The truth is finally out. You probably think your partner is pretty great – but a new study shows that we think the person we love is smarter than they actually are.
Rose tinted glasses are absolutely a thing. Giles Gignac from the University of Western Australia and Marcin Zajenkowski from the University of Warsaw carried out the study, published in Intelligence. They found people actually rate their partner’s IQ based on how happy their are in their relationship and most people rate them as being above-average intelligence.
They looked at 218 heterosexual couples who had been together for an average of six years and about a quarter of them were married.
Their intelligence was determined based on IQ tests and they were also asked to comment on their own intelligence and their partners using a scale designed by the researchers. The study found that people routinely overestimate their partner’s IQ by as much as 30 IQ points but they also considered their own IQ to be above average.
However, they tended to overestimate their partner’s IQ by seven points more than they overestimated their own IQ. The authors said: ‘It would appear that women and men participate in the process of mate selection, with respect to evaluating IQ, consistent with the mutual mate model of sexual selection. However, the personal benefits of intellectual compatibility seem less obvious.’ Basically, most people want a partner who is as smart as them but we tend to give them a bit too much credit. The researchers used written tests rather than verbal tests and they say more studies will need to be done to confirm the results.
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