b1n 7 days ago

I really enjoyed scrolling through more than half the article before finding the answer.


Part of it seems to be the lifestyle choices that smarter people tend to make: namely, that they smoke at much lower rates. Similarly, smarter people are more likely to follow other healthy practices, have a better handle on their health care, and be less likely to work in a job that puts them at physical risk.

Socioeconomic status could play a role as well, perhaps allowing people to access better education and care


There are also genetic factors.


  • xorcist 6 days ago

    Phrased in a more useful way: It seems likely that the type of person who tends to act in long term interest including getting an education, following basic health advice and so on, also tends to score higher on IQ tests.

    • legalcorrection 6 days ago

      >also tends to score higher on IQ tests

      And is smarter. Why are people allergic to the idea that some people are smarter than others?

      • gryn 6 days ago

        not allergic just that the word means many things to different people in different contexts, just like the word "thing".

      • jhanschoo 6 days ago

        It is important to distinguish between the kind of intelligence that IQ tests test (primarily quick thinking, pattern recognition, short term memory ability, etc.) from smart in the more general sense which may include being knowledgeable.

        • BizarroLand 4 days ago

          My guess is the pattern recognition section is the real boost here.

          If you are good at pattern recognition, then you may subconsciously realize that people who do X get result Y.

          If you want result Y for yourself, then you may attempt to do X at a greater likelihood than your specific cultural or ethnic background would otherwise suggest.

          Living longer, being richer, happier, healthier, etc. are all things that typically come to fruition for a person based on their activities and the choices they make.

      • 8note 5 days ago

        It's an allergy to equating a higher IQ score with being smarter.

        Being smarter can result in a higher score, but so can practicing multiple choice tests, and being more familiar with the language used by the test. I won't get the same results for a test in English as one in French.

  • DonHopkins 6 days ago
    • walkhour 6 days ago

      > Now that Republicans are voluntarily culling themselves in vastly higher numbers (at 2.73 times and higher death rates in "red" versus "blue" counties) by believing and repeating and acting on Trump's anti-vax anti-mask anti-science anti-education anti-health-care misinformation, there are also strong political factors. But I strongly suspect it's also correlated with lower intelligence, too.

      You need to emphasize more with your fellow citizens instead of just insulting them. Some of them will think that you're a state puppet, that just parrots Fauci's propaganda, a good useful idiot, without any ability whatsoever to think by yourself, do you think it would be a kind interpretation of your position?

      We can have close zero COVID deaths, we just need a ten year lockdown and ride this out. This is not done because there are tradeoffs, do you think maybe the red states were looking for different tradeoffs? Have you attempted to quantify this tradeoffs, it's extremely hard, see [0]. Were you aware that the death rate is not the single relevant datum? Maybe you should stop shouting science and inform yourself better on this topic.

      [0] https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/lockdown-effectiveness...

      • DonHopkins 6 days ago
        • walkhour 6 days ago

          I see you're very upset at republicans, when was the last time you talked to one?

          > But actually it's not that the left wants them to die, it's simply that the left wants them to stop killing innocent people, because we still have empathy on all the intelligent, elderly, immune compromised, heath care workers, and simply unlucky people they're taking down with them as they voluntarily cull themselves.

          You should stop broadcasting your lack of understanding of the situation. Respond to the parts of my previous comment that address this instead of repeating yourself please.

          • tragictrash 6 days ago

            Speaking of some people being smarter than others...

            Republican vs Democrat is a line in the sand drawn to keep you busy being mad at the other side, while the ruling class takes all the money.

            And then on top of it this dude is just repeating shit he heard on TV. It's sad.

radu_floricica 7 days ago

Partly due to better choices. Partly because iq -> better job -> more money -> better options. Partly due to social circles. And partly biological - I don't know if high iq is positively associated with good genes overall, but both bad genes and bad childhood are definitely a cause for both lower iq and shorter life span. Which makes low iq and shorter life span correlated.

  • nils-m-holm 7 days ago

    Anecdatum: I cannot complain about my IQ, have never had any success in our society, have been poor most time of my life, never had many options, have very few friends, and still choose a healthy lifestyle.

    • nikanj 6 days ago

      Statistics and correlations never apply to individuals. The illustration my stats professor used was: ”We all agree that generally women are shorter than men, but Petey is 5’2” and Claire is 6’

      • nils-m-holm 6 days ago

        Not arguing about that! Parent described a mechanism, I provided a counterpoint (and clearly marked it as anecdotal).

    • wruza 7 days ago

      Did you try? Asking because I never did in a similar position.

      • nils-m-holm 6 days ago

        Try to live a different life? Yes, and I found out that my values are utterly incompatible with society's. I have often put honesty (not in a rude way, but in an intellectual way) and the well-being of other people before my own needs, only to find out that this is a loser's strategy.

        • quartesixte 6 days ago

          As the sibling poster said:

          >squash any trace of "but than I won't be the authentic me" excuse.

          This is super important. We, for lack of a better phrase, live in a society. And that means getting along with others in that society even though you might have to put on a false front from time to time. Other people will construct their own image of you that you will find to be inaccurate anyways, no matter how honest you may be.

          The key I learned (for I used to be like you) was to just talk less. Not everything must be said. Preserves my honesty (I didn’t lie, I merely kept quiet). Preserves the peace. And so on.

          • nils-m-holm 6 days ago

            I is indeed very interesting that (at least) two readers conflate "honest" with "rude" even when I noted that this is not what I meant. FWIW, I am a very silent and very careful and empathetic person. The reason I do not fit in is that I these seem to be rare traits. Appreciated, sure, reciprocated, barely.

            • s1artibartfast 6 days ago

              I think a lot of people make this conflation because they live honest lives and haven't experienced your outcome. It is hard to understand why you received such a poor reaction to your honesty. Perhaps luck of the draw and it worked out poorly.

              I think I am pretty damn honest and my experience is that the more honest I am, the better my life becomes.

              This holds true in my work, my relationships, and most importantly with myself

        • radu_floricica 6 days ago

          It's kinda impolite of me to give advice when I know so little but... oh well. It's Saturday and I'm too sleep deprived to do anything but haunt forums.

          My particular solution to your dilemma was to find a better circle of friends. An anime club, of all things, some 20 years ago. The specific hobby doesn't matter, but having compatible people around helped a lot. I'm almost equally uncomfortable in the classic "party" scenario as I was at 18, but in my current lifestyle that happens maybe once a decade. The rest is filled with socializing, my way.

          As for putting honesty and other people before yourself... hehe. That's classic lack of social skills and reading cues. Did that - god, that used to do a number on my dating experiences. Sometimes you have to NOT say the first thing that comes to your head. That's the first skill to learn. Second you'll find a small voice inside your head that'll start telling you when you're about to say the wrong thing - start cultivating it. But first of all you need the commitment to actually listen to it, and squash any trace of "but than I won't be the authentic me" excuse.

          • nils-m-holm 6 days ago

            Well, thanks for your advice, but I am afraid that you have completely misunderstood my posting. I stressed that I meant "honest in a non-rude way". Most people experience me as a very agreeable person with excellent social skills. You can be honest without hurting people's feelings. I mean honest in the sense that I own my mistakes and do not attempt to look good in the face of failure. Listening is probably the most developed skill I have and I do not care about "authenticity". I am not writing this to prove you wrong, just to show you how far off your assumptions can be after reading a few lines about a person on the Internet.

            • radu_floricica 6 days ago

              I'm sleep deprived and misjudging from a two-line post... I won't be beating myself over it :)

        • maximus-decimus 6 days ago

          If you're smart enough to realize honesty is getting in your way, but are unwilling to sacrifice it to attain your goal, you're not really "trying". In the sense that you're not actually using your intelligence to achieve your goal.

        • s1artibartfast 6 days ago

          Life is about moderation and decision making.

          Always putting the well-being of other people before your own is indeed a bad strategy. It ignores self care and leaves you open to be taken advantage of.

          You can do a lot more good if you are mentally and physically healthy and not being continually scammed.

          As a trite example, I like to pick up mentally unstable hitchhikers (literally). I don't do it on my way to a job interview, and I don't do it if they seem especially dangerous.

          This way I get to keep helping.

        • annyeonghada 6 days ago

          >only to find out that this is a loser's strategy

          I'm still processing this truth. I basically put my life, university and career on stop to help my sister. I oscillate between thinking "I'm a good person" to "I just wish I were a selfish bastard".

          Definitely a loser's strategy.

          • s1artibartfast 6 days ago

            It's not a looser strategy, it is just a choice and compromise. You can't do or have everything. Sometimes you have to give things up to get other things you want.

            You prioritized one are over another and there is nothing wrong with that.

          • alphabettsy 6 days ago

            > to help my sister.

            Curious, help with what? Why did you have to put your life on hold?

  • ravi-delia 7 days ago

    I went in expecting almost all that last one and a negligible effect from anything else, but it seems there really is something there. Interesting, I'll have to look more into it.

    • radu_floricica 6 days ago

      Don't underestimate poor choices. Just diabetes management alone probably covers a few percentage points of the difference. It's not executive function either, it's plain complicated.

yobbo 7 days ago

Seemingly more plausible explanation: some form of underlying "individual biological healthiness" predicts both IQ and longevity.

Otherwise, you need to make the argument that IQ enables people to make better choices, but until recently in history human biology was a mystery to even the most educated. The famous "food pyramid", for example, promoted a high-carb diet and did not favour health or longevity.

Such underlying factors could be caused by random conditions; illnesses, environment, sleep habits, or very early in life - even in womb?

  • Talinx 6 days ago

    It would be interesting to measure IQ in childhood and 20 or 30 years later to see how many people have a significantly lower IQ as adults because of poor health choices.

    • 8note 5 days ago

      Or local pollution? Hasn't that been studied with leaded gas and paints?

  • mjburgess 6 days ago

    Or there is no direct causation: people who make choices which are long-life-ish tend to be those with higher-IQ. Why? Because, jointly with IQ, also correlates wealth (etc.).

  • oneoff786 6 days ago

    Seems like the most likely idea to me. It seems hard to imagine that health doesn’t gradually accrue changes in iq.

akira2501 7 days ago

It's odd they flag suicide. The statistics there seem to correlate very well with average population density. So, they might have just accidentally measured the fact that smart people tend to move into cities if they didn't already live there.

Outside of that, and outside of COVID, the third leading cause of death for many years was "Accidental Self-Inflicted Injury." Just below Cancer and Heart Disease. The presumed correlations between higher intelligence and avoiding becoming a part of these categories seems like another accidental measure here.

  • vmception 7 days ago

    Since you looked at the study, did they find meaningful deviations at all?

    This article only briefly touches on suicide so fast that I’m not even sure if they are saying higher IQ kill themselves less or not.

throw_m239339 7 days ago

I absolutely hate these fake science blog spam with a clickbait title, especially when the "conclusion" basically refutes the entire premise of the article. There is something very American with these articles. "why eating lentils makes people 80% richer", you could generate these with a markov chain...

SamReidHughes 7 days ago

The article doesn't mention the originating cause: Wealthy people married healthy people.

  • vmception 7 days ago

    This assumes a lot

    First it suggests wealth = iq… maybe thats what you mean? Not sure what you mean but my following points are related to this

    Second it also means produced viable offspring with healthy people, which really means wealthy people *nutted in healthy people. There is an extremely high correlation to wealth and which sex is choosing based on “health” (as opposed to equal or greater wealth)

    Third, they probably nutted in unhealthy people too. Just might as well acknowledge the human flexibility in reproductive activity.

    Fourth, it suggests the healthy person needed the wealth to maintain the healthy lifestyle or spread it to the wealthy person or subsequent offspring, here I have the most doubts

    But if I misunderstood what you were getting at, let me know. Married may be less crass but its probably inaccurate

    • SamReidHughes 6 days ago

      To generalize, I am saying all positive traits are correlated genetically even when the cause isn't the same genetic factor. Attractive people tend to marry other attractive people.

      Being wealthy is a proxy for intelligence that rhymes with the word healthy.

    • 8note 5 days ago

      A poor healthy person in a polluted area will need money to move out or they will steadily lose their health. Wealth lets you choose where to live, and avoid unhealthy places

pgt 7 days ago

Corollary: maybe things that kill you, also lower IQ? E.g. lead poisoning.

nabla9 7 days ago

>have found that there are genetic underpinnings to the connection between intelligence and lifespan. ... When researchers controlled for smoking, for example, they found that the associations between IQ and deaths related to smoking persisted, suggesting that something innate was also influencing longevity.

Genetic factors that affect intelligence may affect the whole nervous system. We already know that IQ is correlates strongly with reaction speed. It would not be surprising if there is correlation with immune system (immune and nervous systems communicate) for example.

pre- and postnatal health is big factor in decreasing intelligence. Parasite load and intelligence correlate in country by country comparisons.

Markoff 7 days ago

let me guess without reading article, they are more aware of importance of prevention

same reason why married men live longer - less dangerous activities combined with wives who wanna keep their husbands alive so nag them about their health and prevention, for instance reason why my inlaw had to stop smoking

edit: also I will save you a click

"The slight benefit to longevity from higher intelligence seems to increase all the way up the intelligence scale, so that very smart people live longer than smart people, who live longer than averagely intelligent people, and so on."

"Part of it seems to be the lifestyle choices that smarter people tend to make: namely, that they smoke at much lower rates. Similarly, smarter people are more likely to follow other healthy practices, have a better handle on their health care, and be less likely to work in a job that puts them at physical risk."

Obviously if your work is less dangerous you are less likely to die, you could just get better work than improving your IQ. Same with prevention, you can have pretty low IQ if you just follow list of precautions, so only thing making the difference with IQ is those things you should be aware and it has nothing to do really in the end IQ. I'd like to see low IQ group vs high IQ group with same guidance, nagging about dangers of smoking, nagging about preventive checks etc, then we would most likely see there is hardly any difference. Maybe good test groups would be rich vs poor families taking care of kids requiring attention into late age like down syndrome or similar, them you work compare their health condition at same age, though obviously rich (read higher IQ usually) can provide better health, food and other options.

  • landemva 7 days ago

    >>> less likely to work in a job that puts them at physical risk.

    During lockdown panic I was 'critical infrastructure' fixing heavy equipment. Nothing slowed down for me, risks were same working on broken machines (or greater depending on your view of virus risk) and the laptop crowd got to 'stay safe' at home while others got pandemic pay to sit at home.

    Many dangerous jobs get little acknowledgment. These people literally keep the gears of society turning, and are often derided as being dumb with dirty fingernails.

    • silisili 7 days ago

      I just spent time driving through the gulf coast and came to a similar conclusion. Have you all seen Mobile, for example? Oil rigs as far as the eyes can see. Stopped by the gas station to see these poor, filthy men counting change to buy tea and cigarettes.

      It made me really think...these people work way, way harder than me on something way more important to society (right now). Why are they so mistreated? Why do whole cities , usually poor, have to deal with the eyesore and potential health issues of oil and gas? And why do oil companies, who are unmistakably the richest in the world, pay less than tech companies who lose money each year?

      It just feels like some weird, giant imbalance. If you asked me today whether I'd rather go without Twitter, FB, and Netflix...or gas and plastics, sorry, you lose Silicon Valley.

      I don't have any answers or even suggestions, just thoughts and questions for now.

      • jl6 7 days ago

        > these people work way, way harder than me on something way more important to society (right now). Why are they so mistreated?

        Just an aside, but oil & gas jobs are generally quite well paid, including the filthy ones. But maybe not all. The reason why very important jobs can be very low paid is no great mystery: it’s because the labor market is based on supply and demand, not importance.

      • AussieWog93 7 days ago

        Did you ever take the time to stop and have a chat with these "poor, dirty men"?

        Unless you happen to be a doctor, lawyer or Silicon Valley software dev, they're probably taking home a bigger paycheck than you!

      • cornel_io 7 days ago

        How hard people work has never and should never affect how much they are paid. That isn't a factor in supply and demand except to the extent that people will be more hesitant to take hard jobs.

      • TMWNN 7 days ago

        As jl6 said, O&G jobs are quite well paid.

        Those "poor, filthy men" do not have O&G jobs, or if they do will not have them for long.

      • m-alsuwaidi 7 days ago

        Here’s a pointer: a wolf works much much harder than the oil rig worker to feed itself yet lives in a state of extreme poverty.

        • bigDinosaur 7 days ago

          Successful wolves gain control over quite a lot of territory and rule it ruthlessly. Since land has value to all living things, and wolves control land, they are actually quite wealthy.

          • astrange 6 days ago

            I didn’t know wolves read Henry George.

    • jdhendrickson 7 days ago

      I've done everything from digging ditches, to being a mechanic, to corpse/biohazard cleanup, along with literally around 70 other manual labor jobs. Before finally after getting my back hurt and laid up for a year I spent that time learning Linux and system administration and on to programming eventually becoming systems administrator and as the job continued to change and evolve (though really the main difference is it's not a hair ball of PERL anymore) senior devops engineer, ended up as a team lead leading a team of devops engineers, moved on to owning my own succesful consulting agency providing devops ci-cd pipeline design implementation and maintenance. So you could say I'm part of the "laptop crowd".

      My dad was a heavy equipment mechnanic in El-Paso repairing the hydraulics on earth movers and everything else any of the big equipment needed.

      I appreciate that hard work as only someone who has done it can do, but the angst over supposed derision reminds me of the rhetoric that comes from that think tank owned, walking, talking piece of propaganda Mike Rowe (such a shame I liked his show). No one is deriding anyone. If you want the truth, most coders, and system admins love anyone who can work with their hands and spend a bunch of time on projects of their own, getting grease under their fingernails, or wood shaving in their beard, or welding sparks in their hair. Most of them day dream of a job where they make things they can hold in their hands. I still restore and build period correct choppers and hot rods, my friends in the industry weld, or blow glass, or work with wood. Working with our hands is a way to get away from computer work.

      The truth is people in tech just don't think about these jobs because they haven't come in contact with the people working them.

      With that said, the dumb and dirty finger nailed trope didn't leap into existence out of thin air, you may not like to hear this but, a hell of a lot of people working those jobs ARE dumb as hell and would work any other kind of job if they could learn how to do so. I worked with them, and many could not do anything else. Being able to hang parts, or being clever about aspects of their trade does not mean someone is smart, or knowledgeable it means they are good at what they do for 40 to 60 hours a week. Racism, addiction to stupid vices like dip, violence at home to their wife or children, DUIs, were common at practically every place I worked, and I would get shit for reading during my lunch breaks. If I had known I could use my ability to research, remember, and learn complex ideas to get out of doing manual labor sooner I would have, and I would probably still have functioning l3, and l4, discs.

      Conversely there are plenty of smart and driven men who just can't stomach being cooped up inside all day, in my experience they ended up running their own work crews as a general contractor, or becoming a foreman, or like yourself drifting to the technical end of things, working on complex equipment that requires problem solving skills rather than just hanging parts. Either way I guess the point of my reply was to try to let you know you probably have the wrong idea about the laptop crowd in exactly the same way some of them have it wrong about people who work with their hands.

      Apologies for any grammar or spelling mistakes, while I can do anything computer related, I started working at 15 as a roofer and never returned to formal schooling, so writing well is a weakness of mine.

      • annyeonghada 6 days ago

        Thanks. I was born in a completely blue collar family (first to go to university) and my father was the first one to congratulate me on not having to do what he does for exactly the same reason you wrote.

      • darkerside 7 days ago

        Perfectly well written, and more importantly to me, insightful and interesting. Seems obvious once you said it, but I think we forget not everybody is like us sometimes.

  • inglor_cz 7 days ago

    "Obviously if your work is less dangerous you are less likely to die"

    That is not completely obvious, some kinds of highly qualified work will wear you down with stress. In my country, female doctors and even veterinarians have significantly higher rates of suicide. Some other professionals "compensate" for their stress with booze and drugs. Being a singer or an actor isn't dangerous per se, but the levels of substance abuse among them are concerning. One of the most talented pop voices here died choking in his sleep when he was both drunk and high on cocaine. He was 40 something.

    Notably, this is impossible to prevent with just better and safer work equipment. Work in mines etc. is still pretty dangerous, but thanks to better equipment and methods, the death rate is going downwards.

  • blowski 7 days ago

    The article is more interesting than that. It points out that “very smart people tend to live longer than ordinarily smart people”, and so on down the curve.

    • Markoff 5 days ago

      they say there are only slight differences between each group

cratermoon 7 days ago

Probably because IQ, while a poor measure of general intelligence, is a really good proxy measure for socioeconomic status.

  • s1artibartfast 7 days ago

    Iq is a course and imperfect metric, but it is a decent proxy or general intelligence.

    Pick almost any measures that you think Define general intelligence and you will see stark differences between a group at 80 iq and 120.

    • etempleton 6 days ago

      I see IQ tests like the NFL combine. A battery of tests to demonstrate ability, but at the end of the day it doesn’t mean a whole lot beyond one’s ability to excel at specific tasks. Sure, someone who runs a 4.4 40 yard dash is fast, but sometimes they end up not having the same “game speed.” Likewise if someone is a genius IQ, but can’t turn that high test score into productivity then what does it matter?

      The tests, like the IQ, can flag potential problems that have gone over looked, but beyond that it doesn’t matter if someone runs a 4.3, 4.4, or 4.5 40.

      • s1artibartfast 6 days ago

        Exactly. And if you look at the candidates that run a 4.3 and those that take 20 seconds, you'll probably notice some really big difference in physicality

    • xorcist 6 days ago

      That doesn't make IQ a good proxy. There are a dozen proxy values just as good as or better than IQ.

      IQ is unscientific nonsense from the 60s that that been overstudied for cultural reasons.

      Any time you read it in an article you can substitute it for "socioeconomic reasons". Which is just as unclear but at least it is less of a smokescreen to cast doubt on causality.

      • annyeonghada 6 days ago

        This is completely false propaganda. The scientific consensus is completely different. Here[1] some research.


        • xorcist 6 days ago

          That page lists a number of studies that correlates IQ with a number of other lifestyle factors, and a few that postulates things like "well established in the psychological community". I haven't taken the time to read them thoroughly, but from a glance at the summary not a single one touches on the subject.

          No one disputes that IQ works, that is not the claim, just as the even more nebulous term "socioeconomic factors" works across wide field s of study. But it is not the best predictor we have.

          Not sure what types of propaganda you see in this, or who stands to gain from it. If any, it should be those heavily invested in questionable theories, perhaps even making money from peddling books and courses.

          If you really want to argue that IQ is a scientific measurement, start by explaining the scientific process that arrived at the particular method that is broadly used to measure it. Then, if you really want to convince someone, explain what the feedback process looks like that guides the continuing work to improve the measurement process. Because surely there is one, unless you want to argue that IQ is a perfect predictor that could never be improved?

          Many things from 60s psychology were quite extraordinary, and as the saying goes extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Efforts to reproduce these studies have had limited success, to say the least.

          • s1artibartfast 6 days ago

            Seems like most of the disagreement is about what IQ is a good predictor for and is not. There hasn't been much discussion about defining what people think it is and isn't in this thread. You say it's a bad predictor. A bad predictor of what exactly, in concrete terms? I would argue that it is a good predictor of the things that measures: spatial Imaging, logic, and language skills. Someone could argue that is a poor measure and predictor of empathy and interpersonal skills. They would probably be right. IQ has a definition and domain where it works well, and others where it doesn't. That doesn't mean it is useless.

            Are you claiming that social economic status is a better predictor of spatial Imaging and logic than a direct test of an individual in question?

    • mdp2021 7 days ago

      > Pick almost any measures that you think Define general intelligence and you will see stark differences between a group at 80 iq and 120

      I am very curious to see those mappings. Can you point to some? I am especially unsure about what said «measures» can be, and if/which theories about them are developed.

      • barry-cotter 7 days ago

        Why g Matters: The Complexity of Everyday Life

        Personnel selection research provides much evidence that intelligence (g) is an important predictor of performance in training and on the job, especially in higher level work. This article provides evidence that g has pervasive utility in work settings because it is essen- tially the ability to deal with cognitive complexity, in particular, with complex information processing. The more complex a work task, the greater the advantages that higher g confers in performing it well. Everyday tasks, like job duties, also differ in their level of complexity. The importance of intelligence therefore differs systematically across differ- ent arenas of social life as well as economic endeavor. Data from the National Adult Literacy Survey are used to show how higher levels of cognitive ability systematically improve individuals’ odds of dealing successfully with the ordinary demands of modem life (such as banking, using maps and transportation schedules, reading and understanding forms, interpreting news articles). These and other data are summarized to illustrate how the advantages of higher g, even when they are small, cumulate to affect the overall life chances of individuals at different ranges of the IQ bell curve. The article concludes by suggesting ways to reduce the risks for low-IQ individuals of being left behind by an increasingly complex postindustrial economy.


      • s1artibartfast 6 days ago

        A little bit more extreme but IQ of 70 to 79 is considered borderline retarded.

        These people Have difficulty with everyday demands like using a phone or address book. May not be able to learn to read bus or train schedules, bank, fill out forms, or use household appliances like a video recorder, microwave oven, or computer. They therefore require assistance from relatives or social workers in the management of their affairs. They can be employed in simple tasks but require supervision.

        This is not a matter of effort or exposure. Even with training these people may not be able to acquire these skills over decades.

        People with higher IQs simply do not have these challenges to the same degree.

      • ZephyrBlu 7 days ago

        The point is not the specific measure and it's theoretical soundness, but that empirically you will see staggering differences in performance from people with different IQ for most measures you may care to use.

        In other words, most measures you might come up with are likely to be strongly correlated with IQ.

  • cornel_io 7 days ago

    While IQ is a predictor of socioeconomic status, it's also actually a really good predictor of intelligence and almost everything else that we care about behaviorally, under pretty much every alternative measure that anyone has ever proposed.

    A lot of people are very anti-IQ, but frankly they're usually just mediocre humanities mucklers who don't realize or accept that true intelligence requires the ability to do math, even if it's not your specialty or interest (the math geniuses amongst us are almost without exception 95+% in verbal ability).

    • vmception 7 days ago

      past performance isnt a good predictor of future results, its just better than everything else

      thats where we are with IQ as well

      • cornel_io 7 days ago

        And it's still a good predictor, which predicts almost everything else. It's not like IQ is an intervention that we're considering...

    • etempleton 6 days ago

      Does IQ tests require much math? I don’t think I have ever taken an IQ test that requires any math at all.

      Perhaps I am misreading your comment.

  • chrisco255 7 days ago

    How do you distinguish cause and effect there? Assume intelligence is correlated with income and that intelligence is a heritable trait. On average, higher IQ people would achieve higher socioeconomic status and pass those traits onto their children.

    • rjsw 7 days ago

      Cause and effect doesn't matter for the link that the parent comment describes.

  • SamReidHughes 7 days ago

    IQ does a far better job of measuring intelligence than it does social status or economic status. Or this obscurantist concept of "socioeconomic" status.

    If you're going to just make stuff up, at least be realistic.

    • astrange 6 days ago

      Define “intelligence”. The main reason IQ can tell you which of two animals is a human and a gorilla is that you can only explain to one of them how to take the test, but the number you get out of it doesn’t seem to have much to do with it.

      • SamReidHughes 6 days ago

        > Define “intelligence”.

        How good you are at thinking about stuff.

        • astrange 6 days ago

          That’s not a measure of real world success. If you max “thinking about stuff” and not the other traits they’re actually talking about but haven’t specified (and I can’t either), you’ll daydream all day instead of doing anything productive.

          Or even if you try thinking about a real problem, you won’t get the right answer because the way to do that is experiments, not thinking about it a lot.

    • xcambar 7 days ago

      IQ is regularly being dismissed as a poor measure of intelligence, mainly because it measures intelligence on a linear scale.

      It does not take into account perceptive intelligence, emotional intelligence, and others.

      • skybrian 7 days ago

        It's not enough to say that a multidimensional scale might be a good idea. You have to decide how many dimensions there are, how to measure them, and gain consensus for the new way of doing it.

        Until there's a new standard, or they see a need to do something different, scientists interested in intelligence are going to stick to measuring IQ.

        • xcambar 7 days ago

          I read your contribution as "it's good because that's what we have", which I think is a fallacy.

          What we have can and should be discussed and challenged. Not having a complete, new and better solution, doesn't prevent us from pointing at flaws. All the while working on the new thing.

          • barry-cotter 6 days ago

            Researchers have been looking for a multi-factor theory of intelligence for a long time. People are extremely highly motivated both on a careerist basis and an ideological one to find a better model for intelligence than g/IQ. It’s been tried. The two most famous are Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences and Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory.

            The main fault of Gardner’s theory is that it has no empirical backing of any kind[1], which effects its popularity with Ed schools not at all.

            Sternberg’s theory at least actually works. It’s just that it is extra work and complexity for no increase in predictive validity. There’s no way to distinguish it from straight g.

            [1]According to a 2006 study, many of Gardner's "intelligences" correlate with the g factor, supporting the idea of a single dominant type of intelligence. According to the study, each of the domains proposed by Gardner involved a blend of g, of cognitive abilities other than g, and, in some cases, of non-cognitive abilities or of personality characteristics.


      • voldacar 7 days ago

        "Emotional intelligence" is not a form of intelligence. It was basically invented out of nowhere by some pop sci person, and since then it seems like its main function is for people whose IQs are not very high to say "well, I have emotional intelligence, ergo I am smart"

        • antihero 7 days ago

          Funnily enough, all of this shit was made up at some point. IQ is hardly something that is without flaws. It’s all drawing lines in the sand. Intelligence is mainly just learning speed/capacity and pattern recognition/perception. Why is it so strange that this could also apply to the realm of the interpersonal as well as the classical?

      • smabie 7 days ago

        Neither does the word intelligence? Seems fine to me

  • ZephyrBlu 7 days ago

    Low IQ probably means low socioeconomic status, but high IQ doesn't necessarily mean high socioeconomic status is a likely outcome.

  • voldacar 7 days ago

    What measures general intelligence better than IQ tests?

    • wruza 6 days ago

      Recently there was Norway Mensa test article on the frontpage. I went through 2/3 of it and got bored, short of 2 points to be a proud member. But if you give me a room with a crime and suggest to deduct it, I will fail, because my deduction sucks. If you give me 7x7 hard mathdoku, I will also fail, because permutations of 6 is my max capacity. If you give me your primitive 120iq business, it will fail, because I’m a silly perfectionist removed from reality. But I guess most top mensa members will also fail on something as simple as e.g. leetcode 85.

      I don’t know if any hypothesis in itt/tfa are true or false, but regarding IQ tests I’d like to see much more diversity than stupid boolean ops and rotation over and over.

    • xorcist 6 days ago

      This is a definitions game trap. You can not measure what you can not define.

      • annyeonghada 6 days ago

        Really? Thermometers have existed since way before the introduction of the concept of temperature, as rigorously defined in Physics. You can measure "something" and notice that that X is correlated to Y and investigate what that X is.

        • xorcist 6 days ago

          No, the concept of heat and temperature has been along for many millennia before any thermometers were available, along with completely workable theories of heat transfer.

          The thermometer as we know it didn't exist until the 17th century! Although the Chinese seems to have measured temperature with clay pots since at least the 6th century.

          The concept of an innate ability to be smart, however, is something else entirely. It is at best a question "I know it when I see it", but where two observers seldom agree.

          Compare the concept of "love". It is also an age old idea, a word that exists in all languages and used in conversation every day, but the vain of trying to get observers to agree on it has rightly been a trope for millennia.

          The similarities doesn't end there, with books and courses being peddled on the subject of quantifying and scoring it. Very few of these have any scientific ambitions to speak of however, even among the most grandiose of claims.

etempleton 6 days ago

The article seems to be looking for the decisions people make to lead to better or worse health outcomes, but perhaps it is the opposite—good physical health leads to higher IQ scores (on average).

sudden_dystopia 6 days ago

Because they are smarter and make better choices…

vstm 6 days ago

Well, today is a good day to die

shreyshnaccount 7 days ago

Tldr: smart ppl don't do dumb shit as much as dumb ppl?

bryanrasmussen 6 days ago

not drinking as much beer, and not asking others to hold it for us as often.

blenderdt 7 days ago

In the Netherlands (where I live) 80% of the people above the age of 100 live in the part called Zeeland. This part is next to the sea with good air quality.

Japan and Italy are the countries with the oldest people. Both countries are surrounded by sea.

Maybe my IQ is not that high but this study of 1000 people looks off to me.

  • alliao 6 days ago

    I'd take Japan's data with a grain of salt, they've been discovering people refusing to report death of their parents to keep collecting pension...

    Maybe there're pockets, like in Okinawa again seaside lifestyle, people stay active till death etc.

  • xcambar 7 days ago

    I don't know about Zeeland, but Italy and Japan (along with Greece) have been demonstrated to have the most balanced dietary habits (read: best) to remain healthy.

    Maybe it's the sea, maybe it's the food. Why not both?

    • AussieWog93 7 days ago

      >Maybe it's the sea, maybe it's the food. Why not both?

      Just a throwaway comment, but perhaps people who grew up near the sea eat more fish as well.

    • blenderdt 7 days ago

      Exactly. Only IQ seems a little short sighted to me.

    • bigDinosaur 7 days ago

      What about smarter people moving to Zeeland because they see the survival to 100 rates?

    • mateo1 7 days ago

      Maybe it's the earthquakes.