March 18, 2016

"The effect of population density on life satisfaction was therefore more than twice as large for low-IQ individuals than for high-IQ individuals."

"[M]ore intelligent individuals were actually less satisfied with life if they socialized with their friends more frequently."

65 comments:

Rhythm and Balls said...

Because as every non-Republican knows, curiosity and adventure is piqued when you have less social pressures around you to conform and cater to.

No more of these science blurbs please unless you can accompany them with a hypothesis or two, Professor.

tim in vermont said...

Self awareness not your thing, R&B?

tim in vermont said...

Stupid people are depressing.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Story advances theory that maybe smart people have more self-driven reading/writing/business/art stuff going on, and you can't really think/create in the same way by yourself. True. There are some very successful artistic/comedy/writing collaborations but they're the exception, and probably 80% of the effort in a collab is solitary. But also there might be a few smart-people genes (intelligence is not just a handful of genes, but there are many w/ small implications) also tend to make you less social. Or that people who started off on the wrong foot socially specialized in solitary hobbies that as a side effect make one test as book-smarter.

Jonathan Graehl said...

R&B is super social.

tim in vermont said...

http://prometheussociety.org/cms/index.php/articles/the-outsiders

Jonathan Graehl said...

Intelligent folks who move to a rural area are often semi-retired / independently wealthy (or teleworking). The absence of the bustle and the panhandlers and pollution must be happiness enhancing for people who don't need to work for the local wal-mart and tree-trimming economy.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Non-partisanship and individuality not yours, tim?

I grew up with a huge extended family. Plenty of warmth and get-togethers and honesty all around. So much so that I took that sort of thing for granted.

I think the WASP-y-er types who grew up in smaller nuclear families aren't used to that, so they underestimate the degree to which a small family is like a fascist troupe. The number of roles are reduced, there are less members to understand you, support you, or play an interesting joke on or play out a challenging conflict with.

So they have a harder time getting the trade-off between individuality and getting along with lots of people. Much like a tiny, chimp-like band.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Hell might actually be other people -- at least if you're really smart.

As an introvert, I concur. ( So I must be really smart. )

madAsHell said...

A corollary: If you lend someone $100, and you never see them again. It was money well spent.

n.n said...

Socialization interrupts contemplation, so it must be moderated.

Socialization gives rise to a group mind, so it raises the average intelligence.

tim in vermont said...

The problem with stupid people is that it is impossible to know where to begin.

buwaya said...

"I grew up with a huge extended family."

Ditto, and from a land of "huge extended families", and it doesn't work that way.
The society works like the iron hand in a well-padded velvet glove.
There is a definite hierarchy, with a core and a leader, often if not always an old lady, whose word is law.
This has its positives and negatives.

I think, generally, you have a rather parochial view of things.
Its a weird, messy world.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Oh, I'm sure that's not the only thing that's impossible for you, tim, as a stupid person, to know.

Keep in mind (wherever yours is) the following: I offered a hypothesis for the (presumably scientific) finding. That hypothesis angered you.

It's possible my inclusion of a partisan quip is what angered you. But the fact remains that you insist that your anger, defensiveness and apparent sense of feeling insulted remain your only response.

These are not things that improve or increase the amount of knowledge in the world. So again, you are conforming to stereotype. Insisting on emotional responses, especially indignation, to rational, factual assertions. Fascinating.

It's often said we need more conservatives in academia. If nothing else, that might balance the awful tyranny of PC culture. You are not helping this cause.

traditionalguy said...

Huh? I dunno. That's hard to say. If I could understand your question, then I would agree with anything to make you feel good.

Too much going on drains your energy. But you adjust by filtering out some of it. It is a challenge to men who have the ability to adjust to overcome challenges.

Too little going on lets you smile and say nice things like Andy Griffith's Mayberry RFD.family But if you are a Don Knotts/Barney type , then that is expecting a lot.

Mark said...

First, they find that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to report less satisfaction with their life overall. "The higher the population density of the immediate environment, the less happy" the survey respondents said they were.

But, but, urbanized high-density areas are "smart growth" -- so all the smart people tell us -- so how can it be that smart people are unhappier in areas where there are a lot of people?

Laslo Spatula said...

The Slightly-Less-Than-Average-Intelligence Althouse Reader says:

I know you Smart People.

I deal with you every day.

I know you by your Haircuts and your Gadgets.

I don't know why that haircut cost two-hundred dollars, but you paid that much, so I figure it does.

I like those of You who get my Latte right. Shouldn't be hard -- just a straight Latte -- but some Smart People can fuck that shit up.

I see you when you drive to work, because you are in an Audi or a Prius, and I really DO understand your bumper stickers. Actually, some I don't get, but I figure it is about some Fashionably Obscure Crisis somewhere in the World and you want People to know you're concerned: I get THAT.

But -- Damn -- if you are so smart can't you stop texting or Bluetoothing to actually merge into traffic in an orderly fashion? It's like a zipper -- one, then the next -- and even idiots know how to work a zipper. The Amish aren't Idiots, they could work a zipper, too, they just don't want to. I don't really understand 'multi-cultural' but I can respect that.

But you: you can't seem to do it: you are on such an important call that you can't realize you'd get to work faster if you just -- you know -- drove there.

You know what I know? Righty-Tighty Lefty-Loosey. I make money from that. You, you think it is a funny thing to say while you are installing new appliances. Then you get it wrong, and you call someone like me to fix things.

When the Shit backs up in your Toilet you always seem to need someone less smart than you to figure out how to make the problem go away. Shit don't know smart: everyone's shit does the same damned thing. Except for the Alcoholics and Diabetics, but us less-smart people can handle that, too.

I'll be talking to you somemore, whether you get it or not.

And I figure you don't get it.

Because you're Smart.

I am Laslo.

tim in vermont said...

Where do you get that I am angry?

tim in vermont said...

Since the thought process of stupid people is often pretty random, knowing where to begin is problematic. maybe you think my use of the term stupid showed anger, who knows? My only comment aimed at you was the first one. Whatever.

Rhythm and Balls said...

That's usually what provokes people into accusing others of being arrogant, stupid, not respectful of themselves ("self-aware") or others. Etc., etc., etc.

Unless you're just being passive-aggressive. Which seems to be a commonly encouraged trait in science-haters.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Ok, thanks. I'm not stupid, just not aware of myself.

Any other things I'm just ignorant about but not stupid about?

OTOH, I'm glad you know me better than I know myself. It's good to at least have someone who knows me "that" well.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Slightly-Less-Than-Average-Intelligence Althouse Reader says:

I know you Smart People.

You talk Smart Things with other Smart People, and it must be Smart because it doesn't make a damned bit of Sense to me.

But then you Smart People try to force your Smart People Shit on Everybody -- and you know? IT DOESN'T FUCKING WORK.

I'm sure it looked good on your laptop or your smart-phone, but every time one of your Smart Things becomes Law it just Fucks Me Up.

I fix pipes. I mow lawns. I rewire your Electrical. I know these things, and you are happy to be so Smart that you don't need to understand Any of That Shit.

But That Shit keeps you from being Really Really Smart Cavemen.

I can make fire without a lighter, motherfuckers.

And I figure you don't get it.

Because you're Smart.

I am Laslo.

traditionalguy said...

Tim in Vermont took this study as a serious statement of something. That is a bad sign. No one knows what it says or means.

And everybody knows Vermont is a low density place unless you count the cows. They even elect Communist Senators since it matters so little what anyone thinks because there are not enough people in Vermont there to make a difference.

buwaya said...

One big - huge - plus in extended families - of the right sort, may be culturally contingent - is that there is likely to be a great diversity in resources available for the member. In ours we had in there somewhere a vast array of diverse talent, literary people, technical people, artists, musicians, etc., or if not, a friend of a friend who knew someone. An extremely wide social circle. A kid could be helped in an endeavor, of pretty much any academic sort, or in business/employment.
It also crosses lines of class, poor relations have someone whose standards are apparent, who is a visible example for emulation, who can be appealed to for help. An extended family will recognize a talented poor relation and much more often than not find a way to put the kid on track for success. This is SOP. Manila colleges are full of poor but clever kids being put through school through family and social networks. Its a cultural trope.
This is a huge help.
Specific to the greater society though is a deep unwillingness to take risks, business and social, the great failing of Filipinos. So this doesn't help as much as one would think.
This is very different to the Chinese, who have similarly broad social circles, but are by comparison great risk takers.
US society suffers to a great degree from a lack of such broad networks. Social circles are narrow and opportunities are limited. US society wants to be Gesselschaft, but that breaks down because the organization for that just doesn't work very well, and it disparages Gemeinschaft.

Fernandinande said...

Nothing beats watching The Big Game at a crowded sports bar downtown.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Slightly-Less-Than-Average-Intelligence Althouse Reader says:

I know you Smart People.

You know how I know when I am dealing with a Smart Person?

They can't grasp the Obvious.

Shit Rolls Downhill.

I'm sure you Smart People can make a sophisticated computer model that -- when all the elements are right -- Shit now rolls UPHILL.

But -- in the Real World -- no Theory refutes Shit and a Hill and Gravity.

I don't know: maybe you Smart People are making Zero-Gravity Shit.

Because that sounds like something you would do.

And I figure you don't get it.

Because you're Smart.

I am Laslo.

Terry said...

Why does is so much social science A) wrong or B) common knowledge?
R&B, BTW, is engaging in the liberal time waster of describing conservatives as mentally ill.
Yet, somehow, history's psychopaths have been socialists and democrats.
FDR was a WASP and an only child. I suppose it was FDR that introduced the fascist elements into the New Deal and the modern democrat party.

Mark said...

I'm sure you Smart People can make a sophisticated computer model that -- when all the elements are right -- Shit now rolls UPHILL.
But -- in the Real World -- no Theory refutes Shit and a Hill and Gravity.
I don't know: maybe you Smart People are making Zero-Gravity Shit.
Because that sounds like something you would do.


Well, it is pretty obvious that the smart people have figured it out. After all, they talk out of their a** and what comes out of their mouth is pure s**t. If they can reverse that process, I'm sure they can reverse gravity.

buwaya said...

"I'm sure you Smart People can make a sophisticated computer model that -- when all the elements are right -- Shit now rolls UPHILL."

IIRC, just my fallible observation, this "Shit now rolls UPHILL" happens under every toilet bowl.
This may be one of those cases where theory conflicts with observation.
I am only an amateur plumber after all.

Rhythm and Balls said...

R&B, BTW, is engaging in the liberal time waster of describing conservatives as mentally ill.

I didn't say "mentally ill." I implied "simple" and fearful of complex or counter-intuitive answers in life. Especially about things that are very close to them.

FDR did not lack for extended family. There were many, many Roosevelts and the Delano Roosevelts of Hyde Park and the Roosevelts of cousin Teddy in Oyster Bay thought of themselves and often socialized as close, but distinct "branches". They had a long and distinguished history in this country going back to at least the Revolutionary War.

HT said...

So I guess it's only directly from Google that you can click on a Washington Post article and read it from free, because I sure could not read it from this site. That's a shame. (10 free articles per month.)

tim in vermont said...

Give it up, R&B, I am enjoying a nice small batch single malt,you think what you want.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Slightly-Less-Than-Average-Intelligence Althouse Reader says:

I know you Smart People.

I go into your homes and you say "The Toilet is Stuffed Up."

And -- of course -- you make no Eye Contact.

Obviously I then check out the Toilet and -- Sure Enough -- it is Stuffed Up.

So I ask "Who was the One who Stuffed Up this Toilet?"

And -- of course -- they don't answer. Wasn't them; maybe a creepy Stranger from the Street broke into the house and Stuffed Up the Toilet; he has been making the rounds, I hear.

I explain: "I don't mean to cause embarrassment, but I have declogged Thousands upon Thousands of Toilets, and I have become an Expert in recognizing Shit Cancer."

"Shit Cancer?" they say.

"Yes. The Shit that comes from People who have Cancer. Shit Cancer. I can tell."

NOW they actually give a Damn about listening to me.

"The Interaction of Black and Brown nodules tells me someone doesn't have much Time."

"Oh God" they say.

"You might need a Lawyer to do that Rich People Stuff that Rich People do when they are about to Die. I don't know the details -- I'm not Rich."

"Oh Fuck," they say.

And I figure they don't get it.

Because they're Smart.

I am Laslo.

madAsHell said...

You know what I know? Righty-Tighty Lefty-Loosey. I make money from that.

Lazlo is a mechanic?

Laslo Spatula said...

buwaya said...
IIRC, just my fallible observation, this "Shit now rolls UPHILL" happens under every toilet bowl.
This may be one of those cases where theory conflicts with observation.

Good observation, but there is a difference between rolling and floating. I think that was in "The Titanic."

I am Laslo.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Give it up, R&B, I am enjoying a nice small batch single malt,you think what you want.

Well, given that I'm not the one killing brain cells here, I'll also think what's likely to make sense.

Let me know how the new and improved tim is feeling in the morning. If you want any hangover remedies, I've got a few that would work wonderfully with a nice breakfast. Which is after all the most important meal of the day - or so we're told. Even if it only feels that way late on a Saturday or Sunday.

buwaya said...

"Lazlo is a mechanic?"

Possibly a plumber. If so, maybe a man of means.
Even if he does have a problem with toilet bowls, and who doesn't?

YoungHegelian said...

@buwaya,

and it disparages Gemeinschaft.

One of my grandads in Alabama went for a walk in the woods after dark & fell into an abandoned Gemeinschaft. Since he broke his foot, he did disparage that Gemeinschaft up a blue streak, I'm told.

Sebastian said...

Staying away from environments with a high density of people propounding "savanna" theories of anything makes me happy.

Terry said...

"They had a long and distinguished history in this country going back to at least the Revolutionary War."
Well, you can't have it both ways -- small wasp families make fascists, except for FDR's small wasp family. I thought it worked to prove your thesis, given the WW2 internment camps.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Are you a freakin' tard, or just drinking too? I said close-knit "extended" families. And the Dutch were not Anglo-Saxons. Seriously, it's like every time you open your mouth, it's too prove how much you didn't get.

Terry said...


R&B, do you understand that the Angles came from the Low Countries? Places like the modern day Netherlands?
Don't blame me if your thesis sucks. You wrote it.

Henry said...

I learned something from that article. I learned that Washington DC, like Boston, has a red line.

Rhythm and Balls said...

You are dumber than a douchenozzle to think that going back to 400 AD makes the case. By that illogic, England should have never gone to war with Germany. And how on earth did viking Danes think they could get away with raiding themselves once landing in Lindesfarne? Those English were just as Jutish as the rest of them!!!

Why not go back even further? Arabs and Israelis shouldn't be fighting if you can trace a common ancestry to thousands of years ago. And what right does China have to be a separate country from Tibet?

Hell! 100,000 years ago or so nearly all modern humans migrated out of Africa. How could we have forsaken our common bond to have enslaved and colonized our near, dear brothers?

And we eat chickens! Don't you know that chickens are just an offshoot of the dinosaurs that simply took a slightly divergent evolutionary path from our own mammalian ancestors! We are committing self-genocide with every drumstick!

You just like to argue for the hell of it. Get fucking real for a change.

Terry said...

"You are dumber than a douchenozzle to think that going back to 400 AD makes the case. By that illogic, England should have never gone to war with Germany."
Uhhh . . . you understand that Germany invaded the Netherlands in WW2, R&B?
Maybe you should try to show that FDR didn't have English ancestors. Good luck!
My, that hole is getting deep, isn't it? Maybe you should do what liberal NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman suggested in one of his columns: "The first rule of holes is when you’re in one, stop digging. When you’re in three, bring a lot of shovels."
Gosh! What a smart guy that Friedman is! He must have grown up in a big family!

Rhythm and Balls said...

Uhhh . . . you understand that Germany invaded the Netherlands in WW2, R&B?

Yeah! Proves my point yet again!

It's YOUR illogic that would say they were all the same people! You're not a horrible guy, so I'm loathe to be mean here. But goddamn how can you be so stupid as to forget the very point that you were making!!!!?!?!?!??!?!?!

CachorroQuente said...

" That's a shame. (10 free articles per month.)"

Delete the cookie.

Everything's easy once you know how.

CachorroQuente said...

"Lazlo is a mechanic? "

Not on Schwinn bicycles.

Terry said...

What do you think a WASP is, R&B? A Caucasian Protestant person from the imaginary nation of Anglo-Saxonia? If FDR was not a WASP, who was? Do you think the current English Royal family (the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha's) is Anglo-saxon? Howabout the Stuarts? Howabout the Tudors? We seem to only have to go back to FDR's great grandfather (and only to his great grandfather) to mark him with the stain of 'Dutchness.' FDR's mother was descended from Huguenots. Shouldn't FDR be French by your lights?

Rhythm and Balls said...

Someone defined by their English ancestry.

The only reason you're over-complicating this is because you only have the pettiest of points to make over an issue where zero fucks are given.

All royal families are inbred alliances with each other from all over Europe and in every country as a part of a tight-knit elitism breeding ground that was as distinct from the general population as a queen bee is from the rest of her hive. So good luck thinking you're making much of a point with that one, either.

Why don't you go and enjoy some of whatever tim's having? Seems to have worked for him...

Bruce Hayden said...

Intelligent folks who move to a rural area are often semi-retired / independently wealthy (or teleworking). The absence of the bustle and the panhandlers and pollution must be happiness enhancing for people who don't need to work for the local wal-mart and tree-trimming economy

For me, a lot of it any more is low population density. We spend half the year in a rural county in NW MT. Population in the maybe 3000 square mile county is maybe half that of a square kilometer of NYC. The only stop lights are for road construction. And, people don't honk at you when you cut them off, and part of that is because it is much easier to keep from cutting someone off.

A couple years ago, we were spending the other half the year in the city of Phoenix. And, while there was a grocery store within a mile, you would get frazzled driving there. And, we had a K-Mart across the street, but would, again, get quite frazzled just crossing over to shop there. Contrast that to our place in NW MT, where the grocery store is maybe 3 miles away, but you never get frazzled driving there, and, indeed, I typically drive there a couple times a day.

Some of the other advantages of rural living are that it is typically much quieter, safer (if you don't work, or have a farm/ranch), you are unlikely to be stolen from, the people tend to be nicer, and you tend to know them a bit better. Nice to be able to go to the store and be known. That sort of thing. There are downsides, including lack of top notch health care (we have to drive 80-90 miles in MT, and even then, it isn't as good as here in a big metro area, esp. at the top end). A lot of things are more expensive, and Wal-Mart is a 2 hour drive in any one of four directions. The money side works for us, since we have enough money, but not so well for most of the people making a living there. And, there really do seem to be more retarded people in rural America. I expect that we will move back to suburbia in a decade or so if and when our health declines to the extent we need the healthcare you find in big cities.

Terry said...

"The only reason you're over-complicating this is because you only have the pettiest of points to make over an issue where zero fucks are given."
It's called the internet, R&B. What do you want from it? What promise to you has it broken?
Anyway, I am on an anti social science tear. I hate this crap where you interview a hundred and fifty undergrads about their dating habits and and pretend that you've done science. Goddamit, anytime anyone puts anything on the web, they should be able to defend their thesis like a PhD candidate. Use qualifiers if you can't do that. "It is possible", "evidence suggests", "some research has claimed", etc.
Personally I think the WASP is a chimera. If a WASP is someone with English ancestry, even Hoover wasn't a WASP. The most recent US president who was a WASP was probably Truman, and not only wasn't he an Ivy Leaguer, he was a Missourian who never graduated from college.

Terry said...

FYI, anyone with the surnames "Akroyd", "Cheever", or "Updike" is considered a WASP, by convention.

HT said...

CachorroQuente said...

" That's a shame. (10 free articles per month.)"

Delete the cookie.

Thanks!

Ann Althouse said...

Another solution is to open a "private window" in your browser.

Ann Althouse said...

Now, Wall Street Journal has become much more closed.

I'd subscribe if it worked like a NYT subscription and the links I provide would get my readers into that article.

You'd think they'd want their point of view to get out what with Trump and all.

Michael K said...

Watching R&B's posts makes me desire solitude much more.

Fen said...

You'd think they'd want their point of view to get out what with Trump and all.

"No. Liberty is great and all that, but we'd rather be ruled by Socialists than share a table with the Walmart crowd"

Oso Negro said...

This thread had such potential. WTF with all the name calling?

Owen said...

Jeez, I come into this place for a good conversation over a beer and there's that loud drunk trying to show everybody how much he knows. No wonder the smart people tend to prefer less crowded places.

MadisonMan said...

Here's a thought -- (I didn't wade through all the commentary above).

Someone who is very smart may not have to rely on others, so there would be no reason for them to be extroverted. Is introversion positively correlated with intelligence? (Asks the introvert!)

If you're not that bright, would you be at a competitive advantage to be garrulous and agreeable to others, and more comfortable in congested settings with lots of other people?

Rhythm and Balls said...

Watching R&B's posts makes me desire solitude much more.

I'm not related to you, thankfully! As for your own family issues, you've written informatively enough on that. Too bad your fortress of solitude is made of glass.

Gerard Grosso said...

Why do you cite source articles that are behind a 'subscription-wall' like the WAPO???
Very frustrating.

ken in tx said...

Frisia, one of the Netherlands, has a language which is the closest to English of any other. There is a rhyme about it. House, wife, milk, makes good cheese. Makes good English and makes good Frise. Every word in the rhyme is the same in both languages.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why do you cite source articles that are behind a 'subscription-wall' like the WAPO???
Very frustrating."

Your browser probably has an option in the file menu called "new private window." Try it.

No need to be frustrated.