Elon Musk is a visionary entrepreneur and technology enthusiast with an IQ of 155 (estimate). He was born in Pretoria, the Republic of South Africa but nationalized in America and rightfully so is addressed as an African-American. He is renowned worldwide for how smart he is, his lofty ideas, and the successful businesses he has founded. He founded X.com in 1999 (later PayPal), SpaceX in 2002, and Tesla Motors in 2003, to mention just a few. Perhaps, all these couldn’t have been possible if Elon Musk’s IQ was less than the estimated 155.
Elon Musk’s IQ of 155 is the Accepted Best Estimate
Elon Musk’s estimated 155 IQ is mostly based on his previous aptitude tests, ability to absorb and apply technical information, and his capacity to use data to modify and evaluate even the most complex business opportunities uniquely. An exact figure of his IQ is not known publicly but it is believed that it can’t be anything less than the estimated 155. Chances are that it could be higher when you put a lot of things into consideration, but the possibility of it being lower than the estimate is thoroughly ruled out when you pair his career accomplishments with that of other famous people with known high IQs.
Ever since he was a kid, Elon has always shown his rare and unique intelligence in unconventional ways. At age 17, in 1989, Musk moved to Canada and lived with a relative before he was able to secure admission into Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada in 1990. Two years into his study in Canada, he relocated to the USA to finish his university education at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics in 1997.
In the wake of leaving Penn, Musk made a beeline for Stanford University in California to seek a Ph.D. in material science. Around this time, the internet was becoming very popular. Rather than continue his studies, Musk dropped out after just two days at Stanford University to set up his first internet company named Zip2 Corporation in 1995.
His High IQ Spurred His Interest in Science and Technology
Elon Musk has always been fascinated by events and discoveries in science and technology. He was always curious to read about new technological inventions and scientific discoveries. As he researched these things, he kept a record of them and tinkered more on how he can be able to improve what has already been invented, while still coming out with new ideas.
While in school, he did not only study science (physics) but also studied finance, business, and accounting which are all economics-related so he can be able to find real-world business relevance to the ideas he will bring to life with his knowledge of science and technology. Thus, following his graduation, Musk ventured into the field of computer science. Everything he has achieved and makes profitable has all been revolving around the application of computer technology to problems.
What is Intelligence Quotient (IQ) in a Broader Sense?
An IQ is an absolute score gotten from a bunch of tests or subtests intended to survey human knowledge. IQs was instituted by therapist William Stern for the German expression Intelligenz quotient, his term for a scoring technique for insight tests at the University of Breslau.
Before now, IQ scores are ascertained by isolating an individual’s psychological age score, when assessing a knowledge test by the individual. The subsequent part (remainder) was increased by 100 to get the IQ score. For current IQ tests, the crude score is changed to an ordinary number with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. With this standard, about 66% of the populace who take IQ tests score between 85 and 115, and about 2.5 percent each over 130 and under 70.
However, scores gotten from IQ tests are not without fault on their own. IQ scores have been shown to be related to so many factors like premature birth, nutrition, education, pollution, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, disease, mood, etc have all shown to have a pattern of affecting an individual’s IQ score when certain conditions they predetermine are met or not met. While the heritability of IQ has been examined for almost a century, there is still discussion about the extent of heritability as a factor that could likely affect one’s IQ to a large extent. Perhaps with more records being kept today about people’s IQ, more data will be available to determine this tomorrow.
Who Conducts IQ Tests?
IQ tests can be administered by serving a series of questions to an individual after which his or her responses in the test will be graded and thus the IQ score will be obtained. But did you know where IQ tests originally came from? They were first designed by French psychologist Alfred Binet to test the intelligence of school children in France?
There are different bodies and organizations that offer IQ tests. More so, different websites also offer the test but the accuracy of the result they produce and the overall acceptability of their result are most times questionable.
In the USA, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) for adults and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) for school-age test-takers are the most common. Aside from these, other standard IQ tests include –
- Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales
- Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities
- The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children
- The Cognitive Assessment System
- The Differential Ability Scales
- Raven’s Progressive Matrices
- Cattell Culture Fair III
- Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales
- Thurstone’s Primary Mental Abilities
- Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test
- Multidimensional Aptitude Battery II
- Das–Naglieri cognitive assessment system
- Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test
- Wide Range Intelligence Test
Why is IQ so Important?
Intellectual superiority offers numerous benefits. Better grades in school, better employment opportunities, greater wages, and longer lives are linked to people with high IQ. To some extent, it can spur you to reach the objectives of your life and live your life in your fantasies. Specifically, the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) makes you create your own choices. The higher the IQ, the better the decisions that you make, and this is plain truth for us all. Elon Musk has definitely made a lot of good decisions which millions of people who even haven’t met him physically are benefiting from.
High IQ, however, also has disadvantages. Studies have shown, for example, that higher IQs are linked to the use of drugs. Also, IQ scores when taken at various times in the course of a person’s life fluctuates. This lays credence to our earlier postulation that a lot of individual and environmental factors significantly affect one’s IQ score. Perhaps, if Elon Musk’s IQ was to be reassessed, we might get a score significantly different from what we have today.
The Relationship Between High IQ, Being Intelligent and Being Smart
Elon Musk’s IQ of 155 is quite commendable and also seeing how successful he has been in business, he can easily pass for someone smart and intelligent at the same time. While it is common for people to compliment him and others with equally high IQs and successful careers, being smart, intelligent, and having a high IQ are totally different from each other although they can be interdependent at certain quarters.
Being intelligent is inherent; people are born as intelligent, of average intelligence, or outrightly dull. Intelligence is not something you can learn over time or imbibe. There are people who are better in science than others, while there are other people who are better in drama than others (perhaps those good in science).
But, intelligent people have the ability to also become smart because they read a lot, observe a lot, and often have the ability to retain what they have read. Thus, intelligent people can become book smart, street smart, or what have you? Being smart, on the other hand, is something that can be learned over time and with experience, one can become smarter in the choices one makes.
With experience, Elon Musk has become smarter in the choices he makes regarding his businesses. He had to sell off some of the businesses he started early on in his life to focus and invest in others which he feels will offer value to people in the future.
Summarily, people and indeed celebrities with high IQs like Elon Musk have often been shown to be both smart and intelligent at the same time. They are knowledgeable in their careers/field and often make smart decisions on things that pertain to them.
How Does Elon Musk IQ Compare to Other People with High IQ?
IQ score between 85 and 115 is common in humans (approximately 68 percent). Only a small percentage of the human population has an excellent IQ (above 130) or a low IQ (under 70). So for Ellon Musk who has an estimated IQ of 155, he is, without doubt, one of the few living people with the highest IQs. Here’s how he compares with other people with high IQ.
- Plato and Aristotle – IQ Score of 180 and 190
Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle had a big impact on science in the medieval era. Plato was an essential character of Western science, mathematics, and philosophy who wrote several notable works such as “The Republic.” On the other hand, Aristotle was a student of Plato for more than twenty years.
In the development of Western philosophy and science, Aristotle had a key role in writing on physics, biology, metaphysics, logic, theater, esthetics, and other areas. The IQs of the two men are estimated to be 180 for Plato and about 190 for Aristotle.
- Sir Isaac Newton – IQ Score of 193
Newton was a mathematician and physicist from England with an estimated IQ of 193. He was a genius in theoretical physics and mathematics and is one of the greatest and most influential mathematicians.
Newton was one of the most famous and important scientists of all time. He was the brain behind classical mechanics that impacted scientific thinking for over 300 hundred years. His thoughts and discoveries were documented in the book Philosophia Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Elon Musk is known to have applied his theories to his innovations.
- Albert Einstein – IQ Score of 160
The difficulty is, nobody can tell you what Einstein’s IQ was truly like. There is no evidence that he was tested. Indeed, IQ tests were still crude at the start of the 1900s when Einstein emerged for the first time as a scientific luminaire. However, the WAIS-IV, a frequently utilized IQ test nowadays, assigned an estimated maximum IQ score of 160 to Einstein and this has been taken to be the standard for him although the basis on which this number was founded is uncertain.
The available records show that Elon Musk and Albert Einstein are very brilliant and well-educated persons. Comparing Einstein and Musk’s IQ, the latter is largely a businessman with a focus on financial goals, whereas Einstein was a natural philosopher with a focus on scientific research. Placing their IQs side by side, Einstein is the better of the two with 5 scores ahead of Musk. However, it should be taken into consideration that this is only an estimate taken in different time intervals under different environmental influences.
- William Shakespeare – IQ Score of 210
Shakespeare is largely regarded as the greatest English writer and one of the most renowned and appreciated dramatists in the world. He authored many classical dramas, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. He has an IQ score estimated to be about 210. Elon Musk’s IQ score is in no way close to his.
- William Siddis – IQ Score between 250-300
Siddis supposedly has the highest IQ ever, estimated to be between 250-300. He has excellent arithmetic skills, joined Harvard at 11 years of age, and actually understood 40 languages. The young Siddis was projected by an MIT professor to be the best 20th-century mathematician.
But as smart and intelligent as Siddis was, he was unable to match Elon Musk. Whereas Musk is successful, William crashed as an adult, he held lowly paid jobs and found no way to live up to expectations, the law also hit him hard. So in this instance, his having a high IQ didn’t necessarily translate to making good choices in life and living successfully.
- Nikola Tesla – IQ Score of 195
Tesla was an inventor and futurist from Serbia, famous for the AC electricity, the coil Tesla, wireless energy transfer, the “death” ray and smartphone, drones, and other technological predictions. Nikola also discovered and patented the basic structure of most alternating-current machinery, ‘the rotating magnetic field’.