Restless Intelligence: Why Smart People often worry

Woe umaUm and education in many cultures have traditionally been considered not only a great advantage, but also a source of some emotional problems. "Woe from Wit", "a lot of knowledge - a lot of grief," "happiness in the dark" - this idea is reflected in a number of Phraseologisms and expressions. However, until recently there was no scientific evidence that between nervousness and developed intellect there is some connection. The site publishes a translation of an article from the website Slate T & P, which tells about the results of the study of anxiety and anxiety benefits.

If you often feel a sense of anxiety, do not worry: maybe it's just a sign of a developed intellect. This idea has long been in the air: the very existence of the saying, "The less you know - sleep tight" says that the high level of education entails the emergence of new experiences. But recently, this fact is first received scientific confirmation.

As part of its recent research team from the University of McEwan (US) and Lakehead University (Canada) under the leadership of psychologist Alexander Penny reviewed the responses of more than 100 students by asking them to talk about how often and how much they worry. The researchers found that students with the highest levels of anxiety - for example, those who agreed with statements such as "I always something worried" - earned the highest scores in the verbal intelligence test score.

The allegation that the suspicious people are often faster and more savvy, firms and other unusual experiment, which in 2012 conducted by psychologists Tsachi Ein-Dor and Urgad Tal from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (Israel). They were subjected to a short stress of 80 students who agreed to participate in the test. Ein-Dor and Tal asked participants to evaluate a series of art works presented in the framework of a special computer program - but this problem existed only as a cover. Looking at the picture, each student "accidentally" activated "a deadly computer virus" (which, of course, actually happen automatically). After that, in the case enters the actress playing the role of the technician is asked in a panic to find support.

The subjects attempted to call the system administrator, but he comes in other actors. In the lobby, they pounced on the man, allegedly carried out the opinion poll, and then the other person dropped a huge stack of papers right in front of them. The greater the anxiety displayed a test, the more prone they are to to fully focus on the elimination of the virus. "We found that people who are concerned more resisted attempts to detain them on the way to the technical service; they were alert and demonstrated the effectiveness of their behavior, "- say the experts.

In his other studies Ein-Dor and Tal were able to show that anxious people feel threatened earlier than their more staid comrades - even if it is the smell of smoke. According to scientists, if you are constantly worried you most, "guard" rather than "a bundle of nerves." Other scientific work carried out by a psychiatrist SUNY Downstate Medical Center (USA) Jeremy Koplanom together with colleagues, you can check this statement is not only in the case of normal users, but in the case of people suffering from anxiety disorder. The researchers found that patients with severe symptoms of the disease IQ was higher than among those whose symptoms appeared less pronounced.

The thought that troubled people behave wisely than others, really credible: a disturbing mind - is looking for a reason, and smart people are discovering the exceptional mobility of cognitive processes, as sometimes treat each situation from a different perspective, noting the pros and cons. "Perhaps people with a developed intellect can see the elements of the past and the future in great detail that reinforces the processes of analysis and experience," - writes in his work Alexander Penny.

This relationship - if it really exists - works in both directions. Predisposition to anxiety Children often behave in lessons more carefully and diligently - which, of course, as a result of increases their intelligence. A clever people, in turn, is easier to find a reason to worry enough.

American psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert, who lives and works in Manhattan, said that a man who is afraid to fly on an airplane, capable of creating in his imagination the most unimaginable disaster scenarios. Alpert sure that anxiety - is a form of active attention. According to him, a patient with aerophobia before the flight can even be noted that the mechanic at the airport looked tired and could not thoroughly check aircraft engines. According to colleagues Alpert, a psychotherapist from Los Angeles Allen Wagner, to the dismay if, in this case to add a realistic view of things, anxiety can become the basis for a strategy to prevent accidents.

The utilitarian perception of anxiety, however, contradicts the results of a series of studies showing that the feeling is bad for the mind. For example, the highest level of IQ, which showed patients with an anxiety disorder within the test Coplan, the lowest level consistent with that of the control group participants showed less prone to disturbance. According to the psychologist of the American Institute of behavioral research and technology, smarter than people, so it is quieter. "Of course, this rule there are exceptions, but the basic idea seems very logical, - he says. - And then the explanation is quite simple: when we are nervous, we find it difficult to think clearly ยป.

Yet this does not negate the suspicion that nervous habit associated with the intellectual advantage. Many brilliant scientists - Nikola Tesla, Charles Darwin, Kurt Godel, - suffer from disturbing thoughts. Abraham Lincoln, in spite of all his authority, was also a very sensitive person and say that he has "nervous temperament of the natural world." And Edvard Munch told that the image, which later formed the basis of the famous painting "The Scream", came to him during a panic attack. Then, the artist thought that the sky turned blood red. "I stood there and trembled with the strongest feelings of anxiety, feeling like an endless scream shakes the nature", - said Munk.

Of course, regardless of the level of development of creative abilities, fear increases the chances of avoiding a possible threat. Sometimes it's better to be anxious and ready for action than the quiet and dead. So the next time someone just advise you to relax, explain to him that the nervousness has its advantages. Restless nature can be a strategic advantage - or a sign of high IQ. This, of course, does not mean that you need to shake themselves to a state of paranoia - and yet, it is possible to boast of anxiety. Ultimately, this quality you will not risk to fall victim to overconfidence.



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