What is the importance of IQ?

One should know his/her IQ score and use it to evaluate one’s self, but indiscriminately, objectivity should be maintained. For some people, knowing their IQ helps boost their self confidence and morale, and eggs them on to attempt new things, fight challenges or to tax their mental resources and stretch the arch to scale greater heights. For others, it may have adverse effects. Learning that one’s IQ is below average, can be a shattering experience. They may withdraw into themselves and tag themselves complete losers who would never taste any fruit of success.

A higher IQ has been shown to positively correlate with several important, real-life variables including

  1. Academic success
  2. Success in relationships including marriage
  3. Success is the workplace. IQ testing is often used as a recruitment tool in several countries including United States, Canada, France, Spain and China. Several researchers have argued that IQ testing remains a better predictor of success at work than other assessment tools (especially unstructured interviews)
  4. Wealth and lifetime earnings. For instance, the IQ of self-made millionaires is estimated at around 120, while this increases to 140 for self-made billionaires

Similarly, IQ correlates negatively to the following variables

  1. Living in poverty
  2. Having illegitimate children
  3. Being incarcerated
  4. Remaining unemployed for long stretches of time

Remember that correlation does not imply causation. But merely represents an association, or how two variables move together

Importantly, IQ testing does not measure practical intelligence or creativity (Sternberg, 1988), The bottom line is that a high IQ does not guarantee success, but it probably means that such individuals may need to work less hard than people with lower IQ to achieve the same result when intellectual output is required. High IQ individuals should not ‘waste’ this natural ability and should strive to apply it to whatever it is that they seek to do.

Conversely, people with lower IQs are not doomed to failure, but may on average need to work harder to be successful in their intellectual pursuits. It is not to say that having an IQ of 105 (i.e. normal intelligence) would make it impossible to become a professor in Chemistry and to publish in scholarly journals, although on the whole, lower IQ persons will probably face a steeper uphill journey than their higher IQ counterparts striving for the same goal.