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Discussion » Questions » Life and Society » Why would anyone want to join Mensa?

Why would anyone want to join Mensa?

So that, even though you didn't get far in your career, you can prove that you could have?  To be a card-carrying smart person?

Posted - March 9, 2019


  • 3475
    Thanks for you answer, Easyjolene.  Does your son like being in Mensa?  I'm thinking I might find some very interesting people there, not sure.  I might also go to a lot of trouble for nothing worthwhile.
      March 9, 2019 8:37 PM MST

  • 46267

    Face it

    You ain't getting in.  

      March 9, 2019 9:52 PM MST

  • 3475
    I admit it, maybe not.
      March 10, 2019 7:42 AM MDT

  • 6526
      March 10, 2019 3:17 PM MDT

  • 4731
    It’s in our nature to want to be part of something larger than ourselves, and connect with people who share a common trait or interest. 
    It can’t be too much to imagine that highly intelligent people would like to meet and converse with others like themselves, right? 

    Birds of a feather. 
      March 9, 2019 8:54 PM MST

  • 3475
    Maybe.  I've never been surrounded by smart people but there are a few accomplished guys that I've had the best conversations with. One was in Mensa.  They say it's good for your health, well-being and longevity to connect with others and I was never a joiner.  Maybe I need to make up for lost time.  I'm in AA and enjoy that a lot even though I'm not an alcoholic.  I'm thinking I'd find higher quality connections in Mensa.  You have to be a member to log on to their site and find out where, when and even if they have meetings or functions.  It's hard to know if I should bother to try out.  I'd have to take a lot of practice tests to make it. This post was edited by CallMeIshmael at March 10, 2019 7:03 PM MDT
      March 10, 2019 7:49 AM MDT

  • 4731
    Whatever your particular place in life, you can be sure there are others who are there too. Fellowshipping is a primary aspect of our existence; to learn from, get support from and share our experiences with others like us enriches our lives and can give us purpose (you mention AA). This is a foundational component of every religion, for example. 
    Personally, I don’t get “loners”, I feel they are missing out on things they might find rewarding, given the initiative to invest themselves. 
      March 10, 2019 8:37 AM MDT

  • 5878
    Excellent answer.  I have known Mensa people and they were happy with themselves and their organization. 
      March 10, 2019 8:42 AM MDT

  • 46267
    I like smart people.  I wonder how many in MENSA are actually smart.    There are lots of people with high IQ's that are total morons.  

    But that has nothing to do with MENSA.  I think it would provide tons of opportunities to do stuff with smart people.

    Why Should I Join Mensa?

    There are many intelligent reasons to join Mensa. Whether you actively attend Mensa meetings or simply relish the intellectual stimulation that membership promotes, you'll find the benefits of Mensa membership to be numerous indeed. 

    Does Mensa Provide Intellectual Stimulation?

    Think-two-three, think-two-three! Mensa provides intriguing ways to flex your mental muscles. You'll find intellectual resources in national magazines, in local newsletters, and at regional, national and international conventions. 

    Whatever your passion, there's almost certain to be a Special Interest Group (SIG) filled with other Mensans who share it! Mensa offers approximately 200 SIGs, in mind-boggling profusion from African Violets to zoology. Along the way you'll find microbiology, and systems analysis, but you'll also find Sherlock Holmes, chocolate and Star Trek. There are the expected: biochemistry, space science, economics -- and the unexpected: poker, roller-skating, scuba diving, UFOs and witchcraft. There are SIGs for breadmaking, winemaking, cartooning, silversmithing, and clowning. Heraldry, semantics and Egyptology co-exist with beekeeping, motorcycling and tap dancing. Sports SIGs cover the classics (baseball, basketball, and football) and the not-so-classic (skeet shooting, hang gliding, skydiving). And any Mensan who can't find a SIG to join can easily start one.

    Does Mensa Provide Social Interaction?

    Mensa meetings are anything but dull! Local groups meet at least monthly. Often it's for dinner and drinks on a Friday night, or for get-togethers featuring a speaker or a lively, freewheeling discussion. All are with fellow members who share your intellectual interests. Some groups have special get-togethers or activities throughout the month. Others, especially the larger groups, have events nearly every day. Of course, participation in local group activities is always entirely at your option. There are also widely attended annual conventions offering workshops, seminars, and parties, plus numerous regional gatherings are held each year, offering social and intellectual excitement.

    What Publications Come With Mensa Membership?

    You will receive your national magazine with contributions by Mensans on a wide variety of subjects. Your magazine will feature the "Mensa World Journal," an interesting and thought-provoking section which contains views and information about Mensa around the world.

    In some countries, in addition to the national magazine you may receive lively local newsletters informing members of local activities and events, as well as other items of interest and announcements of special interest.

    "Isolated M" is a free friendly monthly electronic newsletter serving as a communication link among Mensans worldwide. It is distributed automatically to DIMs. Others can sign up at



    Publication information is also available for specific National Groups.

    Does Mensa Offer Any Publications to Non-Members?

    Yes, the Mensa Research Journal (MRJ) is offered to the general public. The scholarly research articles presented in each theme issue are selected from a wide array of research journals, both nationally and internationally. As an outreach of the Mensa Education & Research Foundation, the MRJ also seeks to educate the readers on theme topics. Editors are chosen from many professions to review current research articles on intelligence and the myriad of forces that impact intelligence negatively and positively. The selected group of articles brings the theme topic to you in a single, attractive presentation.

    Published in the US, the MRJ is the same great value internationally due to a grant from Mensa International Limited (MIL). Published three times per year, MRJ is one of the lowest priced research journals on the market. Entries from the Awards for Excellence program are highlighted in one journal each year. Some recent themes are "Lead Weights on Intelligence," "Intelligence: A diamond in the rough?," and "Memory." The MRJ accepts book reviews on books related to intelligence and posts educational events on an events calendar. Each issue cover has a unique design relative to the theme that is created by the Art Design Editor.

    You do not have to be a member of Mensa to subscribe--just someone interested in the latest information on the nature of giftedness, intelligence measures, loss of intelligence, increasing intelligence, or declining intelligence. To subscribe, please visit Mensa Research Journal.

    What Other Benefits Does Mensa Offer?

    In some countries Mensa sponsors a members-only credit card and insurance program. There is also a program that aids traveling Mensans.

    Can Mensa Help My Community?

    Mensa members find opportunities to contribute to the betterment of society through volunteer activities within their communities. Many Mensa groups offer scholarships for gifted students. The Gifted Children Resource Program compiles and provides information for gifted children at the national and local levels.

    This post was edited by WM BARR . =ABSOLUTE TRASH at March 10, 2019 7:04 PM MDT
      March 9, 2019 9:55 PM MST

  • 7962
    If you just want people to know that you are a very intelligent person you should just invent something useful -like a device that converts gravitational force directly into energy or prove God does or does not exist or something like that. 
      March 9, 2019 11:08 PM MST

  • 3475
    Right.  I tried and failed at those things.
      March 10, 2019 7:53 AM MDT

  • 12424
    No idea.  I'm not a joiner, myself.  Not clubby at all. 
      March 10, 2019 1:46 AM MST

  • 6454
    Einstein had an (claimed) I.Q. of something like 160. Certainly not the highest ever!  On the other hand, Muhammed Ali had an I.Q. of 60ish.  Retarded. 
      March 10, 2019 5:18 AM MDT

  • 5849
    I looked into it back in the 90s, but a lot of members seemed to have unending legal problems. (Usually with the next door neighbor.) I was not aware of any benefit at all.
      March 10, 2019 6:49 AM MDT

  • 13127
    God knows why....:(    Womensa is far better, apart from all the bickering and not to mention the endless cat fights ....:)D 
      March 10, 2019 8:02 AM MDT

  • 7481
    Ummm.... because you can. That's why. lol It's exclusive. I've taken the at-home tests a bunch, but I never do well with the math portions. I would have gladly joined otherwise. Toss it in my toolkit with other affiliations/ certifications that don't really mean anything other than they're cool to have. Technically, I'm Harvard alumni. I'm also an ordained minister. And a formally-trained clown who can make a mean balloon animal or rose. Ooh, and a former burlesque dancer. Throwing Mensa in there would have added to the total bad assery already going on. 
      March 10, 2019 11:40 AM MDT

  • 22404
    no idea
      March 10, 2019 2:50 PM MDT

  • 6526
    I've read this thread before posting my answer.

    I just "liked" TRUMP/JONG UN romance over's answer(I noticed that Don Barzini had also "liked" that answer.)

    My next stop was to "like" Don Barzini's 2 answers---they also provided useful information of issues that factor into the question.

    After I graduated in the late 60's, one or more scores on all those national tests that one takes automatically qualified me for membership in MENSA.  I chose not to join, partly because I didn't need any more things "to do."  

    I never did join, partially because I was tired of frequently being the "smartest one in the room"---not so much for the IQ as for my abilities and insights on a broad range of interests.  (I have heard some members of MENSA join for the opportunity to "pontificate.")

    I find the opportunity to engage in dialogue on such sites as these to be quite satisfying.  It's the equivalent to having a home gym rather than having to drive 20 minutes to work out for an hour---this is so much more convenient.
      March 10, 2019 3:46 PM MDT

  • 4731
    Tom, you mention “...frequently being the smartest one in the room”... to be, in fact, innately set apart in this way; a situation that those who seldom experience it would have some difficulty imagining as a problem. At the risk of immodesty, this is a condition I find with some frequency, and as you describe, not always a benefit. 

    It can wear on a person to be absent suitable peer discourse amid a roiling sea of (shall we say) mediocrity. That sounds arrogant, and perhaps it is, but it is no less true. I suspect kindergarten teachers know this feeling.
    While it is clear we are duly grateful for whatever gifts we have, I never pursued the Mensa path either, and can’t say whether I’d make their grade, but I could happily spend an hour in the company of many others who know and share this predicament, and gain a brief respite from the “sea air”, as it were. 
      March 10, 2019 8:36 PM MDT

  • 6526
    I fully expected you to be able to relate to my "smartest person in the room comment."  It becomes tedious to sit and listen to boring discussions about multiplication and division in math when you are usually dealing with tensors in n-dimensional space.

    I chuckled at your reference to the "roiling sea of mediocrity." Arrogance is offensive (by definition), but it is too frequently applied to people who simply actually know what they are talking about, and it therefore becomes the logical fallacy of ad hominem.

    My wife is very good looking, has a great sense of humor, keeps herself in excellent shape. she is educated, intelligent, and she had me (seriously) when she commented about the picture on the top of a small jewelry box that I was looking at by saying, "Oh, that's my favorite Renoir."  My point is simply that I consciously sought out my "equal."  We greatly enjoy each other's presence and the discussions / sharing that we engage in. (You have also shared the great relationship you have with your wife.) 

    To quote Nick Nolte's character in The Prince of Tides, "It is more than enough." 

    As always---Regards
      March 11, 2019 12:27 PM MDT

  • 5849
      March 11, 2019 2:52 PM MDT

  • 4731
    That’s funny. Dinosaurs and cavemen.  This post was edited by Don Barzini at March 11, 2019 5:29 PM MDT
      March 11, 2019 2:56 PM MDT