Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Why smart men make better partners

Intelligence of the male partner affects the strength and longevity of the relationship, find researchers.

An 1891 portrait of composer Erik Satie by Ramon Casas.

A new study says that if you're picking a male life partner, a smarter one would be better for the long-term success of your relationship.

Jaako Aspara led the research at the Hanken School of Economics in Finland that looked at the question of picking partners from an evolutionary perspective. The team discovered that the levels of a partner's intelligence directly affect the “fitness" of the partnership to “survive and support the offspring."

Another aspect that impacts the strength of a relationship: smarter men generally have a larger income. This makes them more attractive bets.

The study relied on military conscription data from almost 200,000 Finnish men, aged 18 to 45. Intelligence was assessed via a 120-item test that the men took upon entering the Finnish Defense Forces.

When they were initially examined, two-thirds of the men were single. As Susan Krauss Whitbourne from Psychology Today explains, these were matched by age and region with married men. Both groups were followed during a five-year period, with researchers looking at their marital status, income, cars they owned, and other factors. The men also had to take another intelligence test, which measured numerical, verbal, and nonverbal abilities.

The researchers showed a connection between intelligence and marital history. The number of men who got married and stayed hitched increased with each rise in overall intelligence within the five age groups studied. Younger groups most strongly exhibited this effect.

In other interesting conclusions, the scientists found that verbal intelligence relates to the probability of getting married, since being a better talker can make it easier for you to attract a mate. Overall intellectual ability equally relates to getting divorced. Higher intelligence means having the capacity to avoid a breakup by expressing and discussing feelings, according to the research team. On the flip side, notes Whitbourne, studies showed that intelligent women also have more stable and long-lasting marriages.

“In parallel to the effect of a peacock's mysterious tail on its mating success…human intelligence has a direct positive impact on human mating prospects in terms of marriage," write the researchers.

Potentially good news also for men with newer and bigger cars: they appear to have an advantage in getting married, according to the research.

You can find the study here.

For a different perspective, perhaps having "sexier sex" is another road to a long and happy relationship:

Malcolm Gladwell live! | Strangers, Storytelling, and Psychology

Join the legend of non-fiction in conversation with best-selling author and poker pro Maria Konnikova.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to your calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo


Keep reading Show less

Map of the World's Countries Rearranged by Population

China moves to Russia and India takes over Canada. The Swiss get Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi India. And the U.S.? It stays where it is. 

Strange Maps

What if the world were rearranged so that the inhabitants of the country with the largest population would move to the country with the largest area? And the second-largest population would migrate to the second-largest country, and so on?

Keep reading Show less

Can a quantum strategy help bring down the house?

Study finds quantum entanglement could, in principle, give a slight advantage in the game of blackjack.

Photo by Sheri Hooley on Unsplash
Surprising Science
In some versions of the game blackjack, one way to win against the house is for players at the table to work as a team to keep track of and covertly communicate amongst each other the cards they have been dealt.
Keep reading Show less

Virgin Galactic uses space tech to create new supersonic jet

The space tourism company Virgin Galactic teams up with Rolls Royce to create a new Mach 3 supersonic aircraft.

New supersonic aircraft from Virgin Galactic.

Credit: Virgin Galactic
Technology & Innovation
  • Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic announces a partnership with Rolls Royce.
  • The space tourism company will create a new supersonic jet for super-fast travel on Earth.
  • The aircraft will travel at Mach 3 – three times the speed of sound.
Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast