People who are perceived to be more intelligent are also more trusting and better judges of characters.
These were the findings by Oxford University, which studied respondents’ social status, behaviour and social attitudes, and intelligence.
“An individual with the highest verbal ability is 34% more likely to trust others than an individual with the lowest verbal ability,” the report found.
One possible reason of why there is such a strong relationship between generalised trust and intelligence could be “that intelligent individuals are better at evaluating others’ trustworthiness”.
According to the study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE, this means they are better at identifying and building relationships with those who are less likely to betray their trust.
“Another possible explanation is that intelligent individuals are less likely to trust people to do things that someone being trusted might have a strong incentive not to do (e.g., repay a large sum of money),” the report added.
It was also found people who are more trusting are more likely to be healthier and happier.
“The finding that generalised trust continues to be associated with self-rated health and happiness after adjusting for intelligence reinforces the view that generalised trust is a valuable social resource – one which governments, religious groups and civic organisations should strive to cultivate.”