Yes. Next Question.

Liz Day over at Discovery asks, “Do intelligent people drink more?”:

Childhood intelligence, measured before the age of 16, was categorized in five cognitive classes, ranging from “very dull,” “dull,” “normal,” “bright” and “very bright.”

The Americans were revisited seven years later. The British youths, on the other hand, were followed in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Researchers measured their drinking habits as the participants became older.

More intelligent children in both studies grew up to drink alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than less intelligent children. In the Brits’ case, “very bright” children grew up to consume nearly eight-tenths of a standard deviation more alcohol than their “very dull” cohorts.

Researchers controlled for demographic variables — such as marital status, parents’ education, earnings, childhood social class and more — that may have also affected adult drinking. Still, the findings held true: Smarter kids were drinking more as adults.

Intelligent readers are invited to leave their own hypotheses as to why this may be so in comments, if they’re able to type coherently.

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3 Responses to Yes. Next Question.

  1. sfw says:

    “Still, the findings held true: Smarter kids were drinking more as adults.”
    Too vague, do they mean they drink more higher strength drinks, more alcohol over shorter or longer periods? Nearly everyone one I know drinks yet there are marked differences in the way and what they drink. Perhaps smarter people drink more over a given period but are less prone to binge drinking or maybe they can hold their liquor better. Just asking who drinks more is inadequate. Better designed studies next time please.

  2. Hoddle Boulevard says:

    I have noticed at parties that smokers are more interesting people than non smokers.

  3. Dr Duck says:

    Razib over at GNXP confirms this with an analysis of the US General Social Survey:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/05/people-of-class-drink-alcohol/

    Comments are interesting, best one re the arrow of causality:

    12. punk Says:
    May 2nd, 2010 at 4:43 pm
    Of course intelligent people would drink more. Too much knowledge of how the world and life in general works isn’t exactly a good thing…

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