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Intelligent People Prefer Solitude

Maria D.Maria D.

Regular folks tend to find comfort when communicating with others. They love to go to pubs or spend their time with their friends and family. On the other hand, intelligent people prefer to be alone most of the time. This is what a study published in the British Journal of Psychology, conducted by Satoshi Kanazawa and Norman Lee, has found.

It's well known that many intelligent individuals prefer to have fewer people around them, if any at all. The published study further confirms the fact that brilliant people find consolation in their solitude.

Satoshi and Norman try to explain their finds by pointing to evolutionary psychology, that intelligence developed as a trait for solving unique challenges. The more intelligent members of a group were capable of resolving most problems on their own, without need the aid of any of their friends. Simply put, the study indicates that humans have evolved in this way - that regular people love to make friends, while more intelligent ones simply don't.

The researchers based their conclusions on data collected from over 15 000 people aged 18-28. Socializing with friends leads to an increase in happiness, except when a person is exceptionally smart. The study considered intelligence, population density, evolutionary psychology and overall well-being.

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In our modern day world, the majority of people live in regions with a high population density but actually spend less time with friends than our ancestors did. Therefore, most of them will become happier if we assume that they do what's natural for them - surrounding themselves with less random people and spending more time with actual friends.

But then why do intelligent people love being alone? The 2 researchers believe that the answer lies in evolutionary psychology, according to which intelligence evolved as a trait for solving new problems more efficiently.

For our ancestors, frequent contact with friends was a necessity, it helped us survive. However, the highly intelligent individual was naturally gifted to solve everyday life challenges without needing anyone else's help. What that meant was establishing relationships with others was not a requirement for their survival.


The results of the study don't necessarily mean that if you love being around your friends that you're not very intelligent or anything like that. These are just general observations and there will always be exceptions.