Hollingworth 30 point limit

Thu, Sep 10 2015 10:11am EDT 1
Michael Ferguson
Michael Ferguson
37 Posts
Leta Hollingworth found that when the IQ differential exceeds 30 R16IQ points, a leader-follower relationship will not form or if forced will fall apart.

Is this anecdotally supported? Examples and commentary.
Thu, Sep 10 2015 10:11am EDT 2
Michael Ferguson
Michael Ferguson
37 Posts
Recently I had a frustrating exchange with a relatively high profile Physicist about the inappropriately excluded. To say that he is skeptical would be an understatement. In fact, he was hostile toward the idea. Finally, as my frustration grew, I came upon a really easy way to explain it to him. I said, 'The intellectually elite have a mean IQ of 126 and a SD of 6.5. 126+(4x6.5)=152. 100+(4x15) =160. You need know nothing more. Your only two outs is to assert that 1) 126 SD 6.5 is false or 2) the distribution is not Gaussan.

That is a logical slam dunk. I can only think that it didn't have the same powerful impact with him as it has with me and I think that is probably due to our IQ difference. He did eventually claim that the support for 126 SD 6.5 is not compelling. It is not as good as I would like, but there are at least a dozen studies of elites that show very little variation from that.

The only study that presents a problem is Robert Hauser, who found lower means and higher SD. However, he truncated at 133 so, without that, I cannot say how compelling that might be. It still implies an exclusion, however, at lower percentages. Also, the mean IQs for his elite professions, professors and physicians are suspiciously low. 116 and 121 respectively.

Also, in my article H. macrocephalis, I contend that three random data points of D15IQ>160 and cranial capacity in excess of 4 sigma is compelling disproof of the null hypothesis just doesn't seem to register with people. That is partially because of Dunning-Kruger Effect. They don't understand statistics well enough. However, I also suspect that IQ differences affect this.

These are two examples of Hollingworth's 30 point limit. In other words, no matter how much I simplify the problem, it just doesn't register with people below a certain IQ.
Fri, Sep 11 2015 07:20am EDT 3
Gwyneth Wesley Rolph
Gwyneth Wesley Rolph
3 Posts
I find that many people who have made it into an elite profession, when statistical data of this type is presented to them, feel the need to justify their own success. The way this is typically manifested is in (1) playing down the importance of intelligence and attributing success to other personal factors, and (2) defining intelligence in terms of success. Sternberg is a good case in point. He believes that if intelligence is properly defined and measured it MUST translate into real-life success (Sternberg, 1986). Sternberg is very fond of publishing long lists of why he thinks intelligent people "fail", nearly all of which assume a personal flaw as the "explanation", rather than environmental factors.

As you very clearly point out in "The Inappropriately Excluded", even the limited research in the field has not identified a personal flaw that increases with IQ which could explain this phenomenon.

Still, it remains a useful justification by those who are just smart enough to have become a physicist, social psychologist, medico, or whatever, but not quite smart enough to have experienced the exclusion phenomenon, or to be open to the possibility that it exists. It gives people like your physicist friend justification in their own minds to believe that not only must they be the brightest of the bunch, but that they also must have had all the virtuous character traits too that enabled them to get to the top of their profession. There is no arguing with people's egos.
Fri, Sep 11 2015 09:20am EDT 4
Michael Ferguson
Michael Ferguson
37 Posts
Gwyneth, we are so close in our perspectives that I could have written your entry. Long ago I concluded that Robert Sternberg has a strong need to justify to himself why he, a man of moderate intelligence, should be among the luminaries of his sub-specialty. So, he concludes that those smarter than he must lack common sense.

It is true that there are other necessary traits for success and the smarter you are, the more you must have them in order to contribute to a degree commensurate with your potential. However, there is no good reason to conclude that smarter people have these traits to a lesser degree and that is what would be required to explain the exclusion.

An important element that I did not discuss deeply in 'The Inappropriately Excluded' is the concept of intellectual volume. The intellectually elite need to get an MBA, MD, PhD, etc. and there is an assumed amount of time to do this. What that means is that the profession is limited to what a 126 D15IQ person can learn in the allotted time. If Miraca Gross is correct, and it is consistent with my experience, that 160 D15IQ people can learn conceptual knowledge and skills four to five times faster than others, then the jobs of the intellectual elites simply do not have the proper breadth and depth to engage them. They have difficulty constraining themselves to 'their job'. This is why I focused on the polymathic nature of exceptionally high IQ people (over 150 D15IQ).
Fri, Sep 11 2015 10:28am EDT 5
Kris
Kris
2 Posts
My experience seems to be in partial support of the thesis. One one hand, it's much easier to communicate with intellectually gifted people. The conversations are much more fulfilling and the trains of thought converge easier - with less explanation, even under very poor language hygiene (bad wording, extremely long sentences, etc.).

On the other hand, I haven't found it impossible, if at times painful, to maintain a relationship with an average IQ person. My last previous and current girlfriend haven't really shown any intellectual sophistication, at times struggling with determining whether they're due extra pay for overtime work. The more complex topics I've been interested in went completely over their heads. Nevertheless, the relationships have been fun and satisfying, with the only issue I have being the necessity of speaking plainly. I also have some standard IQ friends who are automotive enthusiasts of various kinds and we get along just fine.

As far as it goes, however, I have had issues with people on more complex problems such as software design who had an extremely hard time understanding the advantages of my approach to some specific challenges. I had the political clout to force my design, which has since proven itself. It might be that the Hollingworth's limit only applies to situations in which the more intellectually potent person has a strong performance advantage due to their brain makeup. There seems to be little to be gained from 3SD+ IQ as far as cooking dinner or having sex is concerned, but there sure is when you engineer a complex system.
Fri, Sep 11 2015 12:39pm EDT 6
Michael Ferguson
Michael Ferguson
37 Posts
Kris, this is an empirical conclusion based upon her study of a cohort of 180+ R16IQ children and speaks directly to whether there is mutual acceptance of a leader/follower relationship. Of course, if you have institutional certification of a leadership position, then subordinates have no choice in the matter. However, there have also been studies on relative success of leaders based upon IQ differential between the leader and the follower group. Success peaks at 1.0 to 1.2 sigma differential. Often, the very high IQ leader may not be fully aware that they are failing because the follower group is not comfortable expressing their dissatisfaction.

Of course, I can interact with a 5 year old effectively by talking to them at their level. This research is really referring to the ability and willingness of people 30 points below a leader to FOLLOW.

Sat, Sep 12 2015 07:20pm EDT 7
Kris
Kris
2 Posts
Got it.
Mon, Sep 14 2015 08:54pm EDT 8
Leif
Leif
25 Posts
Anecdote:
A couple of years ago, I took on a leadership role in a community I had joined several months prior. I made sure to start with their hearts, communicating what we were trying to achieve, and why it was important. I even made sure that they could each tell me what we were doing and why, in their own words.

For the next couple of weeks, they happily did what I told them, when I told them, the way that I told them. And after every step, they stopped, unable to see the next step until I told them exactly what to do, and exactly how. Eventually I concluded that, if they could not see the trajectory, I wasn't going to be able to get them to do anything in the long-term, unless I was there to hold their hands every step of the way.

In a related context, I endured several meetings where someone would pose a question "How do we X?", to which I would respond simply, "we need to follow these three steps in order to get precursor W, and that plus another step will give us X." Followed by several hours of discussion while people eventually got to the conclusion that "this X thing means we need to do this other step on W, but we need to meet again to figure out how to get W".

Leading across an IQ gap is like trying to lead through a foggy night.
Tue, Sep 15 2015 10:07am EDT 9
Gwyneth Wesley Rolph
Gwyneth Wesley Rolph
3 Posts
I've just encountered yet another variant on the age-old "it's up to the individual to make out" argument in another discussion forum elsewhere. This person (allegedly) has four degrees and several diplomas, and was obviously somewhat prickly about people with no degrees challenging her in any way, and critical of people with no degrees, saying it's all down to personal life choices and stop feeling sorry for yourself etc. etc. (For what it's worth, I didn't see either criticism or self-pity anywhere in the thread up till that point.)

There's a logical fallacy in there somewhere.
Tue, Sep 15 2015 10:18am EDT 10
Michael Ferguson
Michael Ferguson
37 Posts
I am getting the same thing with the article. The article states that 1) this is what is happening, 2) these are the likely reasons it is happening and 3) here are some things we could do to fix it. There is no whining, just analysis but I still get the 'its all their fault' to which I reply, 'All of them? There is some flaw that afflicts 97% of all people with IQs over 150? That sound plausible to you?'

Of course, I have to ask, 'Should we put in handicap ramps, bathrooms, etc.? Isn't it just their job to adjust?' This is flat out intimidation. We're smarter, they know it, so whatever the reason we are being excluded, they are happy about it and want it to be a justifiable exclusion.'
Wed, Oct 7 2015 11:33am EDT 11
Gwyneth Wesley Rolph
Gwyneth Wesley Rolph
3 Posts
I sent the author of this paper the link to the Inappropriately Excluded article. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/434791/A_qualitative_evaluation_of_non-educational_barriers_to_the_elite_professions.pdf

Although her interest is specifically in social class, she thanked me for getting in touch and said she had read the article with interest. It's all about getting the information out there.

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