Latest research done by UK researchers has shown that people with lower intelligence are more likely to be unhappy in comparison to their brighter colleagues. This research was published in the journal Psychological Medicine. Researchers found that low intelligence is associated with low income and poor mental health.
One of the questions was: “Taking all things together, how would you say you were these days – very happy, fairly happy or not too happy?”
Verbal IQ of participants was also assessed. Most of the people (43%) enrolled in this study were saying that they are very happy and researchers found that IQ level of all these people was high between 120 and 129.
Those people who said “not too happy” (12%), their IQ level was between 70 and 79.
Dr Angela Hassiotis said: “People in the lower end of the normal spectrum are more likely to consider themselves not happy.”
The researchers have concluded that low intelligence is associated to number of things including poor mental health, low income and could increase the risk of unhappiness.
Dr Hassiotis said: “There is some evidence that long term intensive strategies directed at young children from socially deprived backgrounds can have a positive impact not only on IQ, but also on wellbeing and life opportunities.
“Such interventions are likely to be costly, but the initial costs may be offset by future benefits such as a reduced reliance on state benefits and better mental and physical health.”
Dr Jonathan Campion, a consultant psychiatrist and director of public mental health at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The study suggests that higher IQ appears to be associated with improved wellbeing, but that this relationship between IQ and wellbeing is partly due to higher IQ being linked with better income, health and less mental illness.”
This study is particularly useful as have identified certain factors that could affect relationship between intelligence and happiness.
The abstract of this paper is as following;
Background Happiness and higher intelligent quotient (IQ) are independently related to positive health outcomes. However, there are inconsistent reports about the relationship between IQ and happiness. The aim was to examine the association between IQ and happiness and whether it is mediated by social and clinical factors.
Method The authors analysed data from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey in England. The participants were adults aged 16 years or over, living in private households in 2007. Data from 6870 participants were included in the study. Happiness was measured using a validated question on a three-point scale. Verbal IQ was estimated using the National Adult Reading Test and both categorical and continuous IQ was analysed.
Results Happiness is significantly associated with IQ. Those in the lowest IQ range (70–99) reported the lowest levels of happiness compared with the highest IQ group (120–129). Mediation analysis using the continuous IQ variable found dependency in activities of daily living, income, health and neurotic symptoms were strong mediators of the relationship, as they reduced the association between happiness and IQ by 50%.
Conclusions Those with lower IQ are less happy than those with higher IQ. Interventions that target modifiable variables such as income (e.g. through enhancing education and employment opportunities) and neurotic symptoms (e.g. through better detection of mental health problems) may improve levels of happiness in the lower IQ groups.
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References: Journal Psychological Medicine
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