Happiness is a sign of high intelligence, research finds.
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.
The results come from 33 studies on almost 50,000 people.
Along with finding a link between happiness and higher IQ, the study also found that higher IQ was linked to greater job satisfaction.
More intelligent people tend to earn more and have more complex jobs.
Complexity is likely to be more rewarding.
Naturally, then, when highly intelligent people are not challenged in their job, they are not as happy.
The study’s authors conclude:
“…smarter people may be happier both at work and in their everyday lives as a function of their higher attained job complexity and income.
We also found that, when holding complexity and income constant, GMA [general mental ability, or IQ] has a negative relationship with job satisfaction, which may be due to feelings of boredom and frustration at work experienced by high GMA individuals at “average” levels of complexity and income.”
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, 2013) 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 of Vocational Behavior (Gonzalez-Mulé et al., 2017).