Study: Smart People Are Completely Content to Be Loners

Most people will probably be upset by the assertion that they have few friends.

Unless you’re smart, that is.

According to a study published last month in the British Journal of Psychology, individuals with higher IQs are completely fine with having just a couple of amigos on dial as opposed to a sprawling, unmanageable circle of friends.

“The findings in here suggest that those with more intelligence and the capacity to use it… are less likely to spend so much time socializing because they are focused on some other longer term objective,” says Carol Graham, a Brookings Institution researcher who studies the economics of happiness, in a recent Washington Post article about the findings.

You know, like Bill Gates shirking his entire social life to spend 10,000 hours on a computer when he was younger – and being completely happy for it.

Researchers used data from a long-term survey of 15,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 28 to draw two major trends: urban dwellers were generally less happy than those living in rural areas, and people reported higher life-satisfaction with increased social interactions.

The study’s findings support the “savanna theory of happiness,” which was coined in 2004 by evolutionary psychologist and study co-author Satoshi Kanazawa.

The theory argues that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to report less satisfaction with their life overall, and that the more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness.

Here’s the curveball: these correlations were diminished or even reversed for people with higher IQs.

In essence, smart people are happier by their lonesome than they are spending time with their friends. So say what you want about your friend staying in all the time – just don’t call them “dumb.”