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In 1985, psychologist Dean Keith Simonton studied the connection between IQ and persuasiveness in leadership. [3] He discovered that professional relationships work best when two people share a "window" of 15 IQ points. He called this window the Window of Comprehension.

Communication with people outside of the Window grows increasingly
strenuous. When the IQ difference is too big, some ideas cannot be
communicated *at all*, no matter how much time the more intelligent
of two dialog partners invests.

The Window of Comprehension is a limit that people with a standard IQ rarely experience. A person with an IQ of 100 can easily communicate with others in the 85..115 range, which is about two thirds of the population. [f1]

With growing IQ, the window becomes smaller and smaller. A person with an IQ of 130 is "compatible" with about 14% of the population [f13] and at an IQ of 150, this number has decreased to less than 1%. [f14]

So a person with an IQ of 150 or greater has to meet more than 100 people to find one inside of their Window of Comprehension, given a Window of 15 points (W15). [f15] Some researchers have suggested that a Window of 20 points (4/3σ) is still acceptable, while others argue that 12 points (4/5σ) is a reasonable limit for close relationships.

The following table summarizes various Window sizes for various IQ
values [f16] ("% Wn" indicates the
percentage of people in a Window on **n** points):

IQ Score | % W20 | % W15 | % W12 |
---|---|---|---|

130 | 23.1 | 14.1 | 10.0 |

135 | 14.3 | 8.0 | 5.4 |

140 | 8.1 | 4.1 | 2.6 |

145 | 4.2 | 1.9 | 1.2 |

150 | 1.9 | 0.8 | 0.5 |

155 | 0.8 | 0.3 | 0.2 |

160 | 0.3 | 0.1 | 0.05 |

165 | 0.1 | 0.03 | 0.02 |

170 | 0.03 | 0.009 | 0.004 |

175 | 0.009 | 0.002 | 0.001 |

180 | 0.002 | 0.0005 | 0.0002 |

185 | 0.0005 | 0.0001 | 0.00004 |

190 | 0.0001 | 0.00002 | 0.000007 |

A more interesting way, maybe, to express the above, is: "how many
people does a person with a given IQ have to meet in order to find *one*
person inside of their window?" The below table summarizes some answers
to this question [f17] (incongruities with
the above table are due to rounding; "1/x(Wn)" indicates the number of
people to meet given a Window of **n** points):

IQ Score | 1/x(W20) | 1/x(W15) | 1/x(W12) |
---|---|---|---|

130 | 4 | 7 | 10 |

135 | 7 | 12 | 19 |

140 | 12 | 24 | 38 |

145 | 24 | 52 | 86 |

150 | 52 | 122 | 216 |

155 | 122 | 319 | 598 |

160 | 319 | 924 | 1,824 |

165 | 924 | 2,968 | 6,289 |

170 | 2,967 | 10,571 | 23,824 |

175 | 10,570 | 41,747 | 100,014 |

180 | 41,744 | 182,558 | 464,352 |

185 | 182,549 | 881,819 | 2,376,694 |

190 | 881,793 | 4,687,793 | 13,350,704 |

Of course the table disregards age, gender, and chemistry, so even if
you are very optimistic, you have to multiply the numbers in the table
by two to get a realistic real-life approximation. So 150 is the lowest
IQ where you literally have to meet more than 100 people to find *one
person* on common intellectual ground. [f18]

The function grows exponentially, because high IQs grow exponentially rare. E.g., at 155 (which is 1 out of 8131, or 897,000 people world-wide), you already have to meet almost 250 people -- still taking the optimistic approach. [f18]

So what do you do when you seem to be the only one of your kind?

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