Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Time Magazine reports that based on the 1970 British Cohort Study, a large ongoing population based study of just under 8000 people, which looks at lifetime drug use, socioeconomic factors, and educational attainment, people with high IQs are more likely to smoke marijuana and take other illegal drugs, compared with those who score lower on intelligence tests. Men with the highest IQs were nearly 50% more likely to have taken amphetamines and 65% more likely to have taken ecstasy and the results held even when researchers controlled for factors like socioeconomic status and psychological distress, which are also correlated with rates of drug use. "It's counterintuitive," says lead author James White. "It's not what we thought we would find." So why might smarter kids be more likely to try drugs? "People with high IQs are more likely to score high on personality scales of openness to experience," says White. "They may be more willing to experiment and seek out novel experiences." The high IQ group also isn't likely to see occasional drug use as particularly harmful, says White, both because there is little data to suggest great risk of harm from such use and because evidence of harm is rare among their peers. "With smoking, the evidence [about its dangers] is overwhelming," says White, "whereas when you look at things like cannabis use, since they are more likely to associate with people who are similar to them, they are likely to see that smoking cannabis relatively infrequently doesn't have huge impact.""
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