What Preferring Alone Time Might Say About Your Intelligence

Do you find yourself favoring time alone over socially stimulating interactions? Would you prefer passing a few hours by yourself to putting yourself out there for engagement and conversation? It may have something to do with your level of intelligence. Those who "play well with others" are typically lauded in life, deemed more advanced if not all-around more successful. If one is perceived as less outgoing or less socially adept, society also has a tendency of discounting their potential. Contrary to popular belief, it turns out that those who crave alone time and prefer being solitary to social interactions are actually more intelligent.

In a study published in the British Journal of Psychology, researchers analyzed individuals between 18 and 28 years old. For most of the group, the more they socialized, the happier they were. But for a subset considered highly intelligent, the opposite was actually true—with increased socialization came decreased happiness.

Inc. recently highlighted these findings, and a few explanations were put forward. One understands the findings as an evolutionary phenomenon—the more advanced someone gets, the less they need to rely on others for food, shelter, and protection. The second theory is that the more intelligent the are, the more focused you are on long-term goals. Your ambition causes you to prioritize working toward the future, rather than getting distracted by social opportunities of the present.

Surprised by these findings? Share your take on the study in the comments.