Intelligence is one of the most effective keys to success, and it’s often an easily recognizable feature. Having a high IQ is the principal sign of a smart person. However, it’s not the only indication, and researchers have identified 20 personality traits that prove cleverness in human beings.
Reading is a main indication of intelligence, and according to the U.K.’s Twins Early Development Study, reading can also increase intelligence and enrich minds on many levels, verbal as well as reflective.
U.K. researchers demonstrated a strong connection between curiosity and intelligence in a report in The Journal of Individual Differences in 2016. Curiosity pushed individuals to learn more and faster, and it motivates them to know more and gain more knowledge in fields they’re interested in.
- Thinking differently:
Intelligent people look down to traditions thinking they’re futile. They’re therefore considered peculiar or even arrogant. But their liberation of these chains allows them to think more effectively and come up with solutions.
Observational skills are also a characteristic of smart people. According to psychologist Dr. Catherine Jackson, noticing details and observing things gives you knowledge that other may neglect. That’s why smart people often tend to listen more and observe the world around them rather than talk about themselves.
- Self control
According to an experiment conducted by Psychological Science published in 2009, people with the higher intelligence scores opted to wait, think ahead and present greater self-control than the others. This characteristic is probably due to a certain cortex in the brain not yet identified precisely.
As intelligence and creativity are controlled by opposite brain hemispheres, it’s commonly thought that they function separately and differently. However, smart people actually combine both qualities to come up with solutions and explore options in their daily lives.
- Staying up late:
Nocturnal humans, the ones who stay up late at night are actually the smartest, according to a theory featured in Psychology Today which claimed that the more intelligent you are, you more break biological clocks, which allows you serenity, focus and reaching personal targets.
Human are social beings. We often feel happier when surrounded with friends and family, and we often to enjoy life better when sharing and living in communities. However, it’s a rule that doesn’t apply to intellects. A 2016 study by evolutionary psychologists Norman P. Li and Satoshi Kanazawa found that people with high IQs feel unhappier around people. Therefore they prefer solitude and avoid gatherings.
- Know their limits:
Smart people have the tendency to admit their lack of knowledge. It’s a characteristic that allows them to learn more from people or situation that they confront by identifying their weaknesses or gaps in their comprehension and therefore gain more from obstacles they’re confronted with.
Smart people are known to be the coolest and the most fun to be around. Many studies from the Yale University proved that smart people are extremely open-minded and accept new idea more easily. Intelligent people also prefer having a large diversity of opinions before they make up their own mind (Delay discounting). Smart people also stick to their opinions and their judgments’ since they’re well calculated.
- They’re messy
Many people tend to think that messy rooms or desks are a sign of the messiness and neglect of their owners! However, a 2012 research project by Netherlands’ University of Groningen found that disorderliness is a sign of smartness and that people flourish more when surrounded of chaos! It seems that the brain’s concentrates better in a messy environment, as the University of Minnesota noted that students with the messier desks had the better grades.
- They’re really funny
Research from the University of New Mexico proved, In 2011, that comedians had high verbal intelligence scores. Smart people are also generally very funny and more receptive to black comedy and enjoy all type of jokes without getting offended according to a 2017 feature in the Cognitive Processing journal.
- They’re empathetic
People often think that smart people are cold hearted and insensitive, as they’re also painted in cinema and television characters. But in 2014, a study published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience proved the contrary, by indicating that empathy is closely associated with intelligence and could be a sign of a high-level IQ.
- They talk to themselves:
The University of Wisconsin’s associate professor of psychology, Gary Lupyan, told the BBC in 2017 that self-talk is normal. It can even be a sign of intelligence, since thinking out loud boosts the process of reflection and concentration.
- They’re modest
Psychologists accorded a strong correlation existing between intelligence and modesty. Yes, it had been scientifically proven that smart people are humble. This can be explained by the Dunning–Kruger effect which is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability, while the most competent ones under-estimated their performances.
- They’re cat people
An expert from Wisconsin’s Carroll University, Denise Guastello, found during a personality study that intellectuals tend to have cats, since they suit more an introverted personality type, seeking coziness and being alone. Compared to a dog owner who might be a little more energetic, goes out more often and socializes more.
- They’re anxious
In 2015 Ontario’s Lakehead University study found that high levels of anxiety have a connection with verbal intelligence levels, and that the smartest participants were the most anxious socially.
- They swear a lot
A study conducted in 2014 concluded that Cursing is an indication of high verbal intelligence.
Timothy and Kristin Jay, psychologists of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, noted that cussing was a sign of a wide vocabulary and linguistic richness combined with a confidence of expression.
- They’re first-borns
Norway’s National Institute of Occupational Health conducted a study in 2007 that claimed that first-borns are smartest. However, this may not be linked to genetic factors but the way firstborns are raised instead, and that families often induce quick intellectual development for elder children. The study however lacked social and psychological data about the family environment to prove the hypothesis.
- They were breastfed
Several tests show that breastfed babies are smarter than their counterparts, as proved by a study featured on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. However, it seems that only babies with a specific gene – known as FADS2 allows them to take full advantage of breast milk.