People whose personalities are happy, energetic and lively have higher IQs, new research finds.
Higher IQ is linked to experiencing more positive emotions, enjoying complex problems, having a larger vocabulary and understanding things more quickly.
The researchers found that smarter people were less stressed when given a taxing task to do.
They were also more engaged with it.
People with higher IQs were more likely to agree with statements like:
- I am quick to understand things.
- I have a large vocabulary and enjoy being intellectually engaged.
- I enjoy tackling difficult problems.
The more people agreed with statements like these, the higher their IQ was, researchers found.
The study included 440 people who completed surveys of their happiness and IQ.
The results showed that energetic lively people had higher fluid intelligence.
The study’s authors conclude:
“The results indicated that Intellect was generally associated with lower stress (low distress and worry and high task engagement) before and after intelligence tests.”
Fluid intelligence refers to the speed at which the brain works.
It is like the raw power of an engine or the speed at which a computer can process information.
Fluid intelligence is contrasted with crystallised intelligence.
Crystallised intelligence is something like general knowledge: the information that people have learnt about the world over the years.
The reason that IQ and happiness are linked could be down to how much importance is placed on being smart in Western cultures.
The authors write:
“It is striking that Intellect was correlated with affect even in Study 1, in which there was no requirement to perform an intellectual task.
At least in Western cultures, intellect may be of sufficient importance to the self-schema that it influences general emotional functioning.”
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 Personality and Individual Differences (Zajenkowskia & Matthews, 2019).