It’s official. Poor people really are stupid.

brain_jarYou all thought rich people had money because they had advantages and opportunities available to them that you did not. Now it seems that not only are these people considerably richer than yow, they are also considerably cleverer than you.

Researchers have discovered that having money worries significantly impedes your cognitive abilities, that is, people worrying about cash have less brain capacity available for being, well, brainy.

Scientists found that poorer people faced with a large, unexpected bill perform significantly worse in cognitive IQ tests than they would otherwise have done without the financial worry hanging over them. The difference in brain power was equivalent to upto 13 IQ points (where 100 is average), which is equivalent to the temporary mental impairment caused by the loss of a full night's sleep.

As part of the research, 400 shoppers in a New Jersey mall were asked to carry out standard cognitive tasks, but half had been asked a "teaser" question about how they would deal with an expensive car repair.

The poorer shoppers in this group performed significantly worse than the richer shoppers. They also did worse than the poorer members of the other group who were not worried about an expensive car repair, proving conclusively that that specific money worry, and not the trappings of wealth, which might include a better education, was the reason for poor people being stupid.

Another study tested Indian farmers just before and just after the annual harvest. They performed better, to the tune of 9 or 10 IQ points, after the harvest when they were technically 'richer' than they were before.

Eldar Shafir of Princeton University, who was part of the research team, said: "Previous views of poverty have blamed poverty on personal failings, or an environment that is not conducive to success. We're arguing that the lack of financial resources itself can lead to impaired cognitive function. The very condition of not having enough can actually be a cause of poverty."

We think the phrase he's looking for is Catch 22. Whether the study shows correlation or causation, at least it's another handy excuse for those so afflicted.


  • Mustapha S.
    Poor people can't be that stupid, most can work out how to fiddle the benefit system leaving the 'clever' types like me to foot the welfare bill.
  • badger
    Is this why the Royal family, Tamara Ecclestone, Lily Allen and Richard & Judy are all wealthy? Because they're all so intelligent?
  • Coran
    Surely this applies to any issues that weighs on a persons mind? What's unique about financial worries? Did they do control tests with other sorts of worries, such as relationships? If not, this is meaningless.. Sounds like some academic ex-hippies that started off with a theory/statement and worked backwards..
  • james
    rich people are rich because they have accountants who can help them avoid taxes and some rich employ young people or foreign people for less than the minimum wage along with over sea account to hide the should look at some rich people closely and see what they really hide if you know them really.
  • Dougal1709
    Yep, if you just gave one of the people on Jeremy Kyle a good accountant so they could avoid paying tax, they'd be running a FTSE 500 company by the end of the year. It's all just luck. In the same way, I could run just as fast as Usain Bolt if only I had the same sprinting coach.
  • Mustapha S.
    James - you never see a rich vicar. I'm not rich, but done ok for myself. If I want to pay my staff a level of wage to keep me competitive and them in a job I will. Yes I try and minimise tax (I love getting student loan statements showing no payments )but only a fox buming moron would want to pay more tax than they have too.
  • Scaramanga
    @Chewy: With you on that one. Twats like that would be the first against the wall if I had anything to do with it.
  • Arse C.
    Chewbarc, your a whanking looser! I'd definately shoot you pacifically in the puss.
  • james
    at Mustapha Shit do you ever see a farmer with a bad house or a bad car no! and i know some rich people who cannot do a lot of things.or and vicars are not meant to be rich.!!! they are like priests, people do not give money during sunday service for the vicar to go buy lunch or a pint.
  • Spencer
    Interesting to see how accurate this theory/statement will prove to be. With tuition fee's now costing £9000 a year plus a little over £7600 a year in maintenance loans, the average 3yr degree will now set you back something in the region of £50,000. Higher education is becoming a privilege for those that can afford it, meaning we should, in the future, see more and more ill educated poor people.
  • jack p.
    Hey, Where is Lucy.............
  • joulupukki
    @ James Vicars are like priests? For real? As for farmers, I think you'll find EU subsidies are a nice little earner when you can get paid to NOT grow stuff on the scrubland/steep gradients that were never productive anyway. As they say in my rural area: you can tell the poor farmers because they have to wash their Mercedes themselves.
  • Alex B.
    @Spencer 1) There's more to education than higher education. Someone who might have mediocre abilities at a not-very-employable course of degree study might be blindingly excellent at some vocational course (stereotypically plumbing, but could be accountancy, network management, programming or whatever). 2) Student loans are only repayable (at 9% of income) when income exceeds £21000. If you never, ever earn that much in a year, then it'll written off after 30 years. So you could just as well describe the situation as being a term-limited graduate tax, which I see as a slight improvement on what the NUS was asking for - a *perpetual* 5% graduate tax on income over £15000. 3) The priority should, as I see it, be to improve secondary education; basic skills such as numeracy and literacy, logic, scientific method, personal financial management (specifically: live within your means and save - even if it's just a little - whenever times are good), nutrition and cooking, sex and relationships, self-esteem.
  • Shiftyniftysshadow
    Chewbacca ....get with the game plan...or join the poor people It is scary that there are so many graduates wandering around with non-relevant degrees searching for jobs only to be exploited by dodgy employers with zero hour contracts....not really joined up thinking....
  • Shiftyniftysshadow
    Oh and please change the feral trolley ....not exactly feral trolley of the week...more like year!
  • Joner
    What's the difference between a farmer and a jumbo jet? The jet stops whining when it gets to Barbados.
  • Bogbrush
    Great stuff guys!
  • Gonsalvo T.
    As it says in the Bible, "It ain't the cash, man. It's the culture." And there you have it: you can give a thousand bucks to a lowlife and another thousand to someone with middle class instincts and, one month later, the monkey-lowlife will be back to having nothing. The difference between the middle class guy and the dirtbag (think cracker/ghetto spade/spic lowrider) is that the middle class guy thinks beyond ten minutes from now, can own and preserve property, and has alarm clock skills. The dirtbag spends his money in a day, can't show up for work, smokes, and owns nothing. Did you ever actually spend time with a lowlife? They are criminal-thinking sub-humans. They age rapidly and have shorter lifespans. They are stupid, insofar as they make hugely stupid decisions. They have a CULTURE OF FAILURE. So, Obama and his ilk can pour billions into the "poor" and that's what they'll still have a generation later.

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