Do smart people use more drugs?

Why do some individuals choose to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and use illegal drugs while others do not? The origin of individual preferences and values is one of the remaining theoretical questions in social and behavioral sciences. The Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis suggests that more intelligent individuals may be more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values than less intelligent individuals. Consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is evolutionarily novel, so the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to consume these substances. Analyses of two large, nationally representative, and prospectively longitudinal data from the United Kingdom and the United States partly support the prediction. More intelligent children, both in the United Kingdom and the United States, are more likely to grow up to consume more alcohol. More intelligent American children are more likely to grow up to consume more tobacco, while more intelligent British children are more likely to grow up to consume more illegal drugs.

Source: “Intelligence and substance use.” from Review of General Psychology, Vol 14(4), Dec 2010, 382-396

Kanazawa is most famous for the book Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire– Two Evolutionary Psychologists Explain Why We Do What We Do.

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