Why is intelligence associated with stability of happiness?
Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2013
© 2013 The British Psychological Society
British Journal of Psychology
Volume 105, Issue 3, pages 316–337, August 2014
How to Cite
Kanazawa, S. (2014), Why is intelligence associated with stability of happiness?. British Journal of Psychology, 105: 316–337. doi: 10.1111/bjop.12039
- Issue online: 10 JUL 2014
- Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 8 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 30 SEP 2012
In the National Child Development Study, life-course variability in happiness over 18 years was significantly negatively associated with its mean level (happier individuals were more stable in their happiness, and it was not due to the ceiling effect), as well as childhood general intelligence and all Big Five personality factors (except for Agreeableness). In a multiple regression analysis, childhood general intelligence was the strongest predictor of life-course variability in life satisfaction, stronger than all Big Five personality factors, including Emotional stability. More intelligent individuals were significantly more stable in their happiness, and it was not entirely because: (1) they were more educated and wealthier (even though they were); (2) they were healthier (even though they were); (3) they were more stable in their marital status (even though they were); (4) they were happier (even though they were); (5) they were better able to assess their own happiness accurately (even though they were); or (6) they were better able to recall their previous responses more accurately or they were more honest in their survey responses (even though they were both). While I could exclude all of these alternative explanations, it ultimately remained unclear why more intelligent individuals were more stable in their happiness.