See also related posts.
There does not appear to be an ‘‘ability threshold’’ (i.e., a point at which, say, beyond an IQ of 115 or 120, more ability does not matter). Although other things like ambition and opportunity clearly matter, more ability is better. The data also suggest the importance of going beyond general ability level when characterizing exceptional phenotypes, because speciﬁc abilities add nuance to predictions across different domains of talent development. Differential ability pattern, in this case verbal relative to mathematical ability and vice versa, are differentially related to accomplishments that draw on different intellectual strengths. Exceptional cognitive abilities do appear to be involved in creative expression, or ‘‘abstract noegenesis’’ (Spearman and Jones, 1950). That these abilities are readily detectable at age 12 is especially noteworthy.
This figure, describing the same study population, may also be of interest:
Scores are normalized in units of SDs. The vertical axis is V, the horizontal axis is M, and the length of the arrow reflects spatial ability: pointing to the right means above the group average, to the left means below average; note the arrow for business majors should be twice as long as indicated but there was not enough space on the diagram. The spatial score is obviously correlated with the M score. Upper right = high V, high M (e.g., physical science) Upper left = high V, lower M (e.g., humanities, social science) Lower left = lower V, lower M (e.g., business, law) Lower right = lower V, high M (e.g., math, engineering, CS)