If You Prefer to Be Alone, You Could Be a Genius

Love canceled plans and prefer to stay in? You're probably pretty smart.

If you often opt to spend your evenings snuggled in bed with a boozy beverage and Netflix, it’s probably a sign you’re an introvert. But while flying solo can reveal a lot about your personality, it might say something about your smarts, too. Yes, it’s true: New research says that introverts could have a higher IQ. Think you’re a genius? Take this Mensa quiz to find out.

Generally speaking, the more often people socialize with friends, the happier they feel. But intelligent people tend to prefer their “me time,” according to a new study by researchers at Singapore Management University and the London School of Economics. Sound familiar? You’ll probably agree with these hidden strengths of introverts, too.

To reach these results, the team of psychologists conducted two studies using data from a massive national review of over 15,000 people between the ages of 18 and 28. The first study examined the link between subjects’ scores on an intelligence test, the population density in the area where subjects lived, and how satisfied subjects reported feeling with their lives. Meanwhile, the second evaluated how subjects’ IQ scores compared to their life satisfaction and how often they socialized with friends.

Overall, participants who lived in less populated areas reported feeling happier, whereas those with high IQ scores who lived in the same areas felt less satisfied. Most people were also happier the more often they socialized, the results found. But on the flip side, intelligent people reported feeling less satisfied with their lives the more time they spent with friends. These weird habits prove you’re smarter than most, too.

While these two conclusions seem to contradict each other, the psychologists believe they can be explained by “the savanna theory of happiness.” Here’s the basic rundown: Back when our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, spending time with friends was essential to survive; now, as a result, most of us feel unhappy when we are isolated. But because people with high IQs don’t follow that norm, some scientists believe that intelligent brains are simply more adaptable to what would otherwise be unusual environments, such as being alone or living in crowded communities.

All the more reason to cancel your plans this weekend. We won’t tell! Next, try these genius habits that your 80-year-old brain will thank you for.

[Source: Business Insider]

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a researcher at PBS FRONTLINE in Boston, Massachusetts, and writes regularly about travel, health, and culture news for Reader’s Digest. Previously she was a staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her articles have also appeared on MSN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, among other sites. She earned a BA in international relations from Hendrix College. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeTNelson.