Have you ever thought about intelligence having an influence on happiness? Does being smarter make you happier? If so, why?

Positive Psychology is a fairly new movement within psychology, which focuses research and interventions on human flourishing rather than psychological maladies. Topics commonly discussed in Positive Psychology include happiness, optimism, and resilience. However, surprisingly, people tend to overlook intelligence – regardless of the fact that it’s one of the oldest and best researched in psychology. This is not to be mistaken as intelligence being dismissed or not cared about by any means. One way of thinking, is that intelligence is more like a trait – just like being introverted/extroverted or left handed.

A recent study looked into the association between intelligence and happiness, but not just levels of happiness but happiness stability. The study used a sample of almost 10 thousand British people. The researcher also gathered individual information such as childhood IQ scores, personality data, income, job satisfaction, and marital status. He even got information on their happiness at ages 33, 42, 47, and 51. Considering all these contributing factors, he analyzed the relationship between intelligence and happiness stability.

Come to find out, IQ (even assessed in childhood) can predict the emotional ups and downs a person will have over the course of their lives. Those who had lower, below average, IQs did experience more inconsistency in their life satisfaction compared to those with above average IQs. An important note make is that this is not due to differences in education, income, or jobs. However, this was impacted by differences in health.
Happiness and intelligence is something we should all think about. Does this study mean anything to you? Maybe intelligence is just a varying trait among us. If so, does that make it unfair to many people? However, we should really look into the way people learn, process, remember, recall and solve problems – all related to intelligence. Perhaps studying these questions more will help us connect more dots on happiness and intelligence.



Does intelligence predict happiness. (2014, October 14). Psychology Today. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/significant-results/201410/does-intelligence-predict-happiness