Would you prefer good looks or intelligence

Dating and IQ: High intelligence makes people less attractive

Intelligence makes you sexy? Apparently this only applies up to a certain point, shows a new study from Australia.

Psychologists found out that there are various prejudices about people with very high IQ scores.

The test subjects feared, for example, that someone who was particularly intelligent might hardly have social skills - or simply would not suit them.

Most people systematically overestimate their IQ. Various studies have shown this in the past. And those who find themselves particularly smart often have the same demands on a potential partner. Above all else, Mr. or Mrs. Perfect has to be one thing: intelligent! After all, he or she should be able to keep up with their own cleverness.

One could deduce from this that the motto for dating is: "The higher a person's IQ, the more attractive they are to others." In science, this sentence has its own name, there it is called "biological hypothesis" - "biological" because IQ is often associated with good health, fitness and good genes that potential partners want for their own children.

A new study by psychologists at the University of Western Australia shows, however, that this biological hypothesis has weaknesses. The research team came to the result that the attractiveness of a person does not increase further from a certain, very high IQ value - but rather decreases.

Smart is good - but please not too smart

For their study, which was published in the specialist magazine “Intelligence”, the team led by the psychologist and intelligence researcher Gilles Gignac asked a total of 456 people, including singles and those who had been awarded. You should all imagine an ideal partner - and first sort thirteen characteristics of this person according to their importance. These included things like “good-looking”, “creative”, “wants children”, but also “emotionally intelligent” and “cognitively intelligent”. The emotional intelligence  — that is, the ability to properly perceive one's own feelings and those of others, to classify them and to deal with them appropriately — landed in second place in the ranking of the most important properties. It beat cognitive intelligence.

Next, the test subjects received the following request from the researchers: “Imagine that you are single (if you are not) and you get to know someone you find interesting. How good would he or she be for you as a potential partner (for example, getting married, having children) if you later found out that he or she was more intelligent than one percent, 10 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, 90 Percent or 99 percent of the population would be? ”The respondents were asked to indicate the IQ with which - relative to the rest of humanity - they would find a date attractive.

The result: 60 percent of those surveyed found it rather unattractive when someone was cognitively more intelligent than 99 percent of the population. This corresponds to an IQ of 140 or more. A similar picture emerged for emotional intelligence: even if an imaginary date was emotionally smarter than 90 percent of all others, its attractiveness values ​​fell. A clever counterpart is good - but please don't to to be clever.

Extreme intelligence = lack of social skills?

How does this IQ threshold come about, above which someone seems to become less attractive? This is also what the psychologists wanted to know from their test subjects. 60 percent then said they were afraid of not matching up with an extremely intelligent person; 30 percent said they feared an extremely intelligent person might have poor social skills. Ten percent were even afraid of both options.

The research team was surprised that the respondents also found potential dates with extremely high emotional intelligence less attractive. But the test subjects had their reasons: Almost half of them stated here again that they were afraid that they would not fit in with such a person; 23 percent said they feared someone who was particularly emotionally intelligent would constantly analyze them.

And six percent were afraid that the relationship with such a person would always be about how both of them are emotionally. Although we mostly associate emotional intelligence with positive things like closeness, commitment and understanding, it too seems to be too much for many of us at some point.

It seems like most people prefer smart dates; but as soon as the person is extremely intelligent, they are more likely to be afraid than to be attracted to them. This realization has a good thing, especially for the singles among you who are wondering why you still haven't found a partner: It could be that your cleverness simply scares off the dates.