According to a study, people with a higher intelligence tend to have fewer friends
January 02, 2019
In a world dominated by social networks, and in which friendships can be multiplied just by clicking, anyone who has only a few friends is a loser.
And the concept of solitude seems to be completely out of fashion, if not actually seen under a negative light.
Despite this, some people are happy also when they are alone, in fact, especially or only when they are not in the company of others.
Not only that - these individuals would be the most intelligent. This is confirmed in a study published in the British Journal of Psychology.
The research - conducted by the London School of Economics in collaboration with the Management University of Singapore - has examined 15,000 people aged between 18 and 28 years, the age group in which friendships are consolidated and there are more possibilities of making friends. It has emerged that those with the highest IQ do not need to interact with others to feel good; on the contrary, people with a low or average intellectual coefficient have shown a greater tendency to socialization.
Specifically, this does not mean that the most intelligent people are asocial; they simply show a greater degree of satisfaction in doing activities by themselves. As a consequence, they have fewer interpersonal relationships, which in any case, are chosen among the people who they feel closest to and who are similar.
The researchers said that "individuals with a higher than average IQ, who have to be frequently in the company of their friends, are less satisfied with their lives." So, as relationships decrease, their degree of satisfaction increases.
But how is this correlation justified? Scholars have relied on the Savanna Theory to find an explanation for this behavior. This is a theory based on the evolution of the brain and human behavior from the dawn of humanity to the present. With the increase of the number of tools - physical and intellectual - which human beings have used to face the challenges posed by the environment, comes a decrease in a person's need to be in the company of others in order to face these challenges.
Therefore, the most intelligent people, being gifted with the necessary cognitive resources, prefer to solve problems on their own, because other people could slow them down or hinder them.
However, the study did not take into account the specific personal history of the participants, but only the degree of social well-being and the intellectual coefficient.
High intelligence has often been associated with personality disorders or low emotional intelligence. In this sense, it would have been opportune to deepen the research by also including other factors, in order to have a wider and more complete view of the life of an intelligent person.
In essence, a person who is very intelligent and who is not interested in cultivating social relationships would prefer to look for happiness not so much in interpersonal relationships, but in other areas and activities that can be carried out in solitude. The question remains, however, whether or not a very intelligent person has fewer friends due to having low emotional intelligence.