Happy people have higher intelligence, new research finds.
The finding goes against the popular idea that being intelligent somehow predisposes people to unhappiness.
The study looked at happiness in the best-known sense of feeling positive emotions and being satisfied with your life.
However, the link is partly explained by the fact that more intelligent people tend to be better off, have better jobs and more education.
The study’s authors write:
“In this large nationally representative study, we found that IQ is associated with self-reported happiness, which provides support for our hypothesis.
Levels of happiness were lowest in the lower IQ groups and highest in the higher IQ groups.”
The study involved a survey of 6,870 people who were given tests of intelligence and happiness.
The results showed that people with the lowest IQ (70 – 99) were the least happy in comparison to those with the highest IQs (120 – 129).
The study also found that people with high IQs had better health.
Poor health may be linked to low IQ due to lower learning abilities, the study’s authors write:
“One study suggests that people with lower IQ are more
likely to experience health problems because of a reduced
propensity to learn, reason and problem-solve, and because of difficulties in adhering to complex treatments, which often require following detailed instructions, and self-monitoring.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Psychological Medicine (Ali et al., 2013).