Re: A study comparing 150 IQ+ persons to 180 IQ+ persons

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Aug 22 2006 - 07:17:54 MDT

> Please, please, please at least skim this paper:
> The idea that IQ doesn't matter "all that much" is among the most
> frequently repeated myths with the greatest amount of available
> evidence to demolish it.

What this paper argues, regarding high IQ, is that having an IQ over
120-125 is good because it allows one to qualify for any job one
desires no matter how complex....

It does seem to argue fairly convincingly that IQ is useful for
generally categorizing people into "smart vs. average vs. dumb" in a
way that is relevant to pragmatic performance in careers in our

But this does not address the question at hand, which is whether IQ is
any use for distinguishing among folks with IQs way above 125, in a
way that is relevant to pragmatic performance on very difficult
intellectual tasks.

Anecdotally, it seems to me that folks with very high IQs (160+, 180+,
whatever) have a particular capability for rapid logical
problem-solving which is certainly very useful for solving very
difficult intellectual tasks --- but is far from the only capability
that is useful for solving very difficult intellectual tasks.
Someone with 120+ IQ but a relatively weak ability for rapid logical
problem-solving, may not score 160+ on the IQ test, but may excel
intellectually via a combination of quick, broad-minded creativity
plus a strong ability for SLOW logical problem-solving (something that
does not show up on an IQ test). There is a lot of diversity among
peoples' cognitive mechanisms.

I have a very high IQ (based on childhood, psychologist-administered
tests) and went to a couple meetings of a high-IQ society once, many
years ago. That experience was enough to convince me that high IQ is
not any kind of guarantee of having really powerfully useful cognitive
habits and abilities. Being clever at solving logic puzzles fast does
NOT mean you have the right cognitive machinery for solving really
hard intellectual problems.

-- Ben G

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