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New study explains why smarter people have fewer friends

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Being a clever clogs can certainly have its upsides: invention, academic fame, cutting wit, the chance to impress your pub quiz team by confidently answering that legendary Hungarian footballer Ferenc Puskás actually played for Spain at the 1962 World Cup (smartarse) – the list goes on.

But could these same scholarly smarts also threaten your social life? Well, according to a recent study which found the smarter you are then the fewer friends you’re likely to have, yes they could.

The study – published on the British Journal of Psychology – took place over several years, looking at adults between the ages of 18 and 28.

It says that, overall, people who socialise most are happiest.

“As predicted… population density is negatively, and frequency of socialization with friends is positively, associated with life satisfaction.”

But the opposite is apparently true of people with high intelligence.

“The main associations of life satisfaction with population density and socialization with friends significantly interact with intelligence, and, in the latter case, the main association is reversed among the extremely intelligent.”

Inbetweeners

“More intelligent individuals experience lower life satisfaction with more frequent socialization with friends.”

According to the study, it’s evolutionary – a sign that humans have moved beyond a hunter-gatherer stage. Less socialising, it says, means less distraction from projects and helps intelligent people adapt to life.

This isn’t the only study this year on modern life versus the realities of friendship. Research from earlier this year looked at Facebook “friends”, finding that even if your friends list totals in the thousands, the number of people you’d actually consider an actual, real, brother-from-another-mother buddy is 27.6 per cent – with those you’d rely on in a proper personal emergency a paltry 4.1 per cent. 

Pah. Who needs friends anyway when you’re a massive clever clogs?

[Via: The Independent]

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