The Crime-Genius(-Marriage) Connection

Some research appeals to too darn many biases for its own good (Kanazawa, S. “Why productivity fades with age: The crime-genius connection”, Journal of Research in Personality 37(2003), 257-272):

The biographies of 280 scientists indicate that the distribution of their age at the time of their greatest scientific contributions in their careers (age-genius curve) is similar to the age distribution of criminals (age-crime curve). The age-genius curves among jazz musicians, painters and authors are also similar to the age-crime curve.

Further, marriage has a strong desistance effect on both crime and genius. I argue that this is because both crime and genius stem from men’s evolved psychological mechanism which compels them to be highly competitive in early adulthood but “turns off” when they get married and have children. Fluctuating levels of testosterone, which decreases when men get married and have children, can provide the biochemical microfoundation for this psychological mechanism.

Not convinced? Check out the following paired graphs from the paper:

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