Are you a worry wart? Do you pick at past conversations in your mind? Guess what? You might be a clever-clogs. According to a recent study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, Lakehead University’s Alexander Penney surveyed undergraduates to test both their stress levels and their intelligence. “Penney and his team found a correlation between worrying and verbal intelligence,” reports the Huffington Post. The report is quick to clarify that “Correlation doesn’t imply causation,” before noting “this is not the first paper to have found a link between anxiety and intelligence.”
More interestingly, perhaps, is Penney’s finding that “the more respondents said they replayed past events over in their minds, the lower they ranked on non-verbal intelligence.” Penney comments “it is possible that more verbally intelligent individuals are able to consider past and future events in greater detail, leading to more intense rumination and worry. Individuals with higher non-verbal intelligence may be stronger at processing the non-verbal signals from individuals they interact with in the moment, leading to a decreased need to re-process past social encounters.” So if you find yourself obsessing about that party ages ago and what exactly that girl meant when she looked at you and said that thing in that tone, and when she ran her fingers through her hair like she did, and smiled when you commented about that other thing, and then you were going to ask her for her number but you didn’t … well, there’s no point telling you to chill, but hey, at least you’re smart!