- Worry evolved ‘at same time’ as intelligence
- Defence mechanism that helped early man
- High-IQ individuals suffer from worry more than medium-IQ individuals
By Rob Waugh
PUBLISHED: 08:25 EST, 13 April 2012 | UPDATED: 08:25 EST, 13 April 2012
Anyone who’s lain awake at night worrying over work or money might find it improbable – but worrying is a beneficial trait.
Humans evolved worrying alongside intelligence – perhaps as a defense mechanism in a dangerous world where early humans had to fight for survival.
‘While excessive worry is generally seen as a negative trait and high intelligence as a positive one, worry may cause our species to avoid dangerous situations, regardless of how remote a possibility they may be.’ said Dr. Coplan of SUNY (State University of No York.’
‘In essence, worry may make people ‘take no chances,’ and such people may have higher survival rates. Thus, like intelligence, worry may confer a benefit upon the species.’
High intelligence and worry both deplete the same nutrient in the brain’s white matter – suggesting they evolved at the same time.
Worry might actually be a useful trait that helped our species to survive.
Previous studies have indicated that excessive worry tends to exist both in people with higher intelligence and lower intelligence, and less so in people of moderate intelligence.
It has been hypothesized that people with lower intelligence suffer more anxiety because they achieve less success in life.
‘Humans are the most intelligent species and also appear to suffer disproportionately from psychopathology,’ say the researchers.
In this study of anxiety and intelligence, patients with generalized anxiety disorder were compared with healthy volunteers to assess the relationship among intelligence quotient (IQ), worry, and subcortical white matter metabolism of choline.
In a control group of normal volunteers, high IQ was associated with a lower degree of worry, but in those diagnosed with GAD, high IQ was associated with a greater degree of worry.
The correlation between IQ and worry was significant in both the GAD group and the healthy control group.
However, in the former, the correlation was positive and in the latter, the correlation was negative.
Eighteen healthy volunteers (eight males and 10 females) and 26 patients with GAD (12 males and 14 females) served as subjects.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2129280/Born-worrier-Calm-dear–fretting-defence-mechanism-helped-humans-thrive–high-IQ-people-worry-most.html#ixzz1rYdjIHUR