Are people with higher intelligence less happy?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by sigamy, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. sigamy, Jul 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013

    sigamy macrumors 65816

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    #1
    First, let me say that I do not wish to offend, criticize or insult any one in any way with this post. I am interested in opinions on this question:

    Are people with higher intelligence less happy humans?

    I'm in early 40's with a spouse and two kids. I have an BS degree from major University and a corporate stooge job. I would say I have average intelligence for a college graduate (not even sure what that means)...

    I'm sure there will be plenty of grammatical mistakes in this post, so there you go...

    My spouse says that I am miserable. I am no fun. I do not enjoy life.

    My point of view is how can I be happy when I know what the world brings? I know of all my debts, struggles with raising kids, helping them find a secure future, the political landscape, social injustice, the rat's nest of local politics and nepotism, corruption, etc.

    Generally speaking, children are happy. Of course they throw fits and they want what they want. But, when free to play, they are happy and content. Why? Because they have very little knowledge and no real worries.

    I have to believe there is a correlation to this in adults who have less knowledge and fewer concerns.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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  3. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #3
    Sounds like you need to stop caring about stuff. I do it all the time. Ignorance is certainly bliss. Kick back, and enjoy the sunshine with your favourite drink/narcotic sometime and just... forget.
     
  4. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

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    #4
    The more intelligent someone is, the less happy he/she is. This is a fact of life.
    Ignorance is sometimes better...
     
  5. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    #5
    I've heard of studies that reflect this fact - many who are on that side of the bell curve, generally have a more negative outlook.

    Also saw another study showing that people who are genuinely more honest - also were more negative.

    Would you rather be irrational or oblivious?
     
  6. GermanyChris, Jul 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013

    GermanyChris macrumors 601

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    #6
    Lose this
     
  7. Huntn macrumors G5

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    #7
    There is intelligence and then there is awareness. There may be some crossover, but I say you'd have to take it on a case by case basis. A lot of what happiness entails is situation, expectations, accomplishments, and personal outlook.
     
  8. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #8
    I am not sure that higher intelligence has much effect on happiness, but then again as a behavioural and neuroscience researcher I am not sure what 'intelligence' is. If you mean verbal, numerical, and spatial reasoning, then I would imagine that intelligence increases happiness up to a certain point. However, at some level of intelligence, one begins to be treated like an outsider, and society does not like outsiders and vice versa. (Reminds me of a story about a chimp that researchers tried to teach sign language: She learned many signs, but was eventually retired to a chimp colony and introduced to a social group. The hope was that she would breed but she rejected all of the males in the group and tended to keep to herself. When the former researchers visited her, they asked her in sign language why she did not like the males in her group. Without missing a beat, she signed 'too stupid'.)
     
  9. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #9
    See a Councillor.

    You may be prone to depression or are currently depressed.
     
  10. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #10
    On the assertion that "the more intelligent someone is, the less happy he/she is."...source for that assertion, please.

    Saying it is " a fact of life" is not supporting your assertion, just making another unsupported assertion.

    Ignorance is better than what? Knowledge? Education? Information?

    Are you asserting that it is better to be ignorant than informed?



    Or tighten it up! ;)
     
  11. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #11
    thank you for pointing that out
     
  12. Zaap macrumors 6502

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    #12
    [​IMG]

    "If the rule you followed brought you to this... of what use was the rule?"
     
  13. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #13
    I have to say based on your explanation, I can generally agree with what you say.

    But the title of this thread is terrible! There are plenty of unhappy people at all levels of intelligence. Unhappiness does not pick or favor any certain subgroup. I bet in your family you have unhappy people at all levels of intelligence. There are probably people of all levels of intelligence just in your neighborhood who are unhappy. Just like alcoholism does not know any bounds, neither does being happy or unhappy.

    I don't think knowledge or lack of is the core of being unhappy, but personal outlook is the key.

    We all know we can't fix all the problems of the world/nation, or that if we do new ones won't come along, but we have to have a positive perspective on life. We win some battles and solve some problems and that's better than losing all battles and not solving anything. Will gas go below $2.50 a gallon and unemployment be back at 4% percent? Will the USA pull out their troops from Afghanistan and avoid Syria, Egypt, and Iran? Will the world turn the corner on global warming? Will we conquer malaria in some third world countries? etc.

    I don't walk around thinking that I will die one day and so will everybody else and thus give up. Our planet will die out and be without life someday, followed by our universe being too cold everywhere to support any life, but it won't be our issue to deal with and we have to do what we can now with what is in front of us. Your personal issues may be a heavy load, but can be made a lot lighter if you realize that there are many things you can't fix all at once. You can't stop all plastics from going into ocean but you can recycle. You can't stop the misuse of fossil fuels but you can ride a bike sometimes. You can't stop animal cruelty but you can donate to the ASPCA, etc. All the small things you do, multiplied by how many people out there realize help is needed, do make a difference.

    I used to be so bummed about my state (California) being the very prediction of a society ruined by air pollution. It was a huge issue when I was a kid and there was a bad outlook for the Los Angeles area. It wasn't the end of the world but for us over here it seemed hopeless. But small actions by environmental groups, a budding personal fitness movement then promoting bikes and running, and concerted media efforts to bring this to our attention actually turned things around.

    While the distant future of the 1980s were predicted to be unlivable, air quality in Los Angeles in the 1984 Olymics were actually at far better levels than the city posted ten years earlier. Had anybody said in 1974 that the air quality would be better in the city and that the city would host the Olympics, people would ask what you were smoking. ;)
     
  14. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #14
    This pseudo diagnosis is ill considered and ill informed and should be ignored.

    Since no responsible mental health professional would make such a statement based on a 12 line post, I am assuming that you lack that training.

    And if you are fully trained, then you would know better than to make such an absurd and unethical statement.
     
  15. tshrimp macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I think the person was just trying to help. There is no harm in seeing a professional as was suggested by MorphingDragon.
     
  16. Prototypical macrumors 6502

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    #16
    They DO say that ignorance is bliss... *shrug*
     
  17. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

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    #17
    Well, I have no scientific evidence to back it up, but this is what I have seen in my life so far. Why? Do you believe this is not true?
     
  18. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #18
    This is also what I have seen, too. But I look at where I come from and most of my friends. I pretty much see unhappy people where I am and they happen to be educated, and liberal.

    There seems to be a myth (maybe true, maybe not) that not only less intelligent (or perhaps more ignorant) people are happier, but so are conservatives. It's also what I have seen from a small sample of people, but it's hard to say in general unless there are a lot of studies in the subject.

    Along those same lines, I have seen what appears to be evidence that married men are happier than single men and also live longer. Oddly, but maybe not, younger single women tend to be happier than their married and older counterparts. :)
     
  19. MacNut macrumors Core

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    #19
    People with higher intelligence come off as know it alls and smug. I think they are less happy because people are sick of listening to them.
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  21. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #21
    For many American children, childhood is the one time in their life when they'll live in an almost perfect world*.

    But at some point, this protective bubble bursts and these children begin to become aware of the less-than-perfect things that life has to offer.

    Hilarity often ensues as they begin their quest for the meaning of life and the pursuit of the holy grail of happiness.

    Then they die.

    fin

    * Unfortunately, there are also many children in America, and even more worldwide, who will experience a less-fortunate childhood and later life.
     
  22. Mousse macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Gross generalization. I don't buy into generalization in general.:)

    Same here.

    Ah ha! Like me, you're suffering from the MT Pocket Syndrome. Money can't buy happiness, but it can wipe out a lot of worries over debt and what's for dinner. If you don't have to worry about debt and feeding the children, life is a lot simpler. That's why I plan on going Grizzly Adams once the kids are grown up and out of the house. I'll sign everything over the Missus and move to the mountains.
     
  23. tshrimp macrumors 6502

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    #23
  24. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

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    #24
    Id like to agree with the concept. I feel people who are smart tend to analyze situations and events more than just enjoy them as they come along.

    Source: presonal experience :[
     
  25. Zaap macrumors 6502

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    #25
    If you so-called intelligence doesn't allow you to be happy... you're probably not as intelligent as you've led yourself to believe.
     

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