We all “recharge our batteries” in different ways. However, researchers for the British Journal of Psychology published an article showing that intelligence, population density, and friendship all play a role in achieving happiness and satisfaction with life.
In the article, the researchers focused on the ratios of these three variables to “highlight the utility of incorporating evolutionary perspectives in the subjective study of well-being”. Said in another way, our society has advanced to a place where simple goals (food, shelter, and protection) are already provided for — leaving the most forward-thinking, gifted portion of the population in search of something greater, a pursuit which may be hindered by spending too much time around other people.
Essentially, the more time that the smartest people in the study spent around others, the less satisfied they became with their lives.
The researchers concluded that people scoring on the extremely high end of the IQ test won’t generally find an increased quality of life or happiness by associating more, and more often, with friends and acquaintances. It turns out the stereotype of the “reclusive genius” may not be very far off from the reality of what actually makes life more worthwhile for the highly intelligent.
If you’re the type who enjoys working alone, on your own projects, and doesn’t feel as much of a need to socialize as many of the people around you — don’t worry. The loner may just be the smartest one of the bunch, diligently working towards taking us all into a brighter future.