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The Two Sigma Conjecture:

The Meaning of IQ and the Reason Why

Ultra-High IQ Leads to Communication Barriers
Cui Zizai
September 18, 2016

The Two Sigma Conjecture explains the cause of difficulties in communication a
party faces when that party encounters another party with vastly different mental

I would like to express my gratitude towards people who are beyond my 2 range for
their inspiration. I would never be able to produce this work without their presence
in my life.
I am also immensely grateful to Reuben Tan, Khoh Yek How, Joyce, Pan Yue,
Shi Zhan, and Zhang Sheng Alex for their comments on an earlier version of the
manuscript although any errors are my own and should not tarnish the reputation
of these esteemed figures.
I would like to express my special thanks to my mentor Ms Huo Yasi, for her kindness
and professionalism.

Cui Zizai
September 18, 2016
in Singapore

1 Introduction

2 Definitions

3 The Two Sigma Conjecture


4 Causes of the Two Sigma Phenomenon



Difference in Comprehension and Reasoning Abilities . . . . . . . . .


Overriding of Common Sense with Abstract Analytical Abilities in


Social Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



IQ-Advertisement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Neophilia and Openness to Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Political Stance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


5 Conclusion





It is understood that low IQ could hinder communications. However, little researches

have been done on the cause phenomenon that people with ultra-high IQ face difficulties in communicating with average IQ people. This paper aims to establish a
theoretical explanation for this prevalent phenomenon.


All conventional tests for IQ(Intelligence Quotient) only give out its magnitude, and
the results are computed as follows. The median raw score is defined as IQ 100 and
scores each standard deviation(SD) up or down are defined as 15 IQ points greater or
less. By this definition, approximately two-thirds of the population scores between
IQ of 85 and IQ of 115. About 5 percent of the population scores above 125, and 5
percent below 75.
Definition 2.1. Raw scores of these tests are converted into IQ values which follows
the normal distribution of = 15 and = 100.
However, merely one parameter is not enough to measure the subtle differences
amongst individuals. For example, despite having the same IQ of 100, one may
be better at interpersonal relationship management while the other may be better
at logical thinking. According to Armstrong (n.d.), Gardner (2000) and Gardner
(1993b), human intelligences are categorised into the following eight parts, where no
strong correlations exist between each other:
1. Linguistic intelligence (word smart)
2. Logical-mathematical intelligence (number/reasoning smart)
3. Spatial intelligence (picture smart)
4. Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (body smart)
5. Musical intelligence (music smart)

6. Interpersonal intelligence (people smart)

7. Intrapersonal intelligence (self smart)
8. Naturalist intelligence (nature smart)
According to this definition, the existing tests for IQ focuses mainly on linguistic
and logical-mathematical intelligence, neglecting other aspects of intelligence. This
definition offers a broader understanding of what human intelligence really stands
for (Gardner, 1993a), and Payne (1983) developed the concept of EQ(Emotion Intelligence Quotient) based on interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence proposed
Another way to define intelligence is its reflections in personality, as did by Goldberg
(1993). Under this definition, intelligence by in the following five broad dimensions:
1. Openness to experience
2. Conscientiousness
3. Extraversion
4. Agreeableness
5. Neuroticism
In principle, any field of intelligence that is not mentioned here and has little correlation with the above-mentioned eight shall also be considered as a component
of human intelligence. (Exceptions include the AQ, or Adversity Quotient, which

despite being a reliable indicator of a persons future success, has little correlation
with the persons productivity and intellectual achievement.)
Hence, generally speaking, IQ shall be defined as a multivariable function or a vector
function. It is thus redefined in the following manner:
Definition 2.2.

IQ =





and IQ = IQ IQ, where IQ is the magnitude of IQ and is proposed to replace

the g factor, the General Intelligence Factor.

Here each component of IQ represents the amplitude in a particular field. With

this, it is possible to differentiate between the concept of distance and distantness

between the IQ values of different people.

Definition 2.3. For the sake of argument, Ultra-high-IQ people are those with IQ
higher than 160 or one per 15728 people.
IQ 160, or +4 is chosen because it is the ceiling of IQ tests, the point beyond which
existing IQ tests can no longer differentiate.

Definition 2.4. A and B are two distinct persons. The distance between the IQ
values of A and B, is

f (A, B) = IQA - IQB , which is calculated by taking the difference between the

two values.

Definition 2.5. The distantness between the IQ values of A and B, is g(A, B) =

IQA IQB . This then could be easily calculated by applying the Pythagorean Theorem in n-dimensional space.
A new way to measure and compare the effectivenesses of different means of communication is then formulated, with the introduction of the concept of substantial
Definition 2.6. Substantial communication is defined as the exchange of ideas between two parties where no compromising of the depth and width of content is required
for the ideas spoken to be fully understood. This condition needs to be satisfied in
all fields of knowledge for communication to be truly substantial. Using a means of
communication y, should substantial communication be able to take place between
A and B, the Indication function U (A, B, y) has the value of True. Otherwise
U (A, B, x)=False.
For any means of communication y, its communicative power is then measured using
the communicative power function F, where F (y) is the maximum value of g(A, B)
between any pairings of different parties for which truly substantial communication
between A and B could possibly take place. The word possibly assumes the perfect
mastery of this means of communication.Namely, among all pairs of Ai and Bj where

U (Ai , Bj , y) = T rue


max g(Ai , Bj )


F (y) =

As defined above, is the standard deviation of IQ of the entire human species,
which traditionally has been given the value of 15.
An important point to note here is that, the complexity of the ideas exchanged should
be of the highest level comprehensible for either one of the two. Understandably, ideas
of such obscurity may be perfectly beyond the mental capacity of the other party,
and this shall be classified under the case of U (A, B, x)=False.
Another aspect of this statement that is worthy of our attention is the emphasis
on the word comprehensible. There are certain feelings so subtle such that they are
in no way totally comprehensible or tangible to human souls. While this includes
an important part of our life (for example, the beauty), it is beyond the scope of
this discussion. Such feelings are hints of beauty and serenity greater than we have
known or imagined. Greater too than we can describe, for language, which was
invented to convey the meanings of this world, cannot readily be fitted to the uses of
It is possible, however, to quantitatively compare the communicative power of different means of communication, including nodding, shaking hands, online chatting,
verbal communication, and the like. It is also possible to compare the degrees of
sophistication and perfection of different languages, from C++ to Latin.


The Two Sigma Conjecture

Under such definitions, the Two Sigma Conjecture could be stated in the following
Conjecture 3.1. The maximum possible communicative power of any means of communication is 2. In other words, no parties with a g value (the distantness between

the IQ values) of more than 2 are able to undergo substantial communication.

Mathematically, the Conjecture is simply

F (y) 2


In laymans terms, this shows that difficulties in achieving substantial communication

shall be faced should a party encounter another party with vastly different mental
capacities, similar to aliens talking to earthly creatures or humans attempting to
communicate with sus scrofa.
Proof. Cuius rei demonstrationem mirabilem sane detexi hanc marginis exiguitas
non caperet.
When applied to the higher end of the IQ spectrum, it explains why even people with
average IQ may find it difficult to communicate people with Ultra-high IQ. This specific phenomenon is coined the Two Sigma Phenomenon. Such difficulties are often
worsened by the lack of mastery in that particular means of communication.


Causes of the Two Sigma Phenomenon

A great variety of factors contribute to the formation of the Two Sigma Conjecture.


Difference in Comprehension and Reasoning Abilities

One obvious cause for this phenomenon is the difference in comprehension and reasoning abilities. Biologically, such difference is caused by the different neural wirings.
It is found that peoples performance in IQ tests and processing speeds of brains are
strongly correlated to the amount of white wiring, the ones with higher IQ more capable of processing certain obscure ideas (Shaw, 2007). It is therefore impossible for
people below certain IQ to understand obscure concepts, no matter how clearly they
are explained, due to the lack of mental capacities. Such communication barriers (or
better termed as communication impossibilities) lead to the formation of the Two
Sigma Phenomenon.
What worsens the problem is that those with ultra-high IQ often underestimate their
relative competency, as a result of Dunning-Kruger Effect (Kruger, 1999). They may
unintentionally skip necessary details that are necessary for comprehension. To them
these are just obvious or axiomatic.



Overriding of Common Sense with Abstract Analytical

Abilities in Social Problems

To humans, abstract, intellectually challenging problems are evolutionarily novel,

whereas refined mechanisms for evolutionarily familiar social problems have long been
developed. Such rational thinking mechanisms are termed as common sense, and are
modules highly effective in solving problems like face recognition, lie detection, and
so on. However, ultra-high-IQ people are more inclined to apply their analytical skills
in social problems, and thus override their common sense. According to Charlton
(2009), they are predisposed towards the use of abstract analysis. In contrast to
the solutions generated by common sense mechanisms, which are common and
make sense, intellectual analysis generates a great variety of novel and unsustainable
As common sense has experienced millions of years of development and adjustment,
it is unlikely that these novel solutions turn out to be more effective or valuable. On
the contrary, it is possible that such solutions turn out to pose barriers to effective
communication and cooperation.
Another aspect of this is that people with Ultra-high IQ tend to state factual and logical statements when others are seeking for emotional condolence. They tend to see
things as problems and try to offer solutions, while all that needed is empathy.




According to Ceci (Oct 1997) , the higher the IQ of a person, the higher earnings he
or she will achieve. IQ as an reliable indicator of ones earning power and worthiness,
reflects the persons current and potential social status.
Whenever something is linked to social status, the person who possesses it is incentivised to advertise it so as to prove their status. Such phenomena has long
been observed in the rich (therefore high social status), where they tend to undergo
competitive altruism for the costly signalling of status.
Similarly, ultra-high-IQ individuals are incentivised to signal their IQ. One popular
way of doing it is to adopt the novel, non-common sense solutions in social contexts.
The lack of common sense calls for feedbacks from the audience, which are subsequently interpreted as external recognition over their intelligence and social status.
This then works as a self-enforcing mechanism that makes the ultra-high-IQ people
stick to their lack of common sense solutions.
Besides, They often use technical terms to prove their intelligence, and this kills


Neophilia and Openness to Experience

Such thinking systems (overriding of common sense with abstract analytical abilities due to habits and IQ-advertisement mechanism) inevitably lead to changes in
personality. According to Ackerman and Heggestad (1997), ultra-high-IQ people,

therefore, typically exhibit greater openness to experience and changes, and they
are more neophilic, i.e.: novelty-seeking. Novel here means different from social
However, this does not mean that they are open-minded, as such effects could be
easily offset by the fact that they may unintentionally ignore the opinions of the
not-so-intelligent, assuming that those people cannot give pragmatic and relevant
perspectives. This sense of superiority works backwards for them and offsets the
effect of being open-minded.


Political Stance

Such openness could lead to a more counter-dominance political standing. According

to Woodley (2010), the ultra-high-IQ people hold on to such irrational beliefs not due
to the lack of social intelligence (they are actually more superior than the average),
but due to the above-mentioned psychological reasons.



Higher IQ means intelligence, but does not necessarily mean wisdom. For ultra-highIQ people, what is more important is the ability to strike a balance between their use
of analytical skills and common sense. Not only would this lead to more favourable
outcomes, but it would also turn out to be more energy-saving.
Todays education system and society stratify people according to their IQ. This,
in the short term, effectively minimises the misunderstandings between people. The
long term biological impacts of such stratification still awaits examination.


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