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What is Elon Musk's IQ?
How would the richest man in the world score on an IQ test?
Some people are convinced that wealth is all about IQ, and therefore Elon Musk’s IQ must be 170 or higher. Others are convinced that billionaires are scammers and Musk is not as smart as he seems, and that he potentially has an average or near-average IQ.
Data, however, indicates that the average billionaire has an IQ of 130, which is roughly the top 2% of the population. There are a lot of people with that IQ who are not billionaires, but most people don’t have the IQ to become billionaires.
So what is Elon Musk’s IQ?
We can estimate it with his SAT scores. His SAT would have been taken around 1989, when he was 18 years old. Using the mean and standard deviation from Pumpkin Person, his score was approximately 3 SD.
If the SAT had a perfect correlation with general intelligence, this would suggest an IQ of 145. However, it doesn’t. Its correlation with g at the mean seems to be about 0.92, the same as the WAIS IV. This decreases out at the 3 SD level.
Using the same Bayesian method as last time, 0.92 returns the following probability distribution for Musk’s IQ:
The mode here is 2.68 which is and IQ of 140.2. His IQ is likely to be between 133 and 147.
~145 is a good upper bound on his IQ given this evidence, with 130 as a good lower bound. Thus, both people claiming Musk is a midwit, and people claiming “170 IQ” are wrong.
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