People with high IQs are more likely to smoke marijuanaand take other illegal
drugs, compared with those who score lower on intelligence tests, according to a
new study from the U.K.
"It's counterintuitive," says lead author James White of the Center for the
Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health
Improvement at Cardiff University in Wales. "It's not what we thought we would
counterintuitive adj. 违反直觉的
The research was based on interviews with some 7,900 British people born in
early April 1970. Researchers measured the participants IQs at ages 5 and 10,
then followed up with them at ages 16 and 30, asking about symptoms of
psychological distress and drug use as part of a larger survey.
At age 30, about 35% of men and 16% of women said they had smoked marijuana
at least once in the previous year; over the same time period, 9% of men and 4%
of women said they had taken cocaine. Previous-year drug users tended to have
scored higher on IQ tests than non-users.
The IQ effect was larger in women: women in the top third of the IQ range
at age 5 were more than twice as likely to have taken marijuana or cocaine by
age 30, compared with those scoring in the bottom third. The men with the
highest IQs were nearly 50% more likely to have taken amphetamines and 65% more
likely to have taken ecstasy, compared to those with lower scores.
And these results held even when researchers controlled for factors like
socioeconomic status and psychological distress, which are also correlatedwith
rates of drug use.
correlate n. 有相互关系的东西，相关物 v. 1. [T]使有相互关系，使相互关联 2. [I]互相有关系 adj.
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
Another factor could be that the messages used to attempt to deter teens
from drug use —particularly during the 1980s in the U.K. when the study group
was in adolescence —weren't exactly known for the subtlety of their reasoning,
so they may not have targeted the smarter group well.
deter v. 制止；阻止
"What you typically find is that people with high IQs are less likely to
smoke , more likely to be active and to have a good diet," says White, noting
that they are also likely to have high socioeconomic status. People in this
group tend to make healthy choices, based both on health information and their
socioeconomic status 社会经济地位；社会经济状况
This group isn't likely to see occasional drug use as particularly harmful,
White says, 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 is overwhelming," says White, "whereaswhen you look at things like
cannabisuse, 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."
whereas conj. （用以比较或对比两个事实）但是，然而，尽管
In contrast, drug users with less education and wealth are more likely to
be exposed to negative consequences of drug use. This is due in part to the fact
that money itself can buy protection against the types of criminal involvement
and disease that can affect poor drug users.
be exposed to 曝光；面临；遭受
"The likely mechanism is openness to experience," White concludes, "and, I
think, it's also this idea of having an educated view of risk as well." (Of
course, American views about what consists of an "educated" perspective on drug
risks have often clashed with those of the more relaxed position typically taken
The study didn't look at the risk of addiction among those with high IQs
because it wasn't able to measure the frequency of drug use in participants.
However, earlier research has found a connection between high IQ and greater
risk of alcohol abuse and dependence.
That could potentially be linked to the boredomand social isolation
experienced by many gifted children, the authors note. But since a link between
IQ and drug use remains independent of psychological distress, that can't be all
that's going on. "It rules out the argument that the only reason people take
illegal drugs is to self medicate," says White.
boredom n. 1.[U]厌烦，厌倦 2.[C]令人厌烦的事物
rule out 排除；取消；划去