February 25th, 2013

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Sherlock, IQ and the Concept of Intelligence

I got asked a very interesting question (I am paraphrasing) –

“What do you think Sherlock’s IQ is? And is Sherlock antisocial because of his intelligence?”



(credit: YuriOokino)


I personally find BBC Sherlock’s portrayal of “genius” inconsistent with real life. What Sherlock is portraying not so much a typical “genius” but a typical example of a man who has failed to emotionally mature (Explaining Sherlock’s Sherlockness). His intelligence might have compounded his maturation but so did a myriad of other factors.

In this meta I attempt to answer the questions and as usual there is not a straight forward answer. I am going to explore:


  • Real life geniuses compared with Sherlock

  • Why IQ tests cannot tell you very much about anyone's intelligence

  • Intelligence is unlikely to be the reason why Sherlock is Sherlock.


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