Monday, December 26, 2016

IQ, Creativity, and economic adaptability

From Heritability of Working in a Creative Profession by Mark Patrick Roeling, Gonneke Willemsen, and Dorret I. Boomsma. From the abstract:
Creativity is the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities. Following a study on the genetic contribution to working in a creative profession, based on polygenic score analysis, we report the total heritability of this trait in a large sample of adult twins and their siblings registered with the Netherlands Twin Register. Data from 6755 twins and 1817 siblings were analyzed using genetic structural equation modeling. Working in a creative profession is relatively rare in our sample (2.6% of twins and 3.2% of siblings). Twin correlations (identical 0.68 and fraternal 0.40) commended a model with additive genetic factors (full model estimate 0.56), shared (full model estimate 0.12), and unique environmental factors (full model estimate 0.32). Genetic model fitting resulted in a best-fitting model existing of additive genetic factors and unique environmental factors, resulting in a heritability of 0.70.
I question whether the resulting sample size is sufficient to support the conclusion but accept that creativity, like many other traits, might be highly heritable.

We know that more and more work is being disrupted by artificial intelligence and robotics and that those areas of the workforce best positioned for continued success are jobs which are cognitively intense and non-routine in nature. The latter aspect being closely related to creativity.

The upshot is that the two attributes known to be most closely related to future success (in terms of the labor force) are IQ and creativity and both those attributes are highly heritable. Combine that with high levels of assortative mating and you have a sci-fi foundation for a heritable elite.

Of course knowledge is contingent and reality has a lot of other variables in play which are often more important than we recognize.

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