Opinion Brief

Why do smart kids grow up to be heavier drinkers?

A pair of new studies suggests a correlation between intelligence and a thirst for alcohol. What's the connection?

Don't worry, all that excessive drinking is just a sign of your intelligence. According to two long-term studies — one American, one British — there's a correlation between smarts and a thirst for alcohol. The "more intelligent children in both studies grew up to drink alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than less intelligent children," says Liz Day at Discover. Why might this be the case?

It's all about evolution: Drinking alcohol was "unintentional, accidental, and haphazard until about 10,000 years ago," says Satoshi Kanazawaat at Psychology Today. 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."
"Why intelligent people drink more alcohol"

Alcohol makes up for boring early years: "I'm surprised" by the findings, says Joanne Hinkel at The Frisky, so "here’s my pop-psychology theory" to explain it: "All that studying in childhood repressed kids so much that they’re still trying to compensate well into adulthood for all that fun they missed." Granted, that's just a theory.
"Brain types booze more — are you surprised?"

Drinking is the only way to deal with morons: Smart people "booze so we can tolerate everyone else," says Greg at Food & Wine Blog. When sober, we tend to "take people’s responses at literal face value." But after a few drinks, "we can relax a bit, stop being so anal with semantics and let comments slide a bit."
"Speculative reasons why smart people drink more"

RELATED: "Are smart kids more likely to use drugs?"

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