I suspect there is a communication barrier between high-IQ and average-IQ people. Also, people tend to connect with each other through shared interests, and many with high-IQ also have high openness, lending oneself to have unconventional interests. With fewer people like you, it can lead to literal social isolation, and a feeling of disconnectedness with others. I don’t think this is autism per se, but I can see why many people with high IQs may think they have autism.
I suspect there is a bidirectional relationship regarding quality relationships and cognition.
Even without direct evidence, there is indirect evidence that supports the lack of confidants affects cognition. Socializing is an experiment with measurable effects on cognition that I already mentioned. Animal models, which historically have been a pretty good proxy for human models, certainly support isolation affecting cognition. Prisoners put in solitary confinement show signs of deteriorating mental functioning. Close knit communities, not to be confused with rural communities, have much lower rates of mental illness (almost all of which deteriorate cognition after onset, some to devastating magnitudes) despite lower educational achievement. These lend support that the correlational data is not a simple matter of poor cogniton affecting social skills, and warrants actual experimentation.
An article in the Atlantic talks about a paradox in modern societies; people are more lonely despite (supposedly) more opportunities to interact with others. This also coincides with the rise of cognitive declining mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. It references the falling of close confidants and more rocky relationships with family and spouses as a possible source. Indeed, 10 minutes of conversation can enhance cognition, less quality (but not quantity of) relationships predict cognitive decline in the elderly, and people with more friends have better executive functioning. Forced social isolation deteriorates cognition in other social animals such as rodents.
I think this is important because cognitive enhancement is discussed somewhat frequently in LW (to my knowledge), but developing close friendships less so, and (also) to my knowledge, never in the context of cognitive enhancement. The knee-jerk reaction is that correlation is not causation, and indeed loneliness is hereditary despite it being increased in the past several decades. I suspect, the hereditary aspect is in part, due to the fact that some people are more prone to seek out close relationships, and receive the mood and cognitive enhancement as a positive side effect.
Based on what I could find, no experiments have looked at developing quality relationships and seeing its effects on cognition, and most studies are correlational or based on animal-models. At the very least, it is something to look at.
This post hit a chord with me, and I am curious as to what actions you took to change it. Did you simply go somewhere different, or are you doing something different?
A problem with this experiment is that while Bill may be the same person in Interview A and B, the interviewers are not the same person. You can’t know for sure if the VP in A would act like the CEO in B if Bill was interviewing for a managerial position. It is just as likely that the VP in A is simply a jerk who tries and one-up all interviewees, regardless of the status of the position they are interviewing for.
Misnomer noted. So, is there evidence that conventional foods (or foods that are not organic) have adverse effects beyond possible nutritional differences, when compared to organic foods, and genetically modified vs. not modified? (and by not modified I mean not genetically modified, if the context preceding the words didn’t make those words crystal clear) I am of course open to the possibility, but I would like to see harder evidence before paying a premium.
Are we trying to find out if organic foods are more nutritious, or if organic foods offer health benefits beyond nutrition? (or to reverse that, do inorganic foods offer adverse effects beyond nutrition) Remember I said , ” Modified food may or may not have adverse effects beyond different nutrient contents (which so far is debatable),” The authors conclude in your 2nd link that they agree the evidence on the benefits of organic foods is scant at the moment.
Yes, that was a little extreme on my part. What I was trying to say is that people don’t always respond to rational ideas.
“What does it mean for the world to be “saved”?”
I was trying to relate to the author’s idea of “saving” the world, which from what I gather is maximizing altruism and bureaucratic inefficiencies, to start. (governments are inefficient, wars are bad, etc.)
A place to start is to feed two groups of animals foods, one eating organic and the other eating inorganic, with identical or near-identical nutrient compositions, and see how they respond over time. Linking dietary effects between animal and human models has been done in the past, so it isn’t too far-fetched. It won’t be perfect, since the animals won’t be humans, but it is certainly better than the paucity of data available, and assuming that organic = good with scarce evidence (see below).
Some other ways to optimize sleep:
Metformin helps improve sleep, and a theorized mechanism is through improved glucose metabolism. This might also explain why exercise, which has a similar effect on glucose metabolism, improves sleep as well, and why deteriorating health worsens it.
Some blood pressure lowering drugs worsen sleep, but the possible mechanism is through melatonin suppression.
From what I gather, most people don’t respond to rational ideas and actions, just ideas and actions they believe will benefit themselves or their group. This is how bad ideas continue to flourish (Bigger Church = Pleasing the Lord = Better chance of an afterlife). In addition, people do respond to ideas they believe are moral, but what most people define as “good” or “bad” actions, moral or immoral, tend to be what people believe will benefit them or the group they relate to (family, community, country, etc.) As a rule of thumb, to most people, actions that benefit society = moral, actions that hurt society = immoral.
Even morals that everyone can agree on, such as killing, are thrown out the window when it comes to those outside the group. Historically, people have been quite cruel to out-groups (war) and those within the group they feel aren’t benefiting their “team”(poor treatment of homeless, civil wars, etc.), whether real or imagined. Notice the difference between what people believe vs. what may actually help the them.
Knowing this about human nature, the question is do most people want the world to be saved? If the answer is yes, and the above behaviors are the result of primitive fear mechanism towards outsiders, then in order for ideas to gain traction, you have to convince people to realize the potential benefit, and believe that the world can change. If the answer is no, then it is best to attach yourself to like-minded people.
I’m surprised by the lack of research on organic foods and health, and it seems like it wouldn’t be too hard for a talented researcher to compare the health and mortality of people who consume organic vs. inorganic diets, after controlling for differences between the two groups, such total nutrient consumption, exercise, premorbid conditions prior to organic consumption, etc. Modified food may or may not have adverse effects beyond different nutrient contents (which so far is debatable), but I’m surprised at the amount of people who have jumped on this bandwagon with scant supporting evidence.
There is also the possibility that people will eat worse when consuming organic. I suspect that an inorganic diet composed of fish, fruits and vegetables, legumes, lean dairy, and nuts will be far healthier than an organic diet composed of fried chips, fatty artisan cheeses, chocolate bars, and low fiber carbs. Go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and watch how many carts are filled with the things you shouldn’t eat. In fact, it seems the all-natural industry follows #1 (as far as they can) and #2 quite well, and if organic retailers are a proxy, they are about as good at ignoring #3 as the rest of the industry.
As you have already pointed out, people who eat nuts also engage in other healthy activities. It sort of reminds me of the studies on moderate drinkers and death. Perhaps people who are able to control their drinking after having one or two beers, have more self-control in other areas of their life, compared to those who are heavy drinkers or teetotalers who avoid it like the plague.
Even after controlling for all of this, I wonder if their is an optimal nut intake.
Oddly enough, I find that the best way to get something done is to read a schedule that I made the day before. I somehow feel more obligated to stick to it than if I written it the day of. I can’t fully explain why this is the case, perhaps due to the fact that I’m more fatigued by the time I’ve written one, but it seems to be the best way I found to hack my own procrastination. Tim Ferriss also advocates making a plan for the day or week ahead, although his reasons might be different than mine.
With the card game in mind, I have doubts that most psychopaths can function on any executive level, and am not surprised at all that they overrepresent as prisoners.
Hare says that because narcissistic, histrionic, and obsessive compulsive tendencies are elevated in executives, it must mean that psychopaths are more common in executives as well, because after all these are “psychopathic tendencies” This is akin to saying that because someone has above-average self-esteem, they also have psychopathic traits. But if anyone really wants to pore through the data, antisocial traits (or callousness), a core feature of psychopathy, is not elevated in executives. In fact, it was lower than the other groups studied. They report the data but overlook this important fact in their paper. Looks like the authors had an agenda.
Considering what we know about the callousness of corporations and atrocities committed by cultures throughout history, it is easy to assume that psychopathy runs rampant among leaders. (and it plays on people’s envy) Of course, this relies on the assumption that “good” people are not capable of atrocities and competitive greed without the coercion of bad people. Put two perfectly normal small families in a remote island with only enough resources to feed one, and you will see how quickly morality and compassion get thrown out the window. Knowing this, it is easy to imagine this concept in larger groups, which explains the behavior we see in war or corporate competition (where letting your competitors win means losing your job). No psychopathy is needed.
Interesting observation. It is hard to find an in-depth article in Google Scholar on the idea that meditation or similar practices evolved to help us deal with stress and hone concentration. A recent study showed that nuns and monks who prayed or meditate showed increased activity in the parts of the brain implicated in analytical thinking and stress management.
My question is are these simply tricks we learned to deal with stress, or were they are part of human evolution to help cope with stress?
I suspect that while dark triad traits are desirable to women, they aren’t the only desirable traits. As you said, research shows that agreeableness and altruism also tend to be attractive, and conscientious and agreeable men tend to be better dancers, and thus more attractive. (quick google search) I suspect that there are multiple types of attractive men, or you can still possess all these traits.
Then again, it is important to know how the dark triad is measured to begin with. I am not sure if this is the actual test, but it looks legitimate. While saying disagree to all or most of the questions that measured lying and callousness, I still managed to score high on Machiavellianism and above average in Narcissism. (low on psychopathy) This also calls into question how “dark” some of these traits are, since outside of psychopathy, the other questions were related to self-esteem and a desire for influence, which isn’t inherently evil, and can still coincide with agreeable and prosocial personalities.http://www.okcupid.com/tests/the-dark-triad-test-1
I disagree that the reason why many upper-middle class whites lean left is entirely philanthropic signalling. Some of it may be envy and power grabbing. A person making 120k a year may be living comfortably, but still not as comfortable as a person making 30 million a year. Let’s not forget that many advocate raising the taxes of the top 1% of earners. This form of redistribution to the poor, if implemented, puts a burden on the extremely wealthy, which lowers the wealth and power of the elites, and thus puts the upper-middle class in closer position to vying for elite status. If anyone has data, I suspect the voting habits of the extremely wealthy are more Republican, with the 2nd tier yet still affluent being more Democrat.
It is interesting to note that many scholars disagree that many of the peasant revolts of the 14th-16th centuries were entirely motivated by famine. Typically they were spearheaded by a person or group of individuals who were well off but not quite elite, usually well-to-do merchants or a knights of lesser nobility, garnering the support of the extremely poor. The similarity between this and left-leaning ideologies throughout history is an affluent class supporting the promise to improve the standard of living of the poor. While never successful during that time period, we can use the French Revolution and later revolutions in other countries as a model of what happens if they were successful. The elites (nobility) became overthrown, and the doctors and lawyers that led the revolution become the new elite. (it is also interesting to note that the poor are in the end no better off and an authoritarian rule is created or maintained)
While modern civilization is less bloody, you can achieve the same goals by creating tax burdens on the extremely wealthy (like what is happening now in France) and reducing income disparity, putting oneself closer to elite status.
Interesting study since one of the hallmark symptoms of bipolar is a lack of sleep, and BDNF is lacking in bipolar individuals who are depressed. I think more research should be done to see if this therapy can throw someone into bipolar disorder.
A bothering trend in the psychiatric community, which is now being recognized by mental health professionals, is the overuse of labels without looking at the patient’s individual symptoms and tackling them accordingly. The lack of objective tests also gives rise to misdiagnosis, even for severe disorders such as bipolar, and is dangerously more common than people realize:
“According to Zimmerman’s study, the underdiagnosis of bipolar disorder is not the case. Rather, only 43 percent of those surveyed who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder actually match the criteria for the disorder.”
In addition, some important institutions in mental health realize the current mental health institution is broken and want to incorporate genetics, cognitive science, neuroimaging etc. to develop a new one. While far from perfect, this is a step towards the right direction and will bring us closer to an objective test of mental health.
At the moment, people are being diagnosed on an illness built on shaky grounds, and there is a good chance that professionals won’t even bother to consult those shaky grounds when diagnosing.
I don’t think it is an indicator that the audience is messed up. I haven’t seen Battlestar Galactica but regarding Game of Thrones, if the boards are any indicator of the audience, then most people seem to root for the more morally acceptable (good) guys, and are disappointed that they keep getting screwed over. The show is also known for unexpected character deaths, so it could just be an indicator of the audience wanting to be surprised or in a state of suspense.