• Updated
18 January 2023

Is high IQ a risk factor for mental disorders?

In a study recently published in European Psychiatry, Franck Ramus, researcher at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique and Nicolas Gauvrit, researcher at the CHart laboratory, École pratique des hautes études, tested the hypothesis that people with high IQs have a higher prevalence of certain mental disorders. The results of this study challenge the idea that psychiatric disorders are more frequent in highly intelligent individuals.


Jeu Intelligent
Smart game

"This is the largest study of HIQ in the world," says Franck Ramus. This study is based on the participants of the UK Biobank, one of the largest biomedical cohorts in the world, composed of 500,000 British participants aged 40 to 69 years. 

The results show unequivocally that high IQ people do not have a greater prevalence of mental disorders than average IQ people. When differences are observed, they are in the opposite direction: HIQ people have a lower prevalence of anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress.

Franck Ramus discusses this study in a post published on his blog Ramus méninges.


Williams, C., Peyre, H., Labouret, G., Fassaya, J., Guzmán García, A., Gauvrit, N., & Ramus, F. (2023). High intelligence is not associated with a greater propensity for mental health disordersEuropean Psychiatry,66(1), E3. doi:10.1192/j.eurpsy.2022.2343

Article "Un QI élevé prédispose-t-il vraiment aux désordres mentaux ?" - Le Point