AFP, April 25, 2007
Intelligence has nothing to do with wealth, according to a US study published Tuesday which found that people with below average smarts were just as wealthy as those with higher IQ scores.
“People don’t become rich because they are smart,” said Jay Zagorsky, research scientist at Ohio State University whose study appears in the Journal Intelligence.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics survey included 7,403 Americans who have been interviewed repeatedly since 1979. Based on 2004 answers, people who are now in their mid-40s showed no link between brain- and earning-power.
“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 study confirmed previous research which has shown that smarter people tend to earn more money, but pointed out there is a difference between high pay and overall wealth.
“The average income difference between a person with an IQ score in the normal range (100) and someone in the top two percent of society (130) is currently between 6,000 and 18,500 dollars per year,” it said.
“But when it came to total wealth and the likelihood of financial difficulties, people of below average and average intelligence did just fine when compared to the super-intelligent.”
An irregular pattern of total wealth as well as financial distress levelssuch as maxed out credit cards, bankruptcy and missing bill paymentsemerged among the various degrees of intelligence, the study said.
The study measured intelligence based on scores from the US Armed Services Qualification Test, a general aptitude test used by the Department of Defense.