November 18, 2016

The Scientific Reason Intelligent People Need More Time Alone

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@lexi.hoebing
@lexi.hoebing

Socializing is usually portrayed as a happy event. If the opposite is true for you, it may be because you’re highly intelligent.

Evolutionary psychologists at the Singapore Management University and the London School of Economics and Political Science studied 15,000 people in an effort to understand happiness as it relates to factors like intelligence, population density, and friendships. They found that “More intelligent individuals experience lower life satisfaction with more frequent socialization with friends.”

This went against their overall findings, which was that for most people, more social interactions meant more overall happiness.

They reasoned this was due to the ability of highly intelligent people to move past their evolutionary urges. In our hunter-gatherer past, social relationships were a necessary part of survival. The psychologists argue that for smart people, they’ve been able to overcome this biological urge now that it’s no longer a necessity. Now that it’s advantageous to be able to focus in the world of Wifi and 24-hour news cycles, some people have adapted. They say “More intelligent individuals, who possess higher levels of general intelligence and thus greater ability to solve evolutionarily novel problems, may face less difficulty in comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations.”

A further explanation may be that intelligent individuals are more ambitious, they’d rather spend their time focusing on their projects than socializing. The Washington Post explained it as:

“Think of the really smart people you know. They may include a doctor trying to cure cancer or a writer working on the great American novel or a human rights lawyer working to protect the most vulnerable people in society. To the extent that frequent social interaction detracts from the pursuit of these goals, it may negatively affect their overall satisfaction with life.”

At least, that’s what you can say next time you want to RSVP ‘no’ to a party for no reason in particular other than being along with your thoughts is more appealing than a room full of people. TC mark

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