Wednesday, February 22, 2017

IQ is more than ability

It is also a disposition, as Bruce Charlton explains:
IQ not just an ability, but also a disposition

Although general intelligence is usually conceptualized as differences in cognitive ability, IQ is not just about ability but also has personality implications [17].

For example, in some populations there is a positive correlation between IQ and the personality trait of Openness to experience (‘Openness’) [18] and [19]; a positive correlation with ‘enlightened’ or progressive values of a broadly socialist and libertarian type [20]; and a negative correlation with religiousness [21].

So, the greater cognitive ability of higher IQ is also accompanied by a somewhat distinctive high IQ personality type. My suggested explanation for this association is that an increasing level of IQ brings with it an increased tendency to use general intelligence in problem-solving; i.e. to over-ride those instinctive and spontaneous forms of evolved behaviour which could be termed common sense.

The over-use of abstract reasoning may be most obvious in the social domain, where normal humans are richly equipped with evolved psychological mechanisms both for here-and-now interactions (e.g. rapidly reading emotions from facial expression, gesture and posture, and speech intonation) and for ‘strategic’ modelling of social interactions to understand predict and manipulate the behaviour of others [16]. Social strategies deploy inferred knowledge about the dispositions, motivations and intentions of others. When the most intelligent people over-ride the social intelligence systems and apply generic, abstract and systematic reasoning of the kind which is enhanced among higher IQ people, they are ignoring an ‘expert system’ in favour of a non-expert system.
Thus explaining why intelligence isn't always behavior-optimizing.

14 comments:

Tarrou said...

This may have a point. It should be pointed out, however, that only in the past fifty or sixty years have the intelligent been able to self-segregate within society. The class and social systems of the past kept them among their less-intelligent brethren, and so socialized them at least somewhat. Now, if you can make it through high school, you can shunt into academia or some career where everyone is "intellectual" (as distinct from high-IQ). We see the results on both sides, the intellectual lose touch with reality, and the underclass loses its greatest assets. Racism once kept high-IQ blacks as doctors, lawyers and businessmen in their own communities, the end of this artificial barrier allowed them out to compete in the rest of society (helped by affirmative action). The result is a fair number of talented-tenth type blacks doing very well, and black communities dying. Same thing with small-town whites. The barriers to travel and education once kept smart hicks around their hick brethren. The brain drain works both ways.

Stilicho said...

I wonder if the study accounts for different strata within the "high IQ" group, because the lack of common sense is most. Pronounced among the midwits in my experience. They are smart enough to realize that they are smarter than the average bear(and thus tend towards over-reliance on their intelligence), but not smart enough to recognize the limits of intelligence. Now, this can also be explained by a lack of wisdom, but there is a cognitive element to their ignorance as well.

pyrrhus said...

Other attributes that accompany high IQ are greater curiosity and longer expected lifespan. I don't remember whether Bruce Charlton has addressed those subjects.

VFM #7634 said...

Pronounced among the midwits in my experience. They are smart enough to realize that they are smarter than the average bear(and thus tend towards over-reliance on their intelligence), but not smart enough to recognize the limits of intelligence.

@Stilicho
My guess, speaking as someone with an IQ above 130: Midwits are smarter but not freakishly smarter, so they don't get automatically segregated from mainstream society. Someone who's extraordinarily intelligent sticks out like a sore thumb, and unless he's also autistic, he's deeply aware of it. He consequently learns he has to learn how to behave like a normal person, at least in certain circumstances.

Orville said...

Godzilla (Robert Cialdini) writes about these kinds of mental shortcuts most of us use daily. Interesting to think that the 2 SD IQ's may tend to not resort as much to those daily shortcuts.

Solaire Of Astora said...

This is why I love Taleb so much. He gives an intelligent defense of common sense. I wonder how much of this is caused by midwits being considered high IQ too.

dc.sunsets said...

Religious devotion appears IQ independent and leftism is a religion.

'Nuff said.

JP said...

As a high-IQ individual with piss-poor interpersonal skills, I can vouch for this explanation.

It also explains why us smartypants types are more susceptible to crap like socialism: we are better at rationalising (i.e. finding ways for it to be true). And when enough people stroke your ego, you go beyond merely being smug about understand difficult concepts, and head straight into believing whatever you have to say on a subject is right because you said it. So instead of discovering the world as it is, you start believing you can tell the world how it should be.

Mark Hanson said...

I am also a high-IQ (140+) person who was forced to stay with my peers throughout public school (although I was able to wrangle independent study in most classes as a HS senior). This forced me to deal with bullying and ostracism at times, but I always found a few intellectual friends to keep company with, and I learned to use humor to cope with the ones that were offended by me.

This left me well able to cope with the world outside school, where I am a software engineer and able to integrate well with others up and down the intellectual scale. I find my reactions are visceral if I have no time to prepare, and those are often more correct - or more useful - than those I have the luxury to reflect on.

VFM #7634 said...

Godzilla (Robert Cialdini) writes about these kinds of mental shortcuts most of us use daily. Interesting to think that the 2 SD IQ's may tend to not resort as much to those daily shortcuts.

@Orville
"May tend to not resort" is vastly understating things. It's more like being a gaijin forced to live in Japan. If we even notice such "mental shortcuts" at all, they come off to us as the instinctive (and inexplicable) behavior of another species of animal.

savantissimo said...

High IQ people are almost always reared among "peers" that are several years behind them in intelligence, and by middle school they also exceed the intelligence of most of their teachers. This leads to an attenuated version of a normal child being raised by animals. (I'm reminded of David R. Palmer's 1984 novel Emergence, and Heinlein's Assignment in Eternity.)If high IQ children were reared and taught by and with people similar to themselves, their social awkwardness should be much less, at least with each other.

David The Good said...

"Someone who's extraordinarily intelligent sticks out like a sore thumb, and unless he's also autistic, he's deeply aware of it. He consequently learns he has to learn how to behave like a normal person, at least in certain circumstances."

Yeah. Childhood and the teen years were baffling for me. Once I realized other people simply could not understand my thinking plus found my own kind, life got easier. I also dumbed down my speech. Now I wonder if that was a mistake.

Nate73 said...

This is the idea behind Satoshi Kanagawa's idea of "The Isle of 120". People around 120 IQ will tend toward leftist political opinions because they are smart enough to come up with abstract solutions to social problems, but not high IQ enough to see the their inevitable failure.

VFM #7634 said...

@Nate73
Interesting. The average IQ of white Americans who graduated from high school is 99, but in college, it goes up to that "Isle of 120". For a bachelor's degree, the average IQ is 113, for master's it's 117, and for a PhD it's 124.

Source: https://brainsize.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/iq-years-of-education/

I suppose that could help account for the college-educated turning their noses up at Trump and voting for thecunt more than they did for 0bama.

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