The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
Identifiable Altruism
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Yoder, Christian N., and Scott A. Reid. 2019. “The Quality of Online Knowledge Sharing Signals General Intelligence.Personality and Individual Differences 148 (October): 90–94.

Some people share knowledge online, often without tangible compensation. Who does this, when, and why? According to costly signaling theory people use behavioral displays to provide observers with useful information about traits or states in exchange for fitness benefits. We tested whether individuals higher in general intelligence, g, provided better quality contributions to an information pool under high than low identifiability, and whether observers could infer signaler g from contribution quality. Using a putative online wiki (N = 98) we found that as individuals’ scores on Ravens Progressive Matrices (RPM) increased, participants were judged to have written better quality articles, but only when identifiable and not when anonymous. Further, the effect of RPM scores on inferred intelligence was mediated by article quality, but only when signalers were identifiable. Consistent with costly signaling theory, signalers are extrinsically motivated and observers act as “naive psychometricians.” We discuss the implications for understanding online information pools and altruism.

Humans don’t work for free.

Gold. USD. Online reputation. There needs to at least be something, because otherwise there will be nothing.

If I understand this right, this suggests that truly genuine altruism doesn’t really increase with intelligence after correcting for identifiability. That makes sense. The authors also point out that altruism is less costly for more intelligent individuals, since they are more easily able to recoup the costs of non-compensated altruism.

Hide 7 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. utu says:

    Yoder and Reid should be publicly flogged. I just do not see another cure for the stupidity of people like them.

    • Replies: @Amerimutt Golems
  2. Fair observation but not everyone lives under the 1st Amendment e.g. Ernst Zündel and David Irving.

  3. the more intelligent you get the more quickly you can asses the ROI of something.

    even naturally helpful people become less freely helpful when they get older, after a few decades of randomly helping people and realizing they’re getting nothing out of it most of the time.

    the waiter’s curse – realizing that africans are zero ROI customers, but being forced to serve them with a smile anyway, after a decade of them being your most demanding customers then leaving you no tip.

    also pursuant to anatoly’s excellent work on bifurcation of science publication, i would guess that the language of internet knowledge sharing is also a good quick and dirty guide to the signal to noise ratio, and probably an upward ceiling on how intelligent the discussion can even be.

    nothing important happens in spanish. the counter intuitive result of a million high school teachers encouraging you to learn spanish. learn spanish to talk to who?

    counter, counter intuitive result – historical chinese writings probably also contain almost nothing of value. the chinese had nothing valuable to say, until very recently. in 2020, the hardest language to learn, where anything important happens. but how much does machine language translation reduce this barrier.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  4. notanon says:

    centuries of Christianity has led people to think altruism means selfless whereas biologically it’s enlightened selfishness so the idea of costly signalling makes a lot of sense.

    not sure it would apply to taboo subjects though.

  5. @prime noticer

    counter, counter intuitive result – historical chinese writings probably also contain almost nothing of value. the chinese had nothing valuable to say, until very recently

    This is much more suggestive instead that you have nothing valuable to say.

  6. Did the authors consider the possibility that intelligent people might be better at pretending to be intelligent even when they aren’t being so intelligent?

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - If you are new to my work, *start here*. If you liked this post, and want me to produce more such content, consider *donating*.

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Anatoly Karlin Comments via RSS