Poverty Makes People Dumb And Prematurely Old

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    16,613
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA / Europe
    A common debate in public policy is whether people slide into poverty because they are stupid or being poor makes people stupid and unable to cope with life. The study below adds some evidence to the latter claim and found that extended poverty (20 years or longer) exposure also causes premature aging. Perhaps one of the most striking finding was that even highly educated people and/or young people easily lost their mental prowess when exposed to poverty. This, again, suggests it is poverty that causes the mental decline and the other way around. Of the four explanations proposed by the authors on how poverty causes this mental decline and premature aging, I think the third one is the most salient - chronic stress and thus elevated cortisol. There are few things more destructive for the brain than cortisol. Serotonin is probably the only other stress mediator that can give cortisol a good run for its money.

    https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(16)30329-4/pdf
    Living in poverty changes your brain to make you less intelligent, study suggests

    "...Falling into poverty appears to make people become less intelligent and become old before their time, according to a new study. Researchers found life on the breadline for 20 years was “strongly associated” with “worse cognitive function” and premature aging. And they suggested the potential causes of this phenomenon included the stress of having little money, inadequate housing and sanitation, and an unhealthy lifestyle – a poor diet, smoking, alcohol and too little exercise. Writing in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, researchers led by Professor Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, of Miami University, said the trend was found even among highly educated people who fell on hard times. This, they argued, means it is unlikely that people who are becoming less intelligent for some other reason are falling into poverty."

    "...What the researchers found was that people who lived continually in poverty “performed significantly worse” than those who had never had to survive on a low income in tests of verbal memory, the brain’s processing speed and its executive function. “The overall magnitude of the associations suggests that economic adversities experienced in young adulthood are important determinants of cognitive health in midlife,” the paper said."

    “Third, the stress of exposure to low income has been shown to be associated with dysfunction of the hypothalamic adrenocortical axis [glands inside the brain], which in turn is a pathway leading to worse risk factors of cognition."
     
  2. Tarmander

    Tarmander Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,930
    Gender:
    Male
    It is an interesting debate, and I have heard good arguments on both sides. Sadly, for those leaning in the direction of this study, giving people money to get them out of poverty does not reverse that which was attributed to poverty in the first place, just as putting people in the NBA, while getting them some good practice, does not make them taller.
     
  3. lampofred

    lampofred Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2016
    Messages:
    2,354
    Gender:
    Male
    I would guess it's less about absolute poverty than about feeling poorer than others, feeling like there are things you can't have, considering that the current lower middle class in Western societies live the lifestyle of nobility in older times.
     
  4. theoccident

    theoccident Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2019
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    How is poverty defined? Is it a mindset? There is something to simple, rural living in primitive countries and cultures. Is this poverty in a developed country or the “poverty” in non-western countries. Poverty needs to be defined.
     
  5. ScurveDream

    ScurveDream Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2019
    Messages:
    325
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Near the Promised Land
    Good point on the subjectiveness of poverty.

    How do you accurately define what that means? By statistical measures or by how finances are handled? People above the poverty line -- for example -- can have poor financial ability and render themselves poverty-like despite not earning below the poverty line. There is also family dysfunction that can play a role in chronic stress and financial issues, even when considering the fact that they technically don't count as poor but quality of life could still be. It isn't like richer or well off people automatically have good diets and are stress free either, even if the odds are in their favor.

    I wouldn't say everyone who grew up in poverty had to have suffered extremely as per chronic stress or such, as all examples of poverty aren't exactly the stereotypical abusive, violent, drug-addled type of arrangements. But yes, there probably is a significant truth to the general idea of this that many could realize with science backing it or not: poorer people are more likely to struggle and be more stressed; have worse diets/eat more junk; maybe even less motivation do more extracurricular things or etc.
     
  6. Nestito

    Nestito Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Yang 2020.
     
  7. Kunstruct

    Kunstruct Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Messages:
    648
    Gender:
    Male
    Not sure if education really brings much less stress with it, so far I see the trend in certain countries to go to university, master, etc for the majority of kids, so now the minority seems to be the one that does not have higher education, not every place in the world is USA with ultra expensive higher education. Everyone saying they are stressed out like mad. In this case I am not sure how education or higher education bring anything else but stress and nights without sleep and poor nutrition.
    So I guess you really have to be rich to not go to university and not be stressed out.
    Then inhered cash is the source of not being dumb and not age prematurely?
     
  8. Herbie

    Herbie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
    Messages:
    1,158
    Gender:
    Male
    Yes I did realise that if I was born owning land and a home, life would be so easy even doing low earning working class job.

    So easy to travel, no rent of debt, can work less and so on
     
  9. thomas00

    thomas00 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Messages:
    635
    Gender:
    Male

    its better than keeping them poor
     
  10. Tarmander

    Tarmander Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,930
    Gender:
    Male
    Definitely according to the poor people
     
  11. sunraiser

    sunraiser Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Messages:
    543
    It's frustrating to me that this isn't common sense at this point.

    Our entire media culture is driven by those that have never faced anything remotely close to poverty or hardship and yet project strong opinions on the subject. Added to an exhausting capitalist-profit-zealotry driven oppressive work culture it seems to absolutely suppress emotional intelligence and empathy.

    Do you naturally gravitate toward such views, haidut? Or has your research changed your mind?
     
  12. Kingpinguin

    Kingpinguin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Messages:
    453
    Gender:
    Male
    poverty is not wishing you could have what others could have. If that bothers you its called jealousy. Poverty is not being able to have the fundamental things for survival or being in a state where those things are jeopardized. For example not having clean water, roof over your head and a bed or food on the table. That will cause you severe stress. In modern society the stress of not being able to pay your bills, worrying about getting evicted, lose your job etc things that helps provide you those fundamental things. That will also cause stress. Then I can semi agree with your example that we have today created some sort of made up mental state where we believe we have to perform on a certain level and achieve certain things/goals in life or else we get depressed. But you decide what to stress about or not. Thats what mindfulness etc can help with. Learn to accept and be happy with what you have. As the study says its healthy both for your IQ and youth. I would even say that learning ways to shut out stress/cortisol like meditation and mindfulness will actually raise IQ and keep you younger. And theres evidence that people who meditate have thicker brains specially grey brain matter.
     
  13. Tarmander

    Tarmander Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,930
    Gender:
    Male
    Poverty today is living under a cell tower.
     
  14. kyle

    kyle Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    Messages:
    292
    Gender:
    Male
    The way that arguement gets framed is incorrect. Actually a slight of hand on the part of rent seeking government tied entities who drive discourse.

    Popular opinion would never attribute it to IQ as that would be racist. In other words, the arguement is designed to be make sure nothing changes. Funny how that works.

    That aside, it is true about poverty but what makes poverty so damaging isnt material want. (Barring actual deprivation like not habing food and shelter.) At any rate, that doesnt exist in America to base a study on.

    Its actually inaction and not working that causes the decline. Use it or lose it.

    Activity, learning, accomplishing things and reaping the rewards are intrinsically good in themselves.

    Being rich and living an idle life would be equally damaging.
     
  15. kyle

    kyle Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    Messages:
    292
    Gender:
    Male
    More generally speaking, inactivity is the culprit but specifically constructive activities, not idle time wasting.

    What happens is all sorts of pathological behaviors can take root.

    Youll see rich people coming unraveled once in a while in the news for the same reason.
     
  16. Kammas

    Kammas Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Messages:
    371
    Gender:
    Male
    what’s your solution, more tax breaks for amazon? genuine question
     
  17. Pulstar

    Pulstar Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    76
    Gender:
    Male
    Poverty - is living in the house owned by a bank (majority of population)
    Poverty - is having a car, owned by a bank (majority of population)
    Poverty - is working 10 hours per day to pay bank loans.
    Povery - is level of pension so pathetic, it's enough for food only.
    Poverty - is not having free education and medicine
    Poverty - is being brainwashed by today's media
    Poverty - is helpless doctors

    Oh wait, isn't it modern western life on the planet Earth?
     
  18. Broken man

    Broken man Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    981
    Gender:
    Male
    Knowledge is freedom :D
     
  19. yerrag

    yerrag Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    4,328
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Manila
    I view a lot of rich people I know with disdain not because of their riches, but because the development of their minds is stunted. They learn to delegate everything because they can afford to do that. But by being removed from the process of thinking and learning on their own, they lose the ability to think critically. They are used to a life of convenience, and they never could understand the formative experience of being in a journey of discovery, or of having a peak experience.

    But these are people who usually got rich because the patriarch had a Horatio Alger journey, and who deemed that his children would not have to go through life struggling as he did. But it is material poverty that pushes the mind to develop fully.

    It's the poverty of challenge that makes people dumb.

    Name me a rich dude who understands not to trust a conventional doctor and who questions the inanity of conventional western medicine's interventionist and destructive approach to health? As based on the primacy of genetic determinism and the idea that health is determined by how old one is.
     
  20. Kunstruct

    Kunstruct Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Messages:
    648
    Gender:
    Male
    Yeap, if you are a surgeon you can operate on yourself for free at home, so knowledge is freedom, you don't have to pay thousands of dollars someone else to operate on you because you didn't know how to and someone could tell you he knows how.:D
     
Loading...