Science 2 min read

New Study: IQ A Better Predictor Of Adult Economic Success Than Maths

Math may be vital for some careers, but it doesn't necessarily equal economic success. ¦ Pixapopz / Pixabay

Math may be vital for some careers, but it doesn't necessarily equal economic success. ¦ Pixapopz / Pixabay

Are you terrible at math? According to a recent study, it may not be such a bad thing.

Researchers have always linked maths skill with financial success. This has influenced the educational system in more ways than one. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the highest level of math a person takes in high school is a good predictor of the probability of earning a bachelor’s degree.

While this may be true, does it mean you must be proficient at maths to be an economic success as an adult? Apparently not.

Why IQ Is A Better Predictor Of Adult Economic Success Than Maths

A new study revealed that general cognitive abilities, not math, predict an adult’s wealth. In other words, your teacher lied; you don’t need math to become rich.

Researchers from the University of Warwick and the University of Tennessee teamed up on this PLOS One publication.

To determine whether math abilities or IQ explained the negative consequences of very premature birth on adult wealth, the researchers followed the lives of over 400 children born in Bavaria, Germany, from birth through adulthood.

While 217 of these children were healthy term babies, 193 of them were very preterm – born under 32 weeks gestation and less than 3.3 pounds.

Eight years after their birth, the researchers assessed the children’s intelligence and math skills using standardized tests. Then, when they became adults – about 26 years old – the researchers prepared a wealth index for the participants. These include their educational qualifications, income, social benefits, and career success.

With decades of data to analyze, the researchers concluded that IQ, not math skill, is a better predictor of life course economic success.

So, what exactly does this mean?

Implications Of The Study

First, the study provides an insight into the long-term development of children who are born very preterm. It shows they can attain economic success as long as they have access to the best support for their learning progress.

Professor Dieter Wolke, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick, wrote:

“Our findings can inform the design of follow-up and intervention services to reduce the burden of prematurity for those individuals who were born at highest neonatal risk.”

Read More: Study Shows Bees Can Perform Basic Math

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    Shannon Harrington March 21 at 1:51 am GMT

    Math is a pain back in grade school. I remember struggling with Math trying to memorize the multiplication tables and my mom getting frustrated at me because I couldn’t recite them. 😀

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