Recent research shows that Finnish men with higher IQs are more likely to bet on horse racing.
According to a recent study from researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Liverpool, men with higher IQs are more inclined to bet on horse races.
Men with higher numerical IQs were shown to be more likely to participate in skill-based gambling, such as horse racing, choose more complicated betting options, and spend more money, according to a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.
More than 15,000 Finnish males who had taken an IQ test as part of their mandatory military duty while enlisting in the Finnish Defense Forces participated in the research. This was cross-referenced with thorough records on the men’s online gambling behavior as well as statistics from Statistics Finland on their socioeconomic standing, income, and level of education.
Women were not included in the data since Finnish legislation only requires males to complete military service and take an IQ test.
Commenting on the findings, Professor David Forrest from the University of Liverpool Management School said: “Our research found a strong correlation between men with a high IQ and those who take part in skilled gambling, such as betting on horse racing. It is important to note that our findings cannot necessarily be generalized to chance-based gambling, such as gaming machines. However, there is very little previous research on the association between intelligence and skills-based gambling and so finding such a strong link is significant.”
The study does not provide a definitive answer on why men with higher IQs would enjoy betting on horse racing, but the researchers believe this could be because men with higher IQs enjoy the mathematical challenge posed by such skill-based betting.
Associate Professor Jani Saastamoinen of the University of Eastern Finland said: “Betting could be compared to solving crossword puzzles. Perhaps, bettors like to crunch numbers and find the winning horses – even though they know they’ll end up losing money in the long run.”
Reference: “Does IQ predict engagement with skill-based gambling? Large-scale evidence from horserace betting” by Niko Suhonen, Jani Saastamoinen, David Forrest and Tuomo Kainulainen, 4 September 2022, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.