Scientists have a great idea about what is that is making people happy. It’s known that exercising can reduce the anxiety and help you relax. Reducing the social media usage is going to improve your emotional wellbeing. Being in nature will bring us joy.
In addition, for numerous people, being around friends is making us feel happy and content.
Friends are going to make you happier, unless you are highly intelligent.
This surprising claim is backed up by a research. In a paper that was published in the British Journal of Psychology, Satoshi Kanazawa and Norman Li explain why the very intelligent people are experiencing lower life satisfaction when they more frequently socialize with their close friends.
The scientists based their findings in evolutionary psychology, and they suggest that the intelligence evolved as a quality for solving the unique challenges. The more intelligent members of the group were more able to solve some issues on their own and they didn’t need help from their friends.
People are happier when they are with friends because we evolved on this way, but the more intelligent people are happier when they are alone.
Here’s the reason.
How intelligence, population density, and friendship affect the modern happiness
The specialists reached their decision in the wake of breaking down study reactions from 15,197 individuals between the ages of 18 and 28. They got their information as a major aspect of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a study which measures life fulfillment, intelligence and health.
One of their key discoveries was accounted for by Inverse: “Examination of this information uncovered that being around dense crowds of individuals ordinarily prompts unhappiness, while associating with companions regularly prompts joy – that is, unless the individual being referred to is exceptionally intelligent.”
The truth is out: associating with friends brings about expanding levels of joy unless you’re a truly smart individual.
The “savanna theory of happiness”
The authors explain the findings they came across by raising the “savanna theory of happiness”, based on the idea that the life satisfaction of people is based not only on what’s happening in the present, but also by how the ancestors of ours may have reacted in the present moment.
The hypothesis originates from evolutionary psychology, and contends that the human brain was to a great extent planned by and adjusted to the states of the environment before we made a rural based society. In this manner, the scientists contend, our brains are not appropriate to understanding and reacting to the one of a kind states of advanced society.
They analyzed two key factors that are unique to the modern era:
- Population density
- How frequently people socialize with their friends
According to the researchers, nowadays numerous people live in places of a higher population density than people before us would have lived in, and they spend less time with friends than people used to spend earlier. Therefore, most people are going to become happier by living according to what is natural to them: spend more time with friends, and be around less people.
However, as the researchers stated, this doesn’t apply to highly intelligent persons.
“In general, more intelligent persons are more likely to have ‘unnatural’ preferences and values that the people before us did not have,” Kanazawa adds. “It is very natural for species such as humans to seek and desire friendships and, that’s why, more intelligent persons are likely to seek them less.”
They also found that the very intelligent people feel that they don’t benefit a lot from friendships, and yet they socialize more often than the less intelligent individuals.
Explaining the research finding that the very intelligent individuals want to be alone
The most important question for the researchers is the reason why humans have adapted the quality of intelligence.
The evolutionary psychologists believe that the intelligence evolved as a psychological trait with the intention to solve new problems. For our ancestors, common contact with friends has been a necessity which has helped them to ensure their survival. To be highly intelligent, however, meant that a person was uniquely able to solve challenges without needing the assistance of another person. This diminished the importance of friendships to these people.
In this way, an indication of somebody being exceedingly intelligent is extraordinarily having the capacity to comprehend challenges without the assistance of the gathering.
Historically, people have lived in groups of around 150: the typical Neolithic village was about this size. Thickly populated urban communities, then again, are accepted to bring out disengagement and melancholy since they make it hard to encourage close relationships.
However, a busy and alienating place has to a lesser extent a contrary effect on more intelligent individuals. That may clarify why highly ambitious individuals float from rustic ranges to the urban areas.
“When all is said in done, urbanites have higher normal insight than ruralites do, conceivably in light of the fact that more intelligent people are better ready to live in ‘unnatural’ settings of high populace thickness,” says Kanazawa.
This doesn’t mean that if you like to be around your close friends you are not highly intelligent
It’s also important to note that correlation in the research findings doesn’t mean causation. In other words, the research findings don’t mean that if you enjoy to be surrounded by your friends that you are not highly intelligent.
While the highly intelligent persons may have adapted to be more comfortable in areas of high population density, the highly intelligent might also be “chameleons” – persons who are comfortable in various situations.
As the researchers finished:
“What’s more important, the main associations of life satisfaction with the population density and socialization with our friends significantly interact with our intelligence, and the main association is reversed among the extremely intelligent people. More intelligent persons experience lower life satisfaction with the more frequent socialization with friends.”
One of the key takeaways from this research could be to apply this to the introverts in your life. Just because some person likes to be alone, doesn’t mean that they are lonely. They might just be highly intelligent and they are able to solve challenges on their own.