How Does IQ Affect or Relate to Personality?

Edited and published by Wellness Monster Stacie

Personality and IQ were thought to be different things. Yet studies say IQ is a personality trait. IQ is usually determined by ability tests while personality is determined by questionnaires. Psychologists have been limited in studying these factors. Personality can be determined by ability tests. Neuroticism can be determined by emotional control. Seeing IQ as a personality trait is good because it puts IQ in a different light.

There was a study of people in Oregon of both genders of different ages from various educational backgrounds. They took an IQ test made of fifteen multiple-choice items that studied knowledge and abstract reasoning. The personality test studied forty-five dimensions of human personality.

Verifying previous studies, IQ was most linked to openness to experience. Intellectual engagement, mental quickness, intellectual competence, imagination and other traits were positively linked to IQ. Friendliness, assertiveness, social understanding, empathy, perfectionism, and other traits were not linked to IQ. Other parts of personality positively linked to IQ were organization, toughness, leadership, and other traits. IQ was negatively linked to orderliness, morality, nurturance, tenderness, and sociability.

brain-iqAuthor Shulamit Widawsky wrote that intelligence is not linked much with personality with the exception that the more intelligent a person is, the more sensitive a person is. Sensitivity to the environment is very much related to intelligence. But what a person perceives is linked to their interests, and that is not linked to IQ. More intelligent people will have a wider range of personality traits than less intelligent people. More intelligent people have more extreme personalities as introverts, extroverts, creative types, conservative types, mechanical, and empathic types.

A professor wrote that intelligence is superior to personality because intelligence affects personality, but personality does not affect intelligence. Intelligence explains behavior. Intelligence determines how efficient the brain is. IQ can be measured without personality, but personality can’t be measured without IQ.

Intelligence is a cognitive process, and personality is non-cognitive. But some psychologists said there isn’t much difference between cognitive and non-cognitive.

Life History Theory states that human characteristics like personality and intelligence differ together along a continuum known as the K-factor because of a natural selection of traits during human evolution. Supporters of the theory assert that there’s a general factor of personality that has all of the major features of personality in a certain socially desirable way. For the Big Five model, general factor combines extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and emotional stability into a dimension along which people differ with the high point linked to high self-esteem, subjective well-being, and social desirability. Some researches maintain that this general factor of personality is linked to general intelligence. If this theory is right, people who are high in the K-factor have good personalities and high intelligence.

Some people think intelligence tests are too limited. One of these people, Robert Sternberg, did studies that asked people to describe the qualities of an intelligent person. Answers were a combination of problem-solving ability, verbal ability, social competence, and motivation. IQ tests assess problem solving and verbal ability, but they can’t assess social competence and motivation. These are linked to personality traits such as extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

In a study in Estonia, participants rated how a person of high intelligence would compare to a person of low intelligence regarding personality traits. Two kinds of intelligence were defined, academic ability and practical ability. Academic is gaining new knowledge and skills easily, and practical is solving everyday problems. The Big Five were studied concerning six factors which is thirty traits overall. The findings were that people thought of as very intelligent, whether in an academic or practical way, were considered to be more extraverted, emotionally stable, conscientious, and open to experience compared to those of low intelligence. But very intelligent people were not thought of as agreeable. Very intelligent people were thought of as less trusting and not following rules. Very intelligent people were also thought of as no different in honesty and modesty while those who were high in practical intelligence were thought of as more honest but less modest than those lower in practical ability. Trust, honesty, compliance, and modesty were thought to be good qualities, but people taking the study did not think them to be related to intelligent people.

personalityIQ is linked to educational, professional, economic, and social success or failure. Those with a high IQ have better educations and social competence. People with lower than average IQ(seventy-five to ninety range) are eighty-eighty times likelier to quit high school, seven times more likely to be incarcerated, and five times more likely to be poor. People with lower IQ may be more likely to commit suicide. Lower IQ is linked to poor problem solving which makes people unable to cope with stress during hard times. Higher IQ means more confidence.

Nobel laureate James Heckman and others conducted a study that said IQ doesn’t have much to do with success. They looked at data on IQ scores, standardized test scores, and personality assessments for thousands of people in England, America, and the Netherlands. They found that only one or two percent of success was related to IQ. Grades were better linked to success. Conscientiousness and openness were linked to success. Grades show not just intelligence but noncognitive skills such as perseverance, good study habits, and willingness to work with others.

Neurotic people have lower IQ scores. This could be because tests make them nervous. Neuroticism is a personality trait that is connected to anxiety, sadness, irritability, and self-consciousness. High scorers have a tendency to be sensitive, emotional, moody, often depressed, get poor sleep, and may have other psychosomatic disorders. Low scorers have a tendency to be secure and at ease even in tense conditions. This comes from two studies. The first gave personality and IQ tests to 646 Dutch twins. Researchers thought the link between neuroticism and low IQ was genetic.

The second study had 213 people take IQ tests and split them into two groups based on anxiety. The authors said very neurotic people got nervous during testing conditions, and they were even more nervous when they get information which increases anxiety. The researchers then statistically took away the effects of anxiety on test-takers. Then, neurotic people scored just as well on the IQ test as people who were not neurotic. The authors said neuroticism is not linked to intelligence but to intelligence test performance. IQ tests may underestimate real intelligence of neurotic people.

A study showed that with high-IQ people, earnings are affected by personality traits and education. Personality traits influenced men’s earnings especially after age thirty. They influenced the earnings of educated men more. Personality and IQ affects earnings indirectly through education.

Birth order can affect IQ and personality. A study with over 377,000 children wanted to know if birth order was linked to differences in personality or IQ. The oldest in wealthy families has more resources, and this affects personality and IQ. The oldest were found to have a point higher IQ over siblings. There were differences in personality. The oldest tended to be more outgoing, agreeable, and conscientious. They had less anxiety than younger siblings.

money-and-intelligenceAt the University of Copenhagen, Miriam Gensowki looked at data from California schools covering grades one through eight in 1921-22. The students, 856 men and 672 women, scored in the top 0.5 percent of the IQ distribution. That meant scores of 140 or higher. The data explored how well these students did through 1991. The students were rated on their personality traits and behavior corresponding with the Big Five personality traits. The conscientious trait mattered. Men who measured as one standard deviation higher on consciousness earned on average an extra $567,000 over their lifetimes. Measuring as extroverted, by one standard deviation higher than average, meant earning on average $490,100 more over their lifetimes.

More agreeable men earned much less. Being one standard deviation higher on agreeableness decreased lifetime earnings by $267,600. Higher IQ was linked to higher earnings by $184,100. These personality traits are linked more with income when employees are in their 30’s, and their influence peaks between ages 40 and sixty, going down after that. Something that came from the data was that conscientiousness and IQ were not linked. Openness is positively linked to IQ.

Alexander Penney at MacEwan University in Canada found that people with high IQs felt more anxious throughout the day. Their worries were trivial, and they thought about things more. This was linked to verbal intelligence. People with higher intelligence do not necessarily make good decisions. Keith Stanovich at the University of Toronto has been working on tests for rationality for over ten years. He has learned that fair, objective decision-making has nothing to do with IQ. People who do better in cognitive tests are slightly more likely to have a bias blind spot. That means they are less likely to see their own faults even though they can criticize others. There is also a likelihood of depending on gut instincts.

In one study, people were asked what they would do in certain social dilemmas. Psychologists judged their reasoning. High scores predicted greater life satisfaction, relationship quality, and less anxiety. IQ does not always mean more wisdom.

This may affect employment. Google said they were going to screen potential employees for qualities like intellectual humility rather than high intelligence.

People who are smarter and more conscientious are sick less and die later than those who are the opposite. Smarter people are more likely to avoid accidents, and they are more likely to understand public health campaigns against smoking and drug abuse. By middle age, there is a link between low IQ and rate of hospital admissions. People of lower intelligence were more likely to have genetic disorders. There was a finding in a paper that people who have IQ scores one deviation lower had a 60% greater risk of schizophrenia. Lower intelligence is also linked to increased risk of alcohol problems, depression, anxiety, late-onset dementia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Suicide, homicide, and violence can be linked to lower IQ.

Lower intelligence can lead to cardiovascular disease or stroke. Less intelligent people may have a more difficult time understanding the importance of exercise, a nutritious diet, and not smoking.

emotional-intelligenceA study by the Carnegie Institute of Technology announced that 85% of financial success is because of human engineering, which is personality, and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. 15% is because of technical knowledge. High IQ is good, but it’s not enough to predict success. People should not just focus on IQ. They should also improve EQ(Emotional Intelligence), MQ(Moral Intelligence), and BQ(Body Intelligence). They are harder to measure, but they are more important than IQ.

EQ is a person knowing their feelings and others’ feelings, controlling the feelings, applying emotions that are right to the situation, self-motivation, and forming relationships. People can improve this by knowing their inner dialogue. Stress hurts emotional intelligence so people have to form positive coping techniques that can decrease stress in a crisis.

MQ involves integrity, responsibility, sympathy, and forgiveness. The way a person treats himself is how others will treat him. Moral Intelligence means honoring commitments, having integrity, and being honest. This can be improved by not making excuses and taking responsibility for actions. No little white lies. Be sympathetic and respect others. Be accepting, and be understanding of others’ shortcomings. Forgiveness is important.

BQ is what a person knows about his body, how he feels about it, and how he takes care of it. Pay attention to the body. Eat food that gives energy, not drains it. Get enough rest and exercise. Body intelligence affects work because it determines feelings, thoughts, self-confidence, mental state, and energy level.

People don’t need the best education. A person with less education who has good EQ, MQ, and BQ can be more successful than a person with a good education who has limited EQ, MQ, and BQ. IQ is good, but EQ, MQ, and BQ makes for a more well-rounded person. These forms of intelligence are underrated, but excelling in them will bring professional success.


The Personality Trait Linked To Lower IQ

How Birth Order Affects IQ And Personality

How Being a Jerk Shortens Your Life

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Personality [ID 47893404 © Alain Lacroix |]

Human brain and sign IQ [ID 89751799 © Vladislav Kochelaevskiy |]

Personality vector [ID 5007626 © Pavel Losevsky |]

Amazed man with money in the head [ID 42690242 © Dmytro Konstantynov |]

Emotional intelligence concept [ID 131610980 © Hajnalikornel |]