Intelligence and Alcohol Consumption


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While the consumption of alcohol, particularly on a daily basis, has not been linked to any cognitive performance benefits, there exists a compelling amount of data on the correlations between alcohol use and a handful of positive variables. These correlations surprisingly begin far before a person's first drink, as suggested by a Finnish study which observed 3,000 twins and found that the sibling who could speak, read, and express language first was often the first sibling to drink alcohol and to drink more throughout life. Improved speaking, reading, and writing performance is also correlated with higher alcohol consumption for middle school, high school, and college students.

The link between intelligence and alcohol consumption could be explained by higher stimulation-seeking tendencies. Under this theory, children that desire additional stimulation seek it through speaking, reading, and writing, and that same stimulation-seeking tendency leads adolescences to drink more and to start at an earlier age.

Psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa has delved deeper into this topic and has concluded that intelligence is only second to gender in the most influential variables in determining not only alcohol consumption, but also all illicit drug consumption as well. Each person's usage of drugs begins with trying them for the first time. It is certainly plausible that intelligence increases self-confidence and the courage to try new things, which leads to adolescents beginning to drink at a younger age.

Another factor that may influence the correlation between intelligence and alcohol consumption is the social culture of college, which encourages binge alcohol drinking. Factors such as social and peer influence are difficult to quantify but may significantly emphasize the correlation between intelligence and alcohol consumption.


http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115802/intelligence-and-drinking-studies-say-theres-correlation

3 Comments

i think that this article is really interesting. I wonder if it is possible that reverse causation caused these results. It would be interesting to conduct a full experiment on this topic. As for what I think, I think that it makes sense. According to Science Daily, high childhood IQ is linked not only to alcohol consumption, but also the use of illicit drugs. To think that our intelligence is directly linked to our alcohol consumption raises a couple of questions for me. I wonder what the actual underlying reason for this is. If we could harness that information, we could start knowing which people are more susceptible to drug and alcohol use in the long term.

This is an intriguing topic to write about. We've learned our whole life how alcohol isn't healthy for you and can effect you negatively. For it to be directly related to our IQ or school performance can make sense. There should be a study done to test this in a controlled environment and it'd be interesting to see the direct results.

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