The Strange Story of Very High IQ People (IQ’s of 160+)

The dirty truth is that once IQ gets above 140 (genius level) and certainly 145, people seem to get progressively weirder with each point climb on the brain scale.

A recent study focused on so called very high IQ people. The cutoff was 160, so they were looking at people with IQ’s of 160 and above. As you would expect, most of these 160+ IQ types were men.

Many of these men were nearly dysfunctional, living alone, never dating or marrying and rarely if ever having sex, painfully introverted to the point of crippling social phobia and just generally seem pathologically quiet and rather weird. Many of them were working at low paying jobs and living at low incomes or even living in poverty.  You can have too much of anything believe it or not, and I would imagine that at levels like that, you are just too damn smart for your own good.

Sadly, many of these men had become misanthropes. It almost seemed to go with the territory. A feeling that they were surrounded by retards or borderline retards was very common, and it was not a pleasant feeling. Most disliked their condition and said they wished they were much less intelligent than they were so they could function and be at home with ordinary people. There’s nothing fun about feeling like a freak, even if the thing you are an outlier in is a talent rather than a handicap.

Once IQ goes over 160, many people simply have got too much brains, too many cells, way too many connections. They are actually too smart. They’re going 120 while everyone else is going 35. You do that enough and of course you crash. These people are so gifted that you’re not even adaptive anymore. Their record-breaking IQ is crippling them instead of helping them. It’s a rather sad picture.

In the last century, a number of very high IQ men were found in Europe working at very menial jobs into late age. They were garbagemen, janitors, factory workers, security guards, lumberjacks, postal workers, low level clerks, truck drivers, or bar bouncers. Many had extremely boring jobs that would drive anyone else mad from the inactivity. Commonly they said that they liked the menial jobs because it gave them time to think. They wanted to run Olympic marathons in their heads all day long, and the best way to do that was to get a very menial job.

These are people to whom thinking and intellectual exercise is nearly a sensual activity (something you experience with and feel in your body) like sex, parties, dinner parties, sports, scuba diving, hiking, bike riding, skiing, hobbies, etc. Dumping trash and running around in their heads all day is the equivalent of a Caribbean cruise for regular people. They can go anywhere they want in the whole world, and they never have to leave their own heads. Not to mention the airfare savings.



Filed under Intelligence, Labor, Personality, Psychology

4 responses to “The Strange Story of Very High IQ People (IQ’s of 160+)

  1. Phil78

    BTW, according to Murray, there are problems with the validity of IQ scores past 150 to begin with.

    Though whatever it measures, the results you mention seems to replicate the studies of other findings.

  2. IC

    Best place to test your IQ is stock market. Only about 10% Americans are in stock market. This 10% are very likely already on the right side of IQ bell curve (IQ>120). Most investors and funds managers have hard time even beating market index which represents median performance (estimate at least IQ 125 at median). If you beat index, it is sure sign that you are above 125 IQ. If you beat Warren Buffett, you are certainly above 140 IQ.
    For any stock, both buyers and sellers think others made stupid decision. So for every trade of stock, it is intellectual decision against each other between buyer and seller. If your judgment is not superior to most others stock investors, you just can not be above median (stock index). If you are able to make right judgment while most other investor(>90%) are wrong , you will become superior investor like warren Buffett. In stock market, only your correct judgment not approved by most others makes you a super-investor. When your opinion is agreed by majority, you can not beat the average. Seeking approval rating in stock investment is self-defeating at end.

    Old American saying is truth: If you are so smart, why aren’t you rich?

    Howard Marks summarize it well in following video.

  3. IC

    “Old American saying is truth: If you are so smart, why aren’t you rich?”
    Please do not take offense. It also need discipline, more than intelligence to success in stock investment.

    Charlie Munger said it well. Stock investment is like pari-mutuel bet of horse race. It is your intelligence against other smart people. You have to be better thinker to be consistent winner. Emotional stability combined with your superior judgment is formula of success.

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