Friday, December 19, 2008

Intelligent soldiers most likely to die in battle

Flanked by tanks and under the cover of a smoke screen, Scottish guards charge into action on the Egyptian front at El Alamein during the second world war. Were the brightest at the front? (Image: AP/PA)
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 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.

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