Coffee - Other Possible Consequences of Intelligence

The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Intelligent Choice Isn't Always the Smart One - Satoshi Kanazawa 2012

Other Possible Consequences of Intelligence

In previous chapters, I explain why more intelligent individuals are more likely to be liberals and atheists, why more intelligent men (but not women) are more likely to value sexual exclusivity (even though they may actually be more likely to have extramarital affairs), why night owls are more intelligent than morning larks, why homosexuals are more intelligent than heterosexuals, why more intelligent individuals prefer to listen to purely instrumental music such as classical music, why more intelligent individuals drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and use illegal drugs more, and why more intelligent women (but not men) have fewer children and are more likely to remain childless. All of these preferences, values, and lifestyles have one thing in common: they are all evolutionarily novel.

So what other preferences and values are evolutionarily novel? What else do more intelligent people like? What else can the Intelligence Paradox potentially explain?


In Chapter 11, I discuss the effect of general intelligence on the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. More intelligent people are more likely to consume these substances because they are evolutionarily novel.

The human consumption of coffee is even more recent in origin than that of alcohol or tobacco.1 It is traced to Ethiopia in the 9th century.2 The Intelligence Paradox would therefore predict that more intelligent individuals will consume more coffee than less intelligent individuals.

Among Add Health respondents in Wave I, those who usually have coffee or tea for breakfast on weekday mornings have a significantly (albeit very slightly) higher intelligence than those who don't (99.5 vs. 98.5). Net of age, sex, race, and religion, however, the effect of childhood intelligence on the consumption of coffee or tea is no longer statistically significant.

Figure 13.1 Association between childhood intelligence and consumption of caffeine (Add Health)