Taller people are more intelligent, research finds.
The reason is that the genes that are correlated with height are also correlated with intelligence.
The conclusion comes from a study of the DNA of 6,815 people.
Of course, there are still people who are short and intelligent, plus those who are tall and dim.
But, on average, there is a small association between being taller and having higher intelligence.
Around 70% of the genetic differences in IQ and height come down to genetic factors, the rest was environmental.
Multiple studies over the last 50 years have found links between greater height and higher intelligence.
The explanation for the phenomenon could be that tall, intelligent people tend to look for other tall, intelligent people to mate with.
Dr Matthew Keller, who has conducted a twin study on the phenomenon, says:
“It does look like there are genes that influence both height and IQ.
At the same time, it also looks like people who are taller are slightly more likely to choose mates who are smarter and vice versa.
Such mate choice causes ‘IQ genes’ and ‘tall genes’ to become statistically associated with one another.
There are a lot of exceptions, but there’s a statistical relationship that does happen more than would be expected by chance.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do