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Re: CORRELATION BETWEEN IQ AND MENTAL ILLNESS? MichelleMyBelle

Posted by Larry Hoover on October 19, 2003, at 14:15:52

In reply to CORRELATION BETWEEN IQ AND MENTAL ILLNESS?, posted by MichelleMyBelle on May 11, 2003, at 1:12:46

> I'M JUST CURIOUS, SO I'M THROWING A QUESTION OUT THERE FOR ANYONE TO GIVE FEEBACK TO. I'VE ALWAYS WONDERED THIS MYSELF, BUT IS IT POSSIBLE THAT PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS HAVE HIGHER IQ'S?

I'd answer the question this way.....certain traits that predispose to mental illness also predispose towards unconventional or creative thinking, hallmarks of what some define as intelligence. It all hinges on how you define each of these terms, of course.

Here's a recent study to consider:

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Sep;85(3):499-506.

Decreased latent inhibition is associated with increased creative achievement in high-functioning individuals.

Carson SH, Peterson JB, Higgins DM.

Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA. carson@wjh.harvard.edu

Reductions in latent inhibition (LI), the capacity to screen from conscious awareness stimuli previously experienced as irrelevant, have been generally associated with the tendency towards psychosis. However, "failure" to screen out previously irrelevant stimuli might also hypothetically contribute to original thinking, particularly in combination with high IQ. Meta-analysis of two studies, conducted on youthful high-IQ samples. demonstrated that high lifetime creative achievers had significantly lower LI scores than low creative achievers (r(effect size) = .31, p = .0003, one-tailed). Eminent creative achievers (participants under 21 years who reported unusually high scores in a single domain of creative achievement) were 7 times more likely to have low rather than high LI scores, chi2 (1, N = 25) = 10.69, phi = .47. p = .003.


In simple terms, latent inhibition is the unconscious suppression of any stimulus. All organisms do this to some extent. Only stimuli that bypass the "filters" actually make it into consciousness. Highly intelligent people tend to filter out less information from external stimuli; of course, they must also process that extra information, in order to make sense of it, so intelligence seems to be the product of both reduced latent inhibition (i.e. higher data flow into the brain), and the capacity to make sense of it all. Studies of the brain function of high-IQ individuals show regions of brain activity not seen in other brains, even when attending to simple tasks (e.g. watching a sit-com on TV).

Now, reduced latent inhibition is also considered to be a contributing factor for schizophrenia. One model has it that the brain cannot cope with the onslaught of stimuli, and it decompensates via hallucinations and so on.

There is yet another factor to consider. All people show reduced latent inhibition when under psychological stress......to a point. A little bit of pressure sharpens the intellect, but too much (an individual characteristic, how much is too much), and you may have a nervous breakdown or collapse into depression. This is one model for the environmental triggering of mood swings, as seen in bipolar disorder.

I think the correlations of certain forms of mental illness, intelligence, and creativity, are real. I happen to fit the model myself. ;-)

Lar

 

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