Due to rather disappointing news, it seems our partners are not nearly as smart as we assume they are. We should blame us – if we were smart enough to understand.
As it turns out, we overestimate our own intelligence. Regarding this, one study found that 90% of US college professors famously claimed to be better than average at teaching. This is obviously not the case. What it does illustrate, however, is the power of our own ego.
However, our ego also tends to bleed over to those we share a bed with. A new paper published in Intelligence journal believes that we rate our partner’s intelligence far higher than it actually is.
The researcher (Gilles Gignac at the University of Western Australia and Marcin Zajenkowski at the University of Warsaw), also tested whether the couples’ actual IQs influenced their relationship satisfaction as a whole.
The researchers recruited 218 heterosexual couples (who had been together for an average of six years, and around a quarter were married), and rather than have them guess IQ scores – the participants were tasked to estimate both theirs and their partner’s intelligence on a scale.
The results were rather staggering. Participants’ estimates of their partners’ intelligence were entirely off. While the men believe their wives and girlfriends’ IQs were 36 points higher than they really were; the women thought their husbands and boyfriends’ IQs were 38 points higher than the actual score.
In other words, if you are like the majority of people in this sample, your partner is probably much less clever than you believe. Which is not necessarily a terrible thing. Much like the collegiate professors of yore, we all believe we’re the smartest, best-tasting cookies in the batch. Nothing wrong with it, we’re just stupid.