What is the mark of an intelligent mind in our day and age? When we think of intelligent people, we may have been conditioned to envision them in a library somewhere studying. We associate intelligence with social reservation and good behaviour. But what if the opposite were true? What if the ones who are most intelligent are engaging in behaviours grandma and grandpa wouldn’t approve of? Times have changed, and people who have a higher intelligence aren’t always interested in studying and following the rules.
This may sound a bit shocking, but a series of studies have come out showing that intelligent people stay up later, do more drugs, and have more sex. The people in our society who have the highest IQs are noctural and enjoy indulging in drugs and sex more often than people with a lower IQ.
Here is a list of the three studies that should completely change the way we think about intelligence and behaviour:
1) Intelligent People Are Night Owls
In a study published in Personality and Individual Differences, researchers proposed the hypothesis that people who are of high intelligence will be drawn to evolutionarily novel behaviours. Novel behaviours (new behaviours) are thought to be evolutionary advantageous because they expand our problem solving ability and provide us with new knowledge we can use to improve our lives. It’s kind of like nature’s way of pushing itself to evolve and create something new.
They found that intelligent people are not only more likely to be liberal and free thinkers, they are also more likely to have different circadian rhythms (sleep cycles).
The study found that people with high childhood and adulthood IQs went to bed about half an hour later each night than people of normal intelligence, and 30 minutes later than people of lower intellectual ability. They also wake up later by about the same margains as well. This was true of both weekends and weekdays.
As the study concludes:
Survey of ethnographies of traditional societies suggests that nocturnal activities were probably rare in the ancestral environment, so the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to be nocturnal than less intelligent individuals. The analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) confirms the prediction.
The correlation from the study was very clear. The higher the IQ, the later they tend to stay up. And these results were concluded from a sample of over 20,000 people. If you or your children have a habit of staying up late and can’t seem to break it, that could actually be a good thing. Instead of trying to force yourself to go to bed “on time”, use that time to do something creative.
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