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This is my brain on grad school

by Eva Amsen

Observe the effect of grad school on my brain, following my happiness and IQ over time! I start out pretty much as a blank slate. One of the famous philosophers had a whole theory about that, but I forgot who*, because I am much dumber now than when I took philosophy in undergrad (see figure.)Anyway, as I aged past blank-slate-babyhood, I got smarter and happier, as depicted by the local increase in both lines just after the origin. High school made me a lot smarter but a little unhappier. University made me a lot happier but I didn’t really get much smarter after age 17. Then I started grad school and I got a lot unhappier and overall not much smarter but it comes and goes! Sometimes I am smart, sometimes I am stupid, It’s always a surprise!

Anyway, as I aged past blank-slate-babyhood, I got smarter and happier, as depicted by the local increase in both lines just after the origin. High school made me a lot smarter but a little unhappier. University made me a lot happier but I didn’t really get much smarter after age 17. Then I started grad school and I got a lot unhappier and overall not much smarter but it comes and goes! Sometimes I am smart, sometimes I am stupid, It’s always a surprise!Today I am very dumb and relatively happy (see figure).

Today I am very dumb and relatively happy (see figure).


*I looked it up, and it turns out there were multiple famous philosophers talking about the concept. I think I was thinking of Locke.

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7 comments

Sabine Hossenfelder October 15, 2008 - 4:51 PM

Really? I’d have thought children start out happy by nature. Also, I am pretty much convinced there is a negative correlation between IQ and happiness. Roughly, given the state of the world, if you’re dumb you have an easier time being happy. (I vaguely recall some study about that, will see if I can find a reference…)

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Eva Amsen October 15, 2008 - 5:53 PM

Babies are always crying, especially right after they’re born. They don’t seem very happy…

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Lee Turnpenny October 15, 2008 - 6:11 PM

_”Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”_
– Ernest Hemingway

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steffi suhr October 15, 2008 - 6:12 PM

Oh, but they just cry when they’re hungry or tired or their nappy is full or their bored….. but in-between, they’re “ecstatically”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjXi6X-moxE happy!
Anyway, I am interested to see that you seem to be able to predict both your IQ and happiness into the future – things are going to pick up significantly, no?

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Maxine Clarke October 15, 2008 - 6:51 PM

Sorry to be off-topic, but “have you seen this, Eva?”:http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/517442
_The International Festival of Authors is giving “random gifts of reading” to Torontonians to promote the festival (22 October- 1 November). More than 1,000 free paperbacks, by authors participating in the fest, will appear tomorrow before and during morning rush hour._
(via “Books, Inq., the Epilogue”:http://booksinq.blogspot.com/2008/10/random-acts-of-readerliness-in-toronto.html)

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Eva Amsen October 15, 2008 - 7:34 PM

Oh! Thanks! Free books!! And I just bought new bookshelves!
But they’re all the way downtown… And morning rush hour is early…

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Sue Dumont November 17, 2010 - 11:20 PM

In an episode of House ( Episode 8, Season 6 "Ignorance is Bliss") The patient of the episode drugs himself with a mixture of Vodka and Robitussin to bring his intelligence down to a normal level, explaining that while super-intelligent, he was so unhappy he attempted suicide.

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