Evolutionary psychologists Kanazawa and Li conducted a study that focused on answering one question: what constitutes a life ‘well-lived’ and how do intelligence, population density and friendships affect one’s overall happiness?
Their study looked at 15,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 28, theorizing that the lifestyles of our ancient ancestors make up the basis for much of what makes the modern-day human happy.
They first discovered that people who lived in densely populated areas, like cities, were less satisfied overall when compared to those who live in less densely populated regions. Secondly, they found that people who were more social with their close friends had greater levels of happiness.
However, they also found that this correlation seemed to be counter-intuitive when looking at the results for intelligent people. Smart people tended to be less happy when spending time with their friends and family.
But why would that be the case?
Carol Graham, a researcher of the economics of happiness, offers one explanation: “The findings in here suggest (and it is no surprise) that those with more intelligence and the capacity to use it… are less likely to spend so much time socializing because they are focused on some other longer term objective.”
Basically, intelligent people are highly focused on their intelligent goals, and taking time away from those goals tends to make them less happy. According to Kanazawa and Li, there may be some imbalances in the brain and the body of modern humans, as our lifestyles have changed so dramatically in such a short amount of time, relatively speaking.
So, do you consider yourself an intelligent person? Do you feel that you’d rather spend time alone, or that spending time with friends and family makes you feel unhappy? Share and see what others have to say about these findings