The Science of Smart

Updated August 4, 2021 | Staff Writers

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The editors at Best College Reviews decided to take a look at the science behind intelligence. This infographic is the result of our research.

The Science of Smart

Intelligence, from a scientific perspective, is a broad and deep comprehension of our surroundings - "catching on," "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do.

*Disclaimer: Intelligence tests do not measure creativity, character, personality, or other important differences among individuals, nor are they intended to.

Intelligence and IQ

  • 68% of IQ scores fall within 1sd (standard deviation) above or below average
  • 68% are in the 85-115 range
  • 95% fall within 2sd above or below average
  • 95% are in the 70 - 130 range
  • 99.7% fall within 3sd above or below average
  • 99.7 are in the 55-145 range
  • Average IQ = 90-110

Passing on the Smart Genes

  • In a correlation scale 1.0 = total similarity
    (Impressive correlations score a .3 or higher)
  • Similarity of IQ in biological families vs. adoptive families between:
  • Mother - child = 32% higher
  • father - child = 24%
  • child - child = 29%

Genes For Intelligence

The notion that our capacity to learn is influenced by our genes went from "taboo" to "common acceptance."

A number of studies now show a link between specific genes and a capacity to learn.

A Genetic link to intelligence has been discovered.

Three genes: DAT1, DRD2 and DRD4 are associated with academic achievement

The three genes:

Control dopamine (reward) regulation in our brains and determine our levels of motivation, attention and intelligence

Those with a particular combination of these genes were more likely to finish high school and go to college.

Nature and Nurture

"learning is among the most complex things we do, intelligence does not entirely originate in our genes."

50% of variance in educational achievement can be attributed to genetics.

Those reinforced with the concept that intelligence is expandable are more likely to keep trying and succeed.

Children with 10+ "risk" gene variants are 2x more likely to perform poorly in math, especially if they live in chaotic homes or have negative, punitive parents.

Correlation Between Wealth and IQ

How intelligent are the world's wealthiest people?

Carlos Slim

Net Worth $77.5 billion
IQ: Around 135

Bill Gates

Net Worth $64.4 billion
IQ: 160

Ingvar Kamprad

Net Worth: $41.8 billion
IQ: 98

How wealthy are the world's most intelligent people?

Stephen Hawking

IQ: Slightly over 200
Wealth: $20 million

Marilyn vos Savant

IQ: 228
Wealth:not considered among the wealthiest people

Albert Einstein

IQ: 160
Wealth: Lost much of his wealth while fleeing Germany


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