Tuesday, November 22, 2022

High intelligence is not linked to more mental health disorders, but is linked to less frequent general anxiety and PTSD

High Intelligence is Not Associated with a Greater Propensity for Mental Health Disorders. Camille Michèle Williams et al. European Psychiatry, Nov 18 2022. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-psychiatry/article/high-intelligence-is-not-associated-with-a-greater-propensity-for-mental-health-disorders/E101AE4EDBC8FBAEE5170F6C0679021C


38 Background: Studies reporting that highly intelligent individuals have more mental health 

39 disorders often have sampling bias, no or inadequate control group, or insufficient sample size. 

40 We addressed these caveats by examining the difference in the prevalence of mental health 

41 disorders between individuals with high and average general intelligence (g-factor) in the UK 

42 Biobank. 


44 Methods: Participants with general intelligence (g-factor) scores standardized relative to the 

45 same-age UK population, were divided into 2 groups: a high g-factor group (g-factor 2 SD 

46 above the UK mean; N=16,137) and an average g-factor group (g-factor within 2 SD of the UK 

47 mean; N=236,273). Using self-report questionnaires and medical diagnoses, we examined 

48 group differences in prevalence across 32 phenotypes, including mental health disorders, 

49 trauma, allergies, and other traits. 


51 Results: High and average g-factor groups differed across 15/32 phenotypes and did not 

52 depend on sex and/or age. Individuals with high g-factors had less general anxiety (OR=0.69, 

53 95%CI[0.64;0.74]) and PTSD (OR=0.67, 95%CI[0.61;0.74])), were less neurotic (β=-0.12, 

54 95%CI[-0.15;-0.10]), less socially isolated (OR=0.85, 95%CI[0.80;0.90]), and were less likely 

55 to have experienced childhood stressors and abuse, adulthood stressors, or catastrophic trauma 

56 (OR=0.69-0.90). They did not differ in any other mental health disorder or trait. However, they 

57 generally had more allergies (e.g., eczema; OR=1.13-1.33). 


59 Conclusions: The present study provides robust evidence that highly intelligent individuals 

60 have no more mental health disorders than the average population. High intelligence even 

61 appears as a protective factor for general anxiety and PTSD. 

Key words: Intelligence; Psychopathology; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Anxiety; Allergies 

In addition to homophily, people’s social tie decisions are driven by political acrophily, the tendency to associate with others who have more extreme political views (rather than more moderate)

Homophily and acrophily as drivers of political segregation. Amit Goldenberg, Joseph M. Abruzzo, Zi Huang, Jonas Schöne, David Bailey, Robb Willer, Eran Halperin & James J. Gross. Nature Human Behaviour, November 21 2022. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-022-01474-9

Abstract: Political segregation is an important social problem, increasing polarization and impeding effective governance. Previous work has viewed the central driver of segregation to be political homophily, the tendency to associate with others who have similar views. Here we propose that, in addition to homophily, people’s social tie decisions are driven by political acrophily, the tendency to associate with others who have more extreme political views (rather than more moderate). We examined this using a paradigm in which participants share emotions and attitudes on political policies, observe others’ responses and choose which others to affiliate with. In four studies (N = 1,235), both liberal and conservative participants’ social tie decisions reflected the presence of acrophily. We found that participants who viewed peers who expressed more extreme views as more prototypical of their political group also tended to engage in greater acrophily. These studies identify a previously overlooked tendency in tie formation.