Your idea of hell might be other people if you are smart enough.
This is according to a fascinating research published in the British Journal of Psychology. The evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics together with his colleague Norman Li of Singapore Management University investigated the question of what a well-lived life is.
They found that the denser the population in the environment is, the less happy its people are. And the more interactions with close friends a person has, the happier they are.
However, more intelligent people are an exception. The researchers found that people with higher IQ were actually less happy and satisfied with their life when they engaged in social activities with their friends more often.
In other words, smart people don’t find happiness in socializing with friends.
Carol Graham, who is a lead researcher with the Brookings Institute, wrote in the Washington Post that the economics of happiness are dependent upon those with higher intelligence being “less likely to spend so much so much time socializing because they are focused on some other longer term objective.”
When you think about it, it actually kind of makes sense, especially for those who are highly intelligent. Many super-smart people have a lot of theories rolling around in their heads, and they are looking to figure out how to change the world in some wonderful way. Sometimes, they have a great invention they want to share with society. Simply put, highly intelligent people are more focused on their goals than those who have less intelligence. In all honesty, they’ve got more important things to do than listen to their friends talking about their most recent trip to Europe or the fact their son has been learning to play the violin or is learning French.
However, the researchers hit on an important point: they discovered that there was an incongruity between the way we have evolved and the fast-paced lives we have led. They discovered that brainy people are more able to adapt to modern life, and they are not as tied to the predilections of humanity and their evolution. In other words, really smart people such as your chemistry professor have less of a need to be social or have many friends.
So if you are not the social type and prefer just to exercise your mind in some way, either through working on an invention, studying a diagram, working on your writing, or doing some other sort of intellectual project, then you probably shouldn’t fret. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are anti-social; it probably just means you are really smart.
What do you think about this? Do you think that having fewer friends and engaging less in social activities will make you smarter and more able to achieve your dreams?