[ExI] The downsides of high IQ

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 14 17:54:51 UTC 2015

On Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 10:55 AM, Dan <danust2012 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Apr 14, 2015, at 8:30 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> The BBC has an article up
> <http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150413-the-downsides-of-being-clever>
> (The summary is that high IQ doesn't help much. It is a tool that can
> be used for good or bad).
> Quotes:
> Over the course of their lives, levels of divorce, alcoholism and
> suicide were about the same as the national average.
> At best, a great intellect makes no differences to your life
> satisfaction; at worst, it can actually mean you are less fulfilled.
> The harsh truth, however, is that greater intelligence does not equate
> to wiser decisions; in fact, in some cases it might make your choices
> a little more foolish. Keith Stanovich at the University of Toronto
> has spent the last decade building tests for rationality, and he has
> found that fair, unbiased decision-making is largely independent of
> IQ. Consider the "my-side bias" - our tendency to be highly selective
> in the information we collect so that it reinforces our previous
> attitudes. The more enlightened approach would be to leave your
> assumptions at the door as you build your argument - but Stanovich
> found that smarter people are almost no more likely to do so than
> people with distinctly average IQs.
> That's not all. People who ace standard cognitive tests are in fact
> slightly more likely to have a "bias blind spot". That is, they are
> less able to see their own flaws, even when though they are quite
> capable of criticising the foibles of others. And they have a greater
> tendency to fall for the "gambler's fallacy" - the idea that if a
> tossed coin turns heads 10 times, it will be more likely to fall tails
> on the 11th.
> Indeed, Stanovich sees these biases in every strata of society. "There
> is plenty of dysrationalia - people doing irrational things despite
> more than adequate intelligence - in our world today," he says. "The
> people pushing the anti-vaccination meme on parents and spreading
> misinformation on websites are generally of more than average
> intelligence and education." Clearly, clever people can be
> dangerously, and foolishly, misguided.
> So if intelligence doesn't lead to rational decisions and a better
> life, what does? Igor Grossmann, at the University of Waterloo in
> Canada, thinks we need to turn our minds to an age-old concept:
> "wisdom".
> --------------------------
> BillK
> Seems to fit the old saw that the smarter you are, the better you be at
> rationalizing things, including your faults and prejudices.
> "So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables
> one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do." --
> Benjamin Franklin
> Regards,
> Dan

​Yes, IQ is part of personality and the rest of it matters a great deal.
It makes very good sense to me that high IQ people are resistant to the
idea that they might be wrong, especially when confronted with people of
known lower IQ (i.e, for most of us, nearly everyone else).​  And cognitive
biases know no IQ boundaries.  bill w

>  Sample my Kindle books via:
> http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Ust/e/B00J6HPX8M/
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