Smart Kids Have All the Fun

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Here’s a headline from Sarah Kliff in the Washington Post today:

Sorry, nerds: Popular kids earn more in the long run

This is a description of a study that followed high school seniors from the class of 1957 and, among other things, looked at whether popularity correlated with later success in life. And it did. Students were all asked to name their three best friends, and those who were named most often ended up earning more as adults. This isn’t surprising. But it’s worth noting that smart kids didn’t actually do poorly. Here’s what the study says:

We ?nd a tendency for high-IQ students to nominate more friends and to be popular in turn, suggesting that high ability students might be more attractive as peers and better understand the opportunities arising from social interactions.

Social scientists have known for a long time that the usual stereotype of smart kids as socially maladjusted outcasts is wrong. Some of them are, but then again, so are some average kids. Popularity is independent of smarts, and on average, it turns out that smart kids are actually a little more sociable than the mean. This new study confirms that.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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