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Myopics more intelligent?

Myopics More Intelligent?

Are people who wear glasses smarter than average? Israeli researchers answer in the affirmative and provide the numbers to prove it.

Doctors Michael Belkin and Mordechai Rosner of Tel Aviv University examined data from more than 157,000 young men between the ages of 17-19 who underwent the standard physical and mental exams administered by the Israel Defense Forces. They found a clear correlation between nearsightedness, IQ and years of schooling. Over one-fourth, or 27.1% of people with IQs of 128 or higher were found to be nearsighted. (An IQ of 100 is considered average.)

In addition, the study found connections between nearsightedness, IQ and the level of education achieved by each young man. Only 7.4% who had completed less than eight years of formal study were nearsighted, while 19.7% of those with 12 or more years of schooling were.

While the numbers are interesting, the researchers hasten to note that they have no easy explanations for the correlations. Dr. Belkin says, "It is not clear what is the cause and what is the effect." One can logically assume that someone who is born nearsighted and intelligent will probably study more; a lot of reading can cause nearsightedness. Another possibility is that a child born with myopia is less likely to participate in sports activities. To fill the time, he or she may turn to books; by reading, he/she will become more intelligent.

"We haven't found out what factor causes what result," Belkin concludes, "but if you tell me somebody's educational level and IQ, I can estimate the likelihood of myopia."
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Title Annotation:data from physical exams for Israel Defense Forces indicate correlation exists between nearsightedness, IQ and years of schooling
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jun 22, 1990
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