Friday, November 9, 2012

Insert Theory Here: Intelligence and Alcohol

Two recent and (so far as I can tell) fairly good studies, one in the US and one in Britain, have shown that high achieving children are more likely to be heavy drinkers when they grow up. The Week has collected some off-the-cuff theories from psychologists about why this might be, none of which give any evidence that these psychologists may one day be heavy drinkers. (Example: all that hard work in school makes them repressed, and they regret all the fun they missed as kids, so they drink to compensate.)

I thought, hey, I yield to nobody in my ability to toss off explanations with no evidence. So here goes:

Intelligent people drink because they are bored and frustrated. They believe that because they are smart they should have interesting, high-level, highly paid jobs, but actually intelligence is no guarantee of career success. So the world is full of smart people doing jobs that only engage parts of their brains. Some of those bored, smart people take up blogging or writing novels on the side, but most of them drink to fight boredom and the frustration of working for people much less smart than they are.

Anyone else?

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