Savannah Happiness Theory: Those who live alone in the city are more intelligent

Savannah Happiness Theory
Do you live alone in the city? Then you are probably very intelligent

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Which living environment we need to be happy is very individual. And according to the so-called savannah happiness theory, the differences are apparently also based on the IQ.

Whether we prefer to live in the city or in the country is one of the crucial questions of our modern age. Ironically, this preference is built into our Stone Age brains. Because that felt more comfortable in the manageable surroundings of savannas and Co. and is anything but optimally equipped for the hustle and bustle of city life.

Based on this, the two psychologists Satoshi Kanazawa and Norman Li developed the so-called savannah happiness theory and in a large study examined. In doing so, they related the environment in which the participants feel comfortable – more urban or rural, more social contacts or less – to intelligence. With interesting results!

Study: How is happiness related to lifestyle and intelligence?

Li and Kanazawa surveyed 15,000 adults aged 18 to 28 for their study. They wanted to find out how happy people are in their respective living environment and how the whole thing is related to the intelligence quotient.

Among other things, the researchers came to the conclusion that intelligent people tend to live in the city rather than in the country, while less intelligent people tend to live in the country. Psychologists see the justification for this finding in the savannah theory of happiness.

It’s about how our brain works. According to Kanazawa and Li, the brain of many people today does not act much differently than it did in the Stone Age – only our way of life has changed significantly. Apparently, intelligent people find it easier to adapt to modern developments – they can therefore cope well in the hectic urban environment. Your brain has evolved in such a way that it can live well among many people, with noise and more stress. In fact, people with high IQs often find life in the city more inspiring and feel that they have more opportunities for self-realization there than in the countryside.

According to the study, less intelligent people often feel more comfortable in the countryside. Everyday life there is much more similar to the original life of people – for example in the savannah (hence the name) – than in the big city.

Savannah Happiness Theory: Do smart people in the city need more time to themselves?

Another point that the two psychologists examined is the quality and quantity of interpersonal relationships: So: How much social interaction with other people do I need to be happy?

Here, too, they came to exciting conclusions: Intelligent people tend to be more satisfied with fewer social interactions and live more introverted lives. For the less smart participants, Li and Kanazawa found the opposite: They feel lonely more quickly and are happier when they meet more people.

The psychologists were able to establish a connection between the core questions of city or country and a lot or little social interaction: smart people who live more in the city use the time alone to recover from the hustle and bustle of the city. If they then spent even more time with friends and family, according to the thesis of the scientists, this would cause additional stress.

The less intelligent people, who, according to the study, feel more comfortable in the country, use the time with their loved ones to reduce stress – for them, maintaining their social relationships is apparently a means of relaxation.

Introvert city dweller = genius? It is not that easy

The results of this study on the savannah happiness theory are of course not universal statements – not every city dweller is highly intelligent and not every loner is a genius, just as there are of course people who are very sociable and at the same time extremely clever. But the study results do provide exciting insights into the factors that play a role in the happiness and satisfaction of different people.

And next time we don’t feel like going to a party, we can just say: I need some time to myself now – I need to cultivate my intelligence!

Source used: British Journal of Psychology


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