People Find This Quality Vital In A Partner, Genetic Research Finds

Genetic study finds that, beyond looks, this is the most important quality in a potential partner.

Genetic study finds that, beyond looks, this is the most important quality in a potential partner.

People are more likely to marry those with a similar level of intelligence to themselves, research finds.

It shows that when looking for a partner, people generally want someone similar to themselves.

Intelligence, like many other traits, is partly controlled by our genetic makeup.

So, effectively, people tend to pick others who have similar genetic traits.

The study’s authors write:

“Humans generally do not choose their mates randomly.

In search for a suitable mate, among the highest-ranking qualities people look for in a potential partner are intelligence and educational attainment.”

And when you look at any random couple, there is a surprisingly high correlation between the two different people’s intelligence and their education.

The conclusions come from a UK DNA study of 1,600 married or cohabiting couples.

Dr David Hugh-Jones, the study’s first author, said:

 “Our findings show strong evidence for the presence of genetic assortative mating for education in the UK.

The consequences of assortative mating on education and cognitive abilities are relevant for society, and for the genetic make-up and therefore the evolutionary development of subsequent generations.”

Dr Hugh-Jones pointed out that over time the forces of evolution can increase social inequality:

“Assortative mating on inheritable traits that are indicative of socio-economic status, such as educational achievement, increases the genetic variance of characteristics in the population.

This may increase social inequality, for example with respect to education or income.

When growing social inequality is, partly, driven by a growing biological inequality, inequalities in society may be harder to overcome and the effects of assortative mating may accumulate with each generation.”

In other words, if intelligent people continue to marry other intelligent people, then the genes for intelligence continue to be concentrated in a small group.

The study was published in the journal Intelligence (Hugh-Jones et al., 2016).

How Parents Needlessly Lower Their Children’s IQ

The parental behaviour that lowers children’s IQ.

The parental behaviour that lowers children’s IQ.

Children who were spanked in childhood have lower IQs, a study finds.

The more children were spanked, the lower their IQ, the research also found.

The probable reason is that spanking is highly stressful for children.

It can leave them with post-traumatic stress disorder.

An ongoing fear of terrible things happening — being easily startled — is linked to a lower IQ.

Parents who continue to use corporal punishment into the teenage years may hamper their children’s brain development even more.

Professor Murray Straus, the study’s first author, said:

“All parents want smart children.

This research shows that avoiding spanking and correcting misbehavior in other ways can help that happen.

The results of this research have major implications for the well being of children across the globe.

It is time for psychologists to recognize the need to help parents end the use of corporal punishment and incorporate that objective into their teaching and clinical practice.

It also is time for the United States to begin making the advantages of not spanking a public health and child welfare focus, and eventually enact federal no-spanking legislation.”

The results come from research that followed 704 children from the ages of 2 – 4 until they were 5 – 9 years-old.

The IQ of children who were not spanked between 2 and 4-years-old was 5 points higher when tested four years later than those who were spanked.

Professor Straus said:

“How often parents spanked made a difference.

The more spanking the, the slower the development of the child’s mental ability.

But even small amounts of spanking made a difference.”

The psychologists also found that countries in which spanking children was more common saw stronger links between corporal punishment and IQ.

Professor Straus said:

“The worldwide trend away from corporal punishment is most clearly reflected in the 24 nations that legally banned corporal punishment by 2009.

Both the European Union and the United Nations have called on all member nations to prohibit corporal punishment by parents.

Some of the 24 nations that prohibit corporal punishment by parents have made vigorous efforts to inform the public and assist parents in managing their children. In others little has been done to implement the prohibition.”

The study was published in the Journal of Aggression Maltreatment & Trauma (Straus & Paschall, 2009).

A Surprising Sign Of High Intelligence

The link to intelligence is especially strong in women.

The link to intelligence is especially strong in women.

People with higher intelligence are more likely to use drugs, research finds.

The link is particularly strong for women.

This is despite the fact that higher IQ is often linked to living a healthier lifestyle.

The study’s authors write:

“In this, the largest study to date to examine the relationship between childhood IQ and illegal drug use, high IQ scores were associated with increased illegal drug use in adolescence and adulthood.

These associations were independent from life-course
social position, and associations were stronger in women than in men.

High childhood IQ may increase the risk of substance abuse in early adulthood.”

The results come from a study of almost 8,000 British people who have been followed for decades.

Their IQ was measured at 5 and 10-years-old.

They reported their drug use at 16 and then again at the age of 30.

At age 30, the researchers found:

  • Over one-in-three men had used cannabis in the last 12 months.
  • One-in-six women had used cannabis in the last 12 months.
  • The figures for cocaine were 8.6% for men and 3.5% for women.

Drug use was around twice as common in men as women for all drugs.

However, women with higher intelligence were much more likely to use drugs than women of lesser intelligence.

The results can be explained in both positive and negative ways.

For example, intelligent people are known to be more open to new experiences.

At the same time, intelligent people are also more easily bored and may be more likely to be picked on in childhood.

The study’s authors write that:

“…either of which could conceivably increase vulnerability to using drugs as an avoidant coping strategy.”

The study was published in the journal Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (White et al., 2011).

Boost Brain Power With The Right Type of Socialising

Boost brainpower by having a friendly chat, study suggests.

Boost brain power by having a friendly chat, study suggests.

Ten minutes having a regular conversation is enough to boost brain power, research finds.

The boost from ten minutes getting to know someone was equivalent to that from solving crossword puzzles.

The research suggests that having a friendly chat with someone could be a great way of preparing yourself for a mentally challenging task.

Professor Oscar Ybarra, who led the study, said:

“This study shows that simply talking to other people, the way you do when you’re making friends, can provide mental benefits.”

The research looked at what psychologists call executive function.

This is the ability we all use in everyday life to ignore distractions, remember important things, make decisions and monitor ourselves.

The study compared different types of social interactions to see which provided the greatest benefit.

Fascinatingly, competitive conversations provided little cognitive benefit.

When people are competitive with other, they tend to withdraw within themselves.

Friendly conversations, meanwhile encourage empathy and trying to work out what the other person is thinking.

Professor Ybarra said:

“We believe that performance boosts come about because some social interactions induce people to try to read others’ minds and take their perspectives on things.

And we also find that when we structure even competitive interactions to have an element of taking the other person’s perspective, or trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, there is a boost in executive functioning as a result.”

Professor Ybarra continued:

“Taken together with earlier research, these findings highlight the connection between social intelligence and general intelligence.

This fits with evolutionary perspectives that examine social pressures on the emergence of intelligence, and research showing a neural overlap between social-cognitive and executive brain functions.”

The study was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science (Ybarra et al., 2016).

Surprise: The Clothing That Makes Women Appear More Intelligent

Amazingly, it also makes women appear more faithful.

Amazingly, it also makes women appear more faithful.

More revealing clothing can actually make women appear more intelligent and more faithful, new research finds.

The study conflicts with previous research finding dressing sexy has the opposite effect.

The research may demonstrate changing stereotypes about women.

The study’s author, said:

“Contrary to our predictions it was the sexualised clothing which resulted in higher intelligence and faithfulness ratings.”

For the research, 64 people were shown pictures of a fashion model dressed in two different ways.

In one picture she had on a very short skirt, a low-cut top and a jacket.

In the second picture the skirt was longer and the top covered more flesh.

Study participants ranked the woman for intelligence, personality, faithfulness, perceived job status, morality and intention to have sex.

There was no difference in the ratings between the two styles of dress except for intelligence.

Dr Alfredo Gaitan, the study’s first author, said:

“Have attitudes changed so much that people are not making negative judgments based on a woman’s dress?

We think there are still negative attitudes out there, but perhaps people are seeing the sexy look more positively.”

The study was presented at the British Psychological Society’s conference in Nottingham (Gaitan & Worrell, 2016).

Look More Intelligent By Adjusting Two Aspects Of Your Facial Expression

Two things which make you look more intelligent that you can do right now.

Two things which make you look more intelligent that you can do right now.

Getting more sleep makes people look more intelligent because of how it affects their resting or neutral facial expression.

People who are better rested open their eyes wider and do not have a slight frown on their face.

Dr Sean Talamas, the study’s lead author, said:

“People over generalise in judging those with droopy eyelids and a frown as being tired and having a low mood, both of which have a well-documented detrimental effect on cognitive performance.

Therefore it should be no surprise that many of us find people who look less alert and who have a lower mood as less intelligent looking.”

The researchers were interested in ways that people could appear more intelligent, Dr Talamas said:

“The infamous ‘attractiveness halo’ is when positive attributes are preferentially ascribed to attractive people over unattractive people.

Attractive people are often perceived as more intelligent, but we wanted to investigate how individuals can change their perceived intelligence, regardless of their attractiveness.

The solution seems to lie in subtle differences in a resting facial expression that are related to sleep – namely eyelid droopiness and subtle frowning.”

For the research pictures were taken of people after a full night’s sleep or after their sleep had been restricted.

After restricted sleep, people tend to display a slight frown and their eyes are not as wide open as they are normally.

This makes them look less intelligent.

Dr Talamas said:

“The take home message?

In an interview with an employer or the front row of a classroom, being cautious of your resting facial expression and getting more sleep may help you look more intelligent.

For those on the other side of the issue – someone who looks disinterested, unengaged or tired may be just as intelligent but less aware of the impact of their resting expression.”

The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences (Talamas et al., 2016).

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The Simple Way Fathers Can Increase Their Offspring’s IQ And Career Prospects

The effects of this parental behaviour were still detectable when the offspring were 42-years-old.

The effects of this parental behaviour were still detectable when the offspring were 42-years-old.

Children that spend more time with their fathers have a higher IQ, a new study finds.

The results come from research that followed 11,000 British men and women for over thirty years.

Parents were asked how much time the father spent with their children:

  • Reading with them.
  • Organising outings.
  • General ‘quality time’.

Thirty years later, children whose fathers had spent more time with them had better jobs and higher IQs.

The higher IQs and improved social mobility were still detectable when the offspring were 42-years-old.

Dr Daniel Nettle, who led the research, said:

“What was surprising about this research was the real sizeable difference in the progress of children who benefited from paternal interest and how thirty years later, people whose dads were involved are more upwardly mobile.

The data suggest that having a second adult involved during childhood produces benefits in terms of skills and abilities that endure throughout adult life.”

The researchers also found that fathers tended to pay more attention to their sons than their daughters.

The study was published in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behaviour (Nettle et al., 2016).

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Why You Should Avoid Wise-Sounding But Meaningless Quotes

What it says about a person who posts wise-sounding but meaningless quotes to social media.

What it says about a person who posts wise-sounding but meaningless quotes to social media.

People who are impressed by wise-sounding-but-meaningless quotes tend to have a lower IQ.

The conclusions come from a new study which asked people to evaluate a series of statements.

Some of the statements were mundane like: “most people enjoy some kind of music”.

Others were from Deepak Chopra, a well-known author and public speaker.

These included quotes like:

“Attention and intention are the mechanics of Manifestation.”

Imagination is inside exponential space time events.

Nature is a self-regulating ecosystem of awareness.

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”

The quotes seem primarily designed to impress you rather than actually inform you of anything.

Other quotes were randomly generated by a website that mixes up buzzwords into grammatically correct but meaningless sentences.

These were compared with statements which are considered profound(-ish), but are written in plain English, such as:

“A river cuts through a rock, not because of its power, but its persistence.”

Worryingly, some people failed to notice the difference between the meaningless quotes and the genuinely profound ones.

More hearteningly, on average, the genuinely profound statements were given the highest ratings.

Mr Gordon Pennycook, a PhD student who led the research, writes:

“Our results support the idea that some people are more receptive to this type of bulls**t and that detecting it is not merely a matter of indiscriminate skepticism but rather a discernment of deceptive vagueness in otherwise impressive sounding claims.

Those more receptive to bulls**t are less reflective, lower in cognitive ability – numeracy, verbal and fluid intelligence), are more prone to ontological confusions and conspiratorial ideation, are more likely to hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine.”

They continue:

“Chopra has over 2.5 million followers on “Twitter” and has written more than twenty New York Times bestsellers.

Bull***t is not only common; it is popular.

Chopra is, of course, just one example among many.

Using vagueness or ambiguity to mask a lack of meaningfulness is surely common in political rhetoric, marketing, and even academia.

[…]

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bull***t.

Everyone knows this.

Each of us contributes his share.””

The study was published in the journal Judgment and Decision Making (Pennycook et al., 2015).

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Brain Size And IQ: 8,000 Scans Test The Link

Scans of over 8,000 people were analysed by scientists searching for a link between IQ and brain size.

Scans of over 8,000 people were analysed by scientists searching for a link between IQ and brain size.

For 150 years scientists have suspected that a bigger brain means a higher IQ.

But the link may be much smaller than previously thought.

Now, a new study finds that having a larger brain only has a very small link to a higher IQ.

The results of brain scans from over 8,000 people were analysed by scientists at the University of Vienna and elsewhere.

Dr Jakob Pietschnig, who led the study, said:

“The presently observed association means that brain volume plays only a minor role in explaining IQ test performance in humans.

Although a certain association is observable, brain volume appears to be of only little practical relevance.

Rather, brain structure and integrity appear to be more important as a biological foundation of IQ, whilst brain size works as one of many compensatory mechanisms of cognitive functions.”

So, what makes the human brain superior is the connections not its size — relative or otherwise.

This is why, although women have smaller brains than men (on average), there is no difference in IQ between men and women (on average).

The study was published in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews (Pietschnig et al., 2015).

Network brain image from Shutterstock

Massive Study Reveals If Eldest Children Are More Intelligent — And If It Matters

Are eldest children more intelligent with ‘better’ personalities? Massive study settles this sibling rivalry.

Are eldest children more intelligent with ‘better’ personalities? Massive study settles this sibling rivalry.

Eldest siblings are more intelligent, a new study of 377,000 high school students finds.

However, the difference is equal to, on average, just one IQ point.

This difference is so small as to be almost meaningless.

There were also consistent differences in personality.

Eldest siblings tended to be more outgoing, conscientious and agreeable, while being less anxious.

But, again, these differences were very small.

Professor Brent Roberts, who led the study, explained how small the differences were:

“In some cases, if a drug saves 10 out of 10,000 lives, for example, small effects can be profound.

But in terms of personality traits and how you rate them, a 0.02 correlation doesn’t get you anything of note.

You are not going to be able to see it with the naked eye.

You’re not going to be able to sit two people down next to each other and see the differences between them.

It’s not noticeable by anybody.”

The study controlled for factors like economic status and the number of children.

Professor Rodica Damian, who co-authored the study, said:

“The message of this study is that birth order probably should not influence your parenting, because it’s not meaningfully related to your kid’s personality or IQ,”

The research was published in the Journal of Research in Personality (Damian & Roberts, 2015).

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