1. IQ Puzzle

Here is a question I came across on an IQ test recently. I chose Answer C, but they claim Answer B is the correct answer. What do you think?
6.Which object will fall faster when dropped from the top of a building in normal weather conditions? An 8 x 11 piece of paper or a peanut? Both weigh the same amount.

A.The piece of paper

B.The peanut

C.It's impossible to know

The paper will encounter more resistance than will the peanut, and so it will fall more slowly. The correct answer is B.
My reasoning was that the paper might be balled up to reduce resistance, so it's impossible to tell which will encounter the most resistance...

2. For the record, here's the other question I got wrong:

35. Which of the following character strings is the closest match to 8,392,211,109?

A. 8,382,311,119
B. 8,3925211,129
C. 8,39,2211,208
D. 8,329,211,108

3. Order of Kilopi
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Arr, but ye scurvy paper will never as scrunched up be as a single ship's peanut.

(I failed my IQ test because I happened to take it Speak Like a Pirate Day.)

And be this a test 'o ye general intelligence, or be it a test of ye knowledge of the physic? I'll wager a bottle 'o chocolate milk it be the latter!

4. IQ tests, I have noticed, are bad at identifying original thinking, which actually indicates greater intelligence.

5. The paper as indicated has no mention of modifications, so it's probably to be taken to be in pristine form.
Actually I doubt scrunching it up will have any effect, the density is still lower than that of a peanut, so it will always have a larger surface area for it's weight.

As for the character strings, I'd say B, only two characters differ.

Part of the intelligence test is to figure out how the people asking the questions where thinking, this also takes intelligence, though not the kind they claim to be testing.

As for creativity, you can't test for that in a multiple choice test.

6. Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen
Actually I doubt scrunching it up will have any effect, the density is still lower than that of a peanut, so it will always have a larger surface area for it's weight.
They weigh the same, so if you scrunch the paper up into a ball of the same volume as the peanut, the densities will also be the same...

Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen
As for the character strings, I'd say B, only two characters differ.
Correct.

7. Originally Posted by Eroica
They weigh the same, so if you scrunch the paper up into a ball of the same volume as the peanut, the densities will also be the same...
You'll need some mighty hands (hydraulic rams/black hole) to squash an A4 sheet to that size. But then again, even if it's really lightweight paper that's still a very heavy peanut...... (paper typically weighs 80g/m^2, giving us a peanut weighing 4.5 grams. According to this site peanuts have a density of about 640kg/m^3, or .64g/cm^3, giving us a peanut of 7 cubic centimetres). I never saw a peanut that big.....

8. Originally Posted by Sock puppet
..paper typically weighs 80g/m^2, giving us a peanut weighing 4.5 grams. According to this site peanuts have a density of about 640kg/m^3, or .64g/cm^3, giving us a peanut of 7 cubic centimetres. I never saw a peanut that big.....
According to this site, the world's largest peanut was 4 inches long. Assuming it was roughly cylindrical, it would need to be ~ 0.4 in in diameter to equal 7 cc's. So, perhaps it is possible...

Of course, it could have been a much heavier piece of paper, and this peanut

9. The problem with any multiple choice test is wording the questions in such a way that they don't give away the correct answer, but they do point to it.

The paper/peanut question allows you to consider modifying the paper (or the peanut... if you ground it into a fine powder. it would fall more slowly). The numbers/character string question provides too little explanation of what they want. Someone with a facile mind (read: high IQ) will see all the possibilities unless the question constrains such thinking.

Seems to me this IQ test was a good indication of the IQ of the people who wrote it. And I ain't impressed.

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since they say "8 x 11 piece" it means it is straight by default.

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I have another interesting related question:

What will weight more 1kg of lead or 1 kg of alunimium.
(if you put these on balance at home)

a) lead, b) aliuminium c) equal.

11. Originally Posted by Digix
since they say "8 x 11 piece" it means it is straight by default.

-------------------------------------------
I have another interesting related question:

What will weight more 1kg of lead or 1 kg of alunimium.
(if you put these on balance at home)

a) lead, b) aliuminium c) equal.
That one only works when you say it fast and don't give the people a chance to think, it also helps to not give 'equal' as an answer, as that tips your hand. That is, if it's the answer I think it is

An interesting variation is this:
Which weighs more, a pound of gold or a pound of feathers?

The answer is, in fact, the pound of gold, as a pound of gold is, by default, a Troy pound, which is more then a 'normal' one. Or, that's what I've been told.

12. Originally Posted by Eroica
Correct.

But an argument could be made for D as well. Although three characters differ here, the first two differences are just a transposition of the two characters in question, rather than introducing an entirely extraneous character. "Closest match" isn't exactly a rigorous term.

13. Originally Posted by GDwarf
The answer is, in fact, the pound of gold, as a pound of gold is, by default, a Troy pound, which is more then a 'normal' one. Or, that's what I've been told.
Other way around. A Troy pound is actually less, so the pound of feathers weigh more.

14. I agree with digix. I think that the fact that they gave the dimension of the paper strongly implies that that is the dimension of the paper when you drop it. On the other hand, I can easily see myself pondering the same thing while taking such a quiz.

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Originally Posted by GDwarf
That one only works when you say it fast and don't give the people a chance to think, it also helps to not give 'equal' as an answer, as that tips your hand. That is, if it's the answer I think it is

An interesting variation is this:
Which weighs more, a pound of gold or a pound of feathers?

The answer is, in fact, the pound of gold, as a pound of gold is, by default, a Troy pound, which is more then a 'normal' one. Or, that's what I've been told.

Actualy that is very hard question. If you say that 1kg have same weight as 1 kg of feathers, you are wrong.
By definition weight is force, which affects support, and mass is inertia.
If you use balance to measure exact mass amount of these materials. 1 kg of lead will weight more, because of Archimed's force created by the surounding air.
This will be very clear if we try to use balance underwater.

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Yes, weight varies with mass, bouyancy varies with volume. So of two equal masses, whichever has the larger volume will weigh less when weighed in a bouyant medium like air or water.
Consider a kilogram of helium, which will have negative weight if it is weighed in a standard atmosphere at atmospheric pressure.

Grant Hutchison

17. Originally Posted by Digix
Actualy that is very hard question. If you say that 1kg have same weight as 1 kg of feathers, you are wrong.
By definition weight is force, which affects support, and mass is inertia.
If you use balance to measure exact mass amount of these materials. 1 kg of lead will weight more, because of Archimed's force created by the surounding air.
This will be very clear if we try to use balance underwater.
Very observant! Of course, that's true if you're talking about kilograms, as in the example with the lead and tin. But (just to confuse things further) the example with gold was using pounds, and pounds are a unit of force! So technically a pound of gold on the moon would still weigh a pound, but there would be more gold than there would be on Earth. And, thinking about grant's next example, there is no such thing as a pound of helium as measured in the atmosphere at standard pressure.

18. Pound is mass

Just to be absolutely correct - the "pound" is defined international (and since 1893 in US) in terms of mass.
(see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_%28mass%29) )

As most other scientists (at least trained in the US) I also learned incorrectly that the "pound" is defined as a unit of force. That honor is actually reserved as the definition of "pound-force".

Therefore, the "pound" of butter you buy on a future space colony will be the same mass as here on earth.

19. Originally Posted by BioSci
Therefore, the "pound" of butter you buy on a future space colony will be the same mass as here on earth.
And, when consumed, will add a pound and a half of mass to your buttocks... the well-known "Lard Butt Rule of Additive Masses."

20. what weighs more, a kilo of lead or a kilo of water?

water is less dense but does it receive any buoyancy from the atmosphere?

21. 35. Which of the following character strings is the closest match to 8,392,211,109?

A. 8,382,311,119
B. 8,3925211,129
C. 8,39,2211,208
D. 8,329,211,108
I'd say B (because it has two characters different, while all the others have at least three). What was the "correct" answer (and yours, for that matter)?

22. Originally Posted by Frog march
what weighs more, a kilo of lead or a kilo of water?

water is less dense but does it receive any buoyancy from the atmosphere?
They both receive buoyancy. The magnitude of the buoyancy force is proportional to the volume of the object being buoyed

A kilogram of water occupies 1L of space, so the buoyancy force from the air equals about 1.3 grams*.

A kilogram of lead occupies ~ 90 milliliters of space, so the buoyancy force from the air equals about 0.1 gram*.

*Assumes Sea level location, allowing my intermixing of mass and force units.

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Originally Posted by ToSeek
I'd say B (because it has two characters different, while all the others have at least three). What was the "correct" answer (and yours, for that matter)?

I agree on B, because we compare character strings not numbers

24. Originally Posted by Digix
I agree on B, because we compare character strings not numbers
But - this just begs the question - what does it really mean to ask what is the "closest match"?
the given "character string" is clearly not a random string of characters - substituting a comma for a number could well be considered a "bigger" mismatch than a number for a number.

The question is poorly formed since how to define "match" is not clear.

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In case of character strings we compare ASCII codes insteand of digits.
It does not matter what that string means, it is text, not numbers. You must be familiar with programing to understant that easily.
of course question formulation is intentionaly poor, it would be more clear if they ask to sort these strings.

for example i can make alternative question:
sort these strings.
"+ac"
"abb"
"aZc"
"0cd"

26. Originally Posted by Grey
Other way around. A Troy pound is actually less, so the pound of feathers weigh more.
Yep.

1 avoirdupois pound is 16 avoirdupois ounces
1 troy pound is 12 troy ounces.

Interestingly enough though, 1 avoirdupois ounce is only .9114583 troy ounces. So, 1 troy pound is 13.16571 avoirdupois ounces. Still lighter than the avoirdupois pound, but not by as much as you would initially think.

How about we all stick to metric....

27. Originally Posted by Digix
In case of character strings we compare ASCII codes insteand of digits.
It does not matter what that string means, it is text, not numbers. You must be familiar with programing to understant that easily.
of course question formulation is intentionaly poor, it would be more clear if they ask to sort these strings.

for example i can make alternative question:
sort these strings.
"+ac"
"abb"
"aZc"
"0cd"
Is already sorted in EBCDIC since the hex codes would be:
x'4E8183'
x'818282'
x'81E983'
x'F08384'

28. Originally Posted by ToSeek
I'd say B (because it has two characters different, while all the others have at least three). What was the "correct" answer (and yours, for that matter)?
B is the correct answer. I went for C because I was incorrectly comparing numbers, not character-strings!

29. Originally Posted by BioSci
But - this just begs the question - what does it really mean to ask what is the "closest match"?
the given "character string" is clearly not a random string of characters - substituting a comma for a number could well be considered a "bigger" mismatch than a number for a number.

The question is poorly formed since how to define "match" is not clear.
Well, for a character string my first criterion would be how many mismatches there are. If it's a tie, then my first tiebreaker would be the closeness of the differing characters.

30. Originally Posted by ToSeek
Well, for a character string my first criterion would be how many mismatches there are. If it's a tie, then my first tiebreaker would be the closeness of the differing characters.
I would agree if the "character string" was random or did not have an obvious pattern.
This is particularly problematic for a supposed IQ test question where the ability to recognize patterns or relationships is often part of the test!

Which is a closer match to this "character string" : pattern
a) PATTERN
b) pa++ern
c) pat5ern
d) patern

Its my made up question and I don't think there is a best answer! Each one could be intelligently considered the "closest match" to the original string.

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