributed to the members but also to the wide range of readers. The most attractive feature about the community is that it has invented certain ways of ensuring that its members benefit to the maximum while being a part of the Foundation. In addition, the members of public could also become beneficiaries of the Mensa Foundation. Therefore, the Mensa Foundation is an important community that could benefit the contemporary society and serve as a means of education and science development.