Are smart people more likely to be depressed?

The trouble with correlative studies between high intelligence and happiness is that happiness is tested by self-reporting. It is pretty easy to answer a happiness questionnaire in the deluded belief that one is, when in fact, all objective evidence suggests that one isn’t. I would not trust those happiness questionnaire results, in other words.


Are smart people more likely to be depressed?

you are exactly correct
maybe you have no frame of reference to compare because those feelings are normal for you
maybe you are biased to overexagerate or underexagerate
it could be done accurately or very well could not

How can one be deluded as to one’s own state of happiness, and what objective evidence could possibly dispute such a belief? And if these objective means for measuring happiness exist, why don’t the studies use them instead of self-reporting?

Oh, people can be deluded about anything…

I’ll leave it up to people better qualified than myself to develop a set of objective measurements, but one example off the top of my head: If you tell me you’re happy as a clam, and I see you are drinking like a fish, I am going to have my doubts as to how honest you are being with yourself about how you feel inside.

“Drinking like a fish” when? Once? Or are you following this person every time they drink? Or every day? Seems like an awful lot of prejudice going on if it’s just based on what you see one time.

I wouldn’t use that particular expression to describe a one-time observation, personally. Maybe some people would. The point is that as long as these studies correlating intelligence with happiness are based on self-reports of happiness, they are flawed. They aren’t based on self-reports of intelligence, and they shouldn’t be based on self-reports of happiness, either. At present, I guess its the best we’ve got. You would have to know a person pretty well to know how happy they are.

I think that very smart people are indeed more likely to be depressed. These exceptional geniuses do not come in large numbers to be measured by statistical tests (which are anyhow most often quite bad). I also think that the main reason why they get depressed is not that much pondering about fundamental questions, as feeling alone. Lonely people are the ones who get depressed the most. I’m feel sorry for you, Cecil.

IF a less educated, not parituclarly intrelligent, blue collar person is suffering from depression, my guess is, he’d be far less likely to see a psychiatrist than an affluent, more educated person.

A depressed janitor goes home and “self-medicates” with booze. Nobody regards him as “depressed.” Everyone just calls him a drunk.

The “crazy old cat lady” in your neighborhood may be depressed or bipolar, but everyone around her just thinks “She’s weird.”

I was going to agree with you but realized that I am one of the more advanced students in my school (education wise) and I never have really felt depressed. I do tend to spend to much time thinking about life and such but I guess I find that the good typically outweighs the bad. Maybe I’m just really optimistic. Not sure. All I know is that I’ve been given more crap to ponder in my spare time.