02 November 2011

Drinkers are Smarter.........?

This study itself is a couple of years old however, today feels like any justifications for drinking are welcomed, it has been one of those weeks already! Plus we haven't reported on this before so here it is!

The findings come from two seperate studies, one based in the US and one in the UK. They followed two groups of children, measuring intelligence before the ages of 16 and subsequently volume of alcohol intake later in life.

Intelligence levels were categorized as "very dull", "dull", "normal", "bright" and "very bright". At the age of 23 the group from the US was revisited however the group from the UK were followed throughout their 20's, 30's and 40's.

Re-assuringly for many of us, it was found that the more intelligent a child the greater their volume of alcohol intake later in life. So binge britain is in fact a rabble of geniuses who've lost their way from a white board of equations to a gleaming back bar full of shiny spirits and temptingly named cocktails. *Phew*

Now, we have all had the experience of meeting someone who could be described as "very dull" and observed their high level of alcohol intake. These very dull people often suddenly became more interesting as a result. However I'd bet we have all also met someone "very bright" or someone wildly creative who drinks just as much if not more. Musicians and artists are a good example of the latter. Often in this case we find that the only way they can bare to look out onto this cruel and unjust world without shedding a tear for its occupants is to turn to a bottle and just get through it "day by day".

Many talk about how they are inclined to drink more in order to numb themselves and relate more easily to those around them, though often finding this may in-fact is not be the case in the morning. A good opportunity for the "very bright" to think fast and formulate a non-akward exit strategy. Others will swear blindly that it helps their creative process (it doesn't, alcohol doesn't add anything at all, bar verbal lubrication). Whatever the reason for every "dull drunk" we can find a "very bright" one and often they will get on just fine.

Theories range from Satasho Kanazawaat of Psychology Today siting evolutionary causes...… "

"Drinking alcohol was "unintentional, accidental, and haphazard until about 10,000 years ago. Smart people are generally early adopters and, in the context of human history, the substance [alcohol] and the method of consumption are both evolutionarily novel." - Ummmmm so alcoholics are more evolved then…….okay, moving on.

To people who theorise more intelligent people may have higher profile jobs that require socialising, and thus drinking. The classic "everyone else was having one" reason, nice!

Others argue (rather loosely) intelligent children were suppressed during their youth and studied hard meaning they missed out on the rebellious and often more "fun" side of growing up. Now that there are not any drinking taboos in adult life they are making up for lost time and getting the booze in. I wonder if this might show more about their personality that the study at hand…….

Personally I'm not entirely sure, we do however know that some of the worlds greatest men and women were booze addled drunks for instance Freud, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac and Johnny Cash all enjoyed a tipple every other 10 minutes or so.

Whatever the reason at least the next time we worry we might be delving slightly too deep into the cocktail pot for a Tuesday night, we can safely assume that it is infact because we are actually geniuses and we feel oppressed by a world that can never understand our intellect………Yep that's what I'm sticking with.

Alternative theories are welcome! Comment or send them in.

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