High IQ goes hand in hand with patience, calculated risk-taking and interpersonal judgment
Tim Harford on recent research by Aldo Rustichini, Stephen Burks, Jeffrey Carpenter and Lorenz Goette:
An intriguing pattern emerged. The truckers who scored highest on the IQ test were also more patient and more willing to take calculated risks, rejecting unfair gambles and accepting favourable ones. Their choices revealed a more consistent attitude to risk and a more consistent level of patience, too.Read it all.
The high-IQ truckers were also better at predicting what other players would do in the trust game, and secured more money overall. When they played second, they were more discriminating, rewarding co-operation and punishing those who would not trust them.
High IQ goes hand in hand with patience, calculated risk-taking and interpersonal judgment, it seems – and this is true after statistically adjusting for age and race.
Nor is any of this limited to the laboratory. Many trainee truckers drop out before completing their first year of work, even though this means they must repay the trucking company their training costs, which run into thousands of dollars. This indicates a lack of patience, an inability to appreciate how much money is at stake or a serious miscalculation in the initial plan to be a truck driver. Whatever the reason, dropping out is correlated with Rustichini’s experimental tests of low IQ, impatience and bad judgment of risk or of other people.
Rustichini puts this in a far more striking way: that the ingredients for prospering in a capitalist society all seem to be present together, or absent together.