In this episode of Come Rain or Shine, Adam Mastroianni, a postdoctoral research scholar at Columbia Business School, joins the show to discuss the relationship between intelligence and happiness. He brings more understanding to the question, “why aren’t smart people happier?”
In the past hundred years, there have been many efforts to measure intelligence. More recently, new tests have discerned the multiple types of intelligence including the performance tendencies of subject matter experts. However, as Adam explains, there’s also a general intelligible that can capture a person’s ability to define and solve problems.
While a one-size, fit-all metric is hard to quantify, what is clear is the correlation difference between problem and dilemma with intelligence and happiness. As Adam notes, problems involve optimal solutions, but dilemmas often lack a clear right or wrong, a principle evident in the contrast of emotional and intellectual responses.
Although the psychological drivers of happiness are highly variable, the empirical data behind general intelligence is more concrete. Therefore, one can never assume a more successful person on paper is automatically happier.
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“Life ain’t chess. Nobody agrees on the rules. The pieces do whatever they want and the board covers the whole globe as well as the inside of your hear and possibly several metaphysical planes as well..”