According to a study from the British Psychological Society, intelligent people are more likely to experience “lower life satisfaction with more frequent socialization with friends.”
Using data from a long-term survey of 15,000 people, aged 18 to 28, psychologists determined that those who lived in cities were generally less happy than those who lived in rural areas and people tended to report higher life satisfaction when they saw their friends more often.
The study justified this finding with the “savanna theory of happiness.” They compared more rural living to how ancestors once traveled in close-knit, smaller tribes. Basically the lifestyles of hunter-gatherer tribes have formed the evolutionary foundation for what makes people happy now.
So for the average person, living in a smaller town and actively socializing with friends is key to happiness. However, just the opposite was true for a highly intelligent person.
One psychologist theorized that smarter people are probably off doing some nobler work. If they’re trying to cure cancer or create a great work of art, taking time out of their fulfilling work to catch up with acquaintances could actually take away from their feeling of worth, which is crucial for happiness, according to psychologists who study the phenomenon.
However the study begs a few questions: Are those who live in cities unhappy before they live there or are unhappy people drawn to the urban lifestyle? And are people intelligent because they socialize less or do they socialize less because they’re more intelligent?
Maybe it’s time to book a solo trip to a secluded place to mull over the answers.
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