Presidential IQ, Openness, Intellectual Brilliance, and Leadership: Estimates and Correlations for 42 U.S. Chief Executives



Individual differences in intelligence are consistently associated with leader performance, including the assessed performance of presidents of the United States. Given this empirical significance, IQ scores were estimated for all 42 chief executives from George Washington to G. W. Bush. The scores were obtained by applying missing-values estimation methods (expectation-maximization) to published assessments of (a) IQ (Cox, 1926; n = 8), (b) Intellectual Brilliance (Simonton, 1986c; n = 39), and (c) Openness to Experience (Rubenzer & Faschingbauer, 2004; n = 32). The resulting scores were then shown to correlate with evaluations of presidential leadership performance. The implications for George W. Bush and his presidency were then discussed.