#3. You're More Likely to Lie
The problem with being the smartest guy in the room is that you usually know you're the smartest guy in the room. For some people, that's not a big deal. They can relate to others just fine and know how to navigate around everyone else's deficiencies without being complete pricks. Others, however, know they have an intellectual edge and can't help but abuse it.
So What's the Problem?
In addition to giving you an advantage in brainpower, IQ apparently also bestows the gift of deception.
"Me? No, it was already like this when I got here."
After all, in order to lie and get away with it, you also have to keep the truth in mind and manipulate it, and you might even have to cover up your lies upon further questioning. All of this involves integrating several brain processes in much the same way that you would solve a complex calculus problem. This means that the age at which you start lying, and the effectiveness with which you do it throughout your life, are controlled by how smart you are.
In one study, scientists put people in brain-imaging machines and found that the regions of the brain that light up when a person metaphorically sets his pants on fire are the same that control "executive functioning." These are high-order thinking and reasoning abilities that include working memory, which, you guessed it, is the single biggest component of your IQ.
Suuuuure, Mr. Hawking. The universe is expanding and boundless. We're onto your game!
Another study simply tracked the tendency of children to lie as they got older (that is, as that aforementioned part of their brains developed). The researchers simply placed young kids in a room with a toy Barney under a cloth and told the kids not to peek at the toy when the researchers left the room.
They later conducted the same test, replacing the toy with a live cobra.
Of course, 9 out of 10 kids totally peeked, but the percentage of kids who lied about whether they peeked grew as the kids got older. At age 2, 25 percent of the kids lied about peeking; at age 3, half lied; and by age 4, 90 percent of the kids who peeked at the purple dinosaur refused to admit their guilt. That would also seem to imply that the 25 percent of kids who fibbed at age 2 possessed higher cognitive abilities than their peers.
In other words, if you want to know whether your kid is gifted, simply track the specific age at which he starts trying to bullshit you. Speaking of which ...
#2. You're More Likely to Believe Bullshit
We're sure that at some point, someone has told you that you can't get anywhere without an education, and for the most part, they're right. And you're much more likely to pursue that education if you're starting out with a high IQ. According to renowned intelligenceologists who painstakingly measured every goddamn thing that you can associate with IQ, test scores were "the best single predictor of an individual's years of education."
Though some measurements were admittedly questionable.
Why? Well, their theory goes that smarter students do better in school (Cracked breaks new ground yet again!), which leads to more encouragement from teachers and parents, which in turn leads to more motivation to stay in school, then yadda yadda yadda, bingo-bango, master's degree in economics!
So What's the Problem?
It turns out that all this book learnin' is teaching you more than just the Pythagorean theorem -- it's also making it easier for you to believe some laughably wrong and even seriously weird stuff.
One problem is that education leads to one overall inaccurate belief: You think you're smarter than you are. Three studies have found that people who fall for investment scams are better-educated than the average person but don't seek advice because they think they're immune to making mistakes. In one study, researchers found that 94 percent of college professors think their work is superior to their peers'. These fellows fail to realize that intelligence doesn't always translate to real-world ability, and thus they tend to overestimate the quality of their work.
Whoa! Sure is getting crowded at the smart end of the bell curve. Right, guys?
It seems to go back to the old saying about how the wisest man is the one who realizes he knows nothing. Or, as Michael Shermer, the author of Why People Believe Weird Things, puts it: "Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons."
That's why the more education you get, the more likely you are to believe in, say, ghosts and the supernatural. One study found that 23 percent of college freshman believed in the paranormal, compared with 31 percent of seniors and 34 percent of graduate students. Which leads us to wonder ... what the fuck are schools teaching these days?
#1. You're More Likely to Be Self-Destructive
On one hand, it seems like the smarter you are, the greater your ability to know the dangers of, say, shooting heroin. So self-destructive habits are traits of the low-class and stupid, right? Eh, not really...
The thing is, the great minds have something in common with proverbial death-prone kitties: curiosity. Researchers have finally begun to understand the link between curiosity and intelligence on the molecular level, thanks to scientists from the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital who discovered a protein in an under-explored part of the brain that controls both traits.
It's always in the last place you look.
Makes sense. Weird shit like monkey-powered time machines can be invented only by people with enough brain smarts to make them work and enough curiosity to want to see such awesomeness in the first place.
So What's the Problem?
Extra-curious people are also extra-likely to be substance abusers.
British scientists published the results of a long-term study showing that smart people were more likely to be drunks. People who fell into the "very bright" category (IQs of 125 or greater) were not only more likely to experiment with alcohol but also were more likely to drink excessively and binge drink than their dimwitted counterparts.
These men are living, breathing supercomputers.
And yeah, they pretty much found the same link between high intelligence and psychoactive drug use. It also turns out that intelligent people are much more likely to indulge in illicit substances such as marijuana, Ecstasy, cocaine and heroin. The smarter you are, the more likely you are to be tripping balls at any given moment.
"Duuuuude. We should totally rent The Wall tonight!"
As for why, remember when we said earlier that smart people's brains seek out novelty and thus are the first to experiment with any new habit? Well, one theory explaining the link between substance abuse and intelligence is that both alcohol and drugs are novel substances, in evolutionary terms. Humans have been consuming alcohol for only about 10,000 years, and the earliest recorded drug was only 5,000 years ago. So when something is novel, the curiouser and most intelligent among us are more likely to want to try it out.
You know. For science.
You don't need to be smart. Just buy our book and we'll get your back.
To find out why you're a terrible person, check out 6 Weird Things That Influence Bad Behavior More Than Laws. And find out why grandpa's past are hiked up so high in 6 Obnoxious Old People Habits (Explained by Science).
And stop by Linkstorm because NEEEEEERRRRRDDDDS!
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