Study finds sickly kids more likely to become geniuses

A study conducted by researchers at the University of California has found a negative correlation between IQ and physical health in youth. The study — published in Psychological Science — examined data from 282 historical geniuses, including Rene Descartes, Abraham Lincoln, Michelangelo, Isaac Newton and Voltaire.

Study co-authors Dean Keith Simonton and Anna Song found a link between superior intelligence in adulthood and inferior physical health during youth. While the study’s results may simply reflect the sample’s extreme selectivity, the researchers hypothesize that being “sickly” in youth may help accelerate intellectual development.

Read more about the study.

About the author

I am a writer, marketing practitioner and astronomer-in-training. My interests include science, technology and the future of just about everything. You can learn more from my Bio page.