Does anxiety develop along with intelligence?
Researchers had been curious about whether or not intelligence has something to do with anxiety. Do smart people tend to be more anxious than the average ones?
To answer this question, a team of researchers led by Professor Jeremy Coplan conducted a study to investigate the relationship between intelligence and anxiety.
The result confirmed the existing link. Smart people were found to be prone to anxiety. But why?
The researchers believed that intelligent people are excellent in anticipating the possible danger along the way. This futuristic anticipation of negative experiences causes smart people to be anxious.
The good thing about anxiety is that it helps people to prepare long before a threatening situation comes.
Non-worriers, on the other hand, may be starved and defeated by their enemy due to their lack of preparation.
Professor Jeremy Coplan explained the result:
“While excessive worry is generally seen as a negative trait and high intelligence as a positive one, worry may cause our species to avoid dangerous situations, regardless of how remote a possibility they may be.
In essence, worry may make people ‘take no chances,’ and such people may have higher survival rates.
Thus, like intelligence, worry may confer a benefit upon the species.”
However, people who have low intelligence also feel anxious. Their anxiety may be due to their lack of achievement in life.
Success is a vital component of contentment and happiness. Erik Erickson, in his theory of human development, believed that a person may feel despair if he/she achieved nothing in his/her life.
Despair is one of the strongest emotions people in late adulthood may experience.
The lack of achievement is the by-product of failure in anticipating life events.
In other words, anxiety and intelligence may have evolved together. The link between the two may have played important role in human survival.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.