Being Super Intelligent Might Not Be That Desirable When It Comes To Love


Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer


Here's an intelligent man doing something intelligent, presumably. Elnur/Shutterstock

Bad news, geniuses. It turns out that being incredibly smart may not actually be the best way to find love. Me don’t write so good. Story continue.

Ahem. In research carried out by the University of Western Australia, scientists suggested that women seeking a partner are less attracted to people who rate extremely highly on intelligence and easygoingness.


The study, published in the British Journal of Psychology, surveyed 214 students – 70 percent of which were female, with an average age of 19. They asked them to complete questionnaires on how alluring they found intelligence, easygoingness, kindness, and physical attractiveness.

They were asked to rate how attracted they would be to a partner who was ranked higher than 1 percent, 10 percent, 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, 90 percent, and then 99 percent of the population for each category. And while there was an increase across the board as the level increased, there was one exception.

Oh yes, we already gave the game away. That was for women judging intelligence and easygoingness. They rated a partner as more attractive if they ranked above 90 percent of the population for both categories than 99 percent, suggesting they weren't as keen on the top levels in these two categories.

“Previously published research suggests that elevated levels of intelligence may incite feelings of insecurity in some people, which may reduce desirability,” Dr Gilles Gignac, lead author on the study, said in a statement.


“Correspondingly, exceptional easygoingness may be viewed as an indication of a lack of confidence or ambition.”

The study couldn’t find out why some people were more attracted to intelligence than others, however. It found that it didn’t matter how intelligent a person thought they were, it remained difficult to predict how attractive they would find intelligence. But it did appear that being a frickin’ genius wasn’t that desirable.

“It is well established that several mate characteristics are valued highly in a prospective partner,” Dr Gignac told the British Physiological Society. “But the sort of continuous measurement used in our research is making it clear that several of these characteristics are associated with a threshold effect – in other words, you can have too much of a good thing.”

All we can say is, you might want to start brushing up on your climate change denial and Moon-landing conspiracy theories if you ever want to get lucky again.


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  • intelligence,

  • men,

  • women,

  • attractiveness,

  • easy going