How Making Smart Friends Early Can Affect Your Intelligence Later in Life
If you've always prided yourself on your intelligence, then you might have someone unexpected to thank: your best friends from childhood.
A new study from a team of researchers has suggested that spending time with intelligent peers in childhood may have a lasting impact on our own smarts later on.
In the study, published online on the psychological research website PsyArXiv, researchers studied data from intelligence tests taken by over 700 teenagers and their best friends who participated in the US Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.
After comparing the results of the tests – which were taken at age 11 and then again at age 15 –the team found that the adolescents' IQ was strongly linked to the intelligence of their closest friend at age 11. The more intelligent a participant's best friend in childhood, the more likely they themselves were to score highly on the intelligence tests as a teenager.
This was true even when the team took other variables into account, including the participants' own IQ scores in childhood, as well as their mothers' IQ, their education level and the learning opportunities they had had at home.
As a result, the team concluded that the children had not simply chosen best friends with similarly high IQs at age 11, but had been directly influenced by their close peers' intelligence.
"Overall, our results provide support for the hypothesis that having more intelligent friends is associated with higher future levels of intelligence," said study author Dr. Ryan Charles Meldrum from Florida International University. "Our findings add another layer of evidence for the important and pervasive influence of peers on a host of traits during adolescence."
Of course, it's worth noting that the research results have yet to be peer-reviewed, but you might want given your childhood BFF a silent thank you in the meantime.
h/t: Mail Online
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.