Your mother might have told you that the most important thing in life, if you want to get ahead, is to be nice to people, but she’s wrong. A new study shows that you also need to be smart.
The study, out of the Universities of Bristol, Minnesota, and Heidelberg, used a series of games to test cooperation in both social and workplace settings.
They found that the participants with higher IQs were considerably higher when it came to cooperation, and this led to them making a lot more money in the game.
People with lower IQs, however, didn’t seem to be able to develop a strategy or understand what the future consequences of their actions would be, so they didn’t do as well.
The researchers also learned that personality traits such as agreeableness and generosity also play a role in how well people do, but it’s not nearly as significant as intelligence, and it only really plays a role in the very beginning of the game.
They say that this has serious implications for the way that children are brought up. Educators should be emphasizing intelligence development more than how to share. Although that’s still important.
It also might affect international trade. They say there is overwhelming evidence that all parties can benefit in international trade, and that the core principle of working cooperatively could benefit this as well.