Psychology

Study Concludes Intelligent People Are Better At Trusting

Many people are afraid to trust others because they always seem to trust the wrong person and regretting it while there are people who always trust the right person achieving great benefits in the end.

Study Concludes Intelligent People Are Better At Trusting

Trust in our fellow humans is something we have evolved as a protection to ourselves and our resources because as Aristotle said humans are social animals and without developing the instinct of trusting others, you can imagine where human race would have been today.

Many people are afraid to trust others because they always seem to trust the wrong person and regretting it while there are people who always trust the right person achieving great benefits in the end. Why is that difference?

A study at Oxford University which analyzed a General Social Survey has revealed a positive correlation between high IQ and trusting others . There could be two explanations for why intelligent people are more likely to trust others.

  1. More intelligent people are better at judging character and so they form relationships with people who are less likely to betray them.
  2. People with a high IQ are better at working out the situation and recognizing when there is a strong incentive for the other person not to meet their side of the deal.

This study not only gives rise to those observations, but it also supports the previous research that analyzed data on trust and intelligence from European countries. The conclusion of that research was that trust contributes to success of important social institutions, for example – welfare system and financial markets and the individuals who trust others report better health and greater happiness.

However, the Oxford research found that links between trust and health and between trust and happiness are not explained by intelligence because individuals who trust others might have reported better health and more happiness because they were more intelligent but this is not the case.

Analyzing the above data and observations, the study has concluded that trust is a valuable resource for an individual and although it is not simply an indication for higher intelligence but those who trust others more are on average more intelligent than others and have an ability to judge a person’s character better and being a good judge of character is a distinct part of human intelligence evolved through natural selection.

It is yet to find if there are other possible interpretations of this observation but this study has wider implications in our social set up including public health, government policy and many other places based on social values of mutual trust between people and institutions.

[Source: University of Oxford]

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29 comments

  1. My husband and I both suss people out when we first meet them and trust our instincts. We both bolted out of a room once when we met a guy who felt like he had a can of worms in his head. Recently, a complete shyster took people for a ride here in North Cyprus and as soon as we met him we both looked at each other, said immediately: “A complete spiv and rip-off merchant”. Why people trusted him amazed us and, sure as eggs, he ripped people off and created enormous unhappiness in his wake. Yes, I’m intelligent, so’s my husband, but I think it’s gut instinct you need to listen to also.

    1. Yes, one has to trust his instinct and yes intelligent people can better detect if a person will betray them or will be loyal, that’s why they like you and your husband, careful in trusting people.Thank you for sharing your experiences. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I thought that too. 😛 But I think it’s because when low IQ people trust, they trust the wrong person and get hurt and so they stop trusting anyone. While people with a high IQ trust the right people and get benefits which makes them trust others more than people with low IQ. I hope you get my point.:-D Thanks. 🙂

  2. Come to think of it, I DON’T ‘like’ it ! – for my eldest sister, who is close to genius IQ, trusts every crooked bastard who comes her way, and constantly gets ripped off ! Sighh …

    1. Yeah, most of the times a person regrets trusting people, but the research says intelligent people only trust those they detect as loyal, but it’s always the case, I guess. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    1. It’s not bad to be careful, being careful about trusting someone is the best way not to get hurt. 😀 But, that does not mean one should not trust anyone 😛 Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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