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

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Mon Aug 21 2006 - 22:30:43 MDT

Michael Anissimov wrote:
> What to make of this? I'm not entirely certain, except to say that
> there is probably a point of diminishing returns with respect to
> intelligence in humans, after which other factors such as social
> skills, self-control, emotional stability, etc. begin to dominate over
> the effects of IQ.

That's a bit of a stretch. I would read it as: The IQ test starts
breaking down in the range beyond 130 to 160, depending on which test
you use. Yes, IQ tests measure something extremely important in the
range of, say, 60 to 140, with all sorts of important covariances, but
beyond that you scarcely have any data points. If, unlike conventional
IQ scores, Terman's test of genius doesn't covary with anything
interesting - then this reflects poorly on Terman's test of genius, not
on intelligence. Good IQ tests are *constructed*, using large sample
sizes, to covary with interesting things.

If I were to make up a "plausible story" beyond that - which I don't
think the evidence justifies - then I would sagely say: most geniuses
are not lucky enough to find problems that demand *all* of their

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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