Published in the journal Intelligence, online October 8, 2017.
The study surveyed 3,715 members of American Mensa, Ltd. whose documented IQ scores fall at or above 130, and whose age range was between 18yo and 91yo. Each was asked to self-report their experiences of both diagnosed and/or suspected mood and anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and physiological diseases that include autoimmune disease, environmental and food allergies, and asthma. The team compared the survey data against the statistical national average for each disease or disorder.
Summary of major findings:
- Twice as likely to have diagnosed anxiety. Researchers report 20% of Mensa members, with an IQ of 130 and over, have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, compared to 10% of the general public.
- Twice as likely to have ADHD. Researchers report 7.4% of Mensa members, with an IQ of 130 and over, have diagnosed ADHD, compared to 4% of the general public.
- More than twice as likely to have food allergies. Researchers report 9.6% of Mensa members, with an IQ of 130 and over, have food allergies, compared to 4% of the general public.
- Three times as likely to have environmental allergies. Researchers report 33% of Mensa members, with an IQ of 130 and over, have environmental allergies, compared to 10.6% of the general public.
- Participants reported higher education levels and higher income than national averages which supports prior literature citing a relationship between high cognitive ability and positive educational and socioeconomic outcome
- Individuals with high cognitive ability react with an overexcitable emotional and behavioural response to their environment. Due in part to this increased awareness of their surroundings, people with a high IQ then tend to experience an overexcitable, hyperreactive central nervous system.
Further information from the author’s website: https://www.nicoletetreault.com/single-post/2017/10/10/High-IQ-Hyper-brain-and-hyper-body
To cite this article: Karpinski, R. I., Kinase Kolb, A. M., Tetreault, N. A., & Borowski, T. B. (2017). High intelligence: A risk factor for psychological and physiological overexcitabilities. Intelligence. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2017.09