Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The social skills of brainiacs: Intelligent people are thought to be socially inept, and while I would agree that the brainiest are rarely the social butterflies at a party, the General Social Survey supports the idea that individuals with high IQs are social in the sense that they discuss things with a broader network of people. Participants in the survey were asked how many different people do they regularly discuss important matters with. Here is the average by IQ:

Mean number of people with whom you discuss important matters by IQ

High IQ (126) 3.17
Medium (98) 2.33
Low (70) 1.68

Dumb people chat--an essential skill in casual social situations--while smart people discuss. They see small talk as a waste of time and fail to develop those skills, and their social lives suffer as a result.


  1. Their social lives suffer because they are in the minority. Take a society where all people are high IQ and there will be less mindless chat.

    I remember lots of studies showing that if you put a smart child up a grade or two he seems better adjusted - even though the physical differences are magnified. Just something to think about.

  2. cuchulkhan3:11 PM

    I would imagine high IQ people do more chit-chat than low IQ individuals as well. Remember those studies showing that one of the reasons for no. of words known differing by class was because underclass parents didn't talk much around children? I think high IQ individuals just talk more overall.

  3. tommy5:57 PM

    Have you ever tried to engage your average man on the street or even your average college student in a topic of interest to chemists, mathematicians, engineers, economists, or even something relating to the softer social sciences? Good luck! There is the private inner world intruded upon only by books and journals and then there is the world of small talk. Rarely shall the two meet.

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