Are Taller People Smarter? How Height Signals IQ

Are taller people really smarter or is IQ unrelated to height?

Are taller people really smarter or is IQ unrelated to height?

Smarter people are indeed 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 percent of the genetic differences in IQ and height come down to genetic factors, the rest was environmental.

Why taller people are smarter

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.”

The studies were published in the journals Behaviour Genetics and PLoS Genetics (Marioni et al., 2014Keller et al., 2013).

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This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.

It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.

I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.

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Author: Jeremy Dean

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.