High IQ are 1% of pop: half Neanderthal “Outsiders”, half Melonhead “Winners”

This is one of the most important documents ever written on high IQ individuals, AKA “Outsiders”:

The lie that verbal intelligence isn’t correlated with social dysfunction:

In other words, Terman deliberately tried to give the impression that the relationship between verbal intelligence and mental and social maladjustment was weak and unreliable. He did this by misdirection. He gave a truthful answer to an irrelevant question. Terman failed to realize that a small difference in means between two or more distributions can have a dramatic effect on the percentage of each group found at the tails of the distribution. The relevant questions should have been “what is the percentage of maladjustment found at different levels of ability, and does this show a trend?” Terman’s data can be used to find answers to these questions.

The method used to solve this problem is a relatively simple one but tedious in detail. (See appendix.) The results, however, are easy to understand. Using CMT-T scores for men as an illustration, and pooling the data for some maladjustment and serious maladjustment, the following percentages can be obtained.


< 97.813
97.8 – 117.118
117.1 – 136.425
136.4 – 155.731
155.7 – 17538
> 17545

Women have lower standard deviation of intelligence, but show dysfunction at lower IQ levels. Evidence of same Neanderthal genetic expression threshold for social dysfunction in Cro-Magnon society:

By comparison, the Triple Nine Society averages 155.16 on the CMT-T, and the average score for Prometheus Society members is 169.95 [1, 2]. The implications are staggering, especially when it is realized that these percentages do not include women, who show more maladjustment at lower CMT-T scores than men do. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why super high IQ societies suffer so much from schisms and a tendency towards disintegration. In any event, one thing is certain. The currently accepted belief that verbal intelligence is unrelated to maladjustment is clearly a myth.

Independent confirmation that Neanderthals are a “different kind of human being”:

The genius (as regards intellectual ability) not only has an IQ of say 50 points more than the average person, but in virtue of this difference acquires seemingly new aspects (potentialities) or characteristics. These seemingly new aspects or characteristics, in their totality, are what go to make up the “qualitative” difference between them [9, p. 134].

Wechsler is saying quite plainly that those with IQs above 150 are different in kind from those below that level. He is saying that they are a different kind of mind, a different kind of human being.

The Neanderthal is an “Outsider”:

This subjective impression of a difference in kind also appears to be fairly common among members of the super high IQ societies themselves. When Prometheus and Triple Nine members were asked if they perceived a categorical difference between those above this level and others, most said that they did, although they also said that they were reluctant to call the difference genius. When asked what it should be called, they produced a number of suggestions, sometimes esoteric, sometimes witty, and often remarkably vulgar. But one term was suggested independently again and again. Many thought that the most appropriate term for people like themselves was Outsider.

He seeks friendship but does not find it:

Hollingworth points out that the exceptionally gifted do not deliberately choose isolation, but are forced into it against their wills.

These superior children are not unfriendly or ungregarious by nature. Typically they strive to play with others but their efforts are defeated by the difficulties of the case… Other children do not share their interests, their vocabulary, or their desire to organize activities. They try to reform their contemporaries but finally give up the struggle and play alone, since older children regard them as “babies,” and adults seldom play during hours when children are awake. As a result, forms of solitary play develop, and these, becoming fixed as habits, may explain the fact that many highly intellectual adults are shy, ungregarious, and unmindful of human relationships, or even misanthropic and uncomfortable in ordinary social intercourse [3, p. 262].

But if the exceptionally gifted is isolated from his contemporaries, the gulf between him and the adult authorities in his life is even deeper.

The very gifted child or adolescent, perceiving the illogical conduct of those in charge of his affairs, may turn rebellious against all authority and fall into a condition of negative suggestibility–a most unfortunate trend of personality, since the person is then unable to take a cooperative attitude toward authority. A person who is highly suggestible in a negative direction is as much in bondage to others around him as is the person who is positively suggestible. The social value of the person is seriously impaired in either case. The gifted are not likely to fall victims to positive suggestion but many of them develop negativism to a conspicuous degree [3, p 260].

The three adaptation patterns of the high IQ (strategy 1 includes the majority of Melonheads):

There appear to be three sorts of childhoods and three sorts of adult social adaptations made by the gifted. The first of these may be called the committed strategy. These individuals were born into upper middle class families, with gifted and well educated parents, and often with gifted siblings. They sometimes even had famous relatives. They attended prestigious colleges, became doctors, lawyers, professors, or joined some other prestigious occupation, and have friends with similar histories. They are the optimally adjusted. They are also the ones most likely to disbelieve that the exceptionally gifted can have serious adjustment problems.

The second kind of social adaptation may be called the marginal strategy. These individuals were typically born into a lower socio-economic class, without gifted parents, gifted siblings, or gifted friends. Often they did not go to college at all, but instead went right to work immediately after high school, or even before. And although they may superficially appear to have made a good adjustment to their work and friends, neither work nor friends can completely engage their attention. They hunger for more intellectual challenge and more real companionship than their social environment can supply. So they resort to leading a double life. They compartmentalize their life into a public sphere and a private sphere. In public they go through the motions of fulfilling their social roles, whatever they are, but in private they pursue goals of their own. They are often omnivorous readers, and sometimes unusually expert amateurs in specialized subjects. The double life strategy might even be called the genius ploy, as many geniuses in history have worked at menial tasks in order to free themselves for more important work. Socrates, you will remember was a stone mason, Spinoza was a lens grinder, and even Jesus was a carpenter. The exceptionally gifted adult who works as a parking lot attendant while creating new mathematics has adopted an honored way of life and deserves respect for his courage, not criticism for failing to live up to his abilities. Those conformists who adopt the committed strategy may be pillars of their community and make the world go around, but historically, those with truly original minds have more often adopted the double life tactic. They are ones among the gifted who are most likely to make the world go forward.

And finally there are the dropouts. These sometimes bizarre individuals were often born into families in which one or more of the parents were not only exceptionally gifted, but exceptionally maladjusted themselves. This is the worst possible social environment that a gifted child can be thrust into. His parents, often driven by egocentric ambitions of their own, may use him to gratify their own needs for accomplishment. He is, to all intents and purposes, not a living human being to them, but a performing animal, or even an experiment. That is what happened to Sidis, and may be the explanation for all those gifted who “burn out” as he did. (Readers familiar with the Terman study will recognize the committed strategy and the marginal strategy as roughly similar to the adjustment patterns of Terman’s A and C groups.)

The Neander Hall is full of of high-IQ marginals and dropouts (melonheads excepted). Combined with the percentages for dysfunction given in the table above, if we assume that no Melonheads become marginals or dropouts, we can estimate the minimum percentage of the population that is high-IQ Neanderthal.

My impression is that mode Neanderthal IQ is around 135-150, with a very long tail extending upwards. IQ’s below 130 seem to be hybrids, which we won’t count. So, we have three dysfunctionality tranches to consider. Turning to Excel, we get this minimum population percentage:

Approximately 1% of the white population is above 135 IQ. This is the maximum for true Neanderthal expression.

.97% of the population is between 135 and 155, the 31% tranche. The minimum Neanderthal component from this tranche is thus .30% of the population.

The percentage of the population from 155 to 300 is .01%, thus negligible for our purposes.

So we can estimate that a minimum of 3/1000 people are high-IQ true Neanderthals, with all being dysfunctional, and a maximum of 9.7/1000, with most being functional.

If only we had data on the percentage of strategy 1 high-IQ individuals who disbelieve that the gifted can encounter serious developmental difficulties, we would know exactly what percentage of the high IQ are melonheads.

Based on my observations so far, I would estimate the high-IQ melonhead percentage at 1/2 to 1/3. The dysfunctionality table indicates that at high IQ’s dysfunctionality approaches a limit of 50%, which would suggest an even proportion of Melonhead and Neanderthal DNA.

Based on an assumed 50/50 ratio, the odds of a high-IQ Neanderthal avoiding moderate to severe dysfunction are about 40%, decreasing to zero as IQ approaches the 200-250 range. This sounds believable to me; our Neander Hall forum seems to have a higher dysfunctional rate, but as it’s in its early stages one would expect it to attract a higher IQ and more dysfunctional Neanderthal subset.

Observed Neander Hall Melonhead dysfunctionality, on the other hand, is limited to a single case, and that individual is a hybrid with 50% Neanderthal expression, which supplies the source of the dysfunction. So the dysfunctionality assumption holds with observed reality.  True, there is probably a small subset of severely psychopathic Melonheads who do (or would, if detectable) qualify as dysfunctional, but they would not alter these numbers significantly.

There is some question as to whether the Melonhead IQ distribution also has a fat tail extending upwards indefinitely. If this is not the case, we would expect 100% dysfunctionality at the highest IQ levels. I do not know, although a reader can probably clue me in. Either way, it doesn’t change the numbers.

Therefore we can estimate the high-IQ or “pure” Neanderthal population at about 5/1000, or .5%, and the same for Melonheads.

As for my personal IQ, I have not been tested as an adult, although my GMAT score barely qualifies me for the Triple 9 Society, which is around 150. I suspect I am right at or below the 150 cutoff for “Outsider”, which explains my ability to “bridge the gap” with the invention of Koanic Soul.

Note that the article uses “Outsider” in a different sense, to denote extraordinary, qualitatively different mental abilities present in the 150+ range. I have unmistakably observed this phenomenon in the Neander Hall and blogosphere. However, this superhuman ability takes two different forms, depending on the species:

Neanderthals – hyper-associative truth engine, capable of intuitively distilling vast complexity into novel theses in a wholly unreplicable way. Superintelligence/Seer long-range vision. Prophetic. Examples: Texas Arcane, Mencius Moldbug, Immanuel Kant.

Melonheads – seemingly magical capability to bend reality and social and animal fabric to own interests, in the form of charisma, serendipity, luck, and manifestation. Dominion.