What is the IQ which the NZT 48 was giving to people in Limitless? In the novel is it clearer?

  • Over nine thousand IQ.
    – Adamant
    Oct 10, 2018 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


Assuming Eddie is a good judge, he rates his own IQ in the film as being above 1000. Quite whether he means 1000 or 9999 (or what the functional difference would be between the two) is anyone's guess.

Eddie Morra: For a guy with a four digit IQ, I must have missed something. And I hadn't missed much. I'd come this close to having an impact on the world. And now the only thing I'd have an impact on was the sidewalk.

  • 6
    I always thought that might have just been a hyperbole in his inner monologue. Given the way IQ tests are supposed to operate on a standard deviation scale, any IQ in the 4 digits wouldn't make much statistical sense. Just looking at the standard deviations for a 200 IQ it seems highly unreasonable to say he was intelligent enough to say it was actually a 4 digit IQ. If that were the case, I honestly would have expected him to make fewer mistakes, and the film would not have been interesting.
    – JMac
    Oct 10, 2018 at 18:14
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    I'm not sure I understand your point with that. IQ is literally by definition supposed to measure intelligence, and is based on population standard deviations (I'm not trying to say it's something that can be well measured). It's focused on 100, and has it's standard deviations on the order of every 10 - 20 points. Being generous, he's claiming to be 45 standard deviations away from average. That is insane. I'm not sure on the math; but plugging it into wolfram alpha, I get 1 in every 3 x 10^444 people should be this smart. I have my doubts he meant literally.
    – JMac
    Oct 10, 2018 at 18:34
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    The movie propagates the ten percent of your brain myth and is about a drug that supposedly lets you use the remaining 90%. Misunderstanding how IQ works, and seriously believing that the character can have an IQ of 1000+, is the least of its accuracy issues. Oct 10, 2018 at 19:04
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    @Thunderforge Could also hint at an unreliable/ignorant narrator. I guess my point is, I don't think Eddie is much of a reliable narrator when he says that. He is either misinformed himself, or is purposefully exaggerating.
    – JMac
    Oct 10, 2018 at 19:09
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    @JMac: If we assume IQ is actually normally distributed, that's a big if of course, then "1 in every 3 x 10^444 people" has an IQ higher than 1000 might be the correct number. But that is under "normal" conditions, i.e. this person would be a "freak of nature" so to speak. But we're not talking about natural conditions. Morra is using a drug. Nobody can run a 100m dash in 5s (maybe a "freak of nature" in 10^444 people), but if you're in a car it's not really a problem. So I wouldn't say the probability argument works.
    – oli
    Apr 1, 2021 at 9:51

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