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Almost daily we come across high IQ people who don’t have a high achievement graph. They are all around us. They have high-IQ, they figure out stuff in a jiffy. They have a prescient outlook in life. They speak and write with excellence. They have off-the-charts common sense. And yet they aren’t financially stable. They don’t have power in the society. They crib and implode. They even fail to get excellent grades in college.

We are also aware of low-IQ, shallow, pretty ordinary folks who are rich and socially dominant.

Turns out there is a pretty low correlation between income and IQ.

In fact, history shows that most of the higher IQ people were penniless. People like Albert Camus, Albert Einstein. Nicola Tesla, Søren Kierkegaard lived most of their lives sad, broke and powerless.

It seems scientists have finally figured this sad reality out. A new research shows that IQ has almost nothing to do with being rich, at least in the modern society.

If IQ doesn’t have any weightage in the financial equation, what on earth does? The answer: conscientiousness. Don’t get spooked out by this term. Conscientiousness means orderliness and discipline.

Conscientiousness is the Key

The research was published by the National Academy of Sciences last month.

The research took into account a comprehensive data set of thousands of people. The data set included IQ scores, standardized test results, grades and personality assessments. The people involved in this research were from the US and UK.  The research analyzed these people for decades, and took into account various data points, including criminal records, body mass index and self-reported life satisfaction.

The study also suggests that grades are better predictors of “non-cognitive skills,” such as study habits, perseverance, good study habits and the ability to get along with others. Surprisingly, there is a very weak correlation between IQ and test performances.

No wonder I kept performing worst in college, even though I have an above-average IQ. I wasn’t paying attention. Neither did I work hard.

Another important trait that is important in getting good grades and making money is Openness. Openness means being open to people, meeting others and being friendly.

Another wakeup call for high IQ, but lazy people came in 2011, when University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth published a study, which suggested that low IQ but hardworking students tend to get on equal footings with high IQ but lazy students.

If you want to know more about trait conscientiousness, watch this amazing lecture.

 

Featured Image taken from Shutterstock

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