Feeling more happiness is a sign of higher IQs, research finds.
Indeed, stable happiness is also a sign of higher IQ.
People with higher IQs are just as happy at 31-years-old as they are at 51.
More intelligent people experience fewer drops in their happiness over the years.
In contrast, the happiness of people with lower IQs is not just lower overall, but also goes up and down more over the years.
The conclusions come from a national survey of all 17,419 babies born in Britain during one week in 1958.
Those that stayed in the study were asked about their levels of happiness from ages 31 to 51.
The results are explained by Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, the study’s author:
“…childhood general intelligence emerged as the strongest predictor of the life-course variability of happiness.
More intelligent children on average tended to grow up to be more stable in their subjective well-being throughout adulthood.”
However, the reason that more intelligent people enjoy stable happiness was not clear from the study.
Dr Kanazawa writes:
“More intelligent individuals were significantly more stable in their happiness, and it was not entirely because: (1) they were more educated and wealthier (even though they were); (2) they were healthier (even though they were); (3) they were more stable in their marital status (even though they were); (4) they were happier (even though they were)…”
Satisfaction with life
Higher satisfaction with life is also a sign of high intelligence, a previous study has found.
People who are more satisfied with their life and their job score higher on tests of general mental ability.
Satisfaction with life is one of the two major aspects of happiness, along with the feeling of positive emotions in the moment.
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 British Journal of Psychology (Kanazawa et al., 2014).