Are Smarter People More Likely to Commit Suicide?

Dave Munger, editor of, observes in SEED:

Two studies by Martin Voracek seem to uphold the notion that more intelligent people are more likely to commit suicide. Voracek looked at national suicide rates and average IQ, and found that countries with higher average IQs also had higher suicide rates. But a study released last week suggested the opposite might be true. A team led by G. David Batty looked at military conscription records of over 1 million Swedish men, and found that those with higher IQs were significantly less likely to be admitted to a hospital for a suicide attempt than those with lower IQs. Even after adjusting for socioeconomic status, education, and a variety of other factors, those in the top 10 percent of IQ scores were about four times less likely to attempt suicide than the bottom 10 percent. … While it’s statistically possible for both the Voracek and Batty studies to be valid, these seemingly contradictory results suggest that the roots of suicide are more complex than the responses to a standardized test.

Category: Observations


2 Responses

  1. Scooter says:

    Smarter people are more likely to do it because they see what kind of F’d up world we live in vs ones who cannot see

  2. Wouter says:

    In both cases they jump to causality too easily.

    First the national average IQ says nothing about the people actually committing suicide, maybe those people just got sick of all that high IQ.

    Then it’s about suicide attempts. I would expect people with higher IQ to be successful more often at killing themselves.

    The scientific level of these ‘studies’ seems very low.

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