Hi everyone,  

This is my last research round for my inquiry question: “How is education connected to intelligence and success?”.

In my first post on this topic, I discussed the concept of intelligence. Topics such as what intelligence is, how it is measured and how it varies across the world were covered. Furthermore, I went into depth on whether intelligence is a nurture or nature. In my second round of research, I investigated education and concepts varying from accessibility to availability. In my last post, I researched the mental aspects of intelligence. I touched topics like what makes an individual have higher intelligence and the effects of factors like culture and sex on intelligence. The point of that round was to help broaden the understanding of how intelligence works. It also aids in the comprehension of why certain individuals have the mindsets of wanting to pursue more education. It is evident that intelligence isn’t the only factor that predicts how much education a person receives.  

In this round, I will be wrapping up this cycle. I will be investigating the concept of success. There are various takes on what it means to be successful. Topics such as does more intelligence and education result in more success in the future, how is success defined along individuals, do people believe that they need more education will be covered.  

Let’s begin! 


What is success: 

-->Success is defined by the accomplishments of an individual’s goal(s). These endeavors include the attainment of wealth, position, honors, etc. In other words, it can be demonstrated with a performance or an achievement (1).  

-->A successful individual often has the following traits: 

  1. They often don’t follow and, thus, challenge rules. When told they can’t do something, they are persuaded to prove them wrong.  
  2. Successful individuals also embrace failure. This is because they recognize that failure leads to learning.  
  3. Another trait includes how successful people have a strong sense of self. They can identify their purpose and pursue constant self-exploration.  
  4. Furthermore, they can a desire to improve their life and the lives around them. Such issues can include work efficiency or global social epidemics.  
  5. They also are goal-orientated. Successful people can sperate short- and long-term benchmarks. They comprehend how to manage time and prioritize their schedules. In other words, they are focused. 

-->Thus, they also have confidence, not arrogance. Successful people are optimistic and have determination during difficult situations. Consequently, they don’t see these times to be a burden; however, they perceive it as a challenge to overcome (2). 

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What do people think about success?

-->There are different takes on what success is defined by. In other words, it is subjective. The following are examples of the opinions of certain “successful” and well-known individuals.

1. Connecting people to obtain a vision

-Brian Scudamore, 1-800-GOT-JUNK

2. Helping others succeed

-Richard M. DeVos, Co-Founder of Amway and Senior Chairman of the Orlando Magic

3. Giving of yourself

-Lisa Haisha, founder of Soul Blazing

4. Family

-Jeff Motske, founder of Trilogy Financial Services

5. Overcoming fear and having determination

-Pejman Ghadimi, Secret Entourage

6. Working hard

-Chad MacDonald, Connected Services, LLC

7. Changing Lives

-Mark B. Pentecost, It Works!

8. Freedom to make personal decisions 

-Grant Cardone, Self-Made Multimillionaire

9. Finding and doing your passion

-Sonita Lontoh, Silicon Valley Executive and Entrepreneur (3). 

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The relationship between intelligence and socioeconomic success:

-->Intelligence is a strong predictor of success; however, factors such as their parent’s social and financial status and grades also play a strong role (4).  

-->Terman’s Study of the Gifted is a study designed to investigate the emotional and social development skills of children with high IQs.  

  • It is the oldest and longest-running longitudinal study in psychology (5, 6). 
  • His examination included 1,500 children with an average IQ of 150. It should be considered that the average IQ is 100, and IQ levels above 140 is high.  
  • Although most of his subjects were found to tend to a higher rate on self-confidence, perseverance and goal-orientated, few did fare with an “average” lifestyle. He also determined that individuals with higher IQs were academically successful, healthier, stronger, taller and less accident-prone than the children with normal IQs. 
  • During the early days of his study, it was found that the average income of his subjects from his study earned $33,000 annually compared to the nation average of $5,000. 2/3 earned college degrees, and many professionally became doctors, business executives, etc. Others became policemen, filing clerks, etc. Terman, thus, concluded that “intelligence and achieve were far from perfectly corelated”.  

-->IQ scores can only reliably predict a person’s academic success in school, not their success in work or in life.  

-->Some studies suggest that children with high levels of academic skills are more prone to depression and social isolation. Other studies suggest that people with high IQs are more likely to smoke marijuana and use illegal drugs (5).

Education and success:

-->Education often takes a long time and is expensive. However, to job employers, the level of education a person has demonstrates their drive and commitment to learn and apply information.  

-->Individuals use education to seek and achieve a variety of tasks and goals. 

-->There are a variety subject matters and basic knowledge people go into. For example, there are English and language skills. These topics are crucial in helping an individual in communicating and expressing their ideas. There are also math and science skills which are found to be needed even in everyday activities such as cooking, shopping, driving, etc.  

-->The More You Learn; The More You Earn. Although this may not always be the case, when an individual achieves a higher level of education, they generally command a higher level of income.  

  • For example, medical jobs without college degrees often earn $20,000 to $40,000 annually. With two years of college, Allied Health Careers with the needed two years of college earn $40,000 to $60,000 annually. With a bachelor’s degree, Nursing Careers earn $40,000 to $55,000 annually. With a master’s degree, Advanced Nursing Careers earn $60,000 to over $90,000 annually. With a bachelor’s and PharmD degree, Pharmacists earn $90,000 to $115,000 annually. With a medical doctorate degree, Physicians earn $120,000 to over $500,000 annually.  

-->Education is a basic requirement for many people to find a well-paying job. Many employers want to hire people with college-level education. In the past, jobs such as administrative assistant positions didn’t need that level of education. However, they now do. Thus, education opens doors for more opportunities.  

-->Education helps individuals achieve by teaching them how to gather, learn and apply knowledge. It helps them improve communication skills such as teamwork and persuasion. Furthermore, it aids in ameliorating time management skills (7).  

-->In a meta-analysis, it was determined that an added year of education increases an individual’s IQ score between 1 and 5 points. It is determined that the effectiveness for short-term cognitive training is minimal. Even so, a conclusion, for the reason how education may increase IQ scores, isn’t clear.  

-->Changes in policies (ex. mandatory education level required for a given job) result in students staying in school for a longer duration of time (8). 

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The connection between genes and academic success:

-->Educational achievement is stable throughout a person’s student life. Genetics contribute to about 70% of this stability, shared environments contribute 25% and nonshared environments (ex. Friends, teachers) contribute to the last 5%.  

-->Traits such as personality, behaviors issues, motivation and health are partly heritable (9). 

Websites Used: 

(1) https://www.dictionary.com/browse/success  

(2) https://www.huffingtonpost.com...ssf_1_b_5353285.html  

(3) https://www.huffpost.com/entry...ople-expla_n_6252202  

(4) https://www.sciencedirect.com/...606001127?via%3Dihub  

(5) https://www.verywellmind.com/a...e-successful-2795280  

(6) https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1992-97726-000  

(7) https://www.verywellhealth.com...-for-success-1736016 

(8) https://journals.sagepub.com/d...177/0956797618774253 

(9) https://news.utexas.edu/2018/0...success-study-shows/ 

Thank you so much for reading! In my next post, I’ll be posting my metamorphosis! 



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Original Post

Hey Alison, 

I love how you broke your your research round into clear, concise topics but were able to tie them all together at the end. The topic of how education connects to intelligence and success is quite fascinating because throughout our childhood we rely on the education system to prepare us for our adult lives and essentially can determine how successful we become. As you mentioned, success is a subjective topic and I admire the way you used research papers and a variety of different sources to determine the connections of success to intelligence and education. Perhaps if you decided to stick with a similar topic again for your next cycle, you could research the importance of education and how it varies within the world. Education is a crucial part of our lives and with the quality of research you produce, your information could be beneficial to make change within the system. 

Anyways I'm looking forward to reading your metamorphosis and I wish you all the best for your next cycle! 

Hey Allison,

I really enjoyed following along with your research this cycle, and I really feel like I learned something from your research rounds. I appreciated how you divided up your research in this cycle, it made it very easy to follow along with. I did enjoy that you gave examples of "successful" people, though I wish you had gone into a little more detail about how they were successful in the demonstrated ways. I really enjoyed reading about the different trends in kids with an average IQ of 150, that was very cool and informative to read.

Good luck with your research next cycle, I look forward to reading what you're going to dive into next

Hello @Alison Wu (Charles Best)

A great post! I can sort of relate this to my research that i am doing which is really cool! Education importance really seems to be a big deal for having a decent job. If jobs is part of what defines success for a person. 
I found it interesting about the IQ levels mentioned in your post. I wonder if EQs and other quotients and intelligence would affect and contribute to the income. 

The aspects of a successful individual list was also great to read, which I can mirror with my research and those definitely show up generally! Really interesting how they all intertwine at some degree. 
Lastly, "Genetics contribute to about 70% of this stability, shared environments contribute 25% and nonshared environments (ex. Friends, teachers) contribute to the last 5%.  " 
Looking at the genetics and biology of ourselves that ultimately is where success is being applied takes a stance where we can see that various factors are involved/applied to us to gain those achievements! 

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Nicely done! 


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