Andy’s Quick Hits (7): Is DQ (Decision Acuity) Better than IQ or EQ for Business Leaders?

Andy Hab
2 min readMay 24, 2021
Photo 120181603 / Making © Kiosea39 |

So here’s another *Q to add to the bag on top of IQ and EQ and many others proposed. This is based on recent research, fresh off the presses, that relates to decision-making abilities in young adults

A large set of behavioral and neuroimaging data revealed that decision acuity is stable over time, distinct from IQ, and reduced in individuals with low general social functioning

High decision acuity, as the researchers called this showed:

  • Faster learning
  • Better consideration of outcomes in distant future
  • Reward sensitivity
  • Higher trust in others
  • Low propensity for retaliation

The influences on this seemed to be:

  • Age (so maturity does play a role)
  • Parental education (so there’s a socio-economic factor at play)

In the brain the regions involved are:

  • Opercular cortex (considered part of insular cortex involved with embodiment of feelings amongst others). For review see lbR 2021–02
  • Posterior cingulate cortex (involved with creating cognitive maps). For review see lbR 2021–04
  • Somatosensory and motor areas (showing the integration of bodily responses even if only imaginary)

Though some of the above, including the socioeconomic factors, would suggest that this is related to IQ, the researchers noted that this decision-acuity was independent of IQ, meaning you can have “smarter” people with lower decision acuity (sometimes also known as a “Fachidiot” in German) and “dumber” people with higher decision acuity. Which we kind of always knew anyhow!

Because they noted that this decision acuity was stable over time (i.e. the 18-month period for this piece of research) the suggestion is that this is more trait-like.

This is an important insight because it shows that this could be a much better predictor of leadership performance where precisely this is the role of a…

Andy Hab

Sharing fascinating, fun, and important knowledge on the brain and human behaviour - most days. And masters track athlete - still going strong!