Friday, August 25, 2006

Taller People Are Smarter

Shhhh.....don't tell my sister this (or anyone else in my short family):

But researchers Case and Paxson believe the height advantage in the job world is more than just a question of image.

"As adults, taller individuals are more likely to select into higher paying occupations that require more advanced verbal and numerical skills and greater intelligence, for which they earn handsome returns," they wrote.

For both men and women in the United States and the United Kingdom, a height advantage of four inches equated with a 10 percent increase in wages on average.

But the researchers said the differences in performance crop up long before the tall people enter the job force. Prenatal care and the time between birth and the age of 3 are critical periods for determining future cognitive ability and height.

"The speed of growth is more rapid during this period than at any other during the life course, and nutritional needs are greatest at this point," the researchers wrote.

The research confirms previous studies that show that early nutrition is an important predictor of intelligence and height.

"Prenatal care and prenatal nutrition are just incredibly important, even more so than we already knew," Case said in an interview.

I can assure you, though, no one in my family was and/or is malnourished. Perhaps the good researchers might find another cause of shortness and dumbness?

And, since average heights have been increasing generationally, if someone was tall for their generation does their relative height equate to higher I.Q.? Or is there some objective height that increases I.Q.? (Are we talking four inches taller than 5'6" if you were born in 1930 or today?) And, is higher I.Q. corrollated to relative family height? (pardon the pun) Since I'm the tallest girl in my family on both sides up through my Grandma, should I be smarter? It's pretty to think so. Somehow I doubt it.

More on wage and height here.

Heights of Presidents here.

And for fun, here's some short and stupid jokes. Enjoy!


Chalmers said...

Dangit, I have one half of the family tree taken care of, but the other has two taller than me! I probably should have gone to a school to learn to re-tread tires!

I want to show you something, Mrs. Gump. Now, this is normal.
Forrest is right here. The state requires a minimum I.Q. of eighty to attend public school, Mrs. Gump. He's gonna have to go to a special school. Now, he'll be just fine.

MaxedOutMama said...

I read the headline to the article and burst out laughing. Asians are, on average, shorter. On average, they have higher IQs.

There is something wrong with the study just for the reasons you mentioned, but it is silly on its face.