Genetics Impact on Intelligence

Genetics Impact on Intelligence

 

Was Einstein a genius because he inherited good genes?  That is just one of the questions some new research may be able to determine.  According to the article A Genetic Code for Genius in the Wall Street Journal, “In China, a research project aims to find the roots of intelligence in our DNA.”

There is no denying that emotional intelligence has become a buzz word in HR.  Employees’ emotional quotient or EQ may sometimes be more important than their IQ.  However, the roots of many personality and intelligence issues like IQ still remain a mystery.  According to the Wall Street Journal article, “Studies show that at less half of the variation of intelligence quotient, or IQ, is inherited. Truly important genetics that affect normal IQ variation have yet to be pinned down.”

The average person has an IQ of 100 and Nobel laureates have an average IQ of 145. In a study of intelligence in China, the researchers are looking at individuals who have an IQ of over 160.  To date, studies have not been large enough to give very useful information about IQ and genetics.  This latest study “will compare the genomes of 2,200 high-IQ individuals with the genomes of several thousand people drawn randomly from the general population.”  The problem is finding the people with such an extremely high IQ.  The researchers likened it to finding a bunch of people over 6-foot-9 inches tall.

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Are Women Making Teams Smarter?

Harvard Business Review recently published an article about how having women on a team makes the team smarter.  Although they didn’t find a correlation between the collective intelligence of the group and the IQ of individuals within that group, they did find that if women were in the group, the collective intelligence was higher. 

The Female Factor:  The chart plots the collective intelligence scores of the 192 teams in the study against the percentage of women those teams contained. The red bars indicate the range of scores in the group of teams at each level, and the blue circles, the average. Teams with more women tended to fall above the average; teams with more men tended to fall below it.

Professors Anita Wooley (Carnegie Mellon) and Thomas Malone (MIT) gave “subjects aged 18 to 60 standard intelligence tests and assigned them randomly to teams. Each team was asked to complete several tasks—including brainstorming, decision making, and visual puzzles—and to solve one complex problem. Teams were given intelligence scores based on their performance. Though the teams that had members with higher IQs didn’t earn much higher scores, those that had more women did.”

Finding the right mix of people on a team has been a consideration many organizations have dealt with in the past.  These researchers hope to see how this information can help teams perform better in the future through changing members or incentives. 

In the past, I taught teams how to get along better through the use of the Myers Briggs MBTI personality assessment instrument.  Through understanding personalities, team members could learn about each other’s preferences for how they like to obtain information. This became more useful to the team as a whole.  In my training experience, I found that even if a team had members with high IQ’s, they needed to understand why other members of the teams did the things they did and required the information they required in the format that fit their needs.  It was important to understand the collective needs of the team in order for the team to be successful. 

With the study by Wooley and Malone, they bring up the use of their findings in understanding collective intelligence.  According to Malone, “Families, companies, and cities all have collective intelligence. But as face-to-face groups get bigger, they’re less able to take advantage of their members. That suggests size could diminish group intelligence. But we suspect that technology may allow a group to get smarter as it goes from 10 people to 50 to 500 or even 5,000. Google’s harvesting of knowledge, Wikipedia’s high-quality product with almost no centralized control—these are just the beginning. What we’re starting to ask is, How can you increase the collective intelligence of companies, or countries, or the whole world?”

Bones Brennan Character Exemplifies Lack of Empathy

 

Having empathy is a part of emotional intelligence as defined by leaders in the field of EI such as Rueven Bar-On.  Daniel Goleman describes three types of empathy including: cognitive, emotional and compassionate.  In the book It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, it is noted that having empathy is a big part of interpersonal skills.  It has to do with how much we care about other peoples’ feelings and whether we can see things from other peoples’ perspectives.

A recent episode of the TV show, Bones, showed an excellent example of how Emily Deschanel’s character Temperance Brennan lacked empathy.  For those unfamiliar with the program, the Brennan has a high IQ but may lack in the EQ or emotional quotient department.  In this episode, Bennan lacks the ability to realize that her logical thinking and lack of understanding of others’ emotions is rude.  In the episode, Feet on the Beach. Brennan must work with a podiatrist that she feels lacks her superior training and skills.  While this may be fodder for entertainment, people may run into a similar situations at work where they may feel their abilities are being dismissed.

How can someone so smart lack empathy?  It may be difficult for people to do what Dr. Jeremy Sherman refers to as “shoe shifting” or putting ourselves in another’s shoes.  “When you put yourself in another person’s shoes you risk seeing yourself as others would see you—not quite as special as you think”

How do we improve our empathetic abilities?  One way is to improve our listening skills.  For more tips on improving empathy, check out Sherman’s article in Psychology Today.

Young Boy Has Higher IQ Than Einstein

The video below of young Jake Barnett shows his amazing brain and abilities at the young age of 12.  With the recent movie release of Limitless with Bradley Cooper, there is a lot of focus on the brain and its potential. 

At the age of 3, young Jake was diagnosed with autism.  Parentdish reported, “But today, 12-year-old Jake is studying electromagnetic physics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and has an IQ of 170, higher than that of Albert Einstein. And he’s astounding university professors by developing his own theory of relativity — they’re lining him up for a Ph.D research role, Barnett, of Noblesville, Ind., says.” To read Jake’s amazing story, click here.

Are Humans Getting Dumber as Our Brains are Shrinking?

Did you know that our brains are actually shrinking? NPR.org reported, “Cro-Magnon man, who lived in Europe 20,000 to 30,000 years ago, had the biggest brains of any human species.  In comparison, today’s human brain is about 10 percent smaller.”

The human brain is still an enigma is many respects.  Are there differences in the human brain that cause people like Einstein to achieve so much?  Studies were completed on Einstein’s brain and they actually found he had some differences.  There is speculation that due to the way that Einstein’s brain was missing a part of a bordering region, that this enabled neurons to communicate more efficiently.  

With all of the technological inventions, one might think that people should be getting smarter. However, in the NPR article, this decreasing in brain size may have a negative impact, “The experts aren’t sure about the implications of this evolutionary trend.  Some think it might be a dumbing-down process. One cognitive scientist, David Geary, argues that as human society grows increasingly complex, individuals don’t need to be as intelligent in order to survive and reproduce.” 

If this is true, the movie Idiocracy may be foreshadowing some frightening possibilities.  The movie displays what life would be like if people continue on their current path of finding entertainment in reality shows, tattooing, partying and enjoying other less than useful activities.  This movie seemed to play off of studies done by Lentz in 1927 that claimed the intelligent people were having fewer children than the less intelligent people.  This would lead to a society of less intelligent people.  The Examiner claims Lentz’s work has merit, stating “This conjecture has been confirmed by studies like that of Hernstein and Murray (1994), who demonstrated that in the U.S. females with an average IQ of 111 had 1.6 children, whereas females with an average IQ of 81 had 2.6 children.”

The Examiner claims that there is hope for improvements, though, due to something called the Flynn effect. “Even if genotypic IQ is heading towards a decline across the world, there is still phenotypic intelligence that has increased over the last few generations. This phenomenon, also known as Flynn effect, is attributable to advancements in nutrition, education, and a more intellectually stimulating environment. The Flynn effect has led to gains of 7.5 IQ points a generation, much greater than .43 IQ points decline in genotypic IQ.”
There is something called Spearman’s g that refers to one’s general intelligence that was postulated in 1904 by Charles Spearman.  g, written in lower case like, now refers to general intelligence. A neuroscientist named John Duncan explained Spearman’s work in his book How Intelligence Happens.  The Wall Street Journal explained, “Mr. Duncan makes a convincing case that these brain areas constitute a special circuit that is crucial for both Spearman’s “g” and for intelligent behavior more generally. But his book elides the question of whether this circuit is also the source of IQ differences. That is, do people who score high on IQ tests use the frontal and parietal areas of their brains differently from people who score lower? The answer, discovered by other researchers, turns out to be yes.”

It appears that our brains are decreasing in size, more people with lower IQ scores are having children, but we can increase our education and nutrition.  We can also learn more about how our frontal and parietal areas can be improved.  There is hope that we are not necessarily headed for an Idiocracy-like future.

Millennials Education and Workplace Success – Improving Emotional Intelligence

In 2010, research from Pew Center showed Millennials were not only the happiest of workers but they were also considered the most educated generation in history.  JustMeans.com reported, “Approximately 1-in-5 Millennials are college graduates while 26% are in school, and 30% are out of school but have plans to pursue a college degree. Some Millennials work, and others are in school– 24% do both and are employed while seeking an education. According the Pew Center, Millennials who are older and employed may be “the happiest workers in America.” More than one-third of employed Millennials describe their job satisfaction as “very happy,” while 29% of Baby Boomers and 27% of Gen Xers feel the same way.”

Even well-educated generations may not be savvy in all areas that could lead to their success at work.  Part of what makes a successful and happy worker is having the ability to get along with coworkers, having strong interpersonal skills and being emotionally intelligent.  The book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, addresses all of these important areas.  By understanding personalities and the psychology behind “why” people act the way they do, Millennials and all generations have a better chance of success at work and beyond.

A big part of understanding relationships and personalities is to understand emotional intelligence.  Authors such as Daniel Goleman have shown that one’s Emotional Quotient or EQ may be considered as important as one’s IQ.  Phoenix.Edu explained the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace:  “Emotions play a primary role in both conscious and unconscious decisions. It is often easy to be reactive instead of proactive, and in the workplace, if the wrong choice is made, this can quickly lead into a danger zone. An inability to keep emotions in check can result in problematic issues that can either harm the individual’s career or tarnish the reputation of an organization. Examples of situations where emotions can come into effect are conflict management, colleague tension, dealing with irate customers, organizational power struggles, negotiations, competition, organizational resistance to change and even coping with managers who bully.”

To find out more about understanding personalities and emotional intelligence in the workplace, click here.

How is Your Job Satisfaction? It May be Based upon Your Personality Type

If you are having difficulty enjoying your job, recent research indicates that the problem may be due to your personality type.  The research, in November’s issue of The Journal of Psychological Type, is based on the Myers-Briggs MBTI personality assessment instrument and the EQ-i which is an instrument that measures your emotional intelligence level. 

The MBTI breaks down personalities into 16 different types, based on how we prefer to process information.  Those types are listed as follows:

ISTJ ISFJ INFJ INTJ
ISTP ISFP INFP INTP
ESTP ESFP ENFP ENTP
ESTJ ESFJ ENFJ ENTJ
 
Each letters has a meaning. The “E” is for extrovert and the “I” is for introvert. The “S” is for sensing and the “N” for Intuition.  The “T” is for thinking and the “F” is for feeling.  The “J” is for judging and the “P” is for perceiving.  It can be very important to know your type as well as the type of others in order to get along in the workplace. In fact, I used to go to organizations to help teach teams about “type” so that they could better understand each other and be more effective.
 
In our book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I write about many different personality tests.  We emphasized the importance of understanding your MBTI results and emotional intelligence levels to get along in the workplace. 

In the recent issue of The Journal of Psychological Type, the authors found some new things about how our “type” can affect our job satisfaction.  They stated, “Extraverted and Thinking types scored higher on emotional intelligence and job satisfaction than Introverted and Feeling types.  Emotional Intelligence, however, was a more effective predictor of job satisfaction and organizational commitment than were any of the type dichotomies.”

I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence and its impact on performance.  While doing my research, I became a qualified Myers-Briggs instructor also received my certification in emotional intelligence testing. 

If you are not familiar with emotional intelligence, it has been defined in many ways.  I prefer the following definition:  Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own emotions as well as those in others. 

 

If you have not read Daniel Goleman’s books about emotional intelligence, I highly recommend them.  Goleman has made emotional intelligence a popular buzz word in the last 15 or so years.  His work explains the importance that employers put on your emotional quotient (EQ).  In fact, employers may not be more concerned with your EQ than your IQ. 

What do the results of this study mean to you?  The research from Myers-Briggs shows that your basic personality preferences don’t really change.  If you are an extrovert, you probably will remain an extrovert.  However, you can change your emotional intelligence levels.  Goleman has done a great deal of research into this area. 

That is the good news as one’s emotional intelligence played a more important role in one’s job satisfaction and organizational commitment than did the Myers-Briggs personality “type”.  In our book about personalities in the workplace, we discuss the importance of emotional intelligence.

I think it is important to constantly work on developing our EQ.  I became qualified in emotional intelligence by training through Marcia Hughes.  She has written books for ways to improve your EQ. 

The first step to improving your emotional intelligence is reading about what it is.  If you want to improve your EQ, and improve your job satisfaction as demonstrated by this study, I would recommend looking into Daniel Goleman’s books and check out It’s Not You It’s Your Personality:  Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace, due to be released in the next month.

Stephen Hawking’s IQ – How Yours Compares to His and Other Famous Persons’ IQ

There is a lot of talk recently about Stephen Hawking since his recent comment about God and the creation of the universe and the release of his upcoming book.   This has led to many searching for information on Hawking.  Interestingly his IQ is reported around 160.  Hawking claimed, “people who boast about their IQs are losers”.  In our book about understanding personalities and intelligence, my daughter, Toni Rothpletz, and I wrote about the importance of IQ and EQ (emotional quotient or measure of emotional intelligence).  Many organizations now are putting more of a focus on hiring those with a high EQ.  However, it may be fun to see how your IQ compares to some famous people in history.  The following chart is from aceviper.net:

Name (First/Last) Description Country IQ
(SB)
Abraham Lincoln President USA 128
Adolf Hitler Nazi leader Germany 141
Al Gore Politician USA 134
Albert Einstein Physicist USA 160
Albrecht von Haller Medical scientist Switzerland 190
Alexander Pope Poet & writer England 180
Sir Andrew J. Wiles Mathematician England 170
Andrew Jackson President USA 123
Andy Warhol Pop artist USA 86
Anthonis van Dyck Painter Dutch 155
Antoine Arnauld Theologian France 190
Arne Beurling Mathematician Sweden 180
Arnold Schwarzenegger Actor/politician Austrian 135
Baruch Spinoza Philosopher Holland 175
Benjamin Franklin Writer, scientist & politician USA 160
Benjamin Netanyahu Israeli Prime Minister Israel 180
Bill Gates CEO, Microsoft USA 160
Bill (William) Jefferson Clinton President USA 137
Blaise Pascal Mathematician & religious philosopher France 195
Bobby Fischer Chess player USA 187
Buonarroti Michelangelo Artist, poet & architect Italy 180
Carl von Linn Botanist Sweden 165
Charles Darwin Naturalist England 165
Charles Dickens Writer England 180
Christopher Michael Langan Bouncer & scientist & philosopher USA 195
Sir Clive Sinclair Inventor England 159
David Hume Philosopher & politician Scotland 180
Dr David Livingstone Explorer & doctor Scotland 170
Donald Byrne Chess Player Irland 170
Emanuel Swedenborg thologian/scientist/philosopher Sweden 205
Sir Francis Galton Scientist & doctor British 200
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling Philosopher Germany 190
Galileo Galilei Physicist & astronomer & philosopher Italy 185
Geena (Virginia) Elizabeth Davis Actress USA 140
Georg Friedrich Händel Composer Germany 170
George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Philosopher Germany 165
George Berkeley Philosopher Ireland 190
George H. Choueiri A.C.E Leader Lebanon 195
George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) Writer England 160
George Sand (Amantinr Aurore Lucile Dupin) Writer France 150
George Walker Bush President USA 125
George Washington President USA 118
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz philospher / scientist / lawyer Germany 205
Hans Dolph Lundgren Actor Sweden 160
Hans Christian Andersen writer / poet Denmark 145
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton US Politician USA 140
Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht President of the Reichsbank / Nazi Officer Germany 143
Honoré de Balzac (Honore Balzac) Writer / novelist France 155
Hugo Grotius (Huig De Groot) Jurist Holland 200
Hypatia of Alexandria Philosopher & mathematician Alexandria 170
Immanuel Kant Philosopher Germany 175
Sir Isaac Newton Scientist England 190
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Composer Germany 165
James Cook Explorer England 160
James Watt Physicist & technician Scotland 165
James Howard Woods Actor USA 180
Jayne Mansfield USA 149
Jean Marie Auel Writer Finland/ America 140
Jodie Foster Actor USA 132
Johann Sebastian Bach Composer Germany 165
Johann Strauss Composer Germany 170
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Germany 210
Johannes Kepler Mathematician, physicist & astronomer Germany 175
John Adams President USA 137
John F. Kennedy Ex-President USA 117
John H. Sununu Chief of Staff for President Bush USA 180
John Quincy Adams President USA 153
John Stuart Mill Universal Genius England 200
JohnLocke Philosopher England 165
Jola Sigmond Teacher Sweden 161
Jonathan Swift Writer & theologian England 155
Joseph Haydn Composer Austria 160
Joseph Louis Lagrange Mathematician & astronomer Italy/France 185
Judith Polgar Chess player Hungary 170
Kim Ung-Yong Korea 200
Kimovitch Garry Kasparov Chess player Russia 190
Leonardo da Vinci Universal Genius Italy 220
Lord Byron Poet & writer England 180
Louis Napoleon Bonaparte Emperor France 145
Ludwig van Beethoven Composer Germany 165
Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosopher Austria 190
Madame de Stael Novelist & philosopher France 180
Madonna Singer USA 140
Marilyn vos Savant Writer USA 186
Martin Luther Theorist Germany 170
Miguel de Cervantes Writer Spain 155
Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomer Poland 160
Nicole Kidman Actor USA 132
Paul Allen Microsoft cofounder USA 160
Philip Emeagwali Mathematician Nigeria 190
Phillipp Melanchthon Humanist & theologian Germany 190
PierreSimon de Laplace Astronomer & mathematician France 190
Plato Philosopher Greece 170
Ralph Waldo Emerson Writer USA 155
Raphael Artist Italy 170
Rembrandt van Rijn Artist Holland 155
Ren Descartes Mathematician & philosopher France 185
Richard Nixon Ex-President USA 143
Richard Wagner Composer Germany 170
Robert Byrne Chess Player Irland 170
Rousseau Writer France 150
Sarpi Councilor & theologian & historian Italy 195
Shakira Singer Colombia 140
Sharon Stone Actress USA 154
Sofia Kovalevskaya Mathematician & writer Sweden/Russia 170
Stephen W. Hawking Physicist England 160
Thomas Chatterton Poet & writer England 180
Thomas Jefferson President USA 138
Thomas Wolsey Politician England 200
Truman Cloak 165
Ulysses S. Grant President USA 110
Voltaire Writer France 190
William James Sidis USA 200
William Pitt (the Younger) Politician England 190
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Composer Austria 165

Top 10 Personality, Career, IQ and EQ Tests

This is a list of personality, career, IQ and EQ (emotional quotient) tests that you might want to take to find out more about your personality, intelligence and personal preferences.  I list some of these in my book: How To Reinvent Your Career.  Now that there are so many people looking for jobs, it makes sense to find out more about your personality and preferences to see which jobs would be a good match for you. 

Top 5 Sources of Emotional Intelligence Information

 

Emotional Intelligence or EI has received a lot of attention thanks to Dr. Daniel Goleman and others.  There are several definitions of EI, but one of the most basic definitions is:  The ability to understand your own emotions as well as those in others. I have a lot of my doctoral students working on dissertations involving emotional intelligence. 

 

I know that there are a lot of books about EI, but I thought I’d share with you some of the ones that I find most helpful.  If you are interested in finding out more about EI, I suggest you check out the following:

 

  • General Resource of Understanding Emotional Intelligence:  Emotional Intelligence:  10th Anniversary Edition;  Why it Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman  . . . click here.
  • Great Resource to Compare 3 Models of Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Intelligence:  Key Readings on the Mayer and Salovey Model by Peter Salovey, Marc Brackett and John Mayer . . . Click here  – Excellent resource for those doing research on EI that want to compare the basics of Mayer & Salovey, Bar-On and Goleman’s work.  There is a great table on page 88.
  • Important Work by Reuven Bar-On: The Handbook of Emotional Intelligence:  Theory, Development, Assessment, and Application at Home, School and in the Workplace by Rueven Bar-ON and James Parker with a forward by Daniel Goleman. . . Click here.
  • Good Resource for Emotional Intelligence at Work: The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace by Cary Cherniss and Daniel Goleman . . . Click here.
  • Exercises to Increase Emotional Intelligence:  Emotional Intelligence in Action by Marcia Hughes, Bonita Patterson and James Bradford Terrell . . . Click here.  I received my EI certification training through Marcia Hughes’ group.

I know I said I would include the top 5  . . .  but for those of you interested in my dissertation:  Examination of the Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Sales Performance . . . Click here.