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Thread: Influence of IQ, EQ and personality type on belief system

  1. #1 Influence of IQ, EQ and personality type on belief system 
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Has any studies of the type been undertaken? I'm not out to try and call religious people stupid, I'd say it has more to do with personality type?


    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    “I'm not out to try and call religious people stupid,”
    Good, because that would be an absurd generalization.

    “I'd say it has more to do with personality type?”
    I’d suggest that religious tendencies in humans might be related to socialization skills, which in turn may have triggered the increase in intelligence in our distant ancestors. Cooperation became essential for survival. Religion developed as and still is a powerful bonding mechanism.

    Experiments with dogs, foxes, chimps and bonobos seem to show that socialization leads to improvement in cognitive skills. In hominids, perhaps intelligence and religion evolved together. This would explain why there are intelligent religious people, but there’s no explanation for intelligent skeptics. J


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Here's something I wrote in a different thread:

    Many behavioral ecologists view religion as a solution to what's called second order problems in social groups. A group functions best together when they all cooperate - however, there are usually cheater individuals who take advantage of the cooperators, often with great rewards. So ideally, there should be some way of identifying and punishing cheaters, so that the group as a whole will be more successful over other groups. However, whoever choses to do so will pay a price. Perhaps that cheaters' relatives will become angry with you, or you become generally untrustworthy because people think you suspect them of cheating. So to solve this problem, societies created an external moral code that looks down upon cheaters and will punish them either in the next life, or in this life in some supernatural way - and conversely, cooperators are promised an equally supernatural reward. By having religion, no one individual has to be singled out as the punisher. And with religious conviction now uniting the group into a solid unit, they can compete better with other groups for resources etc, and ultimately net greater reproductive success.
    Now, once people become morally responsible for themselves and will choose of their own volition to not act as cheaters, religion is no longer required to keep them in check. So it could be said, then, that religion helps to discipline otherwise selfish people that cannot make their own moral decisions without someone else dictating to them how they should behave. I believe that religion probably had its place in developing human societies, but is certainly not necessary in modern culture.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    I agree with Algie's mate and part-of-stone. :P
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Influence of IQ, EQ and personality type on belief system

    It's probably the other way around.

    The influence of the belief system on IQ, EQ and personality type.

    I read yesterday that older studies showed that about 60% of the IQ is determined by genetic factors. Later studies who corrected it for shared environment in the uterus by twins lowered this percentage to 30%.

    A program that is aimed at stimulating children mentally can raise their IQ by 15 points. Unfortunately this work was undone once they hit the regular schools.

    It seems that environment has an enormous impact on IQ. Hence it is reasonable to assume that submergence in a belief system, as an intellectual environment (high or low), can affect the IQ, possibly the EQ and maybe even personality type to a high degree.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Good point. Another factor to concider is nutrition. Omega 3,6 for instance. I once read a good agrument for humans only truely flourishing after they started setting up settlements close to water masses (more fish, more Omega oils).

    The original reason I asked the question, is that if religion is part of someone's life from birth, then would they naturally be less inquisitive and more accepting of "known" facts? I'd think so. If true, it makes religious scientists unusual.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    I agree with Algie's mate and part-of-stone. :P
    It's good to be imaginary.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    The original reason I asked the question, is that if religion is part of someone's life from birth, then would they naturally be less inquisitive and more accepting of "known" facts? I'd think so. If true, it makes religious scientists unusual.
    It's true that IQ etc can be heavily influenced by environmental stimuli - similar to Spurious' example, I saw a documentary on a program that worked with children from poor areas from the time they were a few months old, and even after being released into a normal school system, they consistently displayed an average higher IQ and procured higher income jobs than other children from their area that were not in the program.

    However, part of it is also genetic, and I think that's the case with a very good friend of mine. She was raised in a very religious family, and when I first met her as a freshman in college, was still very devout. However, she's also extremely intelligent, and, after having already gotten a master's degree, is currently working on a PhD. And over time, she has had more and more difficulty in believing in the tenets of her faith, and seeing any good reason for a lot of the rules it dictated. She describes herself now as truly desiring to believe in Christianity, but facing an increasing inability to do so. I have personally seen this pattern in several people, and I do think that at a certain level of intelligence and perceptiveness, even a desire to believe in a religion cannot hide the fact of its artifice. At least, religion in a stiffly traditional form.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Yes that is a very good example. She shows that it might be exposure to different arguments for and against religion that can make an intellegent person move away from religion, being able to distinguish between a good and a poor argument. I still hold that the philosophy at the core of most religions (not the existence of god) are sound. Poor arguments for religion can be disasterous to a person that has devoted a large part of his/her life to religion. I assume your friend is having a hard time, but is still mostly the same person?

    This makes me think of the poor people at bloody Kent Hovind et.al. seminars hanging onto his lips, not knowing the even more than usual amount of crap being told to them. It makes me angry like little else. (except for politics)
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  11. #10  
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    well, i for one would be interested in seeing the results of such a test, if one is ever conducted.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I assume your friend is having a hard time, but is still mostly the same person?

    This makes me think of the poor people at bloody Kent Hovind et.al. seminars hanging onto his lips, not knowing the even more than usual amount of crap being told to them. It makes me angry like little else. (except for politics)
    Yes, it's been difficult for her, especially since she only recently told her parents about her change in heart, and as you might guess, it didn't go over too well. But she's definitely the same person she ever was.

    Creationists also anger me like few other things. They can believe in whatever god or religion they like, but don't try to act like it's science. That's just lying to people.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    gosh...remember this story now about lab mice and intelligence. Not really exactly on topic but illustrative nonetheless.

    They had one group of mice which were stimulated in an enriched environment. The other group of mice were simply kept in their boring cages.

    They then devised a maze test that contained water. Mice don't like swimming but they can swim. In one part of the maze there was a see-through plastic platform just below the surface. When the mouse reached it it stopped swimming. The quicker the mouse finds its way through the maze the more intelligent it was.

    Of course the enriched environment mice were quicker than the control group.

    These were inbred lab mice though.

    They did something similar with inbred lab mice and wild mice. Wild mice are actually smarter. They have to be.

    They couldn't do the water test because the wild mice would find the platform, jump from the maze on the floor and off they were.

    When these wild mice were put in the enriched environment that was created to stimulate the inbred mice the wild mice merely checked if there was food around, and if there wasn't they just went to sleep, while the inbred mice kept exploring the environment.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    With this experiment as an example, can we make a comparison between a humans personality and a mouses' "personality"? One might argue a personality is a mechanism that has developed to cope with circumstances specific to the enviroment the organism grew up in and would probably be exposed to through it's life? That would give a good explanation in evolutionary terms, why someone that grew up in a religious enviroment, is less likely to revert to atheism the more entrenched their social habits are in their religious conventions/dictations. This, of course, assumes that personality in humans is simply a more complicated version of a similar mechanism in other animals? Maybe more so in animals that occupy a wider variety of habitats(ie mice)?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    With this experiment as an example, can we make a comparison between a humans personality and a mouses' "personality"? One might argue a personality is a mechanism that has developed to cope with circumstances specific to the enviroment the organism grew up in and would probably be exposed to through it's life? That would give a good explanation in evolutionary terms, why someone that grew up in a religious enviroment, is less likely to revert to atheism the more entrenched their social habits are in their religious conventions/dictations. This, of course, assumes that personality in humans is simply a more complicated version of a similar mechanism in other animals? Maybe more so in animals that occupy a wider variety of habitats(ie mice)?
    The best place to look for "primitive" versions of human personality would have to be social primates. Mice are VERY different from humans when it comes to sociality. Sociality played a big role in human evolution, and for an animal species where this is not the case, I think anything that might count as personality in your definition wouldn't match very well with humans.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  16. #15  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Yes granted. The conventional definition of personality would certainly exclude very different organisms like mice. I was more thinking that what we define as personality in humans might have some equivalent in other mammals at least, if not al vertibrates. That personality in this broader context, is a mechanism by which an organism can fine-tune it's behaviour to better fit it's environment. And that personality in humans is the much more complex equivalent of this adaptive mechanism. The apparent disimilarity is caused by our much more complex brains and social structures?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  17. #16  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    "Influence of IQ, EQ and personality type on belief system..."

    Yeah, there have been a few studies, but they mainly center on statistics, and are lacking in any valuable analysis. For instance, they look at the jobs of a sampling of people, determine who has the best jobs, then declare that their position on belief must be correct because they have a successful job.

    Personally I consider this relation to be sort of a double-fall-off. If you outright hold belief without question....or you outright deny belief without consideration, your IQ score suffers. The mental capabilities of a person are best judged when they are thinking, and not when they're not. :P
    Wolf
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