Ignoring the 36% thing, if by average we mean "mean", it is entirely possible for much more than half of a group to be above average. Suppose we have 3 people. 1 has IQ 0 (this is just a hypothetical example of course), the other 2 have IQ 150. The average is (150 * 2 0)/3 = 300/3 = 100. 2/3s of this group has above average IQ. And it's not just because of having similar numbers of people on each side of the average (the way it would be if we were using median). If we have 9 people with IQ 1000 and 1 person with IQ 0, we get an average IQ of (1000 * 9)/10 = 900. All but one of these people is above average.