IQ And Income: Are Smart People More Wealthy?

Smart people are not that much more wealthy, but people with high IQs do have higher incomes.

Smart people are not that much more wealthy, but people with high IQs do have higher incomes.

Being smart has almost no relationship to wealth, research reveals.

People with high IQs are no more wealthy than those who are considerably less smart, on average, a study has found.

Perversely, very clever people are actually at a slightly higher risk of financial problems.

Dr Jay Zagorsky, the study’s author, said:

“People don’t become rich just because they are smart.

Your IQ has really no relationship to your wealth.

And being very smart does not protect you from getting into financial difficulty.”

This may explain why there are so many rich people with low IQ and poor people who are highly intelligent.

High IQ = higher income

The slight wrinkle is that people with higher IQs do tend to have a higher income.

As Dr Zagorsky explains, though, that income is different from wealth:

“Financial success for most people means more than just income.

You need to build up wealth to help buffer life’s storms and to prepare for retirement.

You also shouldn’t have to worry about being close to or beyond your financial limits.”

Research on IQ and income and wealth

The conclusions come from 7,403 people in the US who were tracked for almost 40 years in a nationally representative survey.

It found that the income difference between someone of average intelligence and someone in the top 2 percent is only around $12,000 a year.

However, people of average intelligence had similar amounts of wealth as the more intelligent.

So, how come intelligent people earn more, but are not more wealthy?

This study can’t tell us, but it might be that high-IQ people are not saving as much.

Dr Zagorsky said:

“Just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you don’t get into trouble.

Among the smartest people, those with IQ scores above 125, even 6 percent of them have maxed out their credit cards and 11 percent occasionally miss payments.

Professors tend to be very smart people, but if you look at university parking lots, you don’t see a lot of Rolls Royces, Porsches or other very expensive cars.

Instead you see a lot of old, low-value vehicles.”

This might also suggest that professors — and other intelligent people — have different values and aspirations in life.

Dr Zagorsky concluded:

“Intelligence is not a factor for explaining wealth.

Those with low intelligence should not believe they are handicapped, and those with high intelligence should not believe they have an advantage.”

The study was published in the journal Intelligence (Zagorsky, 2007).

How Smart People’s Brains Work: They Are Different

Smart people’s brains are not just bigger, they are also different. Here’s how.

Smart people’s brains are not just bigger, they are also different. Here’s how.

People with bigger heads are, on average, more intelligent, research confirms.

Bigger heads contain bigger brains, which have more neurons (brain cells), which make people smarter.

However, the latest neuroscience research suggests there’s a twist.

When you ‘listen’ electrically to the brain running, the more intelligent ones make less ‘noise’.

It’s like a larger, more powerful engine somehow running quieter.

Smart people’s brain are different

It turns out that on top of having larger brains, more intelligent people have fewer connections between neurons in the cerebral cortex, research finds.

The reason is that the brains of intelligent people are more efficient — this is known to psychologists as the ‘neural efficiency hypothesis of intelligence’.

The conclusion comes from a neuroimaging study that looked at the brain’s microstructure.

Analysis of the brains of 259 people measured the number of dendrites in their brains.

Dendrites are extensions of brain cells that reach out towards other brain cells, enabling them to communicate with each other.

IQ tests showed that people with fewer dendrites were more intelligent.

Smart people’s brain are more efficient

It is more than just size that matters, it is how efficiently your brain cells communicate.

With fewer dendritic connections there is less ‘noise’ in the brain and the signal is purer.

Fewer dendrites also consume less energy — hence, a more efficient brain.

Here is the author’s schematic depiction (from Genç et al., 2018):

Dr Erhan Genç, who led the study, said:

“The assumption has been that larger brains contain more neurons and, consequently, possess more computational power.

However, other studies had shown that — despite their comparatively high number of neurons — the brains of intelligent people demonstrated less neuronal activity during an IQ test than the brains of less intelligent individuals.

Intelligent brains possess lean, yet efficient neuronal connections.

Thus, they boast high mental performance at low neuronal activity.”

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications (Genç et al., 2018).

Revealed: The Surprising Benefits of Higher Intelligence

The results come from a genetic genetic analysis of over half-a-million people.

The results come from a genetic genetic analysis of over half-a-million people.

Enjoying good mental health is a sign of higher intelligence, a recent genetic analysis of over half-a-million people finds.

People who are intelligent are 30 percent less likely to suffer from depression.

The findings come from a study probing the connection between intelligence and genetics.

The researchers also found that smarter people are likely to live longer and are at a lower risk of cancer.

Indeed, higher intelligence and health go together.

More intelligent people even have faster reaction times.

The results come from a study utilising a genetic analysis of 630,555 people of all ages.

The results showed that cognitive ability was linked to 148 different locations along the genome.

Dr Gail Davies, the study’s first author, said:

“This study, the largest genetic study of cognitive function, has identified many genetic differences that contribute to the heritability of thinking skills.

The discovery of shared genetic effects on health outcomes and brain structure provides a foundation for exploring the mechanisms by which these differences influence thinking skills throughout a lifetime.”

One disadvantage of intelligence, though, is that people with high IQs are 30 percent more likely to be short-sighted.

Pinning down the connections between intelligence and genes has been difficult, explained Professor Ian Deary, who led the study:

“Less than a decade ago we were searching for genes related to intelligence with about 3,000 participants, and we found almost nothing.

Now with 100 times that number of participants, and with more than 200 scientists working together, we have discovered almost 150 genetic regions that are related to how clever people are.

One thing we know from these results is that good thinking skills are a part of good health overall.”

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications (Davies et al., 2018).

The Connection Between Openness and IQ: Discover The Secret To High IQ

One personality trait is linked to higher intelligence above all others.

One personality trait is linked to higher intelligence above all others.

Being open to experience is the personality trait most strongly linked to high IQ.

People who are open to experience show a special interest in things that are unconventional, new and complex.

Openness to experience is one of the five major aspects of personality, along with conscientiousness, neuroticism, extraversion and agreeableness.

Recent research has shown that certain sub-components of openness have strong links to high IQ:

  1. Appreciating beauty,
  2. having an active fantasy life,
  3. being emotionally sensitive,
  4. and wide-ranging curiosity

Strongest of these is curiosity: people who are highly curious are likely to have high IQs.

Curiosity is strongly linked to IQ because higher intelligence drives ‘cognitive hunger’.

Cognitive hunger makes people seek out new experiences.

The conclusions come from a study of 17,415 people in the UK who were given personality and IQ tests and followed up over four decades.

The study’s authors explain their results:

“…childhood intelligence is indeed positively associated with adult trait Openness, even when it was assessed almost four decades earlier when participants were at 11 years.

Intelligence may influence the development of personality in that intelligent people develop habits to satisfy their curiosity and ‘‘cognitive hunger’’ which are an essential ingredient of Openness.”

It is a higher IQ that drives a greater level of openness to experience, the authors write:

“Parents of higher socioeconomic status may foster children’s trait Openness by providing better resources such as choosing good schools and cultural environment (theaters, museums, traveling abroad, etc.); intelligent children tend to use more mental activities (such as abstract ideas, learning new
vocabularies, or math formulas) than those who are less intelligent; school settings (quality of teaching, good facilities) may enhance pupils to engage more in school learning.

All these three factors may influence educational and
occupational achievement, which in turn, may increase
the scores on Openness.”

The study was published in the Journal of Individual Differences (Furnham & Cheng, 2016).

A Fascinating Sign Of A High IQ Brain

The brains of highly intelligent individuals are better at staying focused, the research suggests.

The brains of highly intelligent individuals are better at staying focused, the research suggests.

People with higher IQs have more stable interactions between regions of their brain, a study finds.

The finding contributes to the scientific debate on what makes some people more intelligent than others.

Some say that high IQ brains are more efficient, others that it is superior connections between brain regions that generate higher cognitive abilities.

This study suggests a more subtle answer: that it is stability in processing that produces the best neural results.

Higher intelligence is linked to states of high integration in the brain: when different areas are working well together.

It is as though the brains of people with higher intelligence are able to coordinate the different regions more efficiently.

Dr Kirsten Hilger, the study’s first author, said:

“The study of the temporal dynamics of human brain networks using fMRI is a relatively new field of research.

The temporally more stable network organisation in more intelligent individuals could be a protective mechanism of the brain against falling into maladaptive network states in which major networks disconnect and communication may be hampered.”

The study included 281 people who were given brain scans and IQ tests.

Researchers analysed the brain scans for how integrated they were over time.

The brain has a modular structure: one area is devoted to vision, another to the emotions, still another to making decisions and so on.

However, what this study found was that integration between the modules was linked to higher IQ.

The researchers found that this integration was most marked in regions of the brain that are important for attention.

Dr Hilger said:

“At present, we do not know whether the temporally more stable brain connections are a source or a consequence of higher intelligence.

However, our results suggest that processes of controlled attention – that is, the ability to stay focused and to concentrate on a task – may play an important role for general intelligence.”

The study was published in the journal Human Brain Mapping (Hilger et al., 2019).

The Funniest Sign Of High IQ

Highly intelligent people are attracted to one type of comedy.

Highly intelligent people are attracted to one type of comedy.

Liking dark humour is a sign of higher intelligence, research finds.

Surprisingly, though, people who like dark humour feel the least aggressive towards others.

In other words, it is not aggressive people who like sick jokes.

People who like dark humour tend to better educated and with higher verbal and nonverbal intelligence.

The study also found that people who prefer more twisted jokes are also likely to be higher in emotional stability,

Dark humour, the study’s authors write, is

“…a kind of humour that treats sinister subjects like death, disease, deformity, handicap or warfare with bitter amusement and presents such tragic, distressing or morbid topics in humorous terms.

Black humour, often called grotesque, morbid, gallows or sick humour, is used to express the absurdity, insensitivity, paradox and cruelty of the modern world.

Characters or situations are usually exaggerated far beyond the limits of normal satire or irony, potentially requiring increased cognitive efforts to get the joke.”

For the study, people were asked to rate cartoons by a German humorist called Uli Stein.

For example, one cartoon has a confused man holding a telephone with the voice on the other end of the line saying:

“Here is the answering machine of the self-help association for Alzheimer patients.

If you still remember your topic, please speak after the tone.”

The study’s results revealed that people with higher intelligence were more likely to appreciate jokes like this.

Dark humour, it seems, is more difficult to enjoy without higher intelligence.

The authors write:

“These results support the hypothesis that humour processing involves cognitive as well as affective components and suggest that these variables influence the execution of frame-shifting and conceptual blending in the course of humour processing.”

The study was published in the journal Cognitive Processing (Willinger et al., 2017).

Human Intelligence Arises From Efficiency Of The Whole Brain Rather Than A Specific Area (M)

There is no specific area of the brain that ‘masterminds’ our intelligence, research finds.

There is no specific area of the brain that 'masterminds' our intelligence, research finds.

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The Funny Sign That Your IQ Is High

Both men and women are more attracted to a person with this quality.

Both men and women are more attracted to a person with this quality.

Being funny is a sign of a higher IQ, research finds.

Funny people have higher levels of general and verbal intelligence.

Not only that, but being funny is also linked to having more dating success.

Both men and women are more attracted to a person who is funnier.

However, women are more discerning about humour and react to it more strongly.

Men, meanwhile, tend to be focused on producing jokes (often to impress women).

The study’s authors write:

“Humor is not just a reliable intelligence-indicator; it may be one of the most important traits for humans seeking mates.

Of course, mate attraction is not the only function of humor.

Humor can also be used in competing for status with same-sex rivals, reducing social tensions, and other adaptive functions.”

The study involved 400 young people who were given intelligence tests and asked about their dating history.

They were then handed New Yorker cartoons with the caption deleted and asked to come up with their own.

The results showed that, unsurprisingly, verbal intelligence was strongly related to being funny.

However, people found it hard to come up with anything really good, with most captions rated as not funny at all.

This shows how difficult jokes are — especially in the medium of New Yorker captions.

Other studies, though, have also found links between intelligence and humour.

In this study, men were especially focused on trying to write funny captions and theirs were rated more highly, the authors write:

“Men were funnier than women on average and produced a larger number of captions, consistent with the sexual signaling hypothesis in which men try (unconsciously) to signal their mate quality through their humor ability, and women are more responsive to and discriminating about humor.”

The study was published in the journal Intelligence (Greengross & Miller, 2011).

Discovering The IQ Boosting Power Of This Personality Trait

The trait is particularly important for general knowledge because it makes people more curious and motivates them to learn new things.

The trait is particularly important for general knowledge because it makes people more curious and motivates them to learn new things.

People who are open to new experiences tend to be more intelligent, psychological research finds.

Being open to experience means taking an interest in things that are new, complex and even unconventional.

They are often drawn to novel and complex ideas, and are willing to consider different perspectives.

They tend to be less bound by tradition and more accepting of change.

In contrast, people who are low in openness to experience tend to be more conventional, prefer familiar experiences, and are more resistant to change.

Cognitive hunger

Openness to experience is particularly important for general knowledge because it makes people more curious and motivates them to learn new things.

Openness to experience is one of the five major aspects of personality, which also includes neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

Being open, imaginative and sensitive to emotions, though, has the strongest link to a higher IQ.

The reason may be that being intelligent makes people more curious about the world.

This ‘cognitive hunger’ drives people to discover more about the world around them.

Cognitive hunger can be described as a “hunger” for mental stimulation, the drive to learn and understand new things, and the need to be mentally engaged.

This drive to learn and understand can manifest in a variety of ways, including reading, traveling, taking classes, and engaging in other activities that provide intellectual stimulation.

Being able to appreciate beauty and being curious are very strongly linked to a higher IQ.

Personality and IQ tests

The conclusions come from a study of around 500 people who completed personality and IQ tests.

The results showed that the strongest associations were seen between openness to experience and crystallised intelligence.

Openness has a number of facets of its own, the study’s authors explain:

“The Openness to Experience construct involves the tendency to fantasize (Fantasy), aesthetic sensitivity (Aesthetics), awareness of one’s emotions (Feelings), preference for novelty (Actions), intellectual curiosity (Ideas), and preference for nontraditional values (Values).”

Crystallised intelligence roughly equates to general knowledge: knowing many things about the world.

More intelligent people were particularly appreciative of beauty: they had a strong aesthetic sense.

They were also likely to be intellectually curious and to have an interest in ideas for their own sake.

These two facets of openness were most strongly linked to higher crystallised intelligence.

The study was published in the Journal of Research in Personality (Ashton et al., 2000).

A Fascinating Sign Of High IQ

People with high intelligence tend to have this quality.

People with high intelligence tend to have this quality.

Being nice is a sign that your IQ is high, research reveals.

Highly intelligent people are better at cooperating and are more generous to others.

Smart people are almost three times as generous as those with lower cognitive abilities, the study found.

The reason may be that smarter people are more patient — a quality that is critical for cooperation.

More patience allows people to step back from the situation and exert self-control.

The study involved hundreds of people given a test of a type of intelligence call ‘cognitive reflection’.

This measures people’s ability to override a quick, obvious response that turns out to be wrong in order to get the right answer.

Here are two of the tests of cognitive reflection used in the study:

  • If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long will it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
  • In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?

The answers are at the bottom of the article.

Clever people are more patient at searching out the real answer, it emerges.

Subsequently, people who did better in this test were also up to three times more generous in a game that tested people’s generosity.

The reason could be that people with intelligence have more patience, the study’s author, Dr Lohse writes:

“Subjects with higher cognitive abilities have been shown to be more patient and to be able to exert higher levels of self-control.


Martinsson et al. (2014) demonstrate that subjects with higher self-control capabilities cooperate more.

Similarly, Fehr and Leibbrandt (2011) show that more patient subjects in the lab cooperate more in the field.”

The answers are…

The answers are 5 minutes to the first problem and 47 days to the second.

If you didn’t get this, remember the test is designed to make you think a little longer and harder.

The study was published in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (Lohse, 2016).