Published on January 5th, 2022
The relationship between crime and intelligence is quite complicated. Once the correlation between crime and intelligence is measured, it is very difficult to explain it. Research studies have shown that intelligence and crime are negatively correlated.
There are one of the three possible conditions in order to define the correlation between intelligence and crime:
- Intelligence and crime are not causally linked
- Less IQ level causes more illegal activities
- The presence of criminal activities decreases IQ
These three possible situations made one thing clear and that is criminal behavior is somehow related to low IQ level. Those who are indulged in criminal behavior have low IQ levels.
There is a strong argument against IQ being the cause of a crime that IQ tests (https://iq-global-test.com/) only measure the middle-level forms of intelligence.
They only measure the prominent values but they fail to measure the innate intelligence. Innate intelligence means the form of intelligence that a person possesses but is not realize that he or she has that kind of intelligence.
Another point to consider while observing the association between intelligence and crime is the difference between cultural backgrounds.
There are diverse cultural backgrounds around the world so the relationship between the two may vary with the change of cultural background.
Cultural disadvantages are also one of the main reasons to promote crimes. Poverty and excessive inflation can be the reasons for the increased crime rate.
Those countries and regions that have high poverty rates have more chances for the citizens to commit criminal activities.
Those who have low IQ scores tend to commit more crimes but this connection between intelligence and crime is not causal. In fact, this shows culturally biased testing of intelligence. While measuring intelligence, the impact of the culture is often neglected.
Another argument is structural shortcomings that increase criminal rates also reduce learning opportunities.
When people do not have the opportunities to have quality education, their IQ scores decrease drastically.
Lack of education lessens the person’s ability to perform well in terms of intelligence. This is the reason the association between intelligence and crime is considered to be unauthentic.
Another reason that can affect the connection between intelligence and crime is the attitude of teachers and school administrators.
Teachers often treat those students bad who are less intelligent. Such treatment on the part of teachers creates negative labels on less intelligent students.
Such bad treatment creates resentment among the students making them feel less and left out. These feelings of exclusion can cause the students to become involved in criminal activities. Society’s reaction towards intelligence can also be a major reason to promote criminal activities.
Parents, teachers, and even the close ones give importance to the ones who are more intelligent. While those who are less intelligent feel left out. This feeling of social exclusion promotes people to commit crimes.
It is rightly said that appreciation leads to better performance and poor treatment is the root cause of many crimes.
This hypothesis is tested by only a few research studies making it a prominent research gap in the areas of intelligence and crime.
Another argument is that if all people commit crimes equally then those who are less intelligent will be detected more as compared to those who are more intelligent.
Those who are less intelligent will automatically be arrested more as compared to the ones who are more intelligent. This assumption has received some empirical support that IQ scores correlate with recorded crimes.
The above-mentioned arguments do involve the emphasis that IQ can be a cause of crime. The earliest explanations regarding criminals were that they are not mentally stable human beings.
They are not mentally strong enough to control their criminal impulses. They do not have the mental capacity to distinguish between right and wrong.
But this hypothesis has been rejected long ago because it has been seen that many criminals are very mentally deficient. They are quite smart people but they use their smartness in the wrong direction.
Those children who have socialization issues in childhood grow up to have certain anti-social behaviors. Verbal communication is a strong component in the process of socialization.
Those kids who find it hard to socialize often indulge in negative behaviors. This hypothesis has also been supported by a large number of empirical studies making a strong correlation between verbal intelligence and crime.
Another argument that links IQ with a crime is the school performance of the students. Those students who are less intelligent do not perform well in their school tasks.
This poor performance eventually decreases their level of commitment to their studies. This weakened bond between them and their education can increase their chances to get involved in criminal behaviors and negative activities.
This hypothesis has also been supported by a large number of empirical studies making a strong correlation between school performance and crime.
This is also a possibility that despite low IQ increasing criminal behaviors, it may be the criminal behaviors that lessen the intelligence level (IQ) of the individual.
Many criminal activities include physical and mental injuries, various mental traumas, excessive use of drugs, and early withdrawal from education.
All these conditions can reduce the intelligence level of the individual. This hypothesis is tested less and still needs to be considered more.
The association between intelligence and crime is not so easy to define. There is also an ambiguity that if crime lessens the IQ or low IQ is the reason to promote the individual’s urge to get involved in criminal activities.
There are large numbers of hypotheses being developed in order to study the relationship between intelligence and crime. Few of them are empirically supported and few are still under consideration.
One thing is for sure that those who are intelligent have more understanding of what is right and what is wrong. They have a better understanding of what is socially acceptable and what is harmful to their personal wellbeing and for society.