Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Intelligence Leads to More Drinking?

Here is a poser. Two recent studies found that "more intelligent children in both studies grew up to drink alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than less intelligent children."

I don't know why this would so, and am surprised at the result.

My best guess about why: intelligence does not reduce social awkwardness, and in confirmed nerds may increase it. Many people say they drink as a "social lubricant." Perhaps intelligent people need more social lubrication than others.

Just a guess, though. Puzzling.


Benjamin said...

I'd be interested to see it broken down by beer vs. wine/etc. and also a measure of inebriation/drunkeness and not simple quantity. I wonder if there's a relationship between intelligence and beverage choice and also how often they get plastered. Maybe smarter kids drink more, but it's more wine and a little bit every day instead of getting drunk on cheaper beer once or twice a week?

Rachel Skaggs said...

Another piece of it may be the education/religiosity breakdown. I would think that more uneducated people are against alcohol on principle.

Jonathan said...

Alternately, intelligent people may be more likely to attend college or to have disposable income, both of which probably tend to allow for more drinking. Interesting!

ceemac said...

Not surprised. Ask your Centre students who are grads of prep/boarding schools what the alcohol consumption was among their peers.

Peter Smith said...

My own research indicates that more drinking leads people to think they're more intelligent.