Friday, 23 October 2015

PSY 3002 - Group selection for the Endogenous personality

Two ways of being highly intelligent; Good genes or the Endogenous personality

Most people would probably say that an Endogenous personality was a matter of sheer chance – that in a population characterized by high GFP, a few individuals just happened (by random variation) to have low GFP – and this low GFP/ Endogenous personality group included some individuals of very high intelligence who were the potential geniuses.
But our suggestion is different: picking-up on a suggestion from British psychologist Michael A. Woodley, we suggest that the high rate of European genius was not an accident. We will argue that the Medieval European population was under group selection as well as individual natural selection – and specifically that it was group selection which led to the evolution of geniuses.
In a nutshell, the Endogenous personality evolved in a high intelligence population to provide a significant minority of geniuses, whose function was to be specialists in creative problem solving and invention. The activities of this minority of geniuses had disproportionate impact, and were of general benefit to the survival and /or expansion of the social group among whom the geniuses lived and worked.
Indeed, we would argue that there are two ways of being exceptionally intelligent. The usual way is that someone in a population is exceptionally intelligent is by what is termed Good Genes: that is, having few genetic faults or errors – the person has a structurally normal brain, but with nothing (or nothing much) wrong with it. In other words he has a low load of deleterious mutations (or, conversely, he is not suffering from mutation accumulation).
But there is another way – which is by having an Endogenous personality – which means that his brain is purposely designed (by group selection – the mechanisms of which are currently poorly understood) to be creative, to make breakthroughs. Such a person is, in sum, a genius (albeit very probably not a world historical genius; but a tribal or local genius).
Our assumption is that in the potential genius – and if we could measure it, which is not possible at present – we would see a brain wired-up to be intelligent and not merely intelligent, but also wired-up to be more orientated towards internal processing – more intuitively creative, more internally-motivated.
Therefore the brain of an Endogenous personality is an evolutionarily specialized brain; which has high intelligence not so much negatively from lack of mutations; as positively – because it is a brain ‘designed’ (by natural selection) to be highly efficient for the purpose of creative discovery.
And this is why the genius has a special (Endogenous) personality. Usually personality and intelligence are almost distinct and little-correlated; but the brain of a genius is differently wired from a normal brain: it is a specialized and purposive brain, a lop-sided brain, a brain in which some circuits usually used for social intelligence and reproductive success are co-opted to serving a creative purpose.
In sum, the brain of a genius is one that is specialized for creative discovery and both high intelligence and an ‘inner-oriented’ personality are features of this specialization. This is why personality and intelligence go together in the genius, whereas in ‘normal people’ personality and genius can vary almost independently and there is little correlation between the two.
We have discussed, then, the concepts of personality and intelligence and the factors that lead to differences in them. We will now attempt to understand how these relate to genius.