‘The Intelligence Trap’: Book examines why smart people make irrational decisions

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Image: Bernard Marr/Forbes

While decades of psychological research have documented humanity’s more irrational tendencies, it is only relatively recently that scientists have started to measure how that irrationality varies between individuals, and whether that variance is related to measures of intelligence. They are finding that the two are far from perfectly correlated: it is possible to have a very high IQ or SAT score, while still performing badly on these new tests of rationality—a mismatch known as “dysrationalia.” Indeed, there are some situations in which intelligence and education may sometimes exaggerate and amplify your mistakes.

[N]otable biases include framing (the fact that you may change your opinion based on the way information is phrased), the sunk cost fallacy (our reluctance to give up on a failing investment even if we will lose more trying to sustain it), and the gambler’s fallacy—the belief that if the roulette wheel has landed on black, it’s more likely the next time to land on red. The probability, of course, stays exactly the same.

Related article:  Modern people making Stone Age tools offers glimpse into evolution of intelligence

When it comes to certain tightly held beliefs, higher intelligence and knowledge is a tool for propaganda rather than truth seeking, amplifying our errors.

Read full, original post: Why the smartest people can make the dumbest mistakes

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