Does IQ matter? (part II)

In our last posting, I looked at the question: Does IQ matter? And in particular, I took a fairly basic angle of examining whether having a very low IQ would in fact become a limiting factor in education, employment and economic freedom. What is self evident is that people with very low IQs may struggle with standard life processes such as education, and achieving economic freedom.

Does IQ matter? Evidence from the lower half of the distribution suggests that it does. Very low IQs may be associated with learning difficulties. At the extreme case, people with IQs in the 60s or 70s may not be able to live independent lives and may require long term care. Above 70s and into the low 80s, people may struggle in formal education, which in turn may hinder their ability to gain qualifications which lead to skilled employment, hampering prospects of achieving financial independence. As people’s IQs approach 90, the prospects of getting through high school is significantly enhanced, and a mid 90s IQ even allows some to go on and complete tertiary education, which in turn significantly enhances employment prospects for many. Does IQ matter? The evidence is overwhelming that it does.

What about the right hand tail of the IQ distribution? Well, ‘normal IQ’ is usually associated with a score lying between 90 and 109. This is the category that nearly 50% of the population fall into (47.2% to be precise). People will normal IQs are able to function in the society we will in. People with this level of IQ should be able to finish their high school education and some people within this range are able to successfully complete their university degree. This in turn enhances employment and earnings prospects on the whole, which means greater financial independence. The types of jobs that are available to people in this IQ range include education, sales, public administration, finance and real estate occupations.

Does IQ matter? Let’s look beyond the average.

Does IQ matter for people with above average IQ? Let’s discuss this now.

The next IQ category is high average (IQ between 110 and 119). This is typically the range of IQ of most college or university students. People with high average IQs are able to secure jobs as managers, accounting, high school education, social work and the like.

Within the next IQ category of ‘superior IQ’ (120 to 129) we find individuals that are not only able to successfully graduate from university, but people who have enough raw brain processing power to be able to go on to pursue more professional careers from engineering, medicine to legal occupations. This is the IQ bucket for which mothers can safely tell their children: “the World is your oyster”.

IQ levels over 130 start with the ‘gifted’ category, progressing through to ‘genius’ which means that people with this level of IQ may not only pursue the career of their choice, but they can elevate themselves beyond the status quo and propose and implement changes to the way society operates.

Does IQ matter? Of course it does. It does down to the point, but on average, people with higher IQs are able to get more out of life because most paths are available to them. Ignoring extraordinary genius IQ levels which may lead some individuals to feel isolated, high IQs lower the struggle and friction that people experience when faced with key life hurdles that most of us need to go through: education and employment. The ability of these people to make better choices typically leads to more economic freedom and happiness.

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