Thinking Laterally In A Linear World: The Limits of Education

For the British social psychologist Liam Hudson, IQ as a measurement for achievement is a lot like height in the NBA, past a certain threshold, it doesn’t matter. In the NBA, that threshold is about 6 feet. Baring a few exceptions, nearly every player in the NBA Hall of Fame is at least 6 feet tall. For IQ, the threshold is around 120. Geniuses like Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal sported IQs well over 150. But Richard Feynman, winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics and widely considered one of the greatest physicists of all time, did just fine at 120. A high IQ correlates with things like good health, high salary and high academic achievement, but it guarantees little in terms of personal success. Indeed, scores of people with an IQ above 120 go on to accomplish next to nothing.

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