Are smart people happier? See what science says

by Kelvin
Are smart people happier?  See what science says

Evolutionary psychologists Satoshi Kanazawa and Norman Li found in a study that people with high IQs feel happy lonely because they can adapt better to smaller circles of friends. They also don’t aspire to big cities in the same way as many and feel better with fewer interactions with friends, and are satisfied with occupying their time with certain tasks and looking for focuses that result in different “excitements”.

In another study published in the journal Psychological Medicine, people with higher IQs (greater than 120 points) were found to be happier than those with lower IQs (less than 99 points). Determining factors such as income influence this result, and people with higher IQ tend to have a higher or more balanced income.

Wataru Sato, in his research, defined that people with more subjective happiness had more gray matter in the brain, neuronal cells, in the region of the parietal lobe, precuneus. Those with greater intensity of happiness and those who feel less intense in sadness and are more capable of finding meaning in life have greater precuneus. The number of neurons and dendritic branches contribute to the increase in mass.


Based on this premise, and taking into account DWRI intelligence, in which the prefrontal cortex and other regions related to intelligence are well developed, even non-DWRI people with high IQ have an increased chance of other regions developing under the influence of IQ

In Sato’s research, it was found that when an individual is happy, regions of logical intelligence, IQ, are not active, but this is because not necessarily the happiness region would have to be intelligence, but this can determine happiness, so how the development of brain regions is related to intelligence.

There are 14 regions related to mental abilities that make up intelligence, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (involved in cognitive processes), parietal lobe (processing the senses) and anterior cingulate cortex (helps in controlling impulses and decisions).

More gray matter, nerve cell bodies, glial cells and dendrites, in the frontal lobes of the brain, is an indicator of intelligence in women and, in the frontal and rear areas linked to the integration of sensory information, in men. In addition to the large mass, which is related to the size of neurons, there is also a good connection between these 14 regions, due to the speed in exchanging information. Charles Spearman’s g-factor theory may be related to these connections, their power and speed, as I describe in my article synapse speed.

Happiness, as described in this article, comes from emotional balance, from homeostasis, which is the ability to keep the internal environment in constant balance with the external environment regardless of changes. Neuronal homeostasis is also related to synchrony and balance of neurotransmitters to further facilitate this feeling of satisfaction.

Happiness is also related to socioeconomic and balance issues, low-income people worry more, are more likely to have health problems, have more symptoms of psychological distress and need more help with daily life skills. But those who have a lot lose the objective, the reason and the motivation for the achievements.


Fabiano de Abreu Rodrigues, columnist of TechWorld, holds a doctorate and master’s degree in Health Sciences in the areas of Neurosciences and Psychology, with a specialization in Electrical Properties of Neurons (Harvard). He is a member of Mensa International, the association of the smartest people in the world, the Portuguese Society of Neuroscience and the European Federation of Neuroscience. He is director of the Center for Research and Analysis Heraclitus (CPAH), considered the leading national scientist for studies of intelligence and high IQ.