Intelligent people are a “fan club of their own”: they spend a lot of resources and carry out research to find out what do they have in common.
Scientists and researchers around the world devote a lot of time to figuring out various facts about smart people (that is, about themselves as well). Some studies give very unexpected results, that are difficult to relate to reality and analyze even retrospectively. We decided to compile into one digest the most unexpected of such characteristics and personal qualities that for one reason or another are inherent to people with a high level of intellectual development.
It is important to note: all the statements below are made by scientists. They are based on serious articles, published according to all the necessary rules in specialized world-class scientific journals.
1. You don’t like to fuss about? Clever!
The authors of the study, published in the Journal of Health Psychology, have come up with an interesting conclusion: people who are not prone to cognitive activity, quickly get bored with everything, especially with sitting on their hands, so they have to entertain themselves with some physical activity from time to time. At the same time, intellectuals do not get bored, even when they have to sit in one place — they are able to plunge into meditations that allow them to forget about the most bustling atmosphere around without unnecessary movements. Therefore, non-intellectuals are more prone to physical activity — they just get bored, whereas intelligent people tend to avoid unnecessary physical exercises.
2. Intellectuals go to sleep late and get up late
This statement is not based on a scientific work, but on a hypothesis, which, however, is supported by the results of a study published in the journal Psychology Today. The logical chain is as follows: every living organism has its circadian rhythm: at one time biological processes are slowed down, while at the other time they are accelerated. In general, the full cycle takes approximately 24 hours. This “biological clock” is inherent not only to people and animals, but also to plants, mushrooms, bacteria. In the organism of human and other mammals the neural cells of the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus are responsible for maintaining the circadian rhythm. When it is time to sleep, and when it is not, the suprachiasmatic nucleus is informed by the genes. In the process of evolution, this information has not been changed much, and each of us in the normal conditions wants to sleep in the evening, and feels full of energy in the afternoon. However, human, thanks to intelligence has a unique ability to make this biological clock stray from a constant rhythm.
According to the researchers, during the evolution the most intelligent of our ancestors developed the ability to break the rhythm deliberately, to achieve their goals (this was a manifestation of the intelligence of higher primates, not usual animal instincts), and transmitted this feature through their genes to the descendants. Therefore, today those of us who choose the life of “night owls” are more likely to be more intelligent descendants of the more intelligent ancestors. And the study carried out among young Americans has confirmed this theory.
3. Smart people are more often skinny
Scientists have conducted several studies to examine the correlation between overweight and the level of intelligence among children, and discovered the undoubted relationship between the body mass index and the sharpness of mind. This dependence is explained by various factors. For example, it is believed that children who do not suffer from obesity are healthier and can devote themselves to comprehensive development. The authors of one study also argue that living in the city, wealthy parents and high education of the child’s father will help the kid to become a smarter adult in the future. On the other hand, children from poor country families, who have overweight and uneducated parents, find themselves in a risk group characterized by a higher chance for person to have a lower intelligence quotient in adulthood.
4. “Brainiacs” do not smoke…
In 2009, a serious study (actually, the largest research of this kind) was carried out, in which the correlation between the level of intelligence and the propensity to smoke was studied among 20,000 soldiers of the Israeli army. The relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the intelligence quotient turned out to be quite pronounced. The average IQ of the soldiers who smoked more than a pack of cigarettes a day, was 90. A little higher IQ was shown by the respondents who smoked, but less than a pack per day — about 94. And for the soldiers who did not smoke at all, the test showed average IQ to be 101. That is, the difference in IQ between non-smokers and persistent smokers was about 12%. What is the reason and what is the consequence here is unclear, but the dependence itself is quite explicit.
5. …but regularly drink alcohol
At the same time, speaking about the inhabitants of Great Britain, the relation was found between high intelligence in adulthood and the regular use of alcohol. The results of the study, which lasted almost half a century, are really interesting. This study was called the National Child Development Study and covered 17,419 children born in England, Wales, and Scotland between March 3 and 9, 1958. Respondents were interviewed and examined at the age of seven, at the age of 11, in the teenage period when they were 16, then at the age of 23, 33, 41-42 years, and finally in 2004-2005, 9,534 of them were interviewed at the age of 46-47 years.
It turned out that the participants of the experiment were quite clearly divided into intellectuals and those who could not boast of an outstanding mind. Moreover, according to the survey, it is precisely the “eggheads” who drank alcohol quite regularly throughout their conscious life. One can hardly understand now, what is the connection here, but it’s a fact!
6. The eldest child in the family is more intelligent
As it is often the case in fairy tales of different peoples, where “the eldest son is a clever boy, the middle one is fair to middling, and the younger one is quite a fool,” a lot of research actually says that the first child in the family is usually the smartest, the second one has a lower IQ, and the third one is the least intellectually developed. The reasons for this were searched for by different groups of scientists, but researchers have not yet come to a common standpoint on this issue. Perhaps this is somehow related to the age of the parents, their health during conception and childbearing, the period of fetation and the hormonal balance of the mother, but these are all only hypotheses that need to be checked.
However, the scientists from Norway, using the results of the survey conducted by draft boards among about 250,000 people of military age (19 years) who were born between 1967 and 1976, found that the first child in the family had an average IQ 103, the second one — 100, and the third one — 99. As for inventiveness and agility (which are usually inherent to the younger son in fairy tales), the research is silent.
7. Clever adults in the childhood were breast-fed
The relationship between the early period of human life and the degree of mental development is confirmed by the following fact: breast-fed babies subsequently become intelligent children. This was demonstrated by the results of a study that tested the intelligence level of more than 3,000 children in Great Britain and New Zealand. It should be noted that the results of the IQ test were higher by seven points not only for breast-fed children, compared to those who were not fed this way, but only for those who also had a certain version of the FADS2 gene. Therefore, this fact needs to be checked and further studied.
8. Smart children take music lessons
More explicit are the results of the studies that revealed a correlation between music lessons in the childhood and high IQ in older age. In particular, a Canadian scientist has shown that after nine months of musical training 6-year-olds showed a significant increase of the level of intellectual development. Another research, demonstrating the benefits of music lessons for intellect, was carried out several years earlier: then, the connection between only one month of music classes and the results of a verbal intelligence test among children aged 4-6 years was proved.
It is interesting that music lessons are more likely taken by intellectually developed children than their less intellectual fellows. That is, even if in your childhood for some reason you did not take music lessons, but wanted it, it is already a reason to assert that perhaps you were a more intelligent child than your peers and became more intellectual in adulthood.
9. Do you like cats more than dogs? Then your place is among the intellectuals!
Denise Guastello, associate professor of psychology at Carroll University (USA), at the Association of Psychological Science meeting reported on the results of a study according to which the best cognitive abilities are demonstrated by those people who are more likely to have a cat than a dog. She also named the personal qualities of “cat people”: they are more introverted than “dog people”, tend to be nonconformists and are more open-minded. According to the researchers, the following rule is working: people who are prone to be open-minded — which is common to intellectuals — more often choose cats, not dogs because of their own personal qualities. That is, if you want to “trick out” your intellect, it is pointless to became a cat-owner against your will. On the other hand, if you have a cat, you probably have the qualities inherent to the intellectuals.
10. Intellectuals enjoy loneliness
For ten years, researchers tried to figure out how socialization is related to intellectual development of people and their satisfaction with life. The authors of the publication in the British Journal of Psychology reported that time spent with friends, generally increases the satisfaction with life in people. But the degree of this satisfaction is inversely proportional to the level of our intellectual development. Thus, smart people deliberately avoid extra socialization, because it does not give them satisfaction.
So if you are an introvert, then this may be due to your developed intellectual abilities (by the way, compare this with the item number 1).
11. The tendency to anxiety is a sign of the intellect
If you do not worry about trifles and do not worry about life at all, it tells nothing definite about your intelligence. On the other hand, as scientists have shown, there is a correlation between tendency to anxiety and high intellectual development. Why? It is believed that anxiety, concern about circumstances that could potentially pose a danger to a person, helped our ancestors to survive in the process of evolution, and this property became a special skill which allowed homo sapiens to dominate. Thus, smart people tend to build models of possible dangerous situations and apply them to all life events, so sometimes they worry excessively even about some trifles — they were taught to do so by nature itself.
12. Do you have a great sense of humor? Then we do have some good news for you!
Many studies confirm the connection between intelligence and sense of humor. For example, according to the paper by the experts from the University of New Mexico (USA), published in journal Psychology Today, the sense of humor is inherent to smart and creative people and is therefore considered “sexually attractive factor,” because it surely indicates “good genes”. And this correlation manifests itself most brightly in men — that is, the jollier the man is, the more attractive he looks (here one doesn’t talk about clowns (joke)).
13. If you learn to read early, you are smart
Is reading in early childhood the cause or the result of a developed intelligence? In discussions on this issue there has already been enough crossing of swords. Indeed, a smarter kid potentially can learn to read earlier and easier. On the other hand, reading itself can provoke early development of cognitive abilities. Many scientists noted the general benefit of reading.
In order to put an end to the controversy, a group of British scientists analyzed the relationship of mental abilities and reading skills in 1,890 pairs of twins. According to the results of the study in which the twins took tests at the age of 7, 9, 10, 12 and 16 years, a clear connection was found: early development of reading skills leads to more rapid development of intelligence. The mechanisms of this process are still in question…
14. Modesty is a virtue of the clever people
Some people consider modesty to be a positive character trait, other find it negative, some people suffer from it, but the fact remains a fact: smart people are usually humbler than others. Intelligent people (in the broadest sense of the word) understand the limits of their knowledge; comprehensively developed people realize of how many areas they are ignorant (“I know that I know nothing,” said Socrates). At the same time, people with weak intelligence do not understand the level of their ignorance (precisely because of their ignorance and narrow horizons) and tend to overestimate their abilities — mental in particular. We recall here a well-known study by two scientists who discovered a cognitive distortion, named after them — the Dunning-Kruger effect. Thus, stupid people are usually arrogant, and smart people are usually modest.
15. Are you a liberal by political beliefs and an atheist? Smart choice…
The famous scientist Satoshi Kanazawa, who at one time proposed the “Savanna Principle” (briefly: human was formed long time ago in the African savannah, and after that did not evolve too much), recently carried out a study that demonstrated: highly intellectual people are liberal and do not believe in God (or gods). As for smart men (but not women), they are also sexually exclusive (prefer to have one sexual partner).
It should be noted that according to the research results, the average IQ of “very conservative” respondents was about 95, while “very liberal” respondents had an average IQ of 106.
16. You are tall? Then, probably, you are smart
Another unexpected conclusion was made by the scientists at one of the institutions of the Ivy League — Princeton University (USA). Their research reveals that as a result of collating the data on the height and the level of intellectual development of thousands of people, a pattern has been discovered: higher children (even at the age of three, when the school or pre-school institutions could not yet affect the intellect) have the best intellectual development. In adulthood, such children also earn more money (but this is probably a slightly different story).
Important note: each of these signs separately and all of them together do not necessarily indicate a high intellectual development of a person. Usually, when scientists argue that a certain characteristic is more common to intellectuals, it just means that this sign occurs more often among intellectuals, than among under-educated or not so intelligent people. It is also possible that a particular feature, which in the course of the research was recognized as inherent to intelligent people, is indeed their distinctive feature, since it is inherent to more than half of the intellectuals. De facto, it may well be that particular intellectually gifted person does not have a half the features on our list, while a person having a significant part of the listed qualities cannot at all boast of high intellectual development. And, of course, even if someone begins to cultivate these features — to be lazy, to get up late, to practice music, to have a cat, to give up smoking and start drinking — it certainly will not raise the level of such person’s intelligence.
- You're Empathetic & Compassionate. ...
- You're Curious About The World. ...
- You're Observant. ...
- You Have Self-Control. ...
- You Have A Good Working Memory. ...
- You Recognize Your Limits. ...
- You Like To Go With The Flow. ...
- You're Passionate About Things That Really Interest You.
- Smart People Prefer Dynamic Work. ...
- You See Patterns Others Don't. ...
- You Prefer Building to Communicating. ...
- You Have Adapted to the Modern World Better Than Those Around You. ...
- You're Happier Working without Distractions. ...
- You've Developed Perfect Adaptation Skills.
- Highly intelligent people tend to have less friends than the average person.
- They are open minded.
- They observe and remember things.
- They are curious.
- They tend to worry about things.
- They are good at managing their emotions.
- They're really funny.
- They understand how much they don't know.
- They're highly adaptable. ...
- They understand how much they don't know. ...
- They have insatiable curiosity. ...
- They're open-minded. ...
- They like their own company. ...
- They have high self-control. ...
- They're really funny. ...
- They're sensitive to other people's experiences.
- They're highly adaptable. ...
- They understand how much they don't know. ...
- They have insatiable curiosity. ...
- They ask good questions. ...
- They're sensitive to other people's experiences. ...
- They're open-minded. ...
- They're skeptical.
- Tendency to have slightly cluttered living areas and workspaces.
- Fluency in taboo or " swear" words.
- Preferring late hours (being a " night owl") to early mornings.
- Value being alone or time without crowded spaces.
- An excellent memory.
- You listen more than you talk.
- You can focus on something for hours.
- You are a night owl.
- You adapt to change easily.
- You know there is a lot you don't know.
- You are curious.
- You are open-minded.
- You like being alone.
New research debunks the belief that you can assess intelligence based on facial features. Researchers have identified more than 70 genes that affect variation in both brain and facial structure. The genes don't influence cognitive ability, however.What are some habits of intelligent people? ›
- They don't talk about how smart they are. ...
- They learn best by imitation. ...
- They try to figure things out themselves. ...
- They're always hunting knowledge. ...
- They don't brag about what they know. ...
- They connect the dots. ...
- They're okay with cognitive dissonance. ...
- They ask lots of questions.
Truly intelligent people are naturally curious. They can't get enough of learning, they chase knowledge and genuinely enjoy learning new skills. They often learn new things and new skills just out of curiosity, even when they know they don't need those skills for their career or for any other purpose.
They thrive on analyzing systems and improving things. For highly intelligent people, whilst they are most interested in finding solutions for real-life problems, they also enjoy pondering deep philosophical ideas and abstract concepts.Are intelligent people stubborn? ›
An intelligent person might look stubborn, but they're really just self-sufficient. You don't get there by giving up too soon and letting someone do things for you — or walk you through every step of every process.Do intelligent people think more? ›
Smart people think more than most. They can sit by themselves quietly for hours. After all, they've got an endless number of questions and problems to think about in their head, and they like doing it. This means they are very careful with the opinions and stances they take.How do you talk to smart people? ›
- They Make Eye Contact. A smart person will keep eye contact with you from the beginning of the conversation. ...
- They Pay Attention to their Body Language. ...
- They Ask Smart Questions. ...
- They Give Compliments. ...
- They Make You Laugh. ...
- They Really Listen. ...
- They Tell a Good Story.
Smart women are imaginative and think outside the box. They have an innate ability to look at a situation and approach it with curiosity. Instead of accepting things at face value, they turn things around and ask themselves “what else?”What makes someone scary smart? ›
Coming to your question, when we say scary smart we basically mean those people who have gifted intelligence but the ways of life is different from others. That is they are too intelligent and learn concepts for a reason. In a way they see humans as a subject of experiment.What are the 3 main zodiac signs? ›
Your Big 3 in astrology refers to your Sun sign, your moon sign, and your rising sign. These three, found in your unique birth chart, say a lot about you. Have you ever met someone so vastly different than you, then discovered that you share a zodiac sign?What are the 3 types of intelligence? ›
Figure 7.12 Sternberg's theory identifies three types of intelligence: practical, creative, and analytical.Why are smart people lazy? ›
The data showed that those with a high IQ got bored less easily, leading them to be less active and spend more time engaged in thought. The highly active group got easily bored when having to sit still and observe their abstract thoughts.Can a person suddenly become a genius? ›
It's possible that he had “sudden savant syndrome”, in which exceptional abilities emerge after a brain injury or disease. It's extremely rare, with just 25 verified cases on the planet. There's Tony Cicoria, an orthopaedic surgeon who was struck by lightning at a New York park in 1994.
People who have genius traits tend to think about problems and concepts in a much more dynamic way. As a result, they are unlikely to accept information and facts on face value. Instead, they will want to defy and test conventional thinking.What is the true mark of a genius? ›
Rather, genius can be seen as the ability to break free from the predestined, comfortable route when all signs point to the need to change. It's the absorption of observations without precedent or plans.What makes a smart face? ›
Faces that are perceived as highly intelligent are rather prolonged with a broader distance between the eyes, a larger nose, a slight upturn to the corners of the mouth, and a sharper, pointing, less rounded chin.How others see your face? ›
Going to the core of the question, the face people see is familiar to them as much as the reverse face you see is familiar to you. But they are reversed. People see the same as the camera sees, because camera designers have chosen it to be that way.Are people with wide set eyes more intelligent? ›
Furthermore, while people feel certain facial features indicate intelligence (a longer face, larger nose and wide-set eyes, for example), researchers say they found no correlation between those types of faces and actual intelligence, leading them to believe those beliefs are merely cultural stereotypes.What time do intelligent people sleep? ›
Those with an IQ of over 125 tended to go to bed around 12:30 a.m. and wake up around 8:00 a.m. on weekdays, and to go to bed around 1:45 a.m. and wake up around 11:00 a.m. on weekends. Those of normal intelligence tended to sleep from 12:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and from 1:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. on weekends.How do you deal with a smart person? ›
Smart people will not get all your papers or work done. They will not think or study for you. If their presence bothers you, the best thing you can do for yourself is ignore them. You have better things to do than spend the energy letting yourself get upset over how smart others appear to be.
1. Isaac Newton. He is an extraordinary genius physicist, mathematician, astronomer and alchemist. He is considered as the most influential and greatest scientist ever lived.What makes someone sound intelligent? ›
Smart folks are those who can make any topic, no matter the complexity, easy and fun for listeners to understand. They're concise when delivering their message. They sound authoritative yet warm and they have a strong and consistent verbal brand. When most people try to sound smart, they're doing it wrong.Are intelligent people messy? ›
Consequently, we all know how creativity is a common trait of genius people. The study conducted by the University of Minnesota goes on to state that genius leaves their desk messy because they invest the time needed to clean and organize the more important stuff.
know-it-all. bigmouth. smart-ass. smarty-pants. wiseacre.Do intelligent people struggle with love? ›
Many intelligent people prioritize their goals in life, so it may take them some time to reach that stage in life where they feel ready for a relationship. At times, their ambitious goals may be the thing that keeps them out of relationships, especially if they have an unsupportive partner.Are quiet person intelligent? ›
This isn't necessarily true, and while not all quiet people are necessarily smart, highly intelligent people will often refrain from speaking if they are accessing a situation. They will take some time to think about what was said and prepare an adequate response, and they find silence better than pointless small talk.Are quiet people smarter? ›
Quiet people have stronger brains because they take time to reflect. The best thing you can do for your brain is to give it a break and allow it to soak up what's around you. According to AARP Magazine, being quiet is actually good for your brain health -- because it gives your mind a chance to wander and reflect.Do intelligent people ignore? ›
It's found that people with a high IQ are not just better at remembering the things they need to remember; they are better at ignoring the things that aren't important. And that makes them better at retaining what they need to know.Why do I feel smarter than everyone? ›
It's the classic sign of the Dunning-Kruger effect, a type of cognitive bias described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger in which people believe they're smarter and more skilled than they actually are.Are deep thinkers more intelligent? ›
Deep thinker definition
Typically, it is a highly intelligent, insightful, and observant person who has an abstract and analytical mind. It is someone who is constantly wondering, questioning, and searching for meaning.
A recent study published in The Independent suggests that less active individuals, “the lazy,” might be more brainy than those who are constantly active: “Findings from a U.S-based study seem to support the idea that people with a high IQ get bored less easily, leading them to spend more time engaged in thought…How do you act smart in front of your friends? ›
- Stand or sit with spine straight but relaxed. ...
- Keep your chin up. ...
- Focus on your listeners. ...
- Speak loudly enough to be heard. ...
- Buttress words with appropriate gestures. ...
- Strategically position your body.
- Replace "Um" With Stronger Filler Words. In the moment, it's hard not to say "uh, um," while you try to gather your thoughts. ...
- Know The Power Of Silence. The best speakers know the power of silence. ...
- Do Not Make Things Complicated.
- 1 Set an intention to make new friends.
- 2 Put down your phone when you're out in public.
- 3 Go to art shows, museums, and cultural events.
- 4 Reach out to intelligent people who have impacted you.
- 5 Hang out with other intelligent friends you have.
- 6 Take a continuing education class.
You may know that social anxiety is linked to a high intelligence or that there's a neurological correlation between being highly creative and mentally ill but what you may not know is that worrying – and overthinking in particular – has now been linked to creative genius.What does a smart person sound like? ›
Smart folks are those who can make any topic, no matter the complexity, easy and fun for listeners to understand. They're concise when delivering their message. They sound authoritative yet warm and they have a strong and consistent verbal brand. When most people try to sound smart, they're doing it wrong.How can you tell the smartest person in the room? ›
- Nothing to prove.
- Have patience.
- Know how to explain their craft. This especially applies to people who are professionals or experts in their field. This is because they've been through it all. ...
- Good listeners.
The good news is that highly sensitive people aren't more or less emotionally intelligent than others. They just use emotional intelligence differently.Are Overthinkers good lovers? ›
Dating an overthinker isn't easy and would require more work and effort from your side to keep the ship sailing smoothly. However, if you handle them and their obsessive need to overanalyze, well, it could be the most loving relationship, because they genuinely give two hoots about you and the relationship.