Does Super-High IQ= Super-Low Common Sense?
    By Andrea Kuszewski | October 4th 2009 08:07 PM | 89 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Andrea

    Andrea is a Behavior Therapist and Consultant for children on the autism spectrum, residing in the state of FL; her background is in cognitive


    View Andrea's Profile
    We have all heard the term, "Nutty Professor", which brings to mind the highly intelligent, yet socially inept individual; excelling in the academic world, yet failing miserably in the realm of common sense. Is there an evolutionary explanation for why this phenomenon exists?

    Bruce Charlton, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Medical Hypotheses, says "yes". He calls these people 'Clever Sillies' in his article, "Clever Sillies- Why the High IQ Lack Common Sense". He proposes that high IQ is not just a cognitive ability, but also a cognitive disposition. He says,

    " suggested explanation for this association between intelligence and personality is that an increasing relative level of IQ brings with it a tendency differentially to over-use general intelligence in problem-solving, and to over-ride those instinctive and spontaneous forms of evolved behaviour which could be termed common sense."

    He suggests that a tendency to rely on analytic ability to problem-solve everyday situations results in inappropriate behaviors and ideas. I agree that an over-use of analytical problem-solving in situations that don't require it is inappropriate. He goes on to suggest that the reason for their strange or inappropriate responses and behaviors in these social situations stems from their personality trait of Openness to Experience, one of the Big Five traits of the Five Factor Model of Personality defined by Costa and McCrae. Openness is one of the only personality traits that is highly correlated with IQ; it is characterized by a preference for novelty, experiencing new things and ideas, and appreciation for art and aesthetics.

    He goes on to explain why he feels this trait explains "clever silliness":

    "Preferential use of abstract analysis is often useful when dealing with
    the many evolutionary novelties to be found in modernizing societies;
    but is not usually useful for dealing with social and psychological
    problems for which humans have evolved ‘domain-specific’ adaptive
    behaviours. And since evolved common sense usually produces the right
    answers in the social domain; this implies that, when it comes to
    solving social problems, the most intelligent people are more likely
    than those of average intelligence to have novel but silly ideas, and
    therefore to believe and behave maladaptively."

    Initially, this makes some sense. But I feel that while he is touching on a very important issue, he is missing the application of this logic completely.

    A person with high IQ who overuses analytical ability to problem-solve in social situations is much like the 170 IQ person who can't find their way out of a paper bag, such as I described in my article "What Makes a Genius?" . There is definitely a "personality type" that can be found in this range of IQs. However, where I think he misses the point is when he says that Openness is the cause for this phenomenon.

    He claims that by the high IQ person generating many novel ideas using analytical methods, they appear as foolish and silly to the rest of the population, and thus are maladaptive behaviors. But I only see this as problematic if the person is not only high in the Analytic component of intelligence, but also deficient in another facet of intelligence, the part that correlates with common sense.

    Openness is characterized by not only novelty-seeking behaviors, but also creative thinking. Not all people who are high IQ are also highly creative, as I already discussed in my previous article. But people who are high IQ, plus high in Openness, and also high in Practical Intelligence, (the third facet of Intelligence described by Sternberg in his Triarchic Theory of Intelligence) are the ones who are able to have many novel, strange ideas, but also be able to appropriately apply them to social situations. The practical application of novel ideas to situations which result in appropriate, beneficial outcomes is the definition of creativity. Just because someone has a novel idea does not mean it will be "strange" or "silly"; it depends on the context and application of those novel ideas, and that is where the person who is high in Practical Intelligence as well as high in Analytical Intelligence differentiates himself from the "Nutty Professor".

    It is not the presence of novel or seemingly foolish ideas that makes one silly, it is the absence of the ability to appropriately apply those novel ideas to the social situation at hand- what we call using common sense. So while the author of this article was correct in saying that high IQ people do indeed often fall in the category of "Clever Sillies", many others do not. The reason for this socially inept personality type alluded to by Charlton is not the presence of the trait of Openness, but rather the inability see the value of the generated novel ideas and know when and where they are best put to use.

    So, do all high IQ people lack common sense? No, but the person with high IQ and high common sense, or Practical Intelligence, is definitely a rarer breed of genius.


    Is it possible to disguise IQ-envy with pseudo-scientific theories? Yes, but it isn't disguised very well. I admit to instantaneous distrust of someone who characterizes people whose behavior he disapproves of as "cleven sillies." Who follows that with blanket statements:  "Why the High IQ lack common sense" and "Why high IQ people tend to be deficient in common sense." Followed by a literal-minded interpretation of neoteny, characterizing novelty-seeking as an adolescent refusal to grow up. 
    Since when is the judgement of "the majority of the rest of the population" worth considering in almost any area, much less when it concerns the behavior of those with high IQ? Granted that soaring IQ doesn't protect one from poor judgement outside one's areas of expertise, or from bad or even "silly" behavior. Sometimes it seems that the unfortunate owners of high IQ are placed on pedestals so that people like Charlton can have the pleasure of knocking them off when they act like ordinary human beings. 

    But why go on? You only have to read up to his identifying " 'enlightened' or progressive left-wing political values, and atheism" as traits, never mind the clear disapproval of these "traits," to realize that he's more interested in carrying out an agenda than in scientific exploration. 

    As to that deplorably silly behavior... People who spend a large portion of their waking hours using their minds may not consider social propriety or proper behavior as one of life's necessities. In fact, they may enjoy tweaking it when the opportunity offers itself. And then there are those of us on the autistic spectrum, who in fact do use logic and analysis to figure out the strange social rituals of the "normal" world. The results may seem bizarre and silly, but sometimes they make far more sense.
    Andrea Kuszewski
    Yes, I agree with much of what you say. I found his reference to political ideology absolutely unnecessary and based in correlation, not causation (higher IQ and more years of education are both correlated with a lesser belief in a God, or perhaps atheism, as he says). But the conclusions he drew after that seemed more personal than empirical in nature.

    The main issue I have with his theory though, is that he completely disregards the possibility of actually having a high IQ, a high level of Openness, AND the proper regulatory thinking style to make sound decisions even if using analytical methods. It is not the presence of high IQ that makes one silly, it is the lack of practical intelligence (as defined by Sternberg) that serves to regulate the info coming and going and modulates one's behavior accordingly. Personality is a complicated thing, as is intelligence. That was the main reason why I brought this topic up for discussion.
    I didn't even want to get into the issue of openness, Andrea, because it was so clear that he doesn't know what he's talking about. If he doesn't understand that openness is one of the prerequisites for creativity, he's just blowing smoke.
    Thank you.

    Sylvie, I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Jeff Sherry
    Charlton's paper leads me to believe he has published a social commentary diguised as a psychological paper. It could be possible that I'm reading too much into his work, but when someone throws out innate intelligence as a social norm in directing societies I suspect pseudoscience at work with an agenda on his part. Is he relabeling cognitively intelligent high IQ people as idiot savants to tweak our noses?
    Gerhard Adam
    No, but the person with high IQ and high common sense, or Practical Intelligence, is definitely a rarer breed of genius.
    I'm sorry, but this just doesn't make much sense.  Far too many people with ordinary IQ's lack common sense in a variety of areas.  I'm not even sure what "practical intelligence" is supposed to mean. 
    ...they appear as foolish and silly to the rest of the population, and thus are maladaptive behaviors
    Once again, what is that supposed to mean?  Perhaps its the rest of the population that is foolish and silly for not understanding?  I'm been to my share of social gatherings where "foolish and silly" would be kind descriptions of many people's behavior.

    More importantly a significant social consideration is the idea that the high IQ individual has probably spent the majority of his/her life "on guard" so as not to offend or intimidate those around them, and having to downplay their own interests and conversations so as not to make those around them feel stupid. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Good point, Gerhard.  Perhaps the observation of "lack of common sense" has more to do with expectations.  We are surprised to see a smart person acting foolish, while we are not surprised to see a fool acting foolish.
    Andrea Kuszewski
    VERY good point, Josh.
    Andrea Kuszewski
    Gerhard: Like I responded to Sylvie, practical intelligence is the third facet of intelligence as defined by Robert Sternberg in his Triarchic Theory of Intelligence. It has been around for a while, and many papers and books written on it. Not only that, he has also developed standardized tests that measure all three components of intelligence. When these scores are compared to SAT scores, GRE scores, and college grades, his triarchic tests end up being better predictors of college success than either the SAT or the GRE. Here is some press regarding the tests.

    You can look here for more info on the exact test, and what kinds of questions are on them. Tufts University (in Boston) has an optional portion of the application for admission that is a standardized test of creative and practical intelligence. He spent years gathering data on this, so it is not just a theory anymore, there is actually data to support it.
    Mr B
    I think what the author either failed to describe or just does not realize is that the "silliness" you see at a party is cliche behavior i.e. drunkenness/gossip/dumb ideas in general.The "silliness" of the smart is not,and may even look somewhat the same but is based on far different reasons then the general population.I always say to people "Its not what you do....its why you do it"

    Also your last paragraph i have found to be the exact opposite.Smarter people have a harder time relating to normal ones and are ofter ostracized from a very young age.They develop your "on guard' theory more as a social defense mechanism to fit in better.The one with the largest vocabulary is the least understood.
    The article seems to say that super high IQ implies some kind of Autism, same as autism sometimes implies high special mental capabilities or abilities... doesn't it?

    I think it all depends on all the circumstances in which anyone has grown. No matters if you have high IQ, if you have not the tools or have not been taught on how to solve some kind of situations you probably won't solve it and vice versa... call them social behavior or lab's procedures.

    From what I've observed and my own experience, you can develop cognitive tools on your own, but it takes a lot of insight and struggle, and is an enormous waste of potential. One of my biggest gripes about gifted education is that it almost always concentrates on learning and ignores intellectual development. 
    Andrea Kuszewski
    That is why I am soooooooooo huge on "teaching to one's strengths", and allowing the person to use their area of interest to develop their intellectual skills. That is my general philosophy when teaching my clients with Aspergers and Hyperlexia.
    I have to add something my mother always remembered me: 
    "Common sense is the less common of all senses."
    ... and let me add something more,
    IQ is like the processing power or hardware in a computer:
    No matters how powerful it can be, if there is not the right software, beginning with the operative system (for example, Mac vs PC, Ha!)... there is, or not, common sense.
    I just know that I've cheated on IQ tests by exploiting their assumptions. I've scored rather high > 180 just because I understood how to guess really, really well. In sum, I used stochastic methods to get an answer.

    When I was put in the "smart kids" class it was because of how I scored on a standardized exam. Early on, during in the exam, one of the questions did not have the answer listed below, so I rebelled and tried to answer the rest of the exam wrong. It turns out I was "gifted". Later on as an adult I discovered a mathematical proof showing the question has an infinite number of correct answers.....But that's another story.

    The worse part of it is, I am just average and have below average "common sense". From my experience, the term "common sense" is used by someone too frustrated or unskilled enough to communicate their instructions.

    Personal notes aside, how do you come up with a measure of common sense? If you cannot then, how can you say you have a measure for intelligence? Is common sense more difficult to measure?

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Thanks for the personal story! I love hearing stories of how young children tried to "beat the system"... hahahaa..

    About measures of practical intelligence, look above to my response to Gerhard. I linked up the page that has the standardized test data and methods explained.
    I'm going to have to disagree with this article and agree with most of the comments on the page. I regular score around 135-140 myself, and while not SUPER high, it is relatively high. However, I do not consider myself to have low common sense at all, much to the contrary. Adam had a good point in saying that common sense is used as an excuse by those who cannot communicate instructions, but this does not mean is does not exist, only that it is used in the wrong context. Also yes, I would say common sense is harder to measure than intelligence, simply because we have numerous tests that can gauge knowledge, and the amount of information one can remember, but none that can test practical application, since it is almost impossible to test for that on paper.

    ummm, just a note...medical hypotheses may not be the best place to get ideas from....we came across an article previously published in this journal that argued that the wearing of high heels and the contracting of a muscle in the foot (vaguely related to neurogenesis) was a possible explanation for the spread of schizophrenia in the western world. they may be "interesting" ideas, but i would not consider any of this scientific or rigorous in the generally received sense.


    And a quick note on that:Medical Hypotheses very specifically sets itself out as just that - a journal of hypotheses, not of hypotheses that have been tested. From the author instructions:

    Guidelines for Authors on the construction of articles

    The purpose of Medical Hypotheses is to publish interesting theoretical papers. The journal will consider radical, speculative and non-mainstream scientific ideas provided they are coherently expressed.

    Medical Hypotheses is not, however, a journal for publishing workaday reviews of the literature, nor is it a journal for primary data (except when preliminary data is used to lend support to the main hypothesis presented). ... [snip] ...

    An hypothesis

    Roughly speaking, an hypothesis should be an organized logical structure (or model) that accounts for (some) known facts, and which has real world consequences that are (in principle) observable.

    The consequences of an hypothesis constitute predictions that may be tested against observations and experiments to determine whether some of them are (apparently) fulfilled.

    Most articles for Medical Hypotheses should fulfil the requirements of an hypothesis, and the logic of the proposals should be clearly stated and evaluated.

    Part of its purpose is to provide for the dissemination of hypotheses outside the normal; hence the intentional lack avoidance of peer review. As it happens, this has gotten the journal into some recent hot water over publishing an AIDS-denying piece. Note that the journal, as it currently exists and with its current review format, does have its defenders.


    " suggested explanation for this association between intelligence and personality is that an increasing relative level of IQ brings with it a tendency differentially to over-use general intelligence in problem-solving, and to over-ride those instinctive and spontaneous forms of evolved behaviour which could be termed common sense."
    "Preferential use of abstract analysis is often useful when dealing with
    the many evolutionary novelties to be found in modernizing societies;
    but is not usually useful for dealing with social and psychological
    problems for which humans have evolved ‘domain-specific’ adaptive
    behaviours. And since evolved common sense usually produces the right
    answers in the social domain; this implies that, when it comes to
    solving social problems, the most intelligent people are more likely
    than those of average intelligence to have novel but silly ideas, and
    therefore to believe and behave maladaptively."

    Irony alert! Someone with an inability to speak simply and clearly rambling on about how an unidentified group of super-duper smart people don't know how to change a light bulb or get a date. These are the opinions of someone who loves to hear the sound of their own voice. I say let him speak for himself.

    First, please forgive my English; it is hard for me to speak my thoughts in another than my mother tongue, but perhaps you will understand the overall idea I'm trying to bring:

    I think people only have a certain amount of time building up knowledge and wisdom, thus building their capabilities in solving puzzles,thus raising their IQ's.
    If one spends all that time solely into learning mathematics, one could get eg: some high scores on IQ or mathematical tests!
    But to balance that time to grow and invest energy in mathematics and on a social level; would essentially (theoretically at least) mean that the person will not be as smart in IQ tests.

    In other words,suppose we'd have an identical twin, one spending 100% of his attention into solving problems especially on a mathematical field, and the second person solving 75% mathematical issues like the first, and 25% investing on a social field;
    The second person will have 75 or more percent of mathematical solving skills of the first one, but still has less .. skill/capacity/capability (or however you call it) as the first one.
    He'll never pass the first one on this field,
    Though he is able to communicate reasonably well with people around himself; unlike the first one, who did not spend any time at all investing in social relationships.

    The more devoted high IQ's are into spending time and energy into growing, the more this law is true!

    I do believe that at a certain point choices need to be made. It is harder to AND have 228IQ, AND be socially very outgoing, AND know 100 languages, AND...

    The flip coin to this theory is that some are naturally gifted to understand things very fast, and can combine that with spending less time and energy into their easy fields,and more into the harder fields they are not so excelling in!

    In example above, if a third person identical to the identical twin would enter the room, and spends 50% of energy into mathematics, but because of his adaptability is able to understand 75% of what the first person knows, spends 25% on social skills, and another 25% on something else, the third one in fact excels the 2 before him, even if his IQ is not as high as the first of the twins.

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Interestingly, this is an article to come out in November's issue of Scientific American Mind. I find especially interesting the last few paragraphs and conclusions...

    I have enjoyed much of the commentary here, but the original question was, "Does Super-High IQ= Super-Low Common Sense?" The only "common sense" answer would have to be "No." As I said earlier in this discussion, "Common Sense" is neither. It is not actually a "sense" and it is not all that common. All of our brains share a similar structure which worked to get us out of the wilderness to where we are today. Those traits that enabled us to create the modern world are also maladaptive in a modern technological society. We could be working to compensate for and reduce the impact of these cognitive deficits, but part of the package is that if we are aware of cognitive impairment at all, we each have the delusion that everyone else has the problem and we don't. Cognitive biases are always "something other people have." Couple that with American's long cherished belief, which the title of this article feeds into, that "true knowledge" is "revealed knowledge" not "book learnin'," and you have a positive feedback loop headed for the gutter. As a nation we are now too ignorant and uneducated to know how ignorant and uneducated we are. And we're damned proud of it.

    The problems we face today are too big for any one person to solve, no matter how smart they might be. We need to be working on ways to better work together in groups to solve problems like global warming (whether we caused it or not it is happening), world poverty, overpopulation, transitioning to a sustainable economy, and the list goes on. I don't think that's going to happen though. Instead we're going to sit around and talk snarky about "the nutty professor." And when the future gets here, if it turns out well for us, it will be because we're really smaht. If it turns out badly it will be bad luck, or someone else's fault.

    There is a less generous explanation for Bruce Charlton's motivation than that which provoked distrust for Sylvie Mac, supported by Andrea:
    "Is it possible to disguise IQ-envy with pseudo-scientific theories? Yes, but it isn't disguised very well. I admit to instantaneous distrust of someone who characterizes people whose behavior he disapproves of as "clever sillies." Who follows that with blanket statements: "Why the High IQ lack common sense" "

    (Sylvie Mac)
    "Yes, I agree with much of what you say. I found his reference to political ideology absolutely unnecessary ... [The] conclusions he [Bruce Charlton, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Medical Hypotheses] drew after that seemed more personal than empirical in nature."

    (Andrea Kuszewski)

    It is odd that so many of our species rely upon differentiating some unimportant characteristic for their sense of self-worth. A eugenics movement could never have arisen if not for the need for some individuals to define their sense of self-worth in terms of a "lesser-worth" of others. Racism exists because of the need for some people to define their self-worth in similar comparisons of trivial distinctions. An unhealthy interest in finding genetic links between race and intelligence is a symptom of this psychopathology. It must be very distressing for a racist individual, feeling "superior" to others because they perceive themselves to be more intelligent, and then be confronted with the deflating knowledge that many people possess greatly superior intellects than their own. Faced with such knowledge, an attack against the more intelligent is nothing more than a symptom of the underlying problem - a fear of anyone "different" to oneself (xenophobia) .

    This irrational fear is directed against those who are assumed to be less intelligent, and also against anyone who is clearly more intelligent. That is, anyone who is not the "same".

    For a person living in an environment in which their ability to survive depended upon collaborative relationships with others to hunt for food, the most advantageous companions would be a horse, a dog, and a peregrine falcon.

    The point of this observation is that if you judge your fellow human beings and your own sense of self-worth by some measure of IQ, or any other measure of "sameness", then you have failed to appreciate the enormous range of attributes that make up a human being. It is not very wise to do so.

    if a high IQ = low common sense, we would have one fuckton of geniuses walking around

    Andrea Kuszewski
    THAT'S HILARIOUS!!!! (^_^)
    The assertion is not bidirectional... but it's funny if you use it upside-down. Ha!
    As I said above: my mother always remembered me: 
    "Common sense is the less common of all senses."

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Actually, I am inclined to think the term "common sense" refers to logistical sense needed in commonly occurring situations, rather than common in terms of distribution of ability or level of skill.

    Similar to the term "average person"; not necessarily meaning average intellectual ability, but average in terms of if you took a random sampling of people, the average person is the general type you would encounter, not implying anything about skill of any kind.
    You are right.
    Let's put it this way: If you pick up an "average person" you'll surely find "Common Sense" is absent.
    Nowhere in the linked-to article does it tell us what this mythical "common sense" entails, how to measure it, or the actual correlation between "common sense" and "high IQ" and yet here we all are, taking the bait, chewing on it and thrashing about as though we were talking about something that actually exists. The original author was blowing smoke up our collective asses. Just because someone tells a good story doesn't make the story true. His article was bullshit. Stop talking about it like it is science.

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Well, Sean, just to add some fuel...

    This is an article from New Scientist that talks of the same phenomenon (incidentally, it JUST came out, so I wrote this article first), however cites different literature. Maybe it will appear a bit more "scientific" to you. The truth is, one could cite countless studies, but a writer tends to pick a select few to reference in a blog such as this, otherwise it could easily turn into a 200pg thesis. I like to choose the more controversial pieces because... well, it is just more fun. (^_^)
    You mean the article this came from?
    "A potent criticism of Stanovich's theory is the lack of a proven test of rational thinking skills that could be used alongside IQ tests. "It is not enough to say what intelligence is not measuring, you have to propose alternative ways of measuring rationality," says Kahneman."

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Actually, if you look waaaaaaaaay at the top of the comments, I referenced Sternberg's standardized test of all three aspects of intelligence (analytical, creative, and practical), which when combined, give a really good measure of one's ability to function intelligently and successfully. He spent a few years gathering data through a grant-funded study, so it is not just a theory, it actually has proven results that have a higher predictive validity than just a typical standardized test of analytical ability like the SAT, GRE, or a basic IQ test. The problem is, we are so used to defining intelligence by analytical or computational ability, that it is hard for the "average person" to accept that there are better ways to measure true intelligence.
    Looking through the information on the Tuft's website you linked to, I see nothing to support the claim that "High IQ = Low Common Sense." What their testing predicts is College GPA not "one's ability to function intelligently and successfully" - at least they make no claims to predicting that.

    Andrea Kuszewski
    The Tufts website link was answering to the comment of there being more aspects of intelligence to measure than just computational ability. The idea of common sense is a different aspect altogether. I think the responses and comments are not exactly in alignment. This feels like a voice-over in a kung-foo movie. Heh, heh. (^_^)
    I think you completely missed, or simply dismissed, the hostility in the original article you linked to and commented on.
    Here's some additional commentary about Medical Hypotheses and it's approach to 'science':
    "Articles from Medical Hypotheses have appeared in this column quite a lot. They carried one almost surreally crass paper in which two Italian doctors argued "mongoloid" really was an appropriate term for people with Down's syndrome after all, because they share many characteristics with oriental populations (including: sitting cross-legged; eating small amounts of lots of types of food with MSG in it; and an enjoyment of handicrafts). You might also remember two pieces discussing the benefits and side-effects of masturbation as a treatment for nasal congestion."

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Oh, I remember it, which is why I disagreed with many points made in the article. I found the conclusions drawn in the article to be simplistic, overly generalized, somewhat socially biased, and not very well thought-out, which is why I chose to blog about it. If I thought he was 100% spot-on, it would not have been as interesting to comment on. Make no mistake: when I choose to comment on an article or study, it does not necessarily mean I agree with it, but that I find the points made or conclusions drawn worthy of discussion, elaboration, or ridicule, or a combination of the three.
    It wasn't criminal greed and short-sightedness. It was the "smaht people" that caused the meltdown.
    just google smart people financial crisis and see what you get.

    Apparently part of the problem (in the pundit's minds) was that it used to be profitable to go to school to be a physicist or some other harmless "smart person" job, but recently that hasn't been paying as well, so those people decided to go into finance. Now look what they've done. They broke the economy. Stupid smart people. They were too smart for ordinary people to recognize how stupid their ideas were because they used big words and stuff.

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Hey now, don't get so down on smart people. Intelligence falls in a normal distribution across a population, but so do traits like greed, selfishness, and basic moron-ed-ness (theoretically speaking).

    The point is, just because someone is smart, it does not mean that they are evil or selfish, or out to ruin everyone else's lives. It sounds like you are a bit bitter from a specific personal experience, so please don't let that clout your judgment on this specific topic. If you noticed, I did not exactly agree with the author of the paper I cited, I instead pointed out details that I felt are important that he missed. Mainly, that there are some people who are highly intelligent that do have common sense, but also some that don't. High IQ is not a free-pass on life success, as much as people think it is. You may have a high IQ and be a complete jerk, or have a high IQ and be a sensitive, altruistic person. There is no distinct category; all traits are distributed when our parents conceived us, and they fall across a distribution. There is no hard-and-fast rule.

    And if I am rambling or making little sense, I blame the H1N1 that I have been bed-ridden with all week.  A side bar: GET THE FLU SHOT. I wish I had been able to before I caught this darn thing.
    I was being ironic. Unfortunately, Calvin Trillin was not.
    No, high IQ does not guarantee anything other than a score on an IQ Test any time you want to take it. But there is still a strong tendency in America to devalue education and intelligence. We really don't need more geniuses in America, but we do need to raise the middle. We need a smarter average person and we won't get that by dragging down the ones at the top to make the ones in the middle smarter by comparison.

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Sean... have you read any of my other articles on intelligence and genius? Maybe if you did, you would understand the perspective I am speaking from. I feel we are on "the same side" but the "Medical Hypotheses" article has tainted your view of what I am trying to say here.
    I've been getting that feeling myself as well. I will look at other of your writings later. I'm working on some music right now.

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Oooooooo.... have fun with that. I have some theories on musical ability, creativity, mathematical perception, and intelligence... but that is for another day... ;)
    OOOOoooh goodie! You should blog about them.

    By the way you look really smart with all those books behind you and putting the pen on your lips. Too bad it probably means you don't have any social skills!

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Just to be a complete purist: that is a mechanical pencil, not a pen. When I take my research notes, I always use a mechanical pencil. Probably has something to do with the fact that I am an artist as well, and often sketch out diagrams and figures into my notes, and it is easier to shape the general trend of the figures when I use pencil. Plus I just like them. Maybe that bit of over-explained quirkiness qualifies me on the "low social skill spectrum".... but I prefer to think of myself as 'refreshingly interesting' and 'rarely boring'. (^_^)
    Andrea Kuszewski
    And actually, that isn't really me in the photo. It is my stunt-double.

    I've not kept updated with the posts, but wanted to share something:

    Perhaps people with high IQ are more social to people with high IQ's,since they can talk on the same level.
    People in the mid category do not easily talk to people's with high IQ, because they experience the mismatch in intelligence. Since there are more people with mid grade IQ's, and fewer with high IQ's, the high IQ guy is been seen as the oddball here!

    I've always noticed that people who are intelligent have social restrictions put on them by people who are less intelligent. I think intelligence actually gives you a profound edge in social interaction, and rhetoric about intelligent people being socially inept, like the schoolyard label "nerd", is just a retaliation from the mediocre. People ostrasize outsiders and potential threats. For people who are conspicuously intelligent, various pressures from groups of people looking to cut the tall poppy start at an early age.

    "We stink, but stinking is good."

    As Nietzsche says, "Where the people eat, where they sleep, and where they venerate, it usually stinks." And, where they think -- and talk . . . academics come in third behind monotheist clergy and elected officials.


    Andrea: the site has been edited.  The link to the article is now Clever Sillies - Why the high IQ lack common sense.

    In previous editorials I have written about the absent-minded and socially-inept ‘nutty professor’ stereotype in science, and the phenomenon of ‘psychological neoteny’ whereby intelligent modern people (including scientists) decline to grow-up and instead remain in a state of perpetual novelty-seeking adolescence.
    That's a very mix-and-match statement.

    The stereotypical 'nutty professor' is simply absent minded.  That has nothing whatsoever with IQ or neoteny or common sense.  It has everything to do with focus.  The 'nutty professor' is so focused on the investigation at hand that he or she forgets ordinary everyday things like eating, sleeping, ducking under low doorways etc.  He or she may lack an element of the social norms whereby we recognise when we are boring other people to tears.  But that is a matter of psycho-social skill, rather than common sense.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I totally agree that high IQ and absent-mindedness have less to do with common sense and 'everything to do with focus'. I wonder if there are any fMRI scans that can back this up? However, I find it worrying that everyone talks about high IQ as though it means high intelligence when it is simply a high score on a specific IQ test, devised by often pretty averagely intelligent psychologists. In my opinion there are some people who are highly intelligent who would not score well on IQ tests, and some people who are very unintelligent who would get very high IQ scores. Without the ability to focus and see the big picture, amazing attention to detail, and even memory for such detail, becomes nothing more than a person who's brain behaves more like a computer than the average person. Computers are fast processors that store enormous amounts of detail but they have no intelligence.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at
    the other problem is that this alleged "common sense" is rarely common and often non-sensical.

    I've heard complaints about me not fitting in with the crowd at social gatherings. About talking about uninteresting things in an incomprehensible manner. But surprise, surprise: I get it only from the dim bulbs. In their world I'm severely maladapted - to them my behavior looks stupid. Really, annoyingly STUPID. I ought to keep my mouth shut or talk about interesting things, like, er, whatever it is they talk about. Not so with the brighter ones; hours and hours of fun and insightful discussion that the common people have - and can have - no idea of.

    When I was a kid, I thought that common sense is what most other people had instead of intelligence. I can't say I've changed my mind a lot since then, I've merely become more eloquent, or perhaps verbose.

    The ability to interact with one's peers is very important. What seems like maladaptive behaviour to the average plank may be normal, or at least not offensive, within a genuine peer group. I've taught gifted kids and they are a joy - sure some are odd but then kids are. One of the nicest things that happened at one summer school was that one of the other teachers approached me to say that the kids had no respect for any of the other teachers and administrators... apart from myself. I grinned.

    If you're not part of the mob then forget it, leave it behind, or it will hurt you. The outsider will only be accepted back into the mob if they discover something of worth to other people. Go your own way and find interesting and extraordinary people.

    One of the reasons why the sciences and mathematics are so revolutionary is that they are often counter-intuitive. It can take centuries for 'common sense' to change - by which time it's probably wrong again.
    Just one of those politically correct stories we tell the low IQ folks to feel better about themselves

    "Yes, he's very clever, but perhaps TOO clever for his own good, because HE'S ALSO SILLY! At least we the normal (barely sentient, low to mid IQ people) aren't silly! We're shrewd and streetwise, and those "intelligent" folks could never acquire our simple-yet-robust both-feet-on-the-ground-thinking (as-seen-on-Jerry-Springer) style."

    The fact is that some people are just vastly, mind-blowingly superior in every way, no handicaps whatsoever.

    RE: "Just one of those politically correct stories we tell the low IQ folks to feel better about themselves "


    And these sentiments, in all their forms, will always find their way into the public dialog, because social status is not only an emotional device, but an epistemological device necessary for average minds, who, because of their limited ability, must share life's computational effort by relying on the feedback of others to judge the validity of their actions.

    To address the author's observations within his context, the truth is that at somewhere above 20 points of IQ difference and certainly above 30 points, it becomes harder to empathize with one's inferiors methods of thinking. The problem is not one of common sense, or sensibility, but of conceptual and emotional empathy. Just as humans anthropomorphize their pets - a peculiar vanity of projection, humans project their frameworks of thought and value systems on others. This act, in itself, an intellectual error. There are some of us quite capable of doing so with practice, and those who simply are uninterested in doing so, and trained to be uninterested because rejection by common people has taught them not to be interested in, or excessively frustrated by doing so.

    In other words, some people with high IQ's are brought about in environments so full of ignorance that they are trained by rejection and unskilled in empathy of their inferiors, just as there are those of us raised by good families dense in IQ, who are comfortable in their skins because of collective sympath, and those with a modicum of such experience and support that they both empathize with the common man, and can successfully interact.

    These observed behaviors are learned behaviors, not related to IQ - the ability to identify and utilize increasingly abstract patterns - and the natural result of the reward and punishment that a person is subject to so that he or she develops empathy in social context.

    In other words, assuming that someone is not broken in some way (which does happen with some frequency in certain populations) those of high IQ but lacking empathy with their inferiors are the result of training by their inferiors. So lets put the blame where it should exist - on the type of people who create such drivel, such as the author.

    If we look at the data, success in life ( and it certainly appears that economic and social structures) are determined very largely by IQ differences. The reason that we know IQ's are meaningful in life is that they are predictive. The visibility of this predictive content is countered by two different trends. First, is that very smart people tend to migrate into jobs where they are reasonably secure while at the same time isolated from the frustration of having to deal with people more than a quintile in IQ difference - doctors for example, who tend to be above 120, but working with staff who is in general, 90 or lower. (Which explains a lot about the medical industry). Second, that since under capitalism, the greatest demand for services and products is from the lower quintiles, and empathy with them is necessary in order to create those products that accumulate vast wealth. Therefore, those with more than 100 times the median income tend not to be from the top quintile, but that from the fourth. This in itself is a measurement of the reward and incentive program inherent in capitalism's institutions (not it's political, but it's calculative institutions.) However, even within these groups, people tend to be organized by IQ.

    The other vanity of the mediocre mind's attempt to achieve unwarranted status, aside from anthropomorphism and it's corollary, projection, is human idealism and the ideal type, and the error of equality. When in fact, humans create prosperity and safety by a division of knowledge and labor, and that division is primarily organized by intelligence with the upper third more productive than the bottom two thirds combined, and it appears that the upper ten percent is more important in determining the productivity of any society than all the rest combined. Furthermore, at least, it appears, that current societies are largely organized around their median IQ's (which would seem a logical necessity), as well as stacked in economic order according to their relative IQ's.

    So while the author makes a vanity statement in an effort to justify his personal status despite his lack of IQ, the truth is that IQ is highly relevant at every level of society from the personal, familial, social, and political, to the national. And, as has been reported of late, it appears that the genome project is building a body of knowledge illustrating that differences in social class, and between races, are material, and biological, quite contrary to the current social mythos promoted by the philosophy of democratic equality. And it is this uncomfortable data that will influence the political dialog over the next century.

    What may be more important, is that those of us who are intellectually superior, are the minority, and always have been and always will be.

    Einstein today is synonymous with intelligence. There are multiple personality types and different aspects of the brain can work better than others, depending on the individual. It is very possible to be inferior in almost all aspects, or superior in almost all aspects. My father has an IQ of 156 and has great social skills and scientific/logical skills and is a Mensa member. I have also met other people who appear to be poor in all aspects, and people who superior in some aspects and inferior in others. I have an IQ of 142 and people often tell me that I have great analytical skills and I enjoy conversations with other people with high IQ's. I know this is anecdotal evidence, but personal experience is something that I often study, along with the behavior of the people around me.

    He isn't suggesting that everyone has skills to compensate other skills that they lack, but that there is a brain type that works in such a way that they can be dominant in analytical skills, but lack skills, or appear to lack skills in other aspects. Einstein had an IQ of 150, he is now synonymous with intelligence in modern society. However, he did not exhibit great social skills in grade school and did horribly academically. He also would forget basic things like hygiene. Many people know this, in fact, I remember seeing a Family Guy joke that he plagiarized the theory of relativity because he does not fit the profile of somebody who is intellectually superior. I have actually had this problem in my life.

    this may be true but keep in mind in regards to the genome project, that all genes and environmental factors are inextricably tied together and cannot be separated. for example, children who are raised on eating fish often, or have a better education, become adults with higher IQs. what this means is that brain development much like other biological factors (obesity, homosexuality, partner preference), is not by itself genetically determined and can be heavily influenced.

    I have been having some problems socially of late. I find it hard to relate to people as they, mostly, seem to be more interested in trivial (in my eyes) things like who's on big brother and how many friends they have on face book etc. Which is something that i have NO interest in whatsoever. But i have recently been comming accros studies like this and have started doing IQ tests. As it turns out i have an IQ of 145 and over. BUT, i also have very good logic and pretty good common sense. The only problem i have is relating to others as i have stated. But knowing this has sort of put my mind at ease knowing that this is a symptom, if you like, of having a high IQ. I am also very creative and am trying to start a writing career. What i suppose my point is is that i used to feel bad and wonder what the hell was up with me and why i couldn't relate well to others but knowing that it is most likely due to a high IQ it has put my mind at ease and made me feel a lot better about myself. I am now a little bit annoyed that i was made to feel bad about myself for something that wasn't my fault but more that people were most likely jelous of me or thought that i was strange or something like that, as i am ALWAYS seeing things that can be improved or finding soloutions for things that no-one even thought there WAS a problem with and things like that. Has anyone else had this experience and is there any site/clubs that cater for people with high IQ's who are creative and that sort of thing? I know about Mensa and i'm in the process of joining but would like to know of any other sites as MENSA doesn't seem to be that much of a club but more of a status symbol etc. I thankyou in advance for any responses and wish you all good luck in any endevours you strive for and peace and love in your life.

    there are a lot of stupid people who are not into facebook. the reality is that people in general behave like sheep, so you need to find other interesting educated people. this is not easy! good luck..

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Hello Anon. Thanks for writing. I understand a lot of what you are going through—seeing the world differently, having unique passions. But that does not mean you suffer from low common sense or that there is anything wrong with you. I skipped a grade when I was young and felt like an outsider for most of my life. It wasn't until I started reaching out to other people who shared my interests and goals (who happen to be located all over the world) that I began to really see my own place in the world, and feel really comfortable with who I am. Guess where I met a lot of these amazing people? Yep—on facebook. Probably 80% of my fb friends I haven't met in real life, but I'm closer to some of them than I am with my own family.

    May I suggest that you give facebook a try? Go to my Science 2.0 profile, and click on the link to my facebook page,&add me as a friend; I'll introduce you to a ton of people who I think you'll relate to just fine. :)
     When trying to understand what I do not understand, I often focus a large amount of attention on it.
     Because of this, my attention to other matters (all else in the universe) is decreased.
    If recently in the habit of intense concentration, even when I am not, I still retain the residual effect of being in the habit of excluding the world around me, to focus on what is at hand only.
    That speaks to me in my own words.

     My trying to apply common sense, to understand why I may be lacking severely in common sense.
    You and me both, brother.

    @Patrick, coming from one who's gift or dedication to learning wise use of words I admire, I do feel I have just received a high compliment to the results of my desire to learn to communicate better in human.
     Due to my upbringing, what is common sense to me, may be very different, to the common sense to someone more raised in a different society (human) I am less familiar with. Including some common sense in what is to others, basic communication skills let, alone that others could appreciate any of my contributions because of it.
     Thank you Sir you are a scholar and a gentleman to be so kind...
    Larry Arnold
    load of bull based on a false idea of what intelligence is, or supposed to be, however I have yet to come across a true one.
    Rich Shull
    Perhaps someday all we have talked about here will be perfectly understood. Many people like me missed rain man's curse grew up with the aid of our obessions and splinter skills and came up from the depths of special education and tutoring and today some of us pass the mensa IQ tests.  As we inadverently learned the building blocks of the mind the sublevel thoughts most people don't even realize they have, we actually learned the same normal thoughts you use.

    If we did in fact learn the nitty gritty details of the mind our resulting 'road map' will be the key to the next 1000 chapters in psychology. My Anthropology of autistic people do the impossible we are social, and we overcame autism. 98% of are GLBT and the queer eye for the straight guy charm school  made us much more social than many of our autistic counterparts.  That also explains why autism will not admit to us, (well one of the reasonS). Even if we were straight and narrow as arrows we function way too well not to outshine contemporary autism. Even worse, the thought process we discovered is the very thoughts you don't know you have so all the peer review in the world could never support us and autism for sure will keep us well hidden.  

    It  is just as well ,Man  in general is not all that keen or advanced enough to handle any real amount of deep thought or new ideas. As for new  ideas if you have them keep them to your self; Really good ones are simply too advanced to go against convention, no matter how good they are. 

    As I display my Turing Motor a green triple hybird one  central spinning car motor and people discover its not a 'model T motor" and GASP I tell them Henry Ford was just tinkering and didn't know his motor from an engineering point of view,I'm naturally ran out of town on a rail on those grounds alone.   The Turing Motor is named for Autstic Alan Turing 1912-1954 He was
    Father of the computer and like my Motor his Idea was totally radical and just too good to be true. If Sir Winston Churchill and others didn't need to win a war they would have never given him the time of day.   All Alan did was take the same mind we figured out and you don't know you use and simply made a mechanical version of it we know today as a computer. 

    Rich Shull
    What is common sence, with a someone with superhigh IQ, seems lacking in common sence to someone without?
    What others call common sence often leaves me scratching my head. 200 years ago common sence would tell you man cant fly. If everyone had a higher IQ (or is that just perhaps, -less- viruses in our cognitive thought processors?) then it would no longer be considered superhigh. So to the definition that was "common" would change.
    The current definition of "common" sence, scares the daylights out of me!

    I don't think common sense is actually as common as is assumed, the very definition of it as common, suggests there's a lot of it about. High IQ by definition 'high', suggests there's not a lot of it about.
    My take on common sense is actually not the modern scary slant alluded to by Tree, but is probably a connection to our intuitive self, our survivor inner being, which may or may not have journeyed through many lifetimes, but as sure as heck - it seems to know things people may never have done in their lifetimes, and is the sort of thing that people hearing it, go..... 'Of course!'
    ....or today, more likely, 'Do you always HAVE to be right?' in response to something you may think to be 'just ordinary'

    or even, occasionally, 'DOH!'

    times change.....

    Of the two, I think I prefer common sense......according to the understanding of it that I just gave

    I just know i made the dumbest mistake ever in my life taht no normal well-functioning adult would have made. My ability to look and analyze complex situations is awesome. My ability to not to dumb small stuff is miniscule. I want to learn to develop commonsense but I don't know how.

    I just know i made the dumbest mistake ever in my life taht no normal well-functioning adult would have made. My ability to look and analyze complex situations is awesome. My ability to not to dumb small stuff is miniscule. I want to learn to develop commonsense but I don't know how.

    Oh wow. NO. That is all I have to say. What are you even talking about? Just because you have a high IQ does not mean you lack common-sense! I am sorry to say this, but right now YOU are the one reading into it too much. If you have a high IQ, you are not dumb, which means you can analyze things and ALSO, know just HOW much to analyze into a thing. Common sense comes naturally to people with a high IQ, the DO NOT lack it. Believe me, my IQ is 162, and my common sense is as good as a man's can be.

    I, personally, believe that EVERYONE has common sense. Everyone has the ability to think rationally, and everyone has the potential to analyze a situation and conceive a reasonable answer. This, however, does NOT mean everyone uses it. In fact, judging by the apparent lack of common sense nowadays, many people ignore this innate ability. In many cases, it may even become habit to ignore reason, even that which comes from within. In response to the above post, I believe common sense comes naturally to people in general, no matter the score on their IQ test. Additionally, I do not think an IQ test is an adequate test of skill or intelligence. Take, for instance, Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences theory (nine, at last count). An IQ test measures the "school smarts" any specific person may have, but there is far more to it than that. I am under fifteen, and my IQ is 132. But, and here's the thing, I don't think that is very accurate. I'm really not "smart", at all. I simply pick things up very quickly, and I can retain most of what I learn, the first time. I am very advanced in most other areas, excluding orienteering. In juxtaposition to myself, my best friend has an IQ of 161 or thereabouts, but cannot relate to most other people. She has ADHD and slight paranoia.
    Everything is relative.

    i think common sense is a skill which can be learned and greatly is influenced by socioeconomic factors. for example if you are around many other people who have sharp common sense it should be possible for those people to influence the way you think. you should be able to start picking up this way of thinking and develop it and start thinking the way they do. if you try to use your common sense more and rely on it , i would imagine this part of your malleable brain would further develop itself to make better use of this faculty. i feel also that common sense is greatly influenced by habit. if one spends all their time trying to solve problems through intellect, or spends all their time analyzing or processing information one way, it does not leave very much room in the brains physical pipeline for a different type of thought. conversely there are those who spend most of their time using their sense and leave little room for deeper more critical thinking analysis. this may be purely behavioral. at the same time there might be some people who are just born with more ability to have better sense of things. but that does not necessarily mean people are developing that talent.

    The construct of practical intelligence is hardly supported by data. In fact there are only 1-2 peer reviewed studies looking at Sternberg's construct of practical intelligence. I would say this entire article is based upon anecdotal evidence of that one smart person everyone knows that appears to lack communication skills and misses obvious social cues. I agree with others that have mentioned the idea that it stands out more when a person who is extremely bright appears to lack common sense.

    RE: "The construct of practical intelligence is hardly supported by data."

    It is supported by economic data (ie: outputs). I think that's the definition of 'practical' here. And the correlation between measured high school IQ, measured graduate level IQ, and resulting wealth is pretty well established. "Practical = Market Utility". In other words, Practical means the use of your intelligence to achieve material results in the real world, and that there is a high correlation between such results and IQ. (In fact, between IQ and social class distribution.)

    The market also punishes and rewards ethical, moral, and normative behaviors. THe market also has an uneasy relationship to some degree with creativity. And creativity appears, at least from the data so far, to be a marginal behavior (Free association), which has a high correlation with a variety of mental disorders (as wel see these diagnoses from a normative standpoint). So, IQ that may be purely demonstrable on tests of abstractions may (and appears to) correlate with increasing problems with interactions. This fact, in effects, supports the (Chomsky and heirs) Linguistic analysis that states that language is a product of the current capacity of man's mind, and that should we have greater intelligence, both the semantics and grammar of language would change. Furthermore, that above 30 points of IQ difference, communication in any meaningful manner becomes difficult, and at 60 points starts to become irrelevant.

    Lastly, I think the data is pretty clear that there is also a high correlation between extraordinary IQ test results and undesirable side effects. (Those of us with mild Aspergers symptoms where the ability to process abstractions can lead to loss of sense-of-self, and therefore empathy with other humans who stil rely more heavily on empathy.)

    Practical means utilitarian. Utilitarian means market. Market means social. Social means economic. Economic means standard of living. Standard of living means relative position in the distribution of local human beings.

    In order to exercise genius it is necessary to strip away the ridiculous 'rules' and limitations expected of us. Otherwise higher thought is impaired and limited and can never progress beyond the box it is now kept in. Thus to be 'clever' and have 'common-sense' is, beyond a point, impossible. They are fundamental opposites, at least unless a society is composed wholly of intellectual free thinkers. The issue here is simply that the majority are usually wrong and their behaviour is usually ridiculous, yet since they are the majority, the free thinkers and intellectuals with radical ideas have two options: 1) Box up their ideas, hack them up, re-package and re-shape them into a grotesque deormation of their ideals and limit themselves as sorely as hacking off a limb in order to satisfy a bizzarre mass or 2) Be regarded as weird by the general populace and retain their genius and pride.

    Gerhard Adam
    This sounds more like "ego" than "genius".
    Mundus vult decipi
    The comments seem to have gotten away from the original theory and focusing on "common sense". I believe that there is a grain of truth to the idea that SOME book smart people (who may have high IQ) appear to be lacking in what has been referred to as "common sense". I believe that "common sense" is not the proper term. I do not know of a better term to use in place of "common sense". Nowhere did the article say that all smart people (or those with high IQ) lack common sense.

    It suggests that there are some who appear to possess the capacity for greater understanding of seamingly simple ideas that they do not understand. This is referring to the people who are intelligent and yet don't understand puns for instance. (this is just one example) This is about people who don't understand some things that it seems they should, due to their level of intelligence. I am not referring to ignorance. I am speaking of the capacity for deductive understanding in seemingly simple areas. I have known several people who fit this theory. I believe that there is some correlation between some "book smart people" and what some people call "common sense" due to lack of a better term.

    Absolutely. Some people who are highly 'intelligent', lack common sense. Individuals diagnosed with High functioning Autism, are the clearest evidence of this. There is nothing that can be presented at this point, which validates the idea that fluid processing =crystallized intelligence. "Common Sense" is, is independent of "Abstraction". As problems are loaded with higher properties of abstraction, the predictivity of IQ, goes down. So unfortunately, conventional IQ tests are highly saturated in Gc. And while they are excellent measures of ShortTermMemory, and rote learning potential, when it comes to relational reasoning, (thinking/applying/inventing), they may correlate miserably. IQ does correlate with performance later in, life. But the correlation forms too late. While the predictive value of iQ increases as we age, it turns out that it is only meaningful "AFTER" many children enter adulthood (and thus hit there FLUID intellectual peaks). Many authors have suggested fluid intelligence peaks in are late teens to early 20's.

    My IQ is about 135. I understand human behavior better than most. I even theorize about it. I suspect those with social impairments are not high IQs but normal people who dedicate their time to study, learn or get diplomas. So they neglect their social skills and then have problems to interact with others. For high IQs life is easier than most people think (even in hard times).
    By the way, I learned English just for fun and without a particular method. High IQ does not mean fast answers to questions or quick wit when arguing. In fact a talented person could be seen as a moron for thinking deep on issues most people do not take a second to ponder.

    Higher IQs are really fun, make weird jokes and inspire the crew.

    Forgot to mention: "common sense" is a phrase without a meaning. You are free to use it as you want. I'll search for it on wikipedia. But not now.

    Intelligence has nothing to do with genius, or common sense. I believe it (intelligence) is a simple measure of adaptability and learning capabilities or potential. I believe you need to come up with a way to measure the level of imagination and intelligence together, to determine if a person is a genius. I believe common-sense is a persons ability to both analyze and determine the most pratical and simplest way to accomplish a task or develope an idea based on his/her own experiences. I believe they are all seperate, and are only link because of cognition; They are like comparing apples to oranges, and nothing more. The behavior issues are more than likely related to negative early childhood experiences.

    Whenever I'm in class, people tell me all the time that I have a low level of common sense! Some guess I would be proclaimed to be a highly intelligent Homo-sapien! Also my IQ is 149. Would that be one of those IQ's that seem to dissociate common sense? Or am I just a n outlier?

    To me its simple. What is common sense? Common is the main word here. To a person with high iq, what makes sense to him and other people with high iq sometimes doesnt make sense to people with normal average iq. Of course, because the largest number of people ( the majority ) are those with average iq, so what makes sense to this group of people is the most "common" of senses. Some people with high iq knows hows to handle this, looking into things from the "common" people's pov, and some doesnt know how to and these people are perceived as strange.

    That's why a lot of "intelligent people" can't understand that 9/11 was an inside job. Something like common sense keeps getting in the way.

    Gerhard Adam
    Something like common sense keeps getting in the way.
    Yeah ... that and a little thing like facts.  No sense letting them get in the way of a good conspiracy story.
    Mundus vult decipi