A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Is Worry Related to Intelligence?

from David Wilson at Slate:
If you worry a lot, fear not-- your anxiety just might be a sign of high intelligence. The idea has been around for a while: The adage that ignorance is bliss suggests the reverse, that knowledge involves anguish. Now it's starting to get some scientific validation.

In a recent study, for instance, psychologist Alexander Penney and his colleagues surveyed more than 100 students at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada, and asked them to report their levels of worry.

The researchers found that students with more angst-- for instance, those who agreed with survey statements like "I am always worrying about something"-- scored higher on a verbal intelligence test.

This interpretation of anxiety, though, contradicts other studies showing a negative link between intelligence and anxiety. In Coplan's study showing higher IQ in people with more severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, for instance, higher IQ correlated with lower worry in the control group.

Still, the suspicion persists that a tendency to be twitchy just might bequeath a mental advantage. Many brilliant thinkers suffered from anxiety, including Nikola Tesla, Charles Darwin, and Kurt Gödel.

Despite his magisterial image, Abraham Lincoln was high-strung; he described himself as "naturally of a nervous temperament."
The entire article can be read here.

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