When intelligence hurts and ignorance is bliss: Global pandemic as an evolutionarily novel threat to happiness

Kanazawa, Satoshi, Li, Norman P. and Yong, Jose (2022) When intelligence hurts and ignorance is bliss: Global pandemic as an evolutionarily novel threat to happiness. Journal of Personality. ISSN 0022-3506 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12709

Abstract

The savanna theory of happiness posits that it is not only the current consequences of a given situation that affect happiness but also its ancestral consequences, and that the effect of ancestral consequences on happiness is stronger among less intelligent individuals. But what about situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment and thus have no ancestral consequences? Global pandemic is one such situation that has no ancestral analog, and the theory predicts such evolutionarily novel threats to have a negative effect disproportionately on the life satisfaction of more intelligent individuals. Consistent with the theoretical prediction, the analyses of the National Child Development Study (Study 1) and the British Cohort Study (Study 2) show that, while more intelligent individuals were generally more satisfied with their lives than less intelligent individuals were throughout adulthood (albeit not because they were more intelligent but because they earned more money, were more likely to be married, and healthier), more intelligent individuals were less satisfied with their lives during the COVID-19 global pandemic because they were more intelligent. In May 2020, more intelligent individuals were less satisfied with their lives while less intelligent individuals were more satisfied with theirs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: subjective well-being, infectious diseases, Epidemic, coronavirus
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 09:06
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 09:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48617

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