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.”
→ Explore PsyBlog’s ebooks, all written by Dr Jeremy Dean:
The study was published in the journal Psychological Medicine (Ali et al., 2013).