Lena Dunham is an excellent example of how IQ causes high income. At the age of only 27 she was already making $6 million a year, but she’s not just financially successful, she’s become a cultural phenomenon. I haven’t seen enough of her HBO series Girls to know whether it’s good or bad, but she was obviously brilliant to see a unique niche in the television market she could fill and very skillfully go about filling it with her own unique brand of humor. I don’t know what her IQ is, but she recently caught my attention when she came to Canada to do this interview with our very own Jian Ghomeshi of CBC Radio, and you can tell just from listening to her talk that she has an extremely high verbal IQ.

I was impressed with Dunham and I have long been impressed with Ghomeshi (the face of CBC Radio) who I consider one of the best interviewers in the world. Sadly, several weeks after this interview I was terrified and devastated to learn that Ghomeshi and Dunham both became embroiled in sex scandals. Canada was stunned when the beloved Ghomeshi was fired from CBC radio after women accused him of sexual harassment and violence and now Lena Dunham has been accused of sexually abusing her sister. Dunham’s scandal is especially weird because it emerged not from any accusation her sister made against her, but from what Dunham herself revealed in her own memoir. I don’t know the facts in Dunham’s case, but it seems like writing such an explicit memoir was in retrospect, a really dumb mistake. One wonders if there will be a backlash, and whether it will diminish Dunham’s future income.

Of course everyone makes mistakes in life, but one reason high IQ people end up with more money is they simply make fewer mistakes over time. As brilliant as Dunham is, had her IQ been just 10 points higher, she would have anticipated this dark scandal and edited her memoir accordingly. This demonstrates that no matter how high your IQ is, you can always use an extra 10 IQ points to protect you from you from blind spots that could lower your income. This is because IQ not only increases the odds of you doing brilliant things like writing a hit TV series, it also decreases the odds of you doing stupid things like talking about inappropriate behaviors in your memoir.