High-IQ dysfunction peaks at about IQ 155

That is the only way I’ve found to reconcile the competing observations on the subject. This is an extremely important subject, and it is frankly astonishing that no one approaches the subject with any nuance at all. Broadly, here are the two camps:

1. Unusually high IQ is somehow good for normal functioning: Terman, Cooijmans, et al.

2. Unusually high IQ is somehow bad for normal functioning: Prometheus society, Pumpkin Person, various whackos like myself, et al.

I believe that the dysfunction arises from non-IQ personality factors that happen to be heavily concentrated in the 150-160 IQ range (example theory), whereas IQ itself is an unmitigated good that actually makes these people less dysfunctional than they would be otherwise.

There are two different personality dysfunctions which predominate: too much associative horizon, and too much psychoticism. These appear very similar, so I’ve disambiguated them here. Associative horizon is primarily concerned with verbal IQ and executive function, and may be due to low latent inhibition (driven primarily by the reticular activating system). I believe it may be tested by playing associative word games, or by testing the number and complexity of possible explanations that can be drawn from the same evidence given to a jury. I believe psychoticism can be measured by visual perception tasks like playing “Where’s Waldo?” because I believe it is due to a disproportionate ratio favoring gray matter over white matter.

In edenic terms, I think the 150-160 crowd is more likely to be the TTs, who are dysfunctional due to personality problems, and anything higher usually requires a melon back with high parietofrontal integration (i.e. rate of “discernment” as I’ve described it).

In Aeoliworld terms, this could be explained by the strange interaction between white matter and gray matter. Without a functioning base of white matter, you simply can’t score above 130 on an IQ test. It doesn’t really matter how much gray matter you have because even if you can spot patterns, you can’t use reason to solve problems with them. But if you have a functional, rational base of white matter, then the primary determinant of your IQ is your ability to spot patterns.

I don’t even know why I write this stuff sometimes, I’m just repeating myself over and over.

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34 Responses to High-IQ dysfunction peaks at about IQ 155

  1. Heaviside says:

    I think there are a lot of avoidable but inherent pitfalls in having a high IQ that don’t stop increasing as you go up e.g. Dunning-Kruger and the curse of knowledge, and having a higher IQ can make them less obvious to oneself.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I agree. But I think these are comparably small problems for reasonably high adult functioning. It may be impossible to overcome them entirely, but it’s less likely to find someone living in the gutter for such reasons.

      As a rule of thumb, if a person has a reasonable expectation to achieve the American Dream (i.e. wife, kids, two-car garage) for at least five years, then they can be described as high-functioning. Even Tex!

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Btw, Aeoli, did you start taking action on some of the things we have been talking about? For instance, the Tex theory testability list?

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          No, it’s just not a high priority right now by any means. Here’s the breakdown:

          1. Genius (2 hours per day)
          2. School (8 hours per day)
          3. Find a job (1 hour per day)

          A conscientious approach to #1 is out of the question right now because that trait is spent elsewhere. So around here I’ll just be coasting on psychoticism for a bit (and whatever concrete conscientiousness I’ve managed to build up in the last year).

      • Heaviside says:

        >then they can be described as high-functioning.

        If by “high functioning” you mean “dying slowly and painfully”.

        Are you still studying Nuke E? What do you plan to do with that degree?

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          >If by “high functioning” you mean “dying slowly and painfully”.

          As often as not. Life is a harsh mistress.

          >Are you still studying Nuke E? What do you plan to do with that degree?

          No, I switched to math so’s to finish it off in one semester. I have no definite plans at this point, although I’m leaning toward “data scientist”. Might still end up a long-haul trucker, if the robots aren’t already doing it by then.

  2. Pingback: Addendum: Also endogenous personality | Aeoli Pera

  3. HiQ says:

    Most of the people who claim some higher IQ are frauds/BSers who take tons of IQ tests until they get the result that they want. There’s also really no test that is reliable above 155 or so.

    A lot of people think I am crazy if I say the things I really think about, but my logic is not to blame they just don’t like to be reminded too much of the grim reality they do so well at blocking away.

    • Edenist whackjob says:

      Do all sufficiently smart people arrive at “crazy” ideas?

      It seems to me that many smart people are good at compartmentalizing, so they never get to the crazy conclusions. But I’ve never met a *really* smart person who does this.

      So, is association horizon also necessary? Is there a limit to the conventional intelligence? What would a conventional-intelligence superstar with very low AH look like? Some kind of idiot savant I suppose? Ie someone who can do a lot of impressive mental operations but is utterly bored by / closed off to new content.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Also, can AH be defined as the inverse of willingness to compartmentalize?

        Ie it could be that AH is not so much a thing as the lack of a thing.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        “Also, can AH be defined as the inverse of willingness to compartmentalize?”

        Counter-point: AH *does* seem to provide a positive. Ie some people just get more word associations, things like that.

        But still, interesting to think about compartmentalization as its own thing.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Interesting thought:

        AH seems to be related mostly to verbal intelligence and pattern-matching. Ie someone reading tons of blogs and forums and then seeing shapes in the clouds all day long. It’s a bit “soft”.

        Conventional intelligence seems to be “hard” in nature. Someone who can visualize, discern and follow logical thought to the conclusion.

        It’s a bit yin and yang.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        A thought:

        I don’t buy the “intelligence is fixed” thing. The starting-point is flexible, yes. But, the brain is like a muscle. Especially so in puberty. People who start oly lifting as teens will change their set-point for anabolism and bone density, same with brainz. I wish I had trained more in math and such “hard” thinking when I was a teen, instead of going for the “soft” spazzy things like information-consumption and pattern-matching. My brain would have been set more for visualizing and problem-solving, more active things, rather than just being really good at seeing faces in my toast.

        I *have* noticed a training effect from all the programming I’ve done as an adult. Not just increase in crystallized intelligence. I sense that the effect would have been stronger had I 1) done it as a teen, and 2) done it in in the form of maximum resistance (ie math) instead of something that’s quite pleasurable (Javascript).

        (Side-theory: increase in fluid intelligence as an adult comes at the cost of being more “in your head” and losing touch with your humanity. Cf with reports of long-term nootropics users who report becoming more robotic. A true genius would have high mental operation capacity AND retain childlike humanity.)

        Maybe it would be possible to put together an optimal training program for genius for kids? Balance it out so we don’t get these lopsided things we have in our community, but rather more effective critters.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        A new ideal: someone who is a genius and NOT “in their head” like a stereotypical program. Someone who is laid back AND clever as fuck.

        Probably takes a delicate balance of rest, physical training, hard thinking training, musical training, supplements, and quite possibly cranial expansion (to allow the new brain muscles to grow).

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Being able to taper category strictness at will – is that a skill?

        So, if I am talking about a “strict” topic like some aspect of programming, I can of course limit myself to just the relevant categories for that discussion. I won’t be talking about how that framework is so sexy (unless that is a valid aesthetic shorthand in the discussion) or how we should totally add some TDD (unless that is a valid thing to say).

        See for instance “Mr Robot” for an example of technical strictness and adding a bunch of irrelevant topics to it. Or every Hollywood hacking movie, I suppose.

        On the other hand, if I am talking about solving a problem like “raise your intelligence”, I will throw everything and the kitchen sink at it. See my post above. I am not going to limit myself to the conventional topics. Everything is fair game because the goal is a bit hard to reach, so why limit yourself?

        So I can go both ways – uber-strict/keep-it-relevant and uber-spazz/throw-in-everything-that-might-work.

        The question is: is this a rare skill?

        I’ve noticed in a lot of nerds that they do have the first one, but they don’t have the second one. It’s almost like they get offended by it. You might be talking to a philosophy nerd and mention something about neuroscience and they just brush it off. You can sense that they think “but that’s not relevant!” in an almost visceral way (similar to my reaction to Mr Robot) whereas I’m like “why limit yourself? who says it’s outside the category?”

        Some neurotypicals have the second one. Imagine a chatty female who flits from topic to topic, for instance. But that’s not motivated by problem-solving, so not sure if same thing.

  4. Pingback: Working memory dysfunction in geniuses | Aeoli Pera

  5. Hui Swinney says:

    Great looking website. Presume you did a lot of your very own coding.|

  6. I have not checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  7. Obadiah says:

    Per this, I think I actually have higher AH than I do psychoticism, which are two terms that I also used interchangeably before reviewing some of your earlier stuff here.

    Hunch: high associative fluency proved adaptive and subsequently evolved in law-based society; per Cooijmans people with low AH cannot see the “bigger picture” and thus develop no “Great Cause” which is something that in the Edenosphere has been associated with M-Back. This is also why ur-Neanderthals basically hung out and were at peace with nature for a million years–no burning desire to change the world

    • Obadiah says:

      That’s also why most of our geniuses are some sort of Neanderthal *hybrid* rather than a pure, primordial Thal with a low cranial vault–“higher” levels on Koanic’s Mohawk lend themselves to greater and more compulsive associative fluency and activity, this being one of the key components of Coojie-man’s tripartite model of genius (which I buy)

      • Obadiah says:

        See: emergent genius properties of CBS

        • Obadiah says:

          Maybe psychoticism and AH are doing something similar along visuospatial and audioverbal channels respectively.

          • Obadiah says:

            Psychoticism is “having the qualities associated with the mental state of psychosis”; psychotic persons are “mad dreamers”. My cognition only becomes “predominantly” psychotic when I smoke weed. True psychoticism = low abstraction altitude

            Associative horizon is just another dimension of intelligence (albeit a major one); it is the source of what you have called mental caliber meanwhile pure IQ is heavily affiliated with mental speed.

            IQ is the “calculative” aspect of intelligence and it is “quantitative” in character (Vox’s VHIQ)
            AH is the “associative” aspect of intelligence and it is “qualitative” in character (Vox’s UHIQ)

            East Asians have higher average IQs than Western Euros; Western Euros have higher average AHs than East Asians.

  8. Obadiah says:

    People with high IQs and low AH are making efficient neuron connections but they can’t trim the chain from A -> D as you talked about in that vp thread

    They can “move back and forth” as if on a rail system but can’t go “side to side” so they can perform sets of logically-cohesive instructions/calculations (sometimes with remarkable efficacy) but remain unable to draw generalities about things (having no associatively-acquired pool of information from which patterns can be reliably observed) and as such never really grok da bigga picha.

    Psychoticism is roughly abstraction height.

  9. Obadiah says:

    Calculative Faculty x Associative Fluency = IQ

  10. Obadiah says:

    Richard Feynman is an example of someone with high Calculative Faculty, low Associative Fluency and low psychoticism

    Immanuel Kant is an example of someone with high CF, high AF and low psychoticism

    Lil Wayne is an example of someone with low CF, low AF and high psychoticism

    Tex Arcane is an example of someone with high CF, high AF, high psychoticism

    • Obadiah says:

      High AH doesn’t really seem to show up unless someone already has pretty good CF. This lends credence to your idea that to get above about 130 IQ you have to have the established base of healthy white matter.

  11. Obadiah says:

    “Having a higher IQ is like having a taller ladder, so’s you can reach higher shelves and read the more difficult books. Having a high associative horizon is like having a ladder that slides properly, so’s you can reach books farther into the periphery of the fields available to your ladder height. Conscientiousness means you read books in order, according to a predetermined plan.”

  12. Obadiah says:


      • Obadiah says:

        >Calculative Faculty x Associative Fluency = IQ

        Really the average of a person’s CF and AF is going to give their overall Intelligence Quotient so if a person’s Calculative Fluency is 130 and their Associative Fluency is 110 their IQ is 120.

        I assign as much weight to association as I do to reasoning in my definition of intelligence because even if your ladder goes up to the higher levels of the bookshelf, you’re still just not a very well-read person if you can’t slide it left or right.

  13. Obadiah says:

    If the point of having a library is to read books and your library-metaphor makes sense then my model for calculating intelligence makes sense but I can’t prove it yet

  14. Pingback: Theory: Openness peaks at 155-160 IQ, and Bastion and profound giftedness simulator | Aeoli Pera

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