Soldiers Who Survive War Are Less Intelligent

Records reveal that the smartest of Scottish regiments died on WWII battlefields
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2008 7:39 AM CST
An unidentified visitor wearing a US military nurse uniform walks past graves at the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, western France, June 6, 2007.   (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Soldiers who survived World War II were on average less intelligent than their fallen comrades, a study of British records has revealed. Researchers merged military records with an IQ test given to Scottish schoolchildren in 1932 and found that Scots who died in battle had an average IQ of 100.8, while those who came back alive averaged 97.4, the New Scientist reports.

The nature of the conflict—which was fought with more brains and less brawn than previous wars—could account for the difference, researchers say. "We also wondered whether there was an overall small tendency for more intelligent soldiers to want to do the job well, perhaps meaning they ended up in more threatening situations," said the psychologist who led the study, published in the journal Intelligence.