Beyond the Threshold Hypothesis
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> Conventional wisdom holds that above a certain threshold of cognitive ability (for example, an ability level in the 90th or 95th percentile), differences in cognitive abilities no longer matter; that is, for all who have cognitive abilities beyond that threshold, individual differences in occupational and creative achievements will be a function of hard work, personality, and opportunity. For example, Malcolm Gladwell writes in his popular book, Outliers: The Story of Success (2008, p. 79), ‘‘The relationship between success and IQ works only up to a point. Once someone has an IQ of somewhere around 120, having additional IQ points doesn’t seem to translate into any measur- able real-world advantage.’’ While this threshold hypothesis has intuitive appeal, the literature in talent development and other areas does not support it. In this article, we will present recent
findings that show that even in the top 1% of cognitive ability, higher levels of cognitive abilities do make a person more likely to make outstanding achievements.
How does it feel to know that no matter how hard you work, you will never be able to match those born superior to you?