For many IQ test sitters, the syllogism type questions are both among the most challenging, but also the most enjoyable to work out. They’re a logical reasoning puzzle, which means applying the brain logically while trying to come up with the correct conclusion to a written question.
Once again, because the syllogism questions in certified IQ tests rely on language comprehension, they don’t feature in international IQ tests. However, they’re not a test of your vocabulary or ability to use a language well, but rather a test of logical thinking and the ability to balance sentences against one another.
What is a Syllogism IQ Question?
The syllogism IQ test questions will consist of a pair of related propositions, which call out for a logical conclusion. The challenge is, in essence, to find the correct conclusion to the two propositions; the one which justifies both propositions equally. These question types are based upon very old linguistic puzzles which frequently pop up in Greek philosophical passages, making them the oldest type of challenge found in a typical certified IQ test!
An example of a syllogism IQ test question would be as follows:
- All dogs have parasites
- All parasites are blue
Which is the correct conclusion which can be drawn with 100% certainty from this pair of statements?
All parasites live on dogs
All dogs have blue parasites
Dogs occasionally have red parasites
Cats never have blue parasites
The correct answer for this syllogism IQ test question is B: All dogs have blue parasites. After all, ALL dogs have parasites, and according to the syllogism, ALL parasites are blue.
As such, all of the parasites are blue, and therefore, all of the parasites on dogs would also be blue. What’s more, because all dogs have parasites, every dog will have blue parasites.
The other propositions listed are either untrue – according to the syllogism – for example, dogs occasionally have red parasites (which cannot be true, as we have established that all parasites are blue), or we cannot be certain of the truth, such as in the first one which claims that all parasites live on dogs. We simply cannot know if this is the case or not by the syllogism alone.