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Increasing Intelligence Makes You More Open To New Experiences January 25, 2012

Posted by Metabiological in Transhumanism.
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Interesting news from the world of psychology.  Researchers measuring the effects of cognitive training on seniors found that not only did their mental abilities improve, their personalities also changed.

A program designed to boost cognition in older adults also increased their openness to new experiences, researchers report, demonstrating for the first time that a non-drug intervention in older adults can change a personality trait once thought to be fixed throughout the lifespan.

Personality psychologists describe openness as one of five major personality traits. Studies suggest that the other four traits (agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and extraversion) operate independently of a person’s cognitive abilities. But openness — being flexible and creative, embracing new ideas and taking on challenging intellectual or cultural pursuits — does appear to be correlated with cognitive abilities.

Unexpected to say the least.  Reading this I can’t help but remember the much publicized study which claimed to show liberals are on average more intelligent than conservatives (before anyone jumps down my throat I am well aware that study had serious problems.)  Other studies which have measured personality traits between political affiliations have noted that self-described liberals tend to be more open to new experiences.  I doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together there.

Regardless, the idea that increasing intelligence results in greater openness, and one wonders what other personality changes, has obvious implications to transhumanism.  Will a population of smarter humans also be a more tolerant population?  As we get smarter will we get more moral?

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