People Who Prefer to Be Alone Are Smarter Than Others, According to a Study

2 years ago

We are used to the fact that social connections make us happier, interacting with friends brings joy and meaning to our lives, and the more we communicate with people, the better we feel about ourselves.

It’s hard to argue about this unless you are really smart. This shocking discovery has been made by scientists which they’ve proven in a paper published in the British Journal of Psychology.

Bright Side got intrigued by the results of the study and would like you to be amazed just like we were.

Researchers Norman Li and Satoshi Kanazawa conducted a survey that measures life satisfaction, intelligence, and health. After analyzing the responses of 15,000 people they came up with the “savanna theory of happiness.” It shows that the way we enjoy the life is based on our ancestors’ experiences.

Their research was based on 2 factors that are typical to modern life:

  • population density
  • frequency of communication with friends

Nowadays we are surrounded by more people than our ancestors used to be, but we interact less with our friends. According to the authors, less intelligent people are more affected by the savanna theory, than highly intelligent people.

They also note that really smart people prefer urban areas, while people who are less smart prefer to stay in a rural environment. This is related to the idea that despite the fact that there is a high population density, people interact with each other less than in rural areas.

“In general, urbanites have higher average intelligence than ruralites do, possibly because more intelligent individuals are better able to live in ‘unnatural’ settings with a high population density,” says Kanazawa.

Our ancestors used to have frequent contact with friends because it was necessary for survival. But for more intelligent people, an individual approach to problem solving was more important. Thus, they were not benefited by friendships and as a result, were not seeking them out.

“In general, more intelligent individuals are more likely to have ‘unnatural’ preferences and values that our ancestors did not have,” says Kanazawa.

If you enjoy spending time with your friends, this certainly doesn’t mean you’re not highly intelligent. What is more important to understand is that if you tend to spend time on your own (or know someone who does), it does not make you a loner. You were just born this way and it is perfectly normal.

The researchers concluded that more intelligent people are less happy when they socialize with friends frequently.

Do you like spending time on your own? Have you ever thought that it might be a sign of higher intelligence? Don’t be shy about your opinion and share it with us in the comments below.

Please note: This article was updated in July 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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Hm, a very interesting research. I like spending time with people, but I also love spending some time on my own. Depends on my mood, actually.
But I find it a bit weird.. A lot of people like to stay out of the city, because living in a city becomes unhealthy due to a high population and pollution. So, many people decide to take care of their heath and leave the city for some nature.
How can this be a factor of lower intellect?


I'm also an introvert, so this article is kind of boosting my ego.

Being smart is always nice :)


I prefer spending time with my friends, actually. Just the nice company, laugh and a good talk. Nothing can be better for me! :)

Even if it means I'm less smarter than others


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