The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Intelligent Choice Isn't Always the Smart One - Satoshi Kanazawa 2012
From the Hypothesis to the Paradox: The Intelligence Paradox on Individual Preferences and Values
When Intelligence Matters (and When It Doesn’t)
I now switch from the discussion of the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis to the central idea in this book, which I call the Intelligence Paradox. The Intelligence Paradox is the application of the Hypothesis to the specific domain of individual preferences and values. It explains how general intelligence affects and influences such preferences and values.
Evolutionarily novel entities and situations that more intelligent individuals are better able to comprehend and deal with may include ideas and lifestyles, which may form the basis of their values and preferences. It would be difficult for individuals to prefer or value something that they cannot truly comprehend. However, comprehension does not equal preference. While not everyone who comprehends certain entities and situations would thereby acquire preferences for them, I assume some would, whereas very few (if any) who do not comprehend them would acquire preferences for them. My assumption is that individuals only prefer or value things that they can truly comprehend. Thus comprehension is a necessary but not sufficient condition for preference.
Applied to the domain of preferences and values, the Hypothesis may therefore suggest what more or less intelligent individuals hold as their preferences and values.26 Hence I propose the Intelligence Paradox.
The Intelligence Paradox: More intelligent individuals are more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel preferences and values that did not exist in the ancestral environment (and thus our ancestors did not have) than less intelligent individuals. In contrast, general intelligence has no effect on the acquisition and espousal of evolutionarily familiar preferences and values that existed in the ancestral environment (and thus our ancestors had).
Recall from Chapter 1 that, by natural, I mean “that for which we as a human species are evolutionarily designed,” and, by unnatural, I mean “that for which we as a human species are not evolutionarily designed.” Thus another way to express the Intelligence Paradox is that more intelligent individuals are more likely to acquire and espouse unnatural preferences and values which we are not evolutionarily designed to have. Herein lies the essence of the Paradox. More intelligent individuals are more likely to go against their biological design, escape their evolutionary constraints and limitations on their brains, and hence have unnatural and often biologically stupid preferences and values. Yes, more intelligent individuals are more likely to be stupid and do stupid things.
In the remainder of the book, I talk about various applications and manifestations of the Intelligence Paradox with regard to numerous evolutionarily familiar and novel preferences and values. This is where intelligence research meets the problem of values.
1. Kanazawa (2010a)
2. Kanazawa (2002)
3. Kanazawa (2006b)
. Romero and Goetz (2010). In addition to their empirical support of the Hypothesis, Romero and Goetz invent a handy acronym for the “Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis”—SIQXH, which I happen to like very much
5. Lubinski et al. (2006)
6. Frey and Detterman (2004); Kanazawa (2006e)
7. http://www.actstudent.org/faq/answers/actsat.html (emphases added
8. Herrnstein and Murray (1994)
9. Herrnstein and Murray (1994, p. 168—172)
10. Herrnstein and Murray (1994, pp. 213—218)
11. Herrnstein and Murray (1994, pp. 225—229)
12. Crow (2003)
13. Herrnstein and Murray (1994, p. 216)
14. Deary (2008); Gottfredson and Deary (2004); Kanazawa (2006c)
15. Volk and Atkinson (2008)
16. Kanazawa (2005)
17. de Waal (1982)
18. Hamilton (1964)
19. Kanazawa (2004, p. 518)
20. Silverman et al. (2000)
21. Weiss, Morales and Jacobs (2003)
22. Romero and Goetz (2010)
23. Hall et al. (2008); Kingma et al. (2009)
24. Kingma et al. (2009)
25. Hall et al. (2008)
26. Kanazawa (2010a)