Adversity Quotient, SQ, and other Success Factors

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 07:47:39 -0700
From: "Paul G. Stoltz" <>
Subject: AQ

Dear Van,

Thank you for your information regarding your work on SQ and the invitation
to contitribute articles.  We have a large stack of such, and will be happy
to link them with you in the months ahead as we prepare for the launch of
the next book.

I must disagree with your minimalistic assessment of AQ as "a factor within
the ambition part of success."  My team and I have measured the AQs of
100,000 people worldwide representing a broad range of careers.  We also
have dozens of dissertations underway in Maylasia, Singapore, Indonesia,
Philippines, US, Canada, as well as health care studies with some of the
top US and Australian institutions.

We have found AQ to be an exceptionally robust predictor of human
effectiveness.  It correlates with income, innovation, sales, leadership
performance, learning retention, career rank, speed of promotion, health,
resilience, and even happiness.

The reliability of the full AQ measure is .88.

I hope this helps to clarify the central and global role AQ plays.  Please
forgive my adamant stance on making sure AQ is clearly explained.

All the best to you on your work.  I am sure it complements Goleman's
highly regarded work on emotional intelligence.


Paul G. Stoltz, Ph.D.
President & CEO
PEAK Learning, Inc.

(800) 255-5572
(805) 595-7775
(805) 595-7771 fax

2650 Skyview Trail
San Luis Obispo, CA  93405


Dear Paul:

Thanks for your e-mail (above). I have inserted it in full (along with this response) in the SQ website, as one of the Updates by experts. Having in one site varying points of view on what leads to success should enhance public discussion on a matter of vital interest to educators, employers, and others.

You mention correlation of AQ with income, but don't give a number. (Reliability is not the same as correlation to an outside factor). Herrnstein and Murray claim a 0.40 correlation of IQ to income and present a scattergram showing a 0.33 correlation of years of education to income.(on page ). I do not have a correlation number for social skills(SQ) to income, but Goleman's and my work indicate they are about as important as brains OR as self-skills (like the ability to overcome adversity).

In your analysis of the success of 100,000 people, were you able to measure their intelligence, social skills, punctuality, honesty, and other traits that many believe are important to success? All these factors, when combined, surely must forecast more than just a minor fraction of success. For example, high income doctors, lawyers, and other professionals need much more than high AQ scores to get into good colleges and graduate schools.

I would invite the public to comment on the strengths of various factors leading to success, by clicking: Go to the Comments Page in the SQ web site. An open, lively discussion is always helpful in the search for truth. As a contribution to that discussion, I would humbly suggest that you include a reciprocal link to this AQ-SQ page in you web site of Thanks for your interest.

Van Sloan, inventor of Social Quotient


For additional information on Stoltz, including access to reviews of his book Adversity Quotient, click on Links.

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