Intelligent people tend to be better behaved and less aggressive, research reveals.
Both boys and girls with higher IQs are less likely to be antisocial than those with lower IQs.
Boys who are not antisocial generally have IQs around 10 points higher.
Non-antisocial girls have IQs around 5 points higher than their antisocial peers.
High IQ is also linked to lower levels of aggression and drug abuse.
The results come from a group of over 1,000 children in England and Wales.
They were given tests of their IQ and externalising behaviour (aggression, antisocial behaviour etc.).
The study revealed that more intelligent children were less likely to exhibit antisocial behaviour.
The study’s authors write:
“Low IQ is a consistent risk factor for emergence and continuity of antisocial behavior across the life course in both prospective and cross-sectional studies, even when other relevant risk factors are statistically controlled.”
Genetic factors are likely important in the link, as well as situational factors, the authors write:
“…cognitive deficits might promote antisocial behavior if children with low IQs misunderstand rules, find it too difficult to negotiate conflict with words, find school frustrating, or become tracked with antisocial peers.”
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The study was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Koenen et al., 2008).