Studies have already shown there are advantages to being taller — like higher average salaries — but is there an inherent intelligence boost in height?
The short answer is maybe a little, but it’s not necessarily expressed in how tall you actually are but your genes for height.
A study that analyzed data from the Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study found a “modest genetic correlation between height and intelligence,” the abstract published in the journal Behavior Genetics said.
When it comes to the phenotypic correlation — or the genetic expression as it can be outwardly observed — being taller only had a “small” correlation with being more intelligent.
“We tested whether DNA-based genetic similarities among people related to their similarities in height and intelligence,” Riccardo Marioni, study author from the University of Edinburg, told the Sunday Times. “Previous studies have used twin or family data to examine similarities between height and intelligence, whereas ours was the first to examine this using actual DNA markers in unrelated people.”
“What we found was a small association between height and intelligence such that people who are taller tend to be smarter,” Marioni said.
Both height and higher intelligence are predictors of positive health outcomes, according to the study.
“Understanding the molecular basis of the correlation between height and intelligence may help explain any shared role in determining health outcomes,” the researchers explained.
These conclusions were reached by analyzing DNA samples and intelligence tests from 6,815 unrelated people.
The U.K.’s National Health System picked up the study and wrote that based on its conclusions “it would be unfair to suggest, as some headlines have, that being short equates to being ‘intellectually challenged.'”
Featured image via Shutterstock.
(H/T: Discovery News)