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Thread: Being Smart Doesn't Guarantee Happiness in Old Age

  1. #1
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Smile Being Smart Doesn't Guarantee Happiness in Old Age

    Being Smart Doesn't Guarantee Happiness in Old Age

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    Happiness in old age is not linked to intelligence over a lifetime, say researchers. Their study involved 550 healthy people who were born in Scotland in 1921, and who were tested for cognitive (mental) ability at 11 and again at about 80 years old.




    Lifetime intellectual function and satisfaction with life in old age: longitudinal cohort study, BMJ Volume 331, pp 141-2

    Newswise — Happiness in old age is not linked to intelligence over a lifetime, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

    Their study involved 550 healthy people who were born in Scotland in 1921, and who were tested for cognitive (mental) ability at 11 and again at about 80 years old.

    Test scores were converted to IQs and adjusted for age. Participants also completed a satisfaction with life scale at age 80.

    Satisfaction with life in old age was unrelated to cognitive ability and to cognitive change throughout life. This could be due to the fact that, among healthy people, higher ability is equally likely to lead to positive as well as negative outcomes, explain the authors.

    They suggest that, in promoting successful ageing, it is necessary to know not only what protects cognition but also what predicts happiness.

    Professor Ian Deary said: "If you are 80 and healthy, then your satisfaction with how your life has turned out bears no relation to how you scored on an IQ test recently or 70 years ago."



    Click here to view full paper: http://press.psprings.co.uk/bmj/july/ppr141.pdf

  2. #2
    Max,

    No great thinkers have ever been thought so in their own time IMO. Happiness is definitely not linked to intelligence either. In fact, just the opposite is true. IMO in order to be truly 'happy' in this world, a person must be quite blind to the truth of the world or simply not intelligent enough to recognize the facts that stare them straight in the face. 'Ignorance is bliss' is more that just a cliche.

    Jewel

    P.S. An old saying comes to mind. I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal labotomy.
    Last edited by Diamond Downs; 07-15-2005 at 08:41 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Downs
    'Ignorance is bliss' is more that just a cliche.
    Its a way of life!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun
    Its a way of life!
    That's exactly what you'd have us all believe, I hope I know you better than that lol.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Arrow Intelligence is irrelevant to a happy old age

    Intelligence is irrelevant to a happy old age

    • 11:58 15 July 2005
    • NewScientist.com news service
    • Gaia Vince
    Intelligence may lead to a better paid job and quality of life but, in old age, cleverness has no effect on happiness, new research suggests.

    A happy old age is what many people spend their lives preparing for, aiming for financial security and good health in their dotage. But one thing people need not worry about, it seems, is how clever they are. A study of more than 400 pensioners reveals that cognitive ability is unrelated to happiness in old age.

    The Scottish research looked at a group of 416 people born in 1921, who underwent intelligence tests at the ages of 11 and 79. At the age of 80, the group was also sent a “satisfaction with life” questionnaire, which had them assess their current level of happiness.

    “We found no association between levels of mental ability and reported happiness, which is quite surprising because intelligence is highly valued in our society,” says Alan Gow, who carried out the research with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

    Different lives

    Participants were asked to respond to five statements about their happiness and give a rating on a scale of 1 to 7 according to how strongly they agreed. The statements referred mainly to their current life, but also asked if, given the chance, they would like to have done anything differently with their lives.

    Previous studies have shown that people who possess attributes regarded as desirable by modern Western society, such as intelligence, money or sporting talent are rewarded with higher social status, a better paid job and a more comfortable standard of living.

    Higher social standing has also been linked to increased happiness. However, Gow and his co-authors suggest that intelligent people may also be more concerned about achievement and more aware of alternative lifestyles, which may lead to dissatisfaction.

    Daily tasks

    “Neither childhood IQ, IQ at 80 or any change in IQ over a lifetime appear to have any bearing on how satisfied you are with how your life has turned out,” Gow adds. “Maybe all that is necessary is that you have the ability to carry out your daily tasks."

    The researchers plan to continue studying the group of pensioners to examine what effect changes in cognitive function - over shorter timescales - may have on happiness in increasing old age.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7678

  6. #6
    Hence the phrase "ignorance is bliss".

  7. #7
    "Happiness is for pigs." -
    Albert Einstein.
    (He said it - not me!)

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