Social Quotient® - the next steps


From Individual to a Population's Social Skills

This website started with measuring the social skills of individuals. More recently, a number of pages have been added on other success skills important to groups and nations. Readers have been particularly interested in group IQ differences. Among nations and US states, average IQ is closely related to economic success. But research on IQ has shown that it is largely genetic and fixed by age 5. This means that people have to look to other traits in order to improve their chances for success.

One key success trait that people can improve is their skill in relating to others.

Travelers are attracted to places where the natives are the friendliest. Each year, Travel and Leisure magazine takes a detailed survey of their readers' favorite destinations. The friendliness of the locals is one of six components in the magazine's scoring. (The others are: ambiance; culture and sites, restaurants; lodging; and shopping.) Note that IQ is absent from the list. Unlike most industries, for tourism an individual hotel, city, or country can be world class without having top IQ scores. For example, Bali and Thailand have many top-rated tourist spots, but have average IQ's of just 89 and 91.


Analysis of Friendliness in Thailand and Bali

"In Thailand, personal assertiveness, overt self-confidence, lack of feelings for others, and expressions of superiority elicit mai sai, a mixture of disgust and suspicion. The Thai compassion and nurturing can best be seen in the Kingdom's schools and system of education." This quote is from an insightful analysis of the Thai character. Click to read the article and a response from a Thai professor. Or read how Bali trains its children in friendliness/ social skills


A Proposed Study of Regional Friendliness

Not much information exists on why certain regions are particularly friendly. Travel and Leisure magazine has a ten year database ranking cities and islands by their friendliness. A rough analysis of that database, plus anecdotal evidence, can provide a starting point for further study. It appears that friendliness is helped by:

Van Sloan, the inventor of Social Quotient, has been studying the friendliness of the cultures in Bali, Bangkok, and Puerto Vallarta - all top ranking areas. These areas are different from the Western European based cultures with which he is most familiar. Studying Balinese rather than New Zealand hotels and schools should help Sloan identify the cultural practices that enhance friendliness in a people. He plans to publish his findings in this website. The findings should help educators, government planners, and those in the tourist business in all countries. Not all nations have the brainpower to develop high-tech industries. But all could enhance their economies with more tourism, as in a poor area in central Vietnam. Developing (not just advertising) the friendliness of their citizens can play an important role in attracting tourists.

Indonesia's vice president and education minister has observed that Java students have always scored higher on standard tests than students in neighboring islands. (Java's large Chinese minority may account for some of the IQ difference.) But it is surprising Bali people earn about twice what their Java (non-Chinese) peers earn. If Java people are smarter, why don't they earn more on average, as is the case in the US and other countries where IQ varies by region? Sloan suspects that Balinese friendliness is a big reason behind their much higher incomes. That friendliness draws major resorts to Bali, which raises overall wages there. Another example is that Carnival Cruise Lines has a big recruiting center in Bali, but none in Java - where they could hire workers for half the pay. Since social skills can be improved, the Bali model may be a lesson to other low wage areas around the world - particularly where the average IQ is below 90.

Comments from author Goleman on this research (Goleman's 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year and a half, with more than 5 million copies in print worldwide.)

Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005
From: Daniel Goleman <>
Subject: Re: Ideas for an EI seminar in Bali
To: Van Sloan
Hi Van,
Love the concept, but no plans - Happy Holidays.
Daniel Goleman

(Click to read Sloan's proposal for a Bali EI seminar)
prior emails from Goleman:
1.Van-- Thanks for the info. For now, that's all I need. Good luck in your new line of inquiry-- and very smart of you to choose Bali as a case in point! dan
2 Van Sloan -- several years ago you sent me an intriguing email about your work on SQ. Has that continued? Have you published anything? It plays into a book I'm writing, so I'd love an update.
Thanks, Dan Goleman

Go to:  Success of Nations - compared to their citizens' IQ, SQ, Ambition

Go to:  Happiness of various nations

Go to:  Research findings on career success (IQ and Social Skills)

Comments to:
Web (this website, 170+ pages on IQ and Success skills)

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