What is it like to have an IQ of 130?

From Quora:

I test in the 130 range.

People in this range are approximately in the 95% percentile, or 1 out of 20. That is, 19 out of 20 random people you interact with will have a lower IQ.

One thing about IQs is that it’s far easier to spot someone with a lower IQ than a higher IQ. It’s easy to spot something you understand, that the person with a lower IQ is missing, but it’s very hard to spot something you don’t understand, when you see it in a person with a higher IQ. This gives us all a natural blindness to people that sharper, but clear vision for picking out the slow people.

This effect means to all of us, the world seems to be filled a few slow people, and everyone else that is “smart like us”. We are blind to how slow we seem to others.

When you are sharper brain than 19 out of 20 people you meet, it’s obvious the world is filled with people that are slow to learn things, and often just can’t understand the things you do.

One example of how I was made aware of this was in a high school geometry class. The teacher asked us as an exercise to try and derive the formula for the sum of the fist N integers (without looking at the next chapter in the book where we given the formula). I was able to do this, using visual models of stacked blocks. The teach asked me to get in front of the class and explain how I had derived it. I got up and talked for 10 minutes, and NOBODY, not even the teacher, was able to understand my explanation. It was shocking to me, that something that seemed “so clear” to me, was just invisible to them. Even when I expand how I “saw” the answer they couldn’t follow along.

I’ve since seen better ways to describe the answer, that had I know that way to describe it, I’m sure nearly the whole class could have followed along, but the main point, was that I was looking at 20 people staring at me, and clueless to grasp something that was obvious to me.

A good bit of my life has been like that. I understand some things, that I know, most people around me have no understanding of. And no matter how hard I try to share this knowledge, most people can’t understand it.

If you have an average IQ, you will be mostly blind to the fact that half the population has a sharper mind then you do. And those near your IQ, will just be perceived as equals. So with an average IQ, the world seems to have a few slow people, but everyone else is “about the same”. A higher IQ, like 130 and above, leaves one feeling most people are slow, and few are about the same. If you have a lower IQ, everyone seems to be “about the same”. A low IQ person will have trouble understanding how different they are from everyone else.

The higher your IQ, the more isolated you will feel in society because of this effect. The higher your IQ, the more you will feel like society is populated with dim witted children.

At a IQ of 130, you won’t have much trouble finding others in your range (5% of the population is a lot of people), which is good. And those of an average IQ aren’t so slow that it’s painful to interact with them. So you can get along with a average IQ person well enough and have plenty to talk about. But the higher your IQ, the more isolated you will feel and the harder it will be to find equals to interact with.

Having a higher IQ doesn’t mean you are better at all mental tasks. Some metal skills I’m very much below average at. I can’t spell. My verbal skills are very low for both language and audio understanding (this is unique to me — not related to IQ), but my visual comprehension and memory is far above average. I tend to use visual images and graphs more than many as a tool for understanding the world. I can solve visual and spatial problems at an above average rate.

But what I notice about IQ is that all sorts of problems I can see answers to faster than the average person — and I can find better answers than they can, such as with engineering problems which is what I do a lot of. It makes me want to just go re-do their work all the time, which I have to resist the urge to do. If you get to work in a group of people with the same or higher IQ, you don’t feel the need to do that.

Your IQ level very much changes your perspective on the rest of society.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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