Intelligence and PovertyFor people in poverty, we already know that it is difficult for them to escape the toxic poverty cycle. When one is poor, one cannot afford services that will take you out of poverty, which thus leads to more poverty. However, is there a relationship between intelligence and poverty?

In a 2013 scientific study, scientists took two groups of people, from rural India, and “from shoppers” in New Jersey. The results demonstrated a 13 point IQ difference between the two groups. As useful as this measure may sound, it fails to capture the wider context of differences between these two groups.

Firstly, the authors of this paper do not take any age into account, which, if poverty affected children and adults differently, would nullify the research. Of course, poverty does affect children and adults differently, but we do not know the exact effects it does have.

Another problem with the research is that the paper takes two groups of people from different cultures and attempts to compare them on the basis of an IQ test. This is not scientifically sound because measuring IQ in itself depends on one’s history and culture.

What this basically means is that the results of the test depend on how a certain person grew up, as well as how intelligent they truly are. In other words, the article is at best inaccurate. At worst, its conclusion is entirely false.

However, a new study by researchers in Bangladesh claims that children are much more heavily affected by the effects of poverty, by ways of malnutrition, sanitation and others. But one interesting thing to note is that people of all IQs fall into poverty, which accelerates cognitive aging and damages their brains permanently. This means that even people who are highly intelligent who fall into poverty are as much affected by the ravages of this struggle as people who don’t score highly on IQ and are educated.

Thus, there is a relationship between intelligence and poverty. A big part has to do with children growing up in poverty, while a smaller one has to with adults ending up poor. Although the topic sounds dreadful, it is extremely beneficial to know that intelligence and poverty has been studied, and it has been confirmed that we are all equals in the eyes of cognitive recession. Racism, genetic disorders and cultural clashes may divide the human race. Intelligence, however, will not.

Michal Burgunder

Photo: Flickr