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People Who Prefer To Stay Alone Are Special According To A Study

People Who Prefer To Stay Alone Are Special According To A Study

Scientists have been able to understand what makes humans happy after much research. Exercise has been recognized to reduce anxiety and help well-being. Finding yourself in nature makes you happier. Surrounding oneself with friends has also been linked to being happy. Certainly, friends will make you happier, unless you are very smart, according to recent research!

In an article published in the British Journal of Psychology, Norman Li and Satoshi Kanazawa explain why very intelligent people experience a lower life satisfaction when they frequent their friends more often.

The researchers based their discovery on evolutionary psychology, suggesting that intelligence evolved as a quality to solve problems alone without the help of others.

Why are smart people happier when they are alone?

The researchers analyzed the responses of 15,197 people aged 18 to 28 years. Their data were collected as part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, which measures satisfaction, intelligence and health.

Data analysis revealed that being surrounded by many people usually leads to misfortune, whereas frequenting friends generally leads to happiness, unless the person in question is very intelligent.

The theory of happiness of the savannah

The authors of the research explain their findings by invoking the "Savannah Happiness Theory", based on the idea that the satisfaction of life is based not only on what is happening in the present, but also on how our ancestors could have reacted in the present.

The theory comes from evolutionary psychology, and claims that the human brain has been largely designed and adapted to the conditions of the environment before creating an agriculture-based society. Therefore, researchers say that our brain is not well suited to understand and respond to the unique conditions of modern society.

They analyzed two key factors that are peculiar to the contemporary era:
  • Population density
  • How often do humans visit their friends

According to researchers, many people today live in places of higher population density than our ancestors and spend less time with friends than our ancestors. As a result, most people will become happier by living as they are natural: interacting with fewer people and spending more time with friends.

However, this does not apply to very intelligent people, because smarter individuals are more likely to have "unnatural" preferences and values that our ancestors did not have. The researchers also found that very intelligent people feel they do not really benefit from friendships and frequenting their friends as less intelligent.

Explanation of the results

The key question for researchers is why humans have adapted the quality of intelligence.

Evolutionary psychologists believe that intelligence has evolved as a psychological trait to solve new problems. For our ancestors, frequent contact with friends was a necessity that helped them survive. Therefore, the sign that someone is very intelligent is being able to solve problems without the help of the group.

Historically, humans have lived in groups of about 150 people. On the other hand, it is believed that densely populated urban cities emphasize isolation and depression because they make it difficult to develop close relationships.

Yet a busy and hostile place has less negative impact on smarter people. This may explain why very ambitious people move from rural areas to cities.

"In general, urban dwellers have a higher average intelligence than rural people, perhaps because smarter individuals are better able to live in unnatural, densely populated environments," says Kanazawa.

That does not mean that if you like to be with your friends, you are not very intelligent
It is important to note that correlation in search results does not mean causation. In other words, these search results do not mean that if you like to be with your friends, you are not very smart.

While some very smart people may have adapted to be more comfortable in densely populated areas, they may also be "chameleons", comfortable people in many situations.

One of the main things to remember from the research is perhaps to apply the result to the lonely people in your life. Just because someone likes to be alone, does not mean he is unhappy. He can just be very intelligent and able to solve problems himself.
People Who Prefer To Stay Alone Are Special According To A Study