New research has revealed how people’s intelligence, rather than their personality traits, leads to success. Researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Minnesota and Heidelberg devised a series of games to find out which factors lead to cooperative behaviour when people interact in social and workplace situations.
Their findings, due to be published in the Journal of Political Economy, showed that people with a higher IQ displayed ‘significantly higher’ levels of cooperation, which in turn led to them earning more money as part of the game.
The failure of individuals with lower intelligence to appropriately follow a consistent strategy and estimate the future consequences of their actions accounted for these different outcomes.
Personality traits such as agreeableness, conscientiousness, trust and generosity - also affect behaviour, but in smaller measure, and only initially.
The researchers conclude, based on their findings, that a society is cohesive if people are smart enough to be consistent in their strategies, and to foresee the social consequences of their actions, including the consequences for others.