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Temperature and evolutionary novelty as forces behind the evolution of general intelligence

By Satoshi Kanazawa


How did human intelligence evolve to be so high? Lynn [Lynn, R. (1991). The evolution of race differences in intelligence. Mankind Quarterly, 32, 99–173] and Rushton [Rushton, J.P. (1995). Race, evolution, and behavior: A life history perspective. New Brunswick: Transaction] suggest that the main forces behind the evolution of human intelligence were the cold climate and harsh winters, which selected out individuals of lower intelligence. In contrast, Kanazawa [Kanazawa, S. (2004). General intelligence as a domain-specific adaptation. Psychological Review, 111, 512–523] contends that it is the evolutionary novelty of the environment which increased general intelligence. Multiple regression analyses support both theories. Annual mean temperature and evolutionary novelty (measured by latitude, longitude, and distance from the ancestral environment) simultaneously have independent effects on average intelligence of populations. Temperature and evolutionary novelty together explain half to two-thirds of variance in national IQ

Topics: BF Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.intell.2007.04.001
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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