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Are extremely rich people also extremely smart? The answer is surprising - voila! health


The relationship between money and happiness has been measured many times, but what about the relationship between money and intelligence? This is what a new study tried to do - and these are its findings


Elon Musk (Photo: GettyImages, Win McNamee)

Many people believe that the richest 10 percent, the so-called top decile, are smarter or work harder than people who are less wealthy than them.

This view is especially common among the ultra-rich, where some turn to billionaires for guidance in all areas of life.

But are they actually more intelligent than the rest of us?

A new study published in the European Sociological Review suggests that the answer is no.

The elite may actually be just like us when it comes to intelligence, although there is some correlation between success and intelligence.

According to a study of almost 60,000 men, there is a strong connection between intelligence and salary until it reaches a level of over NIS 200,000 per year, when the correlation becomes almost negligible.

Amazingly, those in the top 1 percent were found to be potentially less intelligent than those close to them, suggesting that great success can come from something else entirely.

It can go either way.

Bill Gates (Photo: GettyImages)

Previous studies have linked intelligence to economic success, but did not consider the relative ability of the highest income earners.

The researchers sought to investigate this by looking at data taken from Swedish military recruits who had cognitive scores and job information available.

In total, they followed nearly 59,400 men around the age of 40 using 11 years of labor market data, as well as a series of cognitive, physical and psychological test scores taken when they were younger.

These tests were compared against their salary and the "prestige" of their work between the ages of 35-45 to look for any links.

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The results showed a predictable increase in pay and prestige as cognitive ability increased, but only up to the level when pay reached the upper end.

At 60,000 euros per year, there were no longer differences in ability between those earning above and below it, and intelligence did not increase even when it came to doctors, lawyers, and the like.

They also found that the top 1 percent scored slightly worse on tests of cognitive ability than those in the income level below them.

This suggests that while higher intelligence may help propel a person to the higher ranks, when it comes to ultimate financial success, it likely plays a small role, and those who earn particularly high wages may be less intelligent.

The study is limited in a number of ways, especially the lack of diversity in the sample.

Limiting the analysis to only men reduces how well the results can be translated to the wider population, and the authors noted that further research with more diverse samples is needed.

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Source: walla

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