Study finds high IQs won't be enough to prevent ecological disasters

UCF study finds high IQs won't be enough to prevent ecological disasters
Jacopo Baggio and his colleagues found that individuals with high general intelligence are more likely to discern patterns and dynamics of resources. Individuals with high social intelligence communicate more effectively and understand the mental state of others. Both groups are needed to manage limited resources. Credit: UCF: Karen Norum

High IQs aren't going to be enough to stop an ecological disaster. It's going to take social intelligence, too.

That's the conclusion of a new study co-authored by a University of Central Florida researcher and published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications.

The findings could help identify why some groups better manage shared resources, such as water or fisheries, than others. And as Earth's population is growing at a rate that is putting a strain on resources, finding ways to better manage them is critical.

"Especially in the case of common property, there is often an inbuilt tension between what is good for the individual and what is good for the ," says Jacopo Baggio, an assistant professor in UCF's Department of Political Science and lead author of the study.

"Individuals often have different cognitive abilities," Baggio says. "For example, individuals with high general will be more able to discern patterns and dynamics of resources, and individuals with high communicate more effectively and understand the mental state of others."

Using a digital game to simulate a virtual ecosystem, the researchers found that when teams of people with high general intelligence, but low social intelligence faced a situation where resources became scarce, those teams depleted resources faster, harvested less potential resources and pushed the ecosystem to its limits.

But when both general and social intelligence were high, teams harvested a greater percentage of potential resources and kept the ecosystem from collapsing.

"It's a way to really start to understand how individuals and groups interact and what type of individuals are more prone or less prone to favor group benefits over individual costs," Baggio says.

General intelligence helped people figure out the rules of the game and how the resources, in this case digital tokens, regenerated, while social intelligence helped people cooperate to optimize performance, says Thomas Coyle, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

"In theory, people with higher levels of social intelligence are more effective in reducing conflict among group members and in getting people to work toward common goals," Coyle says. "Such 'people' skills are important for managing shared resources."

The work points to a need for education in diverse types of intelligence, says Jacob Freeman, an assistant professor of anthropology at Utah State University and study co-author.

"It suggests that our should focus on cultivating both general and social intelligence to better equip groups to deal with complex, social-ecological challenges," Freeman says.

Coyle says researchers are still exploring ways to improve social intelligence.

For the study, the researchers used a digital game where people collected virtual tokens in exchange for actual money. Participants were 216 undergraduates from two large universities in the Western United States. They were randomly placed into one of two experimental conditions: either a game where the conditions began improving and tokens continued to be replenished, or one where conditions began deteriorating and tokens did not regenerate fast enough.

General intelligence was represented by ACT and SAT scores provided by the universities. Social intelligence was measured using a short story test that estimated the ability of individuals to infer others' intentions and feelings. The test is often used to predict social communication disorders, communication errors and the ability to infer the mental states of others.


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Journal information: Nature Communications

Citation: Study finds high IQs won't be enough to prevent ecological disasters (2019, February 22) retrieved 25 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-high-iqs-wont-ecological-disasters.html
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Feb 22, 2019
This article is just plain BS. When we can enhance a humans IQ 10X, we will be able to solve ANY of the current problems we face. When a persons IQ is 10 times what it is now NO ONE can predict or even guess at what they will do or think, not even themselves before the enhancement.

Feb 22, 2019
They talking about street cred? Is this like when the Stones hired the hells angels to police altamont?

That didnt turn out very well.

Feb 22, 2019
I have a feeling that even with lab grown meat, little will change. Human population will continue to rise, offsetting any gains made by technology. If people do not start to value the natural environment and make real sacrifices, the earth's ecosystems will become irreversibly damaged within a few centuries.

Feb 22, 2019
Authors from Idiocracy. Dunces confuser muddling what would happen if everyone were smarter than they are.

Feb 22, 2019
Authors from Idiocracy. Dunces confuser muddling what would happen if everyone were smarter than they are.

Like I said you have no way of knowing what you will be thinking or feeling if you were 10X smarter then you are now. Try to explain how you are going to build your house or tune up your car to your dog.

Feb 22, 2019
Yes, in general I agree with the conclusions stated in this article,

No, it gives me no satisfaction.

Just leaves me feeling sad.

I just do not see any route of Human enhancement to expand our IQ's 10x, a magnitude of intellect. That overcomes tens of millions of years of monkey programing.

Feb 22, 2019
Open your eyes it's already been done. Like I said that little girl in china's IQ was enhanced.

Feb 22, 2019
Study finds high IQs won't be enough to prevent ecological disasters

Well duhhhh.... I've been trying for 10 years (SMIRKY GRIN).

Feb 23, 2019
Study finds high IQs won't be enough to prevent ecological disasters

History shows that high IQs are responsible for our current dilemma, why would one think we could solve the problem?
Just look to proposals by high IQs for geoengineering, they think they are smart enough to outthink nature. Ego always outweighs intelligence.

Feb 23, 2019
No one including Einstein has the kind/high IQ i am talking about. There are no precedents in the same species with this kind of boost anyone can point at, and say this will happen. No one can know. Perhaps if you point at a mouse and compare its IQ with a human you might have a point of reference.

Feb 23, 2019
Look guys, I am 72 and can see the writing on the wall for the future based on how technology is going now. No one in our history has stopped technologies prograss for long and many have tried.
1. More of our Privacy is disappearing everyday. Soon all privacy will be gone.
2. Adult and child Genetic cures for all diseases.
3. Genetic enhancement of IQ.
4. Quantum computers will solve many of our problems using simulations at very low cost.

And what % of you would not like to be ,say, 10% smarter?

These are going tro happen barring a world changing catastrophe.

Feb 23, 2019
Authors from Idiocracy. Dunces confuser muddling what would happen if everyone were smarter than they are.

Like I said you have no way of knowing what you will be thinking or feeling if you were 10X smarter then you are now. Try to explain how you are going to build your house or tune up your car to your dog.


Take the same case from the other direction: even if you "upgraded" your dog's intelligence to the level of your own, it wouldn't suddenly gain the ability to repair cars or even understand what an engine is.

Don't confuse knowledge with intelligence. Having the largest brain in the universe does not mean you will automatically come up with something clever. It doesn't even mean you will behave rationally, because that too depends on what you believe is true. More likely, you'll simply go insane - IQ does not protect from false ideas, on the contrary it makes the person more efficient in denying reality once they've decided what to believe.

Feb 23, 2019
These are going tro happen barring a world changing catastrophe.


Yes, and in the year 2001 we'll have flying cars and travel to Jupiter in a long white dildo while apes are shaking old bones at black stone objects.

Feb 23, 2019
And what % of you would not like to be ,say, 10% smarter?
otto is already 10% smarter. Brains is nothing without personality.

Feb 23, 2019
This article is just plain BS. When we can enhance a humans IQ 10X, we will be able to solve ANY of the current problems we face. When a persons IQ is 10 times what it is now NO ONE can predict or even guess at what they will do or think, not even themselves before the enhancement.


You are jabbering childish nonsense. No existing person will ever have their IQ's "enhanced".

No doubt it will be possible to genetically engineer higher intelligence, but not for another 100 years or so, and doing so will mean that your children's children will be slaves to a genetically enhanced group of elite thinkers, so social uptake of that kind of society will be slow.

Feb 23, 2019
No one including Einstein has the kind/high IQ i am talking about. There are no precedents in the same species with this kind of boost anyone can point at, and say this will happen. No one can know. Perhaps if you point at a mouse and compare its IQ with a human you might have a point of reference.


Don't smart humans try and exterminate mice? Aren't they used for medical experimentation?

So too your children's children, if American style immorality is adopted by the superior.


Feb 23, 2019
Like I said that little girl in china's IQ was enhanced.


Or not.

Feb 23, 2019
Just remember in 20 yrs a crazy old man told you it was going to happen and happen quickly. I don't much care whether you believe it or not. Your beliefs, morals, etc. will have little effect on it and sticking your head in the sand won't stop it either. If I live another 5 to 10 yrs I will live forever. :-)

Feb 23, 2019
The smartest domesticated equine is a mule.
Trade-offs...
As for the wild equines?
No matter how smart they may be? They still wind up as dogfood.

What? You never thought to check?

There has to be, including the ocean-going clades, at least a dozen Big Brain sentient species.

Without manipulative appendages?
Their high IQ's are useless against Humanity's voracious appetite to inflict destruction.

Feb 24, 2019
rrwillsj, what a change a 10% boost in IQ will do for you! No more feeling inferior, you really will be smart. Imagine not having to hide behind a bunch of nonsensical gobbledygook of words, trying to sound smart. You will be smart!

Feb 24, 2019

History shows that high IQs are responsible for our current dilemma, why would one think we could solve the problem?

History shows that if your IQ is too low, you will drive into trees as you are too dumb to turn a steering wheel, you just cantdrive, nor understand science, thats why baboons like you have the mindset of throwing crap out the window not giving 1 shitz about what it does to nature because you are dumb stupid greedy, self centered and careless.

Feb 24, 2019
We won't have any leaps in intelligence until we actually understand the science of intelligence
at which point computers will far exceed biological intelligence.

Feb 24, 2019
well rderkis, I have yet to see any signs of superior intelligence from you. So far you have displayed a series of poor judgements in your choice of belief systems.

I am absolutely certain that I am not inferior to anyone commenting on this site.
& definitely superior to many.

In my life, the only people I have met that I actually fell inferior to are Pacifists. The real pacifists who practice their beliefs as a sign of their superior moral character.
I envy them their courage.
I have often wished I wasn't too much of a coward to avoid committing violence.

If they were of higher intelligence? I never noticed.
I am specifically thinking of the Mennonites. How many of their young men & women they have sent to America's wars as corpsmen & medics & nurses.

Putting their lives & sanity on the line to live their beliefs. Not with empty bombast & meaningless braggadocio but with their positive actions. That rescued others at no profit to the rescuer.

Feb 24, 2019
When we can enhance a humans IQ 10X,


If the person was living in a cave since childhood with no interaction with the world, 10 x yes.

In all normal cases you're totally full of chit. IQ is solidly proven to be a function of genes, sorry dumbazz.

Feb 24, 2019
Study finds high IQs won't be enough to prevent ecological disasters

History shows that high IQs are responsible for our current dilemma, why would one think we could solve the problem?
Just look to proposals by high IQs for geoengineering, they think they are smart enough to outthink nature. Ego always outweighs intelligence.

LMAO. So true.
High and low IQs are kindred spirits, just one is too "smart" and the other too stupid to realize when they are wrong and neither has the capacity to process any reasonable debate that confirms it.

Feb 24, 2019
well rderkis, I have yet to see any signs of superior intelligence from you


Nor will you. I am 72 now and have lost any edge I once had. :-)
Besides we as humans can not recognize when someone is smarter than us by talking with them, only their achievements will give their IQ away. But if you talk with someone with a IQ in the 80s you will immediately know it.

Putting their lives & sanity on the line to live their beliefs. Not with empty bombast & meaningless braggadocio but with their positive actions. That rescued others at no profit to the rescuer.


Woops, you kind of got of subject and are rambling. :-) But to sort of address the issues you are talking about. Courage, loyalty and a few other similar traits like them are instinctive and have little or nothing to do with intelligence. But of course you already knew that. :-)

Feb 24, 2019
IQ is solidly proven to be a function of genes, sorry dumbazz.


In case you haven't noticed we are talking about genes(genetic engineering), enhancement of IQ.. As for the elegant way you use words, it speaks volumes about your intelligence and education. :-)

Feb 24, 2019
Genetic engineering can't correct the defective wiring in the brains of those with any IQ.

Feb 24, 2019
@V4, that depends upon whether the wiring is genetically determined or not. Some is; some isn't. Both nature and nurture get their chance. If we can eliminate the defects due to nature, then we have a chance at the ones due to nurture.

Feb 25, 2019
I guess I am not like the rest of you, I would jump at the chance to get a modest 10% IQ boost. I don't really think (only) 10% would change my personality much. It would only enable me to spot patterns(recognition) a little faster.

Feb 25, 2019

High and low IQs are kindred spirits, just one is too "smart" and the other too stupid to realize when they are wrong and neither has the capacity to process any reasonable debate that confirms it.


On the other hand we have Antisciencegorilla who thrives at swinging trees barking and chest thumping when someone presents him with scientific facts which btw he does not understand to begin with. You can take the Ape out of the bush, but you cannot take the bush out of the Ape.

Feb 25, 2019

If the person was living in a cave since childhood with no interaction with the world, 10 x yes.

Nope totally wrong Antigoracle/grandpa's sockpuppet was taken out from deep within the cave and still presents no sign of any IQ improvement. Even after decades exposed to science.

Feb 25, 2019
Wow, most these comments just prove that a boost/ENHANCEMENT of intelligence is badly needed by us ALL!
It is just a lot of us are to dumb to realize it.

Feb 25, 2019
Genetic engineering can't correct the defective wiring in the brains of those with any IQ.
actually we've determined the influence of genes extends right down to personality traits, political leaning, risk taking ...

Feb 25, 2019
How can anyone be sure that those traits are a effect of IQ (you did not say that but seemed to imply it)?
Plus, I was led to understand that a person's environment can influence the genes and the way they act and develop. And then there are viruses changing the genes, as well as gene hopping.

Feb 25, 2019
rderkis, I just do not see how to separate IQ from Emotional Qualities. Wisdom does not seem to be based on intelligence.

What would be more dangerous to the existence of Humanity than a person of High Intelligence but lacking in empathy & consideration for others? What would he need any of us for? If he just doesn't care?

I will not rule out IQ enhancement as ONE of the tools needed to improve the Human Race. But neither am I convinced that it will turn-out to be a useful tool!

Feb 25, 2019
I agree with you we don't know the real effects of IQ enhancements but it beats extinction. As far as IQ and wisdom. How much wisdom does a turkey have? It seems wisdom somewhat follows intelligence. Perhaps wisdom is just a aptitude of intelligence kind of like a aptitude for math is kind of a skill for intelligence.
If you read about empathy you will find experiments have shown it is controlled by a chemical in the brain not intelligence. We can enhance a person's empathy by increasing that chemical. I never understood why they don't give that chemical to our most hardened and dangerous criminal inmates. I suppose it is our empathy for the criminals that stops us
rrwillsj, if we enhanced your intelligence by 10% but did not touch your memories, wisdom or anything else, would you personally become dangerous? Or would you just be a little better and quicker at pattern recognition?

Feb 26, 2019
You "HOPE", that when you increased my IQ, that you did not destabilize my emotional pendulum. At least that can be crudely assessed & measured.

However will you or I be able to tell if my memories chemical chains are broken?

Like with Alzheimer's patients.
Even if all the different causes were cured? There is no way to replace the destroyed memories.
Those consist of a complex soup of sound & smells, taste & tactile, bodily functions & autonomic responses, hormones & enzymes. appetites & revulsions.

I do not believe that the character of a person can simplified to a algorithm. The childish enthusiasm of the "Artificial Intelligence" barkers is a prime example of hubris.

The present crisis, the Matricide. The extinction of all Humanity & as much of the Earth's biosphere as our spite can drag down with us into eternal death...

Will be a result of our "Best & Brightest", sacrificing the World on the altar of personal greed.

Feb 27, 2019
If your going to argue science you will need to do a better job researching what your talking about. They are not sure the memories in alzheimer's patients are destroyed. There is quite a bit of talk in the medical and scientific communities that they are not lost but still intact, just not accessible. Personally I don't have a opinion on it. As far as most the problems your fear mentions, they are a result of chemical imbalances in the brain, which mean they can be fixed.
Whether you like it or not intelligence enhancement is coming and comming soon. If you don't want it that will be fine with me, I like pets. :-)

Feb 27, 2019
Careful, this pet bites!

You will need that superior IQ to pay the medical bills. Did you see the news about the woman, bit by her cat, what she had to pay for a rabies treatment?

I enjoy my meat bloody rare or "Tartar". & you will be hoping I brush my teeth, regularly!


Feb 27, 2019
No way you would bite me. You would die for me just like my daniff would now. I treat my pets good. You would think you are in heaven. Manipulating you will be even easier than manipulating my dogs. But at that point my dogs will be smarter than you or any other non enhanced human.

Feb 27, 2019
Have you ever seen the death rates for farmers, ranchers, & other specialties in handling large animals, domestic & wild?
The numbers of people maimed & killed by their own beloved pets?
Don't misplace the can opener, or you will find yourself on the menu!

If your children are smarter & superior to you? Who should rule your household?
Throughout history, most societies permitted, even encouraged brutal deaths for "rebellious" children?

It is an amusing consideration of Homo Sap's basic monkey instincts. Reading the variations of fantasy stories & tentacle porn about people being ravaged by large, even giant cephalopods.

Yet the only recorded deadly mollusk? Are the Blue-ring Octopus. Notorious for causing the deaths of multiple persons every year. The smallest sub-species I know of, with the deadliest venom.

So rderkis, no matter how smart you get? Wisdom should encourage your innate monkey survival skills

Feb 27, 2019
Have you ever seen the death rates for farmers, ranchers, & other specialties in handling large animals, domestic & wild?
The numbers of people maimed & killed by their own beloved pets?
Don't misplace the can opener, or you will find yourself on the menu!

Wasn't it Clemens who warned about Mankind's lack of gratitude?

Throughout history, most societies permitted, even encouraged brutal deaths for "rebellious" children?

It is an amusing consideration of Homo Sap's basic monkey instincts. Reading the variations of fantasy stories & tentacle porn about people being ravaged by large, even giant cephalopods.

Yet the only recorded deadly mollusk? Is the Are the Blue-ring Octopus. Notorious for causing the deaths of multiple persons every year. The smallest sub-species I know of, with the deadliest venom.

So rderkis, no matter how smart you get?
Wisdom should encourage your innate monkey survival skills.


Duhhh,,,,

Feb 27, 2019
hh3, my apologies for using all all those big words.

& if you are stupid enough to believe my apology?

Well, you just learned the meaning of sarcasm.

So having the orderly turn on the asylum's breakroom computer for you, wasn't a complete waste of his time.

Feb 27, 2019
f your children are smarter & superior to you? Who should rule your household?
Throughout history, most societies permitted, even encouraged brutal deaths for "rebellious" children?


rrwillsj, you could sure use that boost in intelligence.You are just missing the point, why would my children be smarter than me?

Feb 28, 2019
Why would your children be smarter than you?
Well, for one thing they would be starting with the advantage of less damage.
& since you are so very smart? You would be giftimg your children with a superior education from yourself.

You seem to think that once you acheive a high IQ, that it all comes to a screeching halt to protect your advantage?

Good luck with that!
& pull the other one!

& all it would take is one unforeseen strike frpm a resntful child, no matter their IQ.

If higher IQ's did result in successful predictions of future events?
Instead of dying from accidents?
You will die from unending boredom!

Feb 28, 2019
Bad dog, oops I mean bad sub human. This conversation is over till you get that enhancement, I get better logic from my dog.

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