The Connection Between Being Smart and Being Generous

Mental Fitness


I was reading through some of my old issues of Psychology Today and I came across a mini article that I’d somehow missed the first go-around.   It was in the February 2007 issue and appeared in the “Insights” section.

The title was “Lend a Hand, Smartypants” and addressed the connection between altruism and intelligence.  Altruism, of course, is the unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others. The author cited a study from the Journal of Research in Personality which showed that altruism may be a sign of general intelligence.

From the article:

Each subject decided how to allocate points between himself and a mystery person he’d never meet.  People who scored higher on intelligence test preferred altruistic options, choosing to, say, take 500 points and give 550 rather than take 550 and give 300.  “From an economic point of view, you would expect that a smart rational person is an egoistic person,” says lead author Kobe Millet.  But the researchers argue that altruism – beyond mere cooperation – is a signal to others of underlying mental fitness because smarter people are in a better position to recoup the costs of generosity.  If you’ve got it, flaunt it. – MH

No wonder some of the most generous people we can think of are intelligent people as well.  Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey.. 

They back this study up beautifully!

Make each moment count double,
~ Joi

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