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J Appl Psychol. 2010 May;95(3):454-68. doi: 10.1037/a0019084.

Are health and happiness the product of wisdom? The relationship of general mental ability to educational and occupational attainment, health, and well-being.

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Department of Management, Warrington College of Business, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32606, USA.


This study tested a structural model explaining the effects of general mental ability on economic, physical, and subjective well-being. A model was proposed that linked general mental ability to well-being using education, unhealthy behaviors (smoking and excessive drinking), occupational prestige, and health as mediating variables. The sample consisted of 398 individuals, from whom measures were collected across 4 periods. The results supported a model that includes direct and indirect (through unhealthy behaviors and occupational prestige) links from mental ability to physical well-being (i.e., health) and economic well-being. Furthermore, the results supported the relationships of economic well-being and physical well-being to subjective well-being. Overall, the study underscores the importance of general mental ability to work and nonwork outcomes, including physical, economic, and psychological well-being.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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