Posted on: November 4, 2016 at 1:20 pm
Last updated: September 26, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Finally! A reason to be grateful for all those long hours of labor! Some research has claimed that if your child has a big head lolling about on their shoulders, it means that they will grow up to go to university and become an intelligent human being!

What Studies Have Found

Many different people believe in the positive relationships between head size and intelligence levels. The following three studies prove their hypothesis correct, showing an association between IQ and head size!

Firstly, we have to look at why larger heads and intelligence was initially correlated. Well, Pakkenburg and Gundersen say that ‘larger brains have more neurons and therefore, a greater number of synaptic connections, which may mean a higher IQ.’ Makes sense right?


Study One

The first study we will be looking at is by Jensen et al. They used a group of ‘14,000 children and their full siblings‘ between the ages of 4-7, it showed ‘positive correlation between IQ X head size’ which means the larger their head, the higher their IQ. The link between head size and intelligence is proven in this case.

However, the study shows that although male heads are generally larger than female ones, their level of intelligence does not differ. This leaves us wondering whether head size is actually correlated to intelligence levels or if it’s something entirely different.

Study Two

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The second study, and probably the biggest out of the three, was conducted by The University Of Edinburgh. It investigated whether there is a link between IQ, genes, and general health.

The study was done with over 100,000 British people aged 37-73, taking samples of blood, saliva, and urine to test on, this information was found in the UK BioBank which contains these vital details.


It revealed that ‘greater infant head circumference were significantly associated with increased likelihood of a college degree’. And according to Professor Ian Deary; ‘the study also found that cognitive skills share genetic influences with brain size, body shape, and educational attainments.’ 

It was published in the book of Molecular Psychiatry, where many researchers took notice of it. As Saskia Hagenaars says; ‘The study supports an existing theory which says that those with better overall health are likely to have higher levels of intelligence.’ being one of the largest studies ever done on the correlation of head size and levels of intelligence brings to light the inevitable conclusion that the two are associated with one another.

Study Three

The third and final study, by Ivanovic et al., on 96 right-handed, healthy individuals who were just finishing high school analyzed how head size and academic achievement were related. They concluded;  ‘that head circumference…. is the most relevant physical index associated with scholastic achievement and intellectual ability.’

This study was conducted in Chile, proving that the correlation is not merely limited to the United Kingdom- there is worldwide proof!


By looking at the results of all three studies, it is clear that there may be many other factors affecting intelligence levels and head sizing. Considering the first and third studies were conducted on much smaller participant groups that the second study shows the lack of long-term evidence to back the idea that the head size and intelligence are directly correlated.

To Conclude…

Although they do show a positive correlation between head size and IQ levels, it is not proven that one creates the other, they only show that they are associated with one another. Think of it like this; elephants have huge heads but aren’t as intelligent as humans and some monkeys have similarly sized heads to humans but also aren’t as smart.

Watch the following video to discover more accurate ways to measure intelligence!

So don’t rush to measure the size of your newborn’s head because it won’t necessarily tell you how clever they’re going to be, head size is just merely associated it. For more of an accurate look at intelligence and size, you would have to look more in depth at your brain and how it functions. That’s where all the magic happens!

The Hearty Soul
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