We live in a society in which people value quantity over quality, leading many to frown upon people who choose to keep their circles small. Many throw the term ‘friend’ around way too willy-nilly- when in reality, we all know that good friend are few and far between.
Intelligent people know this especially. While not all intelligent people consider themselves to be introverted, the vast majority do. In 2016, there was a study was published in the journal the ‘British Journal of Psychology,’ and their goal was to see why intelligent people tended to have fewer friends than others.
The research was carried out by psychologists Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics and Norman Li of Singapore Management University.
The researchers believe that in our past lives, in which we were hunter-gatherers, we found security and happiness in tight-knit tribes, for our survival. In modern times, our new lifestyles simply do not align with our instincts. In turn, many of us are experiencing excruciating levels of depression and anxiety.
According to the researchers, this is called the ‘savanna theory of happiness.’ This theory of happiness says that our ancestral consequences still tie into our current mental health. They base these findings on a meta-analysis of over 15,000 respondents between the age of 18-28.
In their research, they looked at people who lived in densely populated urban areas and when they did, they noticed that they reported lower levels of satisfaction in life overall. On top of that, they found that when people socialized more with close friends, they reported higher levels of happiness than larger groups.
“The effect of population density on life satisfaction was, therefore, more than twice as large for low-IQ individuals than for high-IQ individuals,” they found. And “more intelligent individuals were less satisfied with life if they socialized with their friends more frequently.”
Because intelligent people are more attuned to their instincts, they are far more likely to value close friends over many acquaintances. Additionally, they noted, “Residents of rural areas and small towns are happier than those in suburbs, who in turn are happier than those in small central cities, who in turn are happier than those in large central cities.”