Wealth and IQ

by F.

I love this:

A nationwide study found that people of below average intelligence were, overall, just about as wealthy as those in similar circumstances but with higher scores on an IQ test.

Furthermore, a number of extremely intelligent people stated they had gotten themselves into financial difficulty.

“People don’t become rich just because they are smart,” said Jay Zagorsky, author of the study and a research scientist at Ohio State University ‘s Center for Human Resource Research.

“Your IQ has really no relationship to your wealth. And being very smart does not protect you from getting into financial difficulty,” Zagorsky said.

The one financial indicator in which the study found it paid to be smart was income. Those with higher IQ scores tended to get paid more than others.

Note that wealth is not income: you could have a huge income, then do stupid things like listen to a financial advisor who doesn’t have insider information or try to pick winning stocks using tips from the local paper. Smart poeple can be stupid in certain domains.

(In fact, I think it would be fun to see a book or article about extremely smart people who were dramatically–empirically–wrong. Maybe Error: The Dumbest Smart People You’ve Never Heard Of. I’m sure the history of science is filled to bursting with such folks.)

More info: Press release from OSU; Article on the research in WSJ.