What is the SQ project about?

More or less everybody has an idea of what the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is: a standard measurement of the cognitive abilities of individuals (analytical in particular).

It is relatively easy to explain how to measure IQ: a timed test is conducted which includes a range of problems to solve. A score is assigned on the basis of the answers given and the score is then converted into an IQ value according to appropriate criteria.

The SQ (Strategic Quotient) is intended to be a measurement that uses the same method of calculation as the IQ, but that differs in terms of the essence of what it is up to be measured.

The SQ has been designed as a standard measurement of the strategic skills of individuals, namely a concise quantification of the individual’s ability to obtain the best result possible in a strategic situation.

So, the SQ can be distinguished from the IQ because it is not meant to measure cognitive skills in general, but is intended to measure the particular abilities which are most relevant to the problem of taking the best decision in a strategic situation, namely in a situation in which the result of one’s own decisions depends critically not only on one’s own choices but also on the choices of others.

Strategic situations are very frequent in everybody’s life, much more than may appear at first sight. In scientific studies on interactions between individuals, the term “game” is used to indicate a stylized strategic situation – a circumscribed streamlined model with precise rules – of strategic situations which may be encountered in the real world. Wars, Olympic competitions, courting practices, commercial disputes, well drilling plans searching for hydrocarbon or negotiations for reductions in pollution, are all strategic situations. In this sense they represent and are formally representable as “games”.

Such an ambitious project certainly needs a solid scientific basis. The discipline of the Theory of Games became famous among the wider public thanks to the successful film by John Nash (namely “A Beautiful Mind”). Although still young as compared to other scientific disciplines (as it was born no later than the 1930s and 1940s), it has shown its great vitality by increasingly frequently providing the necessary instruments to solve concrete problems (such as the major success in the design of auctions for the assignment of frequencies in the USA). The necessary elements for the definition, and hence the measurement of SQ come from the Theory of Games.