It is generally said that any excess is harmful, but … Does this principle apply to people’s intelligence level?
In most areas of life, the answer to the above question has been proven to be “no”. Intelligence is the ability to adapt to new problems using the means available at any time, which is beneficial in virtually any situation.
So, while there are some myths about very intelligent people, the truth is that they are more likely to find well-paying jobs, stay healthy, and live longer. In general, they don’t have significant difficulty connecting with others, nor are they unhappy.
However, there is one area of life where being highly intelligent doesn’t seem to provide any significant benefit: the ability to arouse sexual attraction in others.
Testing the concept of sapiosexuality
In recent years, the concept of sapiosexualidad has become very popular, associated with people who are generally referred to as sapiosexuales. In short, sapiosexuals are individuals who, when evaluating the attractiveness of a person, it takes into account their level of intelligence, To the point where it is the personal trait to which they attach the most importance.
All this, however, does not cease to happen in theory, since until very recently this subject had not yet been studied. However, a recent study by researchers at Western University in Australia attempted to test whether sapiosexuality is really a psychological concept that explains something real, or if it is simply a label that some people used to appear more interesting.
The results showed that this phenomenon has some empirical basis, but only to a certain extent. As for the attraction generated by high intelligenceThere comes a time when the latter doesn’t matter. In other words, a high CI usually goes hand in hand with greater attraction, but not if it is so high that it rubs off genius and intellectual gift.
If you are not a very big genius of integrated circuits, intelligence attracts
This research worked both with IC data from different people and those that relate to the sexual attraction given to them, and the interest in having a long term relationship with these people. The results show, on the one hand, that intelligence has a greater effect on interest in having a relationship than on sexual attraction. Moreover, among the 13 personal traits to be valued, intelligence was the second most valued to judge the attractiveness of people, just behind “kindness and understanding”.
However, the results showed a little odd. Intelligence greatly increases the attractiveness of people, but only up to a CI of 120 (an intelligence score that is only worth or exceeds 1 in 10 people). When this level of IQ is neglected, the importance of intelligence in attractiveness collapses. In other words, people’s mental ability to solve problems through the intellect is not something that adds attraction to extremely intelligent people. Because?
A relationship of equals
It is clear that intelligence has many advantages, and these advantages are generally exploited both by those who are intelligent and by those with whom those with a high IQ have a positive agreement. However, it is also true that in relationships, whether fleeting or stable, symmetry is important.
Perhaps because of this, intelligence can become something that alienates people who are very different in that aspect. The results of this study show that sapiosexuality may have an empirical basisBut that this has its limits, and on the other hand the findings reinforce the idea that the excess of attractive or highly valued traits in most situations can have a negative effect.
And it is that intelligence is expressed in several ways in everyday life: in the type of conversations, in hobbies, in the type of humor, etc. All of these are a way to create harmony between two people, but if they don’t show up and it’s difficult to connect, frustration arises.
Maybe smarter people usually have no problem socializing just because they are, but that doesn’t mean they connect with everyone; it can also mean that they have more resources to find the people with whom they integrate best and who provide the most interesting mental stimuli.
- Gignac, GE, Darbyshire, J., Ooi, Michelle (2017). Some people are sexually attracted to intelligence: a psychometric assessment of sapiosexuality. Intelligence, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2017.11.009