A Higher IQ Predicts a Longer Life
Fluid intelligence and a long life
A lower IQ is related to higher mortality risk. This is well established, even when taking into account health and other social factors such as income and education.
General intelligence is made up of two underlying abilities or ‘subfactors’: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence is our on-the-spot reasoning and problem solving ability: our ability to deal with problems in new situations that we have no experience or practice with. This type of intelligence is fluid, capable of being applied flexibly to anything. It is closely related to short-term, working memory, and is improved with HighIQPro dual n-back and brain-teaser training. Crystallized intelligence is our general knowledge and expertise, acquired through familiarity, practice or training. This component of intelligence has become crystallized and stored in long term memory.
A recent study published in the journal Intelligence investigated which component of intelligence – fluid or crystallized – had a stronger link with mortality risk later in life. The researchers, led by Dr. Philip Batterham at the Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University, recruited nearly 900 Australians aged between 70 – 97, both males and females, for the study. They continued monitoring these individuals for 17 years. There were 687 deaths during the follow-up period.
They measured both fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence scores for each individual. There was a clear statistical relationship between lower mortality risk and fluid intelligence, even after taking out the effects of health status, health behaviors and socio-economic status. But the link between crystallized intelligence and mortality was found to be largely due to socioeconomic status, and health.
The take-home from this study is that fluid intelligence is the component of intelligence that is most valuable in reducing mortality risk in later life. Information about intelligence testing and a comparative measure of your fluid intelligence specifically is provided here.
We can make a prediction that can be tested experimentally: Improving fluid intelligence in the later years will lower mortality risk, and lengthen life.
Journal article reference with abstract here.
The great philosopher Bertrand Russell, completed his well known autobiography at 97 years of age..