Monday, December 22, 2008

Sometimes, the smarter ones aren't that smart.

You know, in some ways, this explains a lot.

A new study from the American Journal of Public Health reveals that kids with higher IQs tend to drink more when they get older. The association is particularly true for smart women. The likelihood of developing a drinking problem if one were well above average intelligence increased 1.38 times in women and 1.17 times in men.

Now, to be fair, the kids who were just a bit above normal didn't have this problem. It's only the real geniuses that were prone to drinking. So if your kid's just a little smarter than everyone else, that's cool.

But if your little one is a total genius, beware.

When you think about it, isn't this just reconfirming what we already know about super-geniuses? We - I mean they - are a bit nutty to begin with, not to mention likely to end up on the outskirts socially. No wonder they might turn to alcohol to deal or in some vain attempt to be the 'cool kid' at a party.

Or, they just might need more of a break from their intellectual pursuits. In my college days, the number of tough-major sponsored functions with ridiculous amounts of alcohol was staggering, especially considering we all had the 8 am organic chem classes. Some of the smartest people I know definitely overdid the party mentality... Perhaps the constant high-level courses and intellectual load makes the mentally exceptional want even more release than their normal peers.

I wonder, though, if there might not be some sort of genetic cause behind both. I don't know how you might test that, but I wonder if higher IQ, for example, might be a function of a certain levels of chemical "imbalances" that might also lead to other behaviors, like partying. It would just be interesting to see if the effect found is socially induced, like trying to 'fit in', or, for the lack of a better word, genetic.

Either way, it totally makes sense. Who's up for a beer?


Cunning_Linguist said...

This totally explains the 3 gallons of prison style hooch I drink daily. I'd spring for the good stuff but I have that whole brilliant but poor thing going on. :P

Freidenker said...

I think there might be a causative link between a desire for excitement and achievement and substance abuse in general, and that smarter people use alcohol instead of strong narcotics simply because they know it'd fuck them up entirely.

If a person has a genetic propensity towards excitement and achievement, then alcohol will feed this desire just as much as getting super grades and doing super well academically and professionally will.