IQ and Being Alive (Update/Add-On)

January 8, 2016

Salvador_Dali_DAS084Update/Add-on, interesting related thingy below

Overcast with some wisps of sunshine this early Friday on California’s north coast as we finish the first week of a new year.
The NWS this morning echoes the season: ‘Slight chance rain, then rain likely.’
Rinse, dry-off, and repeat…

Nearly-plain as the weather — how does ‘intelligence‘ effect ‘sense‘ in life? What flicked-up that question was a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) that people are living longer than ever, despite all the global horrific shit, and apparently the more-intelligent of us folks are dying later than dumb people.

(Illustration: Salvador Dali’s ‘Bread-Rather Death Than Shame,’ found here).

Where you live may not really be the key. Many studies record socioeconomic factors do not completely explain the IQ-mortality relationship, and the answer is in the genes found in gray matter.
From FastCoexist on Tuesday:

IQ affects how long you manage to stick around in this life, with a 15 percent increase in IQ giving a 21 percent better chance of not dying.
These numbers come from a cohort study by researchers Lawrence Whalley and Ian Deary, using the Scottish Mental Surveys, a historic survey in which almost all 11-year-olds in Scotland got the same IQ test on the same day in 1932.
The new study found out which of these subjects were still alive, and at which age others had died.
Scientific American cites one example, where “a person with an IQ of 115 was 21 percent more likely to be alive at age 76 than a person with an IQ of 100 (the average for the general population).”

There are two main theories in play.
One says that IQ might be linked to general body durability — that is, those with a sturdy constitution might naturally enjoy a higher IQ.
That would mean that being smart is more a symptom or a signifier of longevity rather than its cause.
Another, much more amusing theory says that smart people are better at avoiding things that kill them.
This would mean that those with a higher IQ take fewer unnecessary risks, and that they don’t do stupid things like smoking, or eating a bad diet.
Scientific American again: “Consistent with this hypothesis, in the Scottish data, there was no relationship between IQ and smoking behavior in the 1930s and 1940s, when the health risks of smoking were unknown, but after that, people with higher IQs were more likely to quit smoking.”

Well, so much for my IQ level — I’m still smoking…

Couple intelligence to a more-moral/philosophical angle and life can be happy — yes, asshole, ‘happy.’ Another recent study confirms the adage you shouldn’t spend your life getting rich, just be happy
Abstract of the analysis at ResearchGate:

These findings could not be explained by materialism, material striving, current feelings of time or material affluence, or demographic characteristics such as income or marital status.
Across six studies (N=4,690), we provide the first empirical evidence that prioritizing time over money is a stable preference related to greater subjective well-being.

In more-understandable terms at Medical Daily:

Focusing more on the stresses that come with a high-paying job as opposed to what we genuinely enjoy is not only detrimental to our health, but it’s also getting in the way of our happiness.
A recent study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science has found that people who value time over money experience greater happiness.
“It appears that people have a stable preference for valuing their time over making more money, and prioritizing time is associated with greater happiness,” said lead researcher Ashley Whillans, a doctoral student in social psychology at the University of British Columbia, in a statement.

“As people age, they often want to spend time in more meaningful ways than just making money,” Whillans said.
“Having more free time is likely more important for happiness than having more money. Even giving up a few hours of a paycheck to volunteer at a food bank may have more bang for your buck in making you feel happier.”
Whillans’ team did recommend a few actions that could help workaholics focus less on their cash flow and more on the time they could be spending with friends and family: work slightly fewer hours; pay someone to do disliked chores, like cleaning the house; or volunteer with a charity.

So, would a person of high IQ spend more time at home with the kids?
Or are workaholics just dumber than us?
Sorry, smoke break…



A related topic of ‘happiness‘ this Saturday morning — a post at Lawyers,Guns&Money, which drew-off a piece by urban-studies theorist Richard Florida at The Atlantic‘s CityLab, which focused on a 34-nation study examining a tie-that-binds economic growth, inequality, and ‘happiness.’ (Another Example of the Online Info Ladder).
Key point:

While happiness did track the level of economic development across these 16 advanced nations, the results changed when inequality was added to the equation.
Higher levels of inequality led to lower levels of happiness, even in the most economically advanced nations.
In fact, the researchers found that the percentage of respondents who said they were very happy was inversely cor­related with income inequality (with a negative correlation of ?.618).
“Every single time income inequality decreased between two time points, the percentage of ‘very happy’ responses went up,” the researchers write.
“And every time income inequality increased, the percentage of ‘very happy’ responses went down. In other words, although economic growth was steady and strong during this period, the evenness of the income distribution was fluctuating, and happiness was inversely related to income inequality.”

As indeed, happiness is of the heart…or maybe the ass.
Rain again this morning, life beats onward…

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