Archive for November 7th, 2007

Just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you’ll be happy.

Researchers in Scotland compared results of a life-satisfaction survey with IQ (Intelligence Quotient) tests that were conducted on healthy people at age 11 and again at age 80. The results showed no correlation between happiness in old age and lifelong intelligence.

In other words, your IQ has no bearing on how satisfied or dissatisfied you will be with your life.

Researchers concluded that researchers say that intelligence has its pluses as well as its minuses.

They say, for example, that higher intelligence may lead to greater achievement, but it also brings with it greater awareness of alternatives, which may also lead to frustration.

The results of the study appear in the July 16, 2005 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Researchers at the University of Michigan conduct the ongoing World Values Surveys (WVS). Among other things, they rank the happiness (or subjective well-being) levels of countries. Their results for 1995 – 2005?

Denmark shows the highest levels of happiness, followed by Finland, Iceland, Switzerland and Mexico.

The countries with the worst levels of societal happiness? That would be Armenia, Ukraine, Modova, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania.

Where the does the United States rank? It ranks 19th out of 91 nations.

Once again, as is usually the case, wealth and power don’t necessarily translate into a state of well-being.

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Apparently, happiness in males peaks around age 65.

An aging study conducted at the VA’s outpatient clinic in Boston, and funded by the NIH’s National Institute on Aging, recorded life satisfaction and personality traits of veterans starting in the late 1970s through 1999.

They found on average that life satisfaction for men peaked around 65 — meaning men who were 85 were about as happy as they were when they were in their 40s.

Researchers were quick to point out at that people varied significantly from that norm. Some men were still experiencing growth in happiness after 65, while others peaked earlier.

They also noted that high levels of extroversion correlated with overall high levels of life satisfaction and relative stability in life satisfaction; men with lower levels of extroversion had an overall lower level of life satisfaction and less stability. Researchers also found found a correlation between being in the last year of life and a steeper drop in life satisfaction — an effect that remained even when the researchers controlled for physical health.

The full study can be found in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 88, No. 1).

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