Why do people with high IQ tend to be interested in the dark side of society and are at high risk of becoming criminals?
James Oleson studied 465 crimes with an IQ of 149 and found that the prevalence of intelligent people was significantly higher than that of people with normal IQ.
A new book by James Oleson, a criminologist at the University of Auckland, shows that geniuses really have a clash with the law.
In Oleson's book "Criminal Genius: A Portrait of High-IQ Offenders," Oleson examined criminal records of 465 adults around the world with an average IQ of 149, comparing their crime rates with a group of people with normal IQ. Statistical samples were obtained from an association of high IQ members, from well-known universities and a small group of high-IQ prisoners.
Many hypotheses of intelligence suggest that people with low IQ are the most legally-inclined, because aggression, poor academic performance, lack of social interaction, and lack of vision are closely related. crime nature.
On the contrary, smart people are often considered less guilty, and this concept has been reinforced by research over decades. But there may be some level of IQ that, when overcome, people with high IQ will become a factor extremely dangerous.
In fact, Oleson's high IQ group had a higher crime rate than the matched group, with 50 out of the 72 crimes examined, including minor offenses such as property and copyright infringement, and Serious crimes such as fire, scams and kidnappings. Those with higher IQs are also more likely to escape, with fewer convictions.
When Oleson interviewed some people directly, he received many answers that they were not punished for many of the crimes he had committed. One of the subjects said he had been armed, and another objected to dozens of murders.
So why are smart people so vulnerable to crime?
Many people in Oleson's study talk about the alienation they suffer for their intelligence. The wrong judgment of society can be a cause for this phenomenon. Some studies have shown that geniuses are often isolated, bullied, and have more difficulty in creating relationships, all of which are potentially leading to criminal behavior.
Another possible reason is that extremely intelligent people feel less bound by traditional conventions and norms. During subsequent interviews, Oleson talked to high IQ subjects that compliance with normative behaviors and behaviors was important to ordinary people, but not to them. And many of them say that they feel that their right and wrong assessment is "legitimate, sometimes superior, and superior to compliance with normal social norms and norms."
According to Oleson, the results presented in his book are still primitive rather than final, especially when considering that the subjects involved in the study are not so many. Another issue is that the subjects in Oleson's research were assembled from a specialized organization of people with high IQ, and participants in such organizations may not represent the whole smart people in general.
Despite a number of shortcomings, Oleson's book is the first study of high IQ crimes, and has many benefits for criminal law and public policy.
"This not only means that good people also know how to lie, cheat and steal like anyone else, but also show that prisons are mostly confined to unlucky and unlucky people. "Said Oleson.