A Very Popular Drink Is Linked To Lower IQ

The ‘refreshment’ is linked to a slower brain and making more mistakes.

The ‘refreshment’ is linked to a slower brain and making more mistakes.

Drinking higher quantities of alcohol and smoking cigarettes are both linked to a lower IQ, research finds.

People who smoke and drink have a worse memory and poorer problem-solving skills.

Similarly, higher rates of binge drinking are also linked to a lower IQ, a previous study found.

Smoking may be even more damaging to thinking skills than drinking.

High levels of smoking and drinking both lead to a slower brain and making more mistakes.

The reason may be that smoking and drinking damage the blood vessels supplying the brain.

The conclusions come from a study of 172 men, some of whom were alcoholics.

All completed tests of IQ, memory and thinking skills and were followed up over nine years.

The results showed that the more they drank and smoked, the lower their IQ.

Drinkers and smokers also had worse memories and poorer thinking skills.

Dr Jennifer Glass, the study’s first author, said:

“We can’t say that we’ve found a cause-and-effect relationship between smoking and decreased thinking ability, or neurocognitive proficiency.

But we hope our findings of an association will lead to further examination of this important issue.

Perhaps it will help give smokers one more reason to quit, and encourage quitting smoking among those who are also trying to control their drinking.”

Professor Robert Zucker, study co-author, said:

“The exact mechanism for smoking’s impact on the brain’s higher functions is still unclear, but may involve both neurochemical effects and damage to the blood vessels that supply the brain.

This is consistent with other findings that people with cardiovascular disease and lung disease tend to have reduced neurocognitive function.”

The study was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence (Glass et al., 2006).

Top Earners Have Lower IQs Than Those Earning Less

In most Western countries, the top 1 percent of earners make 20 percent of the national income — but are they smarter?

In most Western countries, the top 1 percent of earners make 20 percent of the national income — but are they smarter?

The top 1 percent of earners are a little less intelligent than those earning slightly less than them, research finds.

The finding is an interesting twist on the usual fact that smarter people earn more — which they do at ‘normal’ wage levels.

This study finds, though, that the association plateaus at around one standard deviation above the average.

In other words, when you are in the top 16 percent of people for IQ, you are smart enough to be in the top 1 percent of earners.

Indeed, you probably do not need to be that smart.

Extremely high IQ

The results may come as a surprise as people automatically associate wealth and power with greater ability.

Rich people are paid more for a reason (or so they tell us): because they are smart.

To explore this issue, the researchers used data from 59,000 Swedish army conscripts.

The key was to capture people with very high incomes, explained Dr Marc Keuschnigg, the study’s first author:

“This data trove permits us to test, for the first time, whether extremely high wages are indicative of extreme intelligence.

To do so, we needed reliable income data that covers the entire wage spectrum.

Survey data typically miss top incomes, but the registers offer full income data on all citizens.”

Power and influence

What the results revealed is that for most people, salaries do reflect cognitive abilities.

At ‘normal’ wage levels, smarter people get paid more, on average.

The relationship only broke down at higher levels — in this case, it was an annual wage of €60,000.

Above this level, people paid more were no smarter, indeed they were less smart than those earning a little less than them.

Top earners claim that their wages are justified by their greater talent.

This study begs to differ — at least in so far as intelligence is a useful trait in the highest earning jobs.

Wealth vs income

Compare this study with another finding that being smart has almost no relationship to wealth.

(Remember that wealth is different to income: people can be wealthy through inheritance without ever having had a job.)

That study found that people with high IQs are no more wealthy than those who are considerably less smart, on average.

This paints an even more pessimistic picture about the relationship between IQ and money.

Critics of IQ tests may see this as damning the test; those with more faith in the test might see it as damning any society espousing meritocratic values.

The study was published in the journal European Sociological Review (Keuschnigg et al., 2023).

A Laidback Sign Of High IQ

People with efficient brains tend to have spare capacity.

People with efficient brains tend to have spare capacity.

Daydreaming is a sign of being more creative and having higher intelligence, research suggests.

Those who report more daydreaming have higher intellectual abilities and their brains work more efficiently.

People with efficient brains tend to have spare capacity, so it is natural for the mind to wander.

The conclusions come from a study in which over 100 people stared at a fixed point for five minutes while their brains were scanned.

The aim was to see how the areas of the brain worked together when they were given nothing in particular to do.

The results showed that those with more efficient brains were also smarter and more creative.

Dr Eric Schumacher, study co-author, said:

“People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering.

People tend to think of mind wandering as something that is bad.

You try to pay attention and you can’t.

Our data are consistent with the idea that this isn’t always true.

Some people have more efficient brains.”

One sign of an efficient brain is being able to zone in and out of conversations without missing anything.

Dr Schumacher said:

“Our findings remind me of the absent-minded professor — someone who’s brilliant, but off in his or her own world, sometimes oblivious to their own surroundings.

Or school children who are too intellectually advanced for their classes.

While it may take five minutes for their friends to learn something new, they figure it out in a minute, then check out and start daydreaming.”

Ms Christine A. Godwin, the study’s first author, wants to examine exactly when mind wandering could be useful and when not:

“There are important individual differences to consider as well, such as a person’s motivation or intent to stay focused on a particular task.”

The study was published in the journal Neuropsychologia (Godwin et al., 2017).

The Fascinating Bedtime Sign Of High IQ

When the ‘very brightest’ people tend to go to bed.

When the ‘very brightest’ people tend to go to bed.

People with higher IQs tend to prefer going to bed later at night and getting up later in the morning.

The conclusions come from a study of adolescent bedtimes and their adult IQ.

Researchers found that on a weekday the ‘very bright’ adolescents went to bed at 12:29 am and got up at 7:52 am, on average.

In contrast, the ‘very dull’ went to bed at an average of 11:41 pm and woke up at 7:20 am, on average.

At the weekend, when people have more latitude to follow their own rhythms, the differences were even more obvious.

The study’s authors explain the average times:

‘‘Very dull” individuals on average go to bed at 00:35; ‘‘dull” individuals go to bed at 01:03; ‘‘normal” individuals  go to bed at 01:13; ‘‘bright” individuals go to bed at 01:25; and ‘‘very bright” individuals go to bed at 01:44.”

Bear in mind that all these times are for adolescents, who tend to sleep for longer than adults.

For adults, the equivalent times would probably by earlier as adults tend to have less freedom and they sleep for shorter periods.

Adults who naturally go to bed after 11pm and rise after 8pm would be considered night owls.

The study’s authors explain the link by referencing our evolutionary past.

Tens of thousands of years ago it would have been natural to go to bed earlier and get up earlier.

Going to bed late, though, would have been ‘evolutionary novel’.

In other words, as people have evolved and become more intelligent, they have also tended to stay up later.

Nocturnal activities are a relatively modern invention in evolutionary terms.

Whether or not this explanation is true is highly debatable (see Dutton, 2013), but the link between IQ and sleeping later exists nevertheless.

The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Difference (Kanazawa & Perina, 2009).

What Is Considered A High IQ And Why Does It Matter?

What is considered a high IQ and why does it matter?

What is considered a high IQ and why does it matter?

What is considered a high IQ?

Well, IQ stands for ‘intelligence quotient’ and an IQ test is thought to measure intelligence.

An IQ test — which largely measures someone’s innate intellectual ability — gives an indication of a person’s potential.

People with high IQs have all kinds of advantages in life: they have better educations, better jobs, earn more and even live longer.

The test is set up in such a way that an average score is 100 and it provides a comparison against other people of your age.

What is considered a high IQ?

A score over 130 signals high IQ, with 132 being the cut-off for MENSA, the high IQ society.

Scoring over 130 puts someone in the top 2 percent, meaning that 98 percent score lower.

Over this figure is what is considered a high IQ.

The majority (68 percent) of people score between 85 and 115.

A score of over 145 puts a person in the top 0.2 percent of the population.

Over this figure is what is considered a very high IQ.

IQ scores test people’s ability to recognise patterns, to use logic to solve problems and to make quick connections between ideas.

There is no theoretical upper limit to an IQ score.

Estimates put the IQs of famous physicists Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking at around 160, although their actual scores or whether they ever took a test are not known.

Advantages of high IQ

High IQ is far from a guarantee of success and may even be a barrier to a normal life.

Evidence from various studies suggests that, in terms of attractiveness, leadership and other areas, a high-ish IQ of, say 120 is beneficial but a higher IQ can create problems.

There is some evidence that having a high IQ is linked to mental illness, although some studies have linked high IQ to better mental health.

The way IQ is conceived, it is supposed to be the same throughout life.

However, IQ can be affected by health, nutrition, access to education, environment and culture.

In other words, living well, being curious, exercising and learning can all help people reach their true potential.

People’s cognitive abilities naturally decline with age, and living healthily and keeping the mind active helps to maintain IQ levels.

Learn more about IQ…

→ Find out more about the mysteries of intelligence.

→ Discover 22 signs of intelligence.

→ This is the biggest myth about IQ.

IQ Is A Myth: Intelligence has at least three components.

The frightening changes in human IQ in the last few decades.


An Emotional Sign You Have Very High Intelligence

This upbeat emotion is linked to having higher intelligence.

This upbeat emotion is linked to having higher intelligence.

People who feel happier tend to have a higher IQ, studies find.

In fact, experiencing positive emotions, feeling lively and wide awake all predict higher intelligence.

The idea that more intelligent people tend to be grumpy or unhappy is probably not true, on average.

Part of this link between intelligence and happiness may be down to life circumstances.

More intelligent people tend to be better off, have higher levels of education and consequently have better jobs.

The findings come from a survey of 6,870 people who were given tests of happiness and IQ.

The results showed that people with higher IQs (120-129) were happier than those with lower IQs (70-99).

The average IQ across the whole population is 100.

The study’s authors write:

“In this large nationally representative study, we found that IQ is associated with self-reported happiness, which provides support for our hypothesis.

Levels of happiness were lowest in the lower IQ groups and highest in the higher IQ groups.”

People with higher IQs tend to have better health, the study also found.

Poor health may be linked to low IQ due to lower learning abilities, the study’s authors write:

“One study suggests that people with lower IQ are more
likely to experience health problems because of a reduced
propensity to learn, reason and problem-solve, and because of difficulties in adhering to complex treatments, which often require following detailed instructions, and self-monitoring.”

Another study has shown that stable happiness is also a sign of higher IQ.

People with higher IQs are just as happy at 31-years-old as they are at 51.

More intelligent people experience fewer drops in their happiness over the years.

In contrast, the happiness of people with lower IQs is not just lower overall, but also goes up and down more over the years.

The study was published in the journal Psychological Medicine (Ali et al., 2013).

How To Be Smart And Confident

The psychologists predicted that intellectual humility would be linked to better results on coursework — but this wasn’t the case.

The psychologists predicted that intellectual humility would be linked to better results on coursework — but this wasn’t the case.

People who are confident in their intellectual abilities tend to have a higher IQ, a study finds.

Those who have confidence bordering on arrogance do better in academic tests.

People with higher IQs tend to agree with statements like “I believe my own ideas are superior to others.”

The intellectually arrogant tend to be seen by others as dominating the group and being extraverted.

Intellectually arrogant people tend to be the centre of attention and also score higher marks in tests, the study found.

On the down side, the intellectually arrogant are not liked as well as their peers who are more humble.

Professor Wade C. Rowatt, study co-author, said:

“One possibility is that people who view themselves as intellectually arrogant know what they know and that translates to increases in academic performance.”

The conclusions come from a study of over 100 students.

The authors thought that intellectual humility would be linked to better results on coursework.

However, it was the intellectually arrogant who got the best scores.

Dr Benjamin R. Meagher, the study’s first author, still thinks humility is a vital trait:

“What I think is important about intellectual humility is its necessity for not only science, but for just learning generally — and that applies to the classroom, a work setting, wherever.

Learning something new requires first acknowledging your own ignorance and being willing to make your ignorance known to others.

People clearly differ in terms of their willingness to do something like that, but that willingness to learn, change one’s mind and value the opinion of others is really needed if people and groups are going to develop and grow.”

The study was published in the Journal of Research in Personality (Meagher et al., 2015).

The Emotional Sign That You Have A High IQ

How high intelligence could have a mental cost for some.

How high intelligence could have a mental cost for some.

Disorders of mood could be the price some people pay for high intelligence, research finds.

Psychologists have found that higher childhood IQ is linked to features of bipolar disorder in young adulthood.

The research adds fuel to the debate over the connection between intelligence, creativity and mental health issues.

For the research 1,881 people were followed from age 8 until they were 22 or 23-years-old.

Their IQ was measured along with any characteristics of mood disorders.

The results showed that having ten more IQ points  at age 8 was linked to being in the top ten per cent for having manic personality traits in their early twenties.

Professor Daniel Smith, one of the study’s authors said:

“A possible link between bipolar disorder and intelligence and creativity has been discussed for many years and many studies have suggested a link.

In this large study, we found that better performance on IQ tests at age eight predicted bipolar features in young adulthood.

We are not saying that high childhood IQ is a clear-cut risk factor for bipolar disorder but rather that there is likely to be a shared biology between intelligence and bipolar disorder which needs to be understood more fully.

Many other factors – including family history of mental illness, childhood adversity, stressful life events and drug misuse – are known to increase an individual’s risk of developing bipolar disorder.

Our finding has implications for understanding of how liability to bipolar disorder may have been selected through generations.

One possibility is that serious disorders of mood such as bipolar disorder are the price that human beings have had to pay for more adaptive traits such as intelligence, creativity and verbal proficiency.

This work will inform future genetic studies at the interface of intelligence, creativity and bipolar disorder, and will help with efforts to improve approaches to the earlier detection of bipolar disorder in adolescents and young adults.”

The study was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry (Smith et al., 2015).

The Strong Personality Trait That Indicates High IQ

This character trait is linked to a high IQ.

This character trait is linked to a high IQ.

Being conscientious is linked to having a high IQ, but only among females, a study finds.

People who are conscientious are more careful, efficient and self-disciplined — and they aim for achievement.

Among males, however, those who are more careless and indifferent have higher IQs.

The study of school children also found that introverts who are conscientious get the best grades.

Fear may also be a factor in driving up grades, the Swedish research found, since neurotic pupils got better grades.

Neurotic people tend to worry more, which may motivate them to work harder if their worries are stoked by the system.

Ms Pia Rosander, the study’s first author, said:

“We have a school system in Sweden that favours conscientious and fear-driven pupils.

It is not good for psychological well-being in the long term if fear is a driving force.

It also prevents in-depth learning, which happens best among the open personality types who are driven by curiosity.”

The study included 200 pupils entering secondary school at 16 who were followed for three years.

The results revealed that girls who were eager to please got better grades.

On the other hand, boys were more likely to be curious, but the system tended not to feed their curiosity.

Ms Rosander said:

“Greater conscientiousness, i.e. getting things done, arriving on time, etc. may be a way for boys to compensate for a lower IQ.”

The study also found that introverts get better grades, probably because extraverts have so much to distract them.

Ms Rosander said:

“My studies clearly show that the school system needs to be more individualised.

How else can we support talented pupils with the ‘wrong’ personality type, those we call under-performers, who are capable but lack the ability to plan their school work, for example?”

The study was published in the journal Learning and Individual Differences (Rosander et al., 2011).

These Popular Foods Lower Your IQ

Two-thirds of children report eating this food weekly.

Two-thirds of children report eating this food weekly.

Young people who eat fast food do 20 percent worse on standard tests of math, science and reading, research finds.

Those who eat more fast food at around 10-years-old get worse test scores three years later, the study found.

Two-thirds of young people eat at least some fast food each week.

Dr Kelly Purtell, the study’s first author, said:

“There’s a lot of evidence that fast-food consumption is linked to childhood obesity, but the problems don’t end there.

Relying too much on fast food could hurt how well children do in the classroom.”

The conclusions come from a study of 11,740 adolescents in the US.

More than 50 percent of children reported eating fast food 1-3 times a week.

About 10 percent said they ate it every day and 10 percent ate it every other day.

Less than one-third never ate any fast food.

The researchers controlled for many other factors, including how much TV they watched, the socio-demographic natures of their schools and neighbourhoods and the other foods they ate.

Dr Purtell said:

“We went as far as we could to control for and take into account all the known factors that could be involved in how well children did on these tests.”

This study does not make it clear why fast food consumption is linked to a lower score on standard tests.

However, a lack of essential nutrients such as iron is linked to poorer cognitive development.

High-sugar and high-fat diets are also repeatedly shown to be bad for learning and memory processes.

Dr Purtell said:

“We’re not saying that parents should never feed their children fast food, but these results suggest fast-food consumption should be limited as much as possible.”

The study was published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics (Purtell & Gershoff, 2014).