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Highly Intelligent individuals

** Evolution Made Really Smart People Long to Be Loners {some what like others like myself}, are not really interested in trending or popular} yet. Research finds that highly intelligent individuals prefer to socialize less than most the rest of us.

Date:   12/15/2020 2:24:45 AM   ( 80 d ) ... viewed 230 times

Pocket worthyStories to fuel your mind.
by: Sarah Sloat

Psychologists have a pretty good idea of what typically makes a human happy. Dancing delights us. Being in nature brings us joy. And, for most people, frequent contact with good friends makes us feel content.

That is unless you’re really, really smart.

In a 2016 paper published in the British Journal of Psychology, researchers Norman Li and Satoshi Kanazawa report that highly intelligent people experience lower life satisfaction when they socialize with friends more frequently. These are the Sherlocks and the Newt Scamanders of the world — the very intelligent few who would be happier if they were left alone.

To come to this conclusion, the researchers analyzed the survey responses of 15,197 individuals between the ages of 18 and 28.

Their data was a part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health — a survey that measures life satisfaction, intelligence, and health. Analysis of this data revealed that being around dense crowds of people typically leads to unhappiness

while socializing with {some type} of friends typically leads to happiness — that is unless the person in question is highly intelligent.

The authors explain these findings with the “savanna theory of happiness,” noting how different our world is from that of our Pleistocene-era ancestors.

The Savanna Theory of Happiness is the idea that life satisfaction is not only determined by what’s happening in the present but also influenced by the ways our ancestors may have reacted to the event.

Evolutionary psychology argues that, just like any other organ, the human brain has been designed for and adapted to the conditions of an ancestral environment. Therefore, the researchers argue, our brains may have trouble comprehending and dealing with situations that are unique to the present.

The two factors that differ the most between ancestral and modern life are population density and how frequently humans socialize with friends. Today, most of us are around more people and spend less time with friends than our ancestors. But not the exceptionally smart among us: The authors argue that less intelligent people are affected by the savanna theory more than highly intelligent people.

“In general, more intelligent individuals are more likely to have ‘unnatural’ preferences and values that our ancestors did not have,” Kanazawa tells Inverse. “It is extremely natural for species like humans to seek and desire friendships so, as a result, more intelligent individuals will likely to seek them less.”

The survey results also revealed that smarter people were less likely to feel that they benefited from friendships, but they actually socialized more than less intelligent people.

Intelligence is believed to have evolved as a psychological mechanism to solve novel problems — the sort of challenges that weren’t a regular part of life. For our ancestors, frequent contact with friends and allies was a necessity that allowed them to survive.

Being highly intelligent, however, meant an individual was more likely to be able to solve problems without another person’s help, which in turn diminished the importance of their friendships.

Because highly intelligent people do not necessarily prefer what their ancestors would have wanted, they are more comfortable in urban settings, the authors write.

Historically, millennia ago people tended to live comfortably live in groups of around 150: the typical size of a Neolithic village was 150.

Roman military units were usually 120 men, and the average company size of a World War II army was 180. Today they are even larger!

Historically - Densely packed urban centers, in contrast, are thought to bring about isolation and depression because they do not foster close relationships. But a busy, alienating place has less of a negative effect on more intelligent people.

“In general, urbanites have higher average intelligence than is ruralized, possibly because more intelligent individuals are better able to live in ‘unnatural’ settings of high population density,” says Kanazawa.

That certainly doesn’t mean that if you enjoy being around your friends that you’re unintelligent. But it does mean that the really smart person you know who spends much of their time alone isn’t a sad loner — they probably just like it that way.

Sarah Sloat is a writer based in Brooklyn. She has previously written for The New Republic, Pacific Standard, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency.
She likes cheese, especially when paired with a full-bodied joke.


This post originally appeared on Inverse and was published December 6, 2016.
This article is republished here with permission.

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