Why Smarter People Are Happier With Fewer Friends


Our ancestors lived as hunter–gatherers in small bands of about 150 individuals. In such settings, having frequent contact with lifelong friends and allies was likely necessary for survival and reproduction for both sexes. 

Residents of rural areas and small towns are happier than those in suburbs, who in turn are happier than those in small central cities, who in turn are happier than those in large central cities.

So we are instinctively wired to work together and to thrive in relatively small communities. However, times have changed significantly since then and the smarter people may have simply become more adept at dealing with the new normal.

More intelligent individuals, who possess higher levels of general intelligence and thus greater ability to solve evolutionarily novel problems, may face less difficulty in comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations.