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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Smart kids drink more, studies say

Drinky drinky!
  • Drinky drinky!

According to researchers, children with higher intelligence levels are more likely to drink to get drunk and engage in binge drinking as adults.

Both the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), and the National Childhood Development Study from the United Kingdom define high intelligence as a childhood IQ of 125 and above, and both studies came to the same conclusion: smarter kids grew up to drink more.

Psychology Today notes that since variables like income and gender were controlled, higher socioeconomic status did not influence the findings. Instead, they propose that it's an evolutionary matter.

Because modern consumption of alcohol is "evolutionarily novel," or a relatively new invention in human history (beer arrived with the advent of agriculture around 8000 BC), the Hypothesis predicts, "that more intelligent individuals may be more likely to prefer drinking modern alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and distilled spirits) than less intelligent individuals, because the substance and the method of consumption are both evolutionarily novel."

Okay. Another theory cited by Gigabiting.com suggests that people of higher intelligence find the mind-altering effects of alcohol more pleasurable because they are "equipped to process a broader range of stimuli and novelty than are the brains of the less intelligent."

The Journal of Advanced Academics posits that intelligent adolescents are more prone to depression due to feelings of social isolation, and are therefore more prone to self-medicating with alcohol.

It's pretty interesting that higher intelligence leads to the pursuit of an evolutionarily destructive behavior rather than a predisposition to make healthy, lifestyle choices. Silly humans. I guess we need to amend the saying accordingly. Now it's, "Work hard, Think hard, Play hard." Cheers!

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