Threshold Theory Tested in an Organizational Setting: The Relation Between Perceived Innovativeness and Intelligence in a Large Sample of Leaders

Bo T. Christensen, Peter V. W. Hartmann, Thomas Hedegaard Rasmussen

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A large sample of leaders (N = 4257) was used to test the link between leader innovativeness and intelligence. The threshold theory of the link between creativity and intelligence assumes that below a certain IQ level (approximately IQ 120), there is some correlation between IQ and creative potential, but above this cutoff point, there is no correlation. Support for the threshold theory of creativity was found, in that the correlation between IQ and innovativeness was positive and significant below a cutoff point of IQ 120. Above the cutoff, no significant relation was identified, and the two correlations differed significantly. The finding was stable across distinct parts of the sample, providing support for the theory, although the correlations in all subsamples were small. The findings lend support to the existence of threshold effects using perceptual measures of behavior in real-world organizational settings, and thus beyond creative potential measures applied in the psychological laboratory where it has previously been documented.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCreativity Research Journal
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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