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​Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol, Research Says

​Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol, Research Says

Research has found a clear association between childhood intelligence and the amount of alcohol consumed later in life. Score.

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

Good news, pissheads! Research has found that intelligent people drink more alcohol - which means that some of us must surely be practically the same as Einstein IQ-wise. Sounds legit, right?

Data from the National Child Development Study (NCDS) in the UK found that there is a clear association between childhood intelligence and the amount of alcohol consumed when people are in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

Children under 16 were marked on a cognitive scale from 'very bright' to 'very dull' (yeah, bit harsh), with the former children possessing an IQ of over 125, and the latter with an IQ of under 75.

The study found that 'very bright' British kids grow up to consume alcohol almost one full standard deviation more frequently than their 'very dull' classmates. 'Very dull' respondents 'almost never get drunk, while the 'very bright' respondents 'get drunk once every month or so', the study says.


But why's the link there? Well, Psychology Today reckons it's because drinking is 'evolutionarily novel' - as in, there was a time when we didn't get fucked up, but now we do.

According to Psychology Today, human consumption of alcohol was 'unintentional, accidental, and haphazard' until about 10,000 years ago.

"The intentional fermentation of fruits and grain to yield ethanol arose only recently in human history," writer Satoshi Kanazawa says on the site.

And, the even better news is that it appears to be the intelligence itself - rather than the correlates of intelligence - that makes them drink more. Apparently the link isn't because the more intelligent people occupy higher-paying, more important jobs that requite them to socialise and get pissed with business associates ('networking', in biz jargon) but, yes, the actual intelligence. Because drinking is a smart move.

Credit: The Hangover / Warner Bros

And that's not the only bit of science you can throw at the haters - Finnish researchers also came to a similar conclusion in 2013, after gathering data on 3,000 fraternal and identical twins and finding that the first to develop verbal ability also tended to be both the first to try alcohol and to drink more heavily throughout adolescence.

"Good language skills reduce the likelihood of peer rejection [...] higher social activity predicts more frequent drinking in adolescence," write the authors.

Finally, something to use a comeback when your parents roll their eyes at you as you reach for your 10th tinny from the fridge. It's science. So crack another beer open and bask in your sheer intelligence, you clever little pisshead.

Featured Image Credit: The Great Gatsby / Warner Bros

Topics: Study, World News, News, Research, Alcohol, Drinking