Smart people are drunks

Posted in Laughs
Sun, Oct 26 - 11:58 pm EDT | 5 years ago by
Comments: 17
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According to a study by Dr. G. David Batty, from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and colleagues report in the American Journal of Public Health.

Batty’s team examined the associations between IQ scores obtained when 8,170 boys and girls were 10 years old and their alcohol intake and any problems when they were 30 years old.

Of the 3,895 men and 4,148 women who reported drinking alcohol as adults, those with higher average scores on childhood mental ability tests were also more likely to have indications of alcohol problems in adulthood. (Image courtesy: Lacey & Cielle, under Creative Commons)

The association between higher mental ability in childhood and adulthood problem drinking became stronger among women than among men after allowing for socioeconomic factors such as social class during both childhood and adulthood.

Specifically, for every 15-point increase in childhood mental ability score, the likelihood of drinking problems increased 1.38 times for women, and 1.17 times for men. [source]

The researchers were rather surprised by the results, which makes me wonder if they’re being just a little stereotypically biased.  Because, as we all know, smart people don’t ever end up with any kind of substance issue. (scoff) (hat tip to Duane Storey for pointing the story out and coining the witty title)

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  • Duane Storey

    Hey, thanks for the props! It was a great article.

  • Raul

    The thing is – there are SO many stereotypes about smart people, it’s nice to see one more of them shattered! :)

    Gotta love academia!

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  • Mathew Ballard

    Very interesting. Too bad I never took an IQ test when I was a kid.

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  • Gene O

    I have been an alcoholic/drug addict in recovery for 19 years.

    I have noticed that the majority of people in recovery are above normal intelligence.

    But as everyone knows, the more one drinks, the smarter they get!!!!

  • John

    Look at the article on drinking in this week’s New York Magazine. College culture plays a large role in shaping how a person uses alcohol and drugs later in life. If people with higher IQs are more likely to attend college, and grad school etc., then they are also more likely to have a problematic relationship with alcohol and drugs.

  • Paula

    Well, it’s hard having all those thoughts spinning around your head all the time, we need some booze to calm the senses, quite simple really.

  • zach

    this is probably because the smarter you get the fewer people you can enjoy talking to. Assuming a maximum of a 15 point band of IQ difference between conversing interested parties, a person with an IQ of 150 would have at most a 1 in a 572.7 chance of being able to have an interesting conversation with a randomly selected person. Working at an intelligent company will drastically reduce those odds, but not everyone does. So as far as drinking is concerned, by (temporarily) reducing IQ it can increase the odds of having fun at a party. Assuming a 10 point drop, our 150 IQ man would find his odds jump to 1 in 151.5 odds. Similar trends would occur through out the above average IQ range.

  • diskgrinder

    What? No, I did do it. Last night I swear. No I didn’t say that. That was someone else. Oh. I did say that? I don’t remember. Have you got any aspirin – Neils Bohr

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  • Gene O

    Going further to the comment by Zach…

    When an above average person grows up surrounded by knuckle draggers, parents, siblings, public fool system class mates etc, they are ostracized, picked on, bullied, made fun of & laughed at to the point that, when they get to their teens, alcohol & drug abuse are godsends to kill the pain they have experienced and to “dumb down” to “fit in”.

  • Comedy Blog

    I’m so smart I’m drinking right now.

  • Amy Tucker

    This doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Look at Hemingway-a notorious drunk and a literary genius. Jack London, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Poe were also known to drink more than their fair share of the Fire Water.

    Genius is a hard thing to live with and sometimes drinking takes off the edge and equalizes the situation. :)

  • trina

    This is so true! It’s feels snobby to admit, but there’s a lot of loneliness that comes along with the accumulation of knowledge, not to mention the acuity gained by many many years in school that makes it impossible to NOT see through pretty much everything that brings normal people great joy.