The future of intelligence research in the coming age of artificial intelligence – With a special consideration of the philosophical movements of trans- and posthumanism

Neubauer, A.C. (2021). The future of intelligence research in the coming age of artificial intelligence – With a special consideration of the philosophical movements of trans- and posthumanism (invited paper for a special issue ‘The future of intelligence research’). Intelligence, 101563

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot topic in society as it seems to extend and challenge human cognitive capacity. Yet, it is surprising that human intelligence research in particular and psychology in general has so far contributed very little to the ongoing debates on AI and the related philosophical movements of trans- and posthumanism. Transhumanism promotes the development of technologies that aim at strongly enhancing human psychological (especially intellectual) capacities, achieved by applying neuroscience methods such as transcranial electric/magnetic stimulation (TES, TMS), brain–computer interfaces (BCIs), deep-brain stimulation (DBS), pharmacological and even nanotechnological methods aimed at brain repair or enhancement of brain plasticity. The goal is to achieve a “post-human future,” in which current problems of human mankind should finally be solved. In this contribution I will (1) describe current neuroscientific and pharmacological methods that aim at enhancing human intelligence and how successful they can currently be considered; (2) outline potential implications of a wider application of cognitive enhancements (viewed from a societal perspective, and from an evolutionary perspective of individual differences); (3) outline commonalities and differences between concepts of human versus artificial intelligence; (4) discuss the promises and perils of an (artificial) “super-intelligence” (sensu Nick Bostrom); and (5) consider how psychology could or should contribute to the development of such a “super-intelligence.” Finally, I will try to answer the question: What are the implications of our knowledge on individual differences in psychological traits (e.g., cognitive and social/emotional traits, values) for the further development of AI?

The Joint Influence of Intelligence and Practice on Skill Development Throughout the Lifespan

Vaci, N., Edelsbrunner, P., Stern, E., Neubauer, A.C., Bilalic, M., & Grabner, R.H. (2019). „The
Joint Influence of Intelligence and Practice on Skill Development Throughout the
Lifespan”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of
America (PNAS), 116(37), 18363-18369.

he relative importance of different factors in the development of human skills has been extensively discussed. Research on expertise indicates that focused practice may be the sole determinant of skill, while intelligence researchers underline the relative importance of abilities at even the highest level of skill. There is indeed a large body of research that acknowledges the role of both factors in skill development and retention. It is, however, unknown how intelligence and practice come together to enable the acquisition and retention of complex skills across the life span. Instead of focusing on the 2 factors, intelligence and practice, in isolation, here we look at their interplay throughout development. In a longitudinal study that tracked chess players throughout their careers, we show that both intelligence and practice positively affect the acquisition and retention of chess skill. Importantly, the nonlinear interaction between the 2 factors revealed that more intelligent individuals benefited more from practice. With the same amount of practice, they acquired chess skill more quickly than less intelligent players, reached a higher peak performance, and arrested decline in older age. Our research demonstrates the futility of scrutinizing the relative importance of highly intertwined factors in human development.

Self- and Other-estimates of Intelligence.

Neubauer, A.C. & Hofer, G. (2020). Self- and Other-estimates of Intelligence. Cambridge
Handbook of Intelligence. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.) Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence
(2nd ed., pp. 1179-1200) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

It is a widely held view that “nobody knows you better than yourself.” However, the low validity of self-estimates of intelligence and other abilities indicated by a considerable body of research does not support this notion. Individuals overestimate themselves and do so particularly for domains in which they perform poorly (the so-called Dunning-Kruger effect). Interestingly, intelligence estimates given by others are equally accurate or sometimes even more accurate than self-estimates. This chapter provides an overview of research on self- and other-estimates of intelligence and potential moderators of their accuracy. It also aims to bring the research lines on self- and other-estimates of intelligence together within the framework of the self-other knowledge asymmetry (SOKA) model proposed by Simine Vazire. The ability to predict for which intelligence subfactors one of the two perspectives might provide more accurate estimates has implications for both research and practical fields like vocational counseling.

Psychometric Properties of the Georgian Versions of the Big Five Questionnaires.

Martskvishvili, K., Sordia, N., Neubauer, A. (2020). Psychometric Properties of the Georgian
Versions of the Big Five Questionnaires. Georgian Psychological Journal, 1, 7-29.

The goal of the study is to examine the psychometric properties of the Georgian versions of the Big
Five Inventory (BFI; John & Strivastava, 1999) and the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI; Gosling,
Rentfrow, & Swann, 2003), the two instruments measuring the Big Five model. 866 individuals participated in the study examining the Georgian version of BFI and 377 individuals in the development of
the Georgian version of TIPI. According to the results, the factor structure of both instruments replicates
the five-factor model observed in other cultures. The reliability coefficients correspond to the minimum
levels recommended for personality questionnaires/inventories. However, these levels turned out to be
lower for TIPI. The instrument validity is proved by their logical correlations with the theoretically
relevant constructs, namely with the Six-Factor model, aversive personality traits, and emotional intelligence. We can conclude that due to the factor structure, expected relationships with other constructs and
statistical significance, the Georgian versions of both instruments measuring the Big Five can be used
for future research.

Interoceptive awareness and self-regulation contribute to pychosomatic competence as measured by a new inventory.

Fazekas, C., Avian, A., Noehrer, R., Matzer, F., Vajda, C., Hannich, H. & Neubauer, A.C. (2020).
„Interoceptive awareness and self-regulation contribute to psychosomatic
competence as measured by a new inventory”. Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00508-020-01670-5

Background: The interrelation of interoception, cognitive appraisal of bodily signals and conscious self-regulatory behavior is insufficiently understood although it may be relevant for health and disease. Therefore, it was intended to develop a novel self-report measure targeting this link. Methods: Item development was theoretically based on the multidimensional conceptual framework of the psychosomatic intelligence hypothesis and included an iterative process of refinement of items. In a preliminary test a principal components analysis (PROMAX rotation) and item analysis were calculated for item reduction. In the field test an item response theory approach was used for development of final scales and items. For validation purposes, associations with established measures of related constructs were analyzed. Results: The final 44-item questionnaire consisted of 6 interrelated scales: (1) interoceptive awareness, (2) mentalization, (3) body-related cognitive congruence, (4) body-related health literacy, (5) general self-regulation, and (6) stress experience and stress regulation. Psychometric properties of this instrument demonstrated good model fit, internal consistency and construct validity. According to the validation, the final instrument measures a form of competence rather than intelligence and was termed the psychosomatic competence inventory. Conclusion: Interoceptive awareness and conscious body-related self-regulation seem to jointly contribute to a basic competence which may serve homeostatic/allostatic control; however, further research is needed to confirm the reported preliminary findings in a large-scale test.

Deutsche Psychologiestudierende in Österreich. Eine Übersicht über Bleibe- versus Heimkehrmotive deutscher Absolvent_innen im Fach Psychologie.

Korunka, C. & Neubauer, A.C. (2020) „Deutsche Psychologiestudierende in Österreich. Eine
Übersicht über Bleibe- versus Heimkehrmotive deutscher Absolvent_innen im Fach
Psychologie. Psychologische Rundschau, 71(4), 353-360.
https://doi.org/10.1026/0033-3042/a000506.

Nahezu die Hälfte der Studierenden an österreichischen psychologischen Instituten kommt aus dem Nachbarland Deutschland. Ein wesentlicher Grund dafür ist die dortige strenge Numerus Clausus-Selektion. Allerdings kehren viele dieser Studierenden nach einem Abschluss wieder in ihr Heimatland zurück, was zur Folge hat, dass Österreich zahlreiche Psycholog_innen für den deutschen Arbeitsmarkt ausbildet und mittelfristig vielleicht sogar ein Mangel an Psycholog_innen zu befürchten ist. Vor diesem Hintergrund untersucht die vorliegende Studie Heimkehr- und Bleibemotive deutscher Studierender in Österreich. 453 Absolvent_innen aus den letzten drei Jahren an vier Universitätsstandorten nahmen an der Studie teil. Die deutschen Studierenden weisen im Vergleich zu ihren Kolleg_innen aus Österreich eine höhere Erfolgsquote beim Aufnahmeverfahren, eine etwas geringere mittlere Studiendauer und einen besseren Gesamtnotenschnitt im Studium auf. Es können vier „Lebensmittelpunktgruppen“ nach Abschluss des Studiums gebildet werden, die sich deutlich in ihren Motiven zur Wahl des Lebensmittelpunkts unterscheiden. Familiäre Bindungen und bessere Karrieremöglichkeiten sind zentrale Motive für die Rückkehr nach Deutschland nach dem Studium, die regionalen Bindungen an Österreich bleiben meist eher gering.