The Between Intelligence And Longevity

1373 Words Dec 14th, 2014 6 Pages
Mental ability can be defined as having the cognitive ability to acquire and preserve knowledge. The prospect of mental abilities being associated to longevity has been an area of interest for social scientists. Scottish Mental Surveys (SMS) of 1932 and 1947 carried a major research on intelligence-longevity association. This essay will demonstrate how different studies have supported the association using the four mechanisms proposed in the Scottish Mental Surveys: (a) bodily insults, (b) bodily system integrity, (c) predictor of healthy behaviour, and (d) predictor of safer environment. (Deary, Whiteman, Starr, Whalley, & Fox, 2004) Additional research will be applied to analyse the effectiveness of the causal mechanisms for the relationship between intelligence and longevity, and highlight on limitations in research that may falsify the relationship. Finally, the essay will conclude on whether evidence provided from different mechanisms is explicit enough to support the association, and provide suggestions on how the scope of enquiry can be broadened.

Bodily insult is the first proposed mechanism and it refers to risks that are harmful later in health, but are determined prenatally or in childhood. (Deary, Whiteman, Starr, Whalley, & Fox, 2004) These insults are likely to be genetic and develop as an individual age. Gene inheritance is the explanation as to why traits are passed down through many generations of human beings. The mechanism, bodily insults, can be linked…
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