Intelligence vs survival

Discussion in 'General' started by canuck, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    With apologies to our resident veterans!! :D

    Intelligent soldiers most likely to die in battle

    Being dumb has its benefits. Scottish soldiers who survived the second world war were less intelligent than men who gave their lives defeating the Third Reich, a new study of British government records concludes.
    The 491 Scots who died and had taken IQ tests at age 11 achieved an average IQ score of 100.8. Several thousand survivors who had taken the same test - which was administered to all Scottish children born in 1921 – averaged 97.4.
    The unprecedented demands of the second world war – fought more with brains than with brawn compared with previous wars - might account for the skew, says Ian Deary, a psychologist at the University of Edinburgh, who led the study. Dozens of other studies have shown that smart people normally live longer than their less intelligent peers.
    "We wonder whether more skilled men were required at the front line, as warfare became more technical," Dear says.
    His team's study melds records from Scottish army units with results of national tests performed by all 11-year-olds in 1932. The tests assessed verbal reasoning, mathematics and spatial skills.
    "No other country has ever done such a whole-population test of the mental ability of its population," Deary says. Other studies have found that childhood IQs accurately predict intelligence later in life.

    Equal intelligence
    A previous study found a fall in intelligence among Scottish men after the war, and at the time Deary's team theorised that less intelligent men were more likely to be rejected for military service. The new study appears to refute that suggestion. Men who didn't serve were more intelligent than surviving veterans, and of equal intelligence to those who died.
    Analysing their data by rank offers some insight. Low-ranking soldiers accounted for three-fifths of all deaths, and their IQs measured by their childhood tests averaged 95.3. Officers and non-commissioned officers made up for about 7% and 20% of war deaths respectively. Officers scored 121.9, bringing up the average IQ for those who died. Non-commissioned officers scored an average of 106.7.
    "We also wondered whether there was an overall small tendency for more intelligent soldiers to want to do the job well, perhaps meaning they ended up in more threatening situations," Deary says.
    Phil Batterham, an epidemiologist at Australian National University in Canberra, wonders what aspects of intelligence made soldiers more likely to die in the war. "One could hypothesise that the association between greater intelligence and higher war-related mortality might be driven by the more crystallised verbal abilities, leading to greater leadership roles," as opposed to other forms of intelligence, he says.
    Journal reference: Intelligence (DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2008.11.003)
  2. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    A provocative stab at the intelligence of those Scots that served. If Tom Canning shows up in his Churchill, I will be running for the hills.
  3. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I will be honoured to take my place alongside Tom . . . as soon as I have had my porridge . . .

    Joe Brown.
  4. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    I think Tom will see this for what it is. An illustrative piece of academic rubbish. The attempts at establishing cause and effect are a stretch to say the least.

    Right up with the revealing statistic that 83% of traffic fatalities had eaten carrots in the week preceding death.
    Jen'sHusband likes this.
  5. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Nemo me impune lacessit.

    The poet on brains:

    Lord, to account who dares thee call,
    Or e'er dispute thy pleasure?
    Else why, within so thick a wall,
    Enclose so poor a treasure?

    British Government survey as we can see daily exercise in truth avoidance.
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Lies, damned lies, and statistics
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent's point.
    The term was popularised in the United States by Mark Twain (among others), who attributed it to the 19th-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881): "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." However, the phrase is not found in any of Disraeli's works and the earliest known appearances were years after his death. Other coiners have therefore been proposed, and the phrase is often attributed to Twain himself.

  7. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    So my English Father was more intelligent, rather than very lucky.!!!!
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    To be serious.......

    Do the writers of the original reports honestly beieve that when I and my fellow D Day Dodgers were subject to enemy fire, our level of intelligence helped to decide whether or not we were hit and killed .

    I have always considered it was the luck of the draw, or, as I once said, the toss of a coin

    One's mind boggles at the presumptions that are made in the interests of what ?

  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I put this type of so called factual academic reasoning in the same box that I keep errant authors - less than good researchers- historians with a scant B.A. -

    and other bullshitters - however there is a grain of truth there by the fact that I was educated in Scotland and at about 1935/36 was subject to an IQ test which was favourable which led

    to a place at St. Andrews cancelled by WW2 - failed to become an Officer by not spelling RECCE fast enough …nearly intelligent enough to be killed but only sufficiently injured by an 88mm

    and a few Nebelwerfers…apres la guerre ( note the French ) at aged 40 odd managed to survive six years University to gain an M.B.A. which then allowed me to become a Managing Director

    and to retire early….in order to indulge in a continuing Study of WW2 as I didn't quite believe all of the stupidities that went on as well as a similar study of my Church since 1962 as this nonsense

    has created a NEW church which is NOT Catholic…but mustn't say that though as the new boy at the head is being lauded as he says what the world wants him to say - NOT what Christ wants-

    but must leave that subject as I can be banned along with some political views etc….but Academics and their findings - well it's how they get paid...


    PS - meant to add that my Daughter will return in July to take me on a trip to my old haunts here in B.C. to celebrate my 90th birthday - so not being intelligent - I should have been killed on the Gothic line when I was 20...
  10. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    A variation of just over 3 points when comparing 491 blokes that died to "several thousand" that lived......

    Barely enough of a sample base to be conclusive - what was the variation after the first 500 survivors' scores were averaged out?

    Did each random group of 500 out of the "several thousand" have a perfectly flat average of 97.4 - or were each group's results varied (probably hovering around 95 - 105)?

    Why can't someone throw me a shitload of money to run a study (hopefully taking a year or two to finalise) on some random statistical anomaly? I can produce any answer they want..........
  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Why not take it at least one stage further and work out how many were 100% Scottish, and the split of origins for the rest :)

  12. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    And should we not take it one stage further and consider the IQ level of the Geman soldier who, in the event quoted above, was targetting my Honey ?

    Dear Lord, give me the strength to withstand the increasing poppycock that abounds every day .

    Bemused from Cockfosters :Cartangry:
  13. bofors

    bofors Senior Member

    Do they still have the scores? My Dad was born in 1921, I would like to see his score, and yes he survived, not that you should read anything into that.


  14. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Hmmm..... another dud survey.

    As we used to say when I was in government service....

    There are lies, damned lies, statistics, government statistics and Chinese government statistics.....
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  15. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  17. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I should think so too - shorty :-P

    canuck likes this.
  19. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    I don't get called shorty very often. In fact, never! It's quite refreshing to get a new handle.
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    add it to your avatar shorty - Token Colonial Shorty - it has a 'certain' ring to it :D:-P

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