The cat i' the adage

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

Friday, January 21, 2005

Intelligence and Suicide

Serious-looking research shows that young men are less likely to commit suicide if they score highly in intelligence tests. The BBC report states the conclusion thus:

Intelligent young men are less likely to take their own lives than others, researchers suggest.

However, Sarah Nelson of the Samaritans, though welcoming the research, had this to say:

"It would be wrong to interpret this to mean if you are less intelligent then you are more likely to take your own life.

Huh? Well, she explains, if you're bad at intelligence tests, you may be bad at solving problems and that "might be a factor" (presumably in the likelihood of taking one's own life). But wouldn't your failure to solve problems be evidence of your lack of intelligence, Sarah? In fact, isn't this pretty well what we mean by lack of intelligence?


At 21 January 2005 at 18:59, Blogger Jorgen said...

Or perhaps the more intelligent who knew about their IQ are generally likely to become successful? (note that I did not say more successful).


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