The Personality Trait Linked To High IQ

The trait is particularly important for general knowledge because it makes people more curious and motivates them to learn new things.

People who are open to new experiences tend to be more intelligent, psychological research finds.

Being open to experience means taking an interest in things that are new, complex and even unconventional.

Openness to experience is particularly important for general knowledge because it makes people more curious and motivates them to learn new things.

Openness to experience is one of the five major aspects of personality, which also includes neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

Being open, imaginative and sensitive to emotions, though, has the strongest link to a higher IQ.

The reason may be that being intelligent makes people more curious about the world.

This ‘cognitive hunger’ drives people to discover more about the world around them.

Being able to appreciate beauty and being curious are very strongly linked to a higher IQ.

The conclusions come from a study of around 500 people who completed personality and IQ tests.

The results showed that the strongest associations were seen between openness to experience and crystallised intelligence.

Openness has a number of facets of its own, the study’s authors explain:

“The Openness to Experience construct involves the tendency to fantasize (Fantasy), aesthetic sensitivity (Aesthetics), awareness of one’s emotions (Feelings), preference for novelty (Actions), intellectual curiosity (Ideas), and preference for nontraditional values (Values).”

Crystallised intelligence roughly equates to general knowledge: knowing many things about the world.

More intelligent people were particularly appreciative of beauty: they had a strong aesthetic sense.

They were also likely to be intellectually curious and to have an interest in ideas for their own sake.

These two facets of openness were most strongly linked to higher crystallised intelligence.

The study was published in the Journal of Research in Personality (Ashton et al., 2000).

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2 Weight Loss Drugs Are Highly Effective Together

An effective drug treatment for weight loss if you can tolerate the side-effects.

A combination of phentermine and topiramate extended release treatment could help overweight or obese adults to lose at least 5 percent of their weight.

The extended-release phentermine plus topiramate is an FDA approved drug for treating obesity.

Past studies have been shown that 7.5 mg phentermine and 46 mg topiramate daily dosage over one year led to a minimum of 5 percent weight loss.

A study found that when the phentermine and topiramate dosage increased, the weight loss was 10 percent or greater in obese and overweight patients.

Topiramate is an approved anti-convulsant drug which is used for treating seizures and preventing migraine.

Phentermine is an appetite suppressant medication used for treating obesity in conjunction with diet and exercise.

A 12-week trial by Guerdjikova et al., 2018, suggests that the combination of phentermine and topiramate extended-release (brand name Qsymia) together with a low-calorie diet and higher physical activity would effectively lower weight and body mass index (BMI).

They found that the combined phentermine–topiramate medication reduces binge-eating symptoms in patients with binge-eating disorder.

Dr Caroline Kramer and colleagues found that a 28-week daily dosage of 96 to 200 milligrams topiramate on its own resulted in 10 percent or greater weight loss.

The review investigated 10 trials on 3,300 overweight or obese patients who took topiramate over four months and lost 11.8 pounds (5.4 kg) compared with those who took “dummy” pills known as placebo.

Dr Kramer, the study’s lead author, said:

“Topiramate is not an approved drug for the treatment of obesity.

Data from individual clinical trials might not be sufficient to support physicians’ decision to prescribe it for this use, and robust evidence of its safety is lacking.”

The weight loss benefits appear to increase the higher the dosage and the longer the treatment.

However, higher doses of phentermine medication alone or with topiramate would make patients experience serious side-effects such as depression, anxiety and insomnia.

Dr Kramer said:

“Topiramate has a substantial effect on weight loss, at least comparable to the weight loss that other anti-obesity drugs induce.

We have so few pharmacological options for the treatment of obesity that I believe topiramate can be a useful tool together with diet and exercise.”

However, she emphasised that patients need to be aware of the possible side-effects.

The adverse effects include paraesthesia, a burning sensation of the skin, cognitive impairment like slower thinking, low concentration, memory loss, and movement disorders.

The studies were published in the journal Obesity Reviews (Kramer et al., 2011) and The Lancet Journal (Gadde et al., 2011). 

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Episode 1414 Scott Adams: Find Out What Level of Awareness You Are at While Simultaneously Sipping

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Chameleon Effect: Why People Mimic Each Other

The chameleon effect is when people mimic or match each other’s facial expressions, mannerisms and gestures to increase attractiveness.

The chameleon effect — named after the reptile famous for changing its appearance to blend in — is something most people do automatically.

Indeed, self-help books, persuasion manuals and glossy magazine articles often advise that mimicking body language can increase how much others like us.

But, does mimicking other people’s body language really make them like us?

Or is mimicry just a by-product of successful social interactions?

Although it had long been suspected that copying other people’s body language increases liking, the effect wasn’t tested rigorously until Chartrand and Bargh (1999) carried out a series of experiments.

They asked three related question:

  1. Do people automatically mimic others, even strangers?
  2. Does mimicry increase liking?
  3. Do high-perspective-takers exhibit the chameleon effect more?

(And, fourthly, what does all this have to do with hypnotism? On which, more later.)

People do automatically mimic others

The set-up: Testing what they call ‘the chameleon effect’, in their first study 78 participants were sat down to have a chat with an experimental insider or ‘confederate’ who had been told to vary their mannerisms in systematic ways.

Some did more smiling, others more face touching and still others more foot waggling.

Result: Yes, participants did naturally copy the confederate (who they’d only just met) as measured by face touching, foot waggling and smiling.

Face touching only went up 20%, but rate of foot waggling went up by an impressive 50% when participants were inspired by another foot waggler.

Mimicry does increase liking

In the second experiment Chartrand and Bargh wanted to see if all this foot waggling and face touching has any actual use, or whether it is just a by-product of social interactions.

The set-up: 78 participants were sent into a room to chat with a stranger (another experimental confederate) about a photograph. With some participants the confederate mimicked their body language, with others not.

Afterwards participants were asked how much they liked the confederate and rated the smoothness of the interaction, both on a scale of 1 to 9.

Result: Mimicry did indeed work to increase liking.

When their body language was copied, participants gave the confederate an average mark of 6.62 for liking (and 6.76 for smoothness).

When they weren’t being mimicked participants gave the confederate an average of 5.91 for liking (and 6.02 for smoothness).

Not a huge difference you might say, but still a measurable effect for a change in behaviour so subtle most people didn’t even notice it.

Perspective affects the chameleon effect

Since we’re all different, some people will naturally engage in mimicry more than others.

But what kinds of psychological dispositions might affect this?

Chartrand and Bargh looked at perspective-taking: the degree to which people naturally take others’ perspectives.

The set-up: Fifty-five students filled out a perspective-taking questionnaire, along with a measure of empathy, then they were sat opposite an experimental confederate, doing the same old face rubbing and food waggling routine from before.

Results: Participants who were high in perspective-taking increased their face-rubbing by about 30% and foot waggling by about 50% compared with the low-perspective-takers.

Differences between people…

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Episode 1384 Scott Adams: Loneliness Epidemic, Fact-Checking as Propaganda, UFO Origins Predicted, and eQUITy

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Quit Smoking: Vaping Is Twice As Effective As Nicotine Patches

Vaping doubles the rate at which people quit smoking compared to nicotine patches.

Electronic cigarettes are almost twice as effective as previous therapies to quit smoking, research finds.

Almost one-in-five people using e-cigarettes in the study were smoke-free after one year.

This compares to the usual rate of just one-in-ten people using nicotine replacement therapies.

The use of e-cigarettes, also known as ‘vaping’, may be more effective because it is easier to get the right nicotine dose.

They also mirror the behavioural aspects of smoking, which other nicotine replacement therapies do not.

E-cigarettes deliver the addictive drug nicotine in a vapour that is inhaled, without the damaging effects of real cigarettes.

Professor Peter Hajek, who led the study, said:

“This is the first trial to test the efficacy of modern e-cigarettes in helping smokers quit.

E-cigarettes were almost twice as effective as the ‘gold standard’ combination of nicotine replacement products.

Although a large number of smokers report that they have quit smoking successfully with the help of e-cigarettes, health professionals have been reluctant to recommend their use because of the lack of clear evidence from randomised controlled trials.

This is now likely to change.”

The UK study included 886 smokers who either received nicotine replacement therapy or e-cigarettes.

Not only were e-cigarettes almost twice as effective at getting people to quit, the results showed, they were also more popular.

E-cigarette users reported:

  • Fewer cigarette cravings.
  • Less irritability and inability to concentrate
  • Less coughing and phlegm production after 52 weeks.

Dr Dunja Przulj, study co-author, said:

“The UK specialist stop smoking services will now be more likely to include e-cigarettes among their treatment options, and health professionals will feel more comfortable in recommending e-cigarettes as a stop-smoking intervention.

This may ultimately further accelerate the reduction in smoking and in smoking related diseases.”

The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Hajek et al., 2019).

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Spending Time With Children Makes Them Smarter

Children did better at school if their parents spent more time with them.

Spending time with children is the key to making them smarter, new research concludes.

Children whose parents spend more quality time with them do better in school.

While genetics plays its part, being there for a child has a more powerful effect.

Being present for the child is even more important than economic status, the study also suggested.

Professor Bruce Weinberg, study co-author, said:

“In the ongoing debate over what helps children succeed academically, we show that genetics is not the only major factor.

It is also about the time that parents spend with their children.”

The conclusions come from research involving over almost a million children in Israel.

Over 22,000 had lost a parent before the age of 18 and the parents of 77,000 had divorced.

They compared this with how well the children had done on a college entry test.

The researchers wanted to see what effect losing a parent had on their test results.

The results showed that the educational level of a parent who died became less important for the child’s academic success.

In other words, having smart parents is not what matters most — it’s how they bring you up.

Also, children who lost their mothers tended to do worse academically.

Professor Weinberg explained:

“The loss of a mother — who tends to spend more time than the father with her children — had a bigger effect than loss of a father in our study.”

Professor Weinberg said:

“We found similar results in those children who experienced parental death and parental divorce.

That provides strong evidence that our results are more general than just for children who suffered a parental death.

Other studies show that highly educated parents tend to spend more time with their children.

Our results may suggest one reason why they do: It has a strong impact on academic success.”

The study is to be published in the Journal of Labor Economics (Gould et al., 2019).

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COVID: Only One-Quarter Experience Systemic Vaccine Side-Effects

The systemic and local side-effects of Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccines.

One-quarter of people who receive either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer COVID vaccines experience systemic effects.

Headache, fatigue, tenderness and pain around the injection site are the most common systemic and local effects but they were mild and do not last long, a UK real-world study found.

Systemic effects are adverse reactions affecting the whole body except for the site of contact: these include fatigue, headache, joint pain, myalgia, fever, chills and shiver, nausea, and diarrhoea.

Local effects are those adverse reactions that occur at the site of injection which include tenderness, swelling, pain in the arm, itch, warmth, redness, and swollen lymph nodes in the armpit.

Allergic skin reactions were also reported by some people across both types of vaccine, including red welts on face and the lips, rashes, and skin burning.

Most side-effects were minor in severity occurring during the first 24 hours after vaccination and often lasting up to 2 days.

The data was gathered from 627,383 users of the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app in the UK.

In addition, the study found that infection rates dropped by 58 percent 12 days after the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine but for AstraZeneca it was a 39 percent.

The reduction in infection rates at 21–44 days after the first injection for Pfizer was 69 percent and for AstraZeneca 60 percent.

Here is a brief summary of the outcomes:

  • 25.4 percent of participants experienced one or more systemic adverse effects and 66.2 percent had one or more local adverse effect.
  • 22.8 percent of people suffered from headaches after the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine while 7.8 percent of people after the first Pfizer jab and 13.2 percent after the second Pfizer dose reported headaches.
  • 21.1 percent of people experienced fatigue while 8.4 percent of people had fatigue after the first Pfizer jab and 14.4 percent after the second dose of Pfizer.
  • Tenderness was the most common local effect: 49.3 percent after the first dose of AstraZeneca, 57.2 percent after the first Pfizer jab and 50.2 percent after the second dose of Pfizer.

It appears that side-effects were more common among women and people who were 55-years-old or younger.

People with a previous COVID infection were 3 times more likely to suffer from vaccine related side-effects.

Professor Tim Spector, the study’s senior author, said:

“The data should reassure many people that in the real world, after effects of the vaccine are usually mild and short-lived, especially in the over 50’s who are most at risk of the infection.

Rates of new disease are at a new low in the UK according to the ZOE app, due to a combination of social measures and vaccination and we need to continue this successful strategy to cover the remaining population.

The results also show up to 70% protection after 3 weeks following a single dose, which is fantastic news for the country, especially as more people have now had their second jabs.”

The study was published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases (Menni et al., 2021).

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Episode 1386 Scott Adams: LeBron Kills His Fans With Leadership, CNN Psychics Know How Audits Turn Out, Musk on Crypto

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