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10 signs you may be more intelligent than you realize, according to science

How do you know if you’re smart apart from taking a lengthy IQ test?

We’ll help you figure it out with 10 signs you may be smarter than you realize, backed by scientific studies.

1. You swear a lot

Even though a lot of people cringe when they hear curse words, science says that the more you swear, the smarter you may actually be.

A study published in Language Sciences states that people who curse have a greater vocabulary than those who don’t.

In addition, they are more articulate. The researchers suggested this because those who swore the most could also name the most animals in the study.

The experiment asked participants to say as many curse words as they could in a minute. Then, they were asked to also do the same with animals in the same amount of time. The findings suggested that those who curse have a wider vocabulary.

Indeed, Mark Twain may be correct when he said: “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.“

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2. You are messy

According to Kathleen Vohs, the messier you are, the more intelligent you are likely to be.

The lead researcher and her team divided the participants into two groups. They asked the groups to brainstorm new uses for ping pong balls. The results showed that the ideas from the messy group were more interesting and creative when evaluated by impartial judges.

In the same study, neatness and tidy desks lead a person to do what was expected of them. But those who are messier display creativity at a higher level.

“Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,” Vohs said. “Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe.”

3. You talk to yourself

Talking to yourself may be a sign of higher cognitive functioning, according to a recent study.

Paloma Mari-Beffa of Bangor University found external monologues boost brain power to improve our focus and achieve goals. According to her, our inner talk serves to control ourselves by helping us organize our thoughts and actions.

“Talking out loud can be an extension of this silent inner talk, caused when a certain motor command is triggered involuntarily,” said Mari-Beffa.

She continues:

“Talking out loud, when the mind is not wandering, could actually be a sign of high cognitive functioning. Rather than being mentally ill, it can make you intellectually more competent.”

4. You stay up late

An article from Psychology Today suggests that intelligent individuals are more likely to be nocturnal than less intelligent individuals.

In this study, they found that the time you go to bed has a correlation with being intelligent. The data came from a large representative sample of young Americans. It showed that more intelligent children grow up to be more nocturnal as adults than less intelligent children.

For example, the kids with an IQ of over 125 or “very bright” would end up going to bed later at around 1 am. However, those with a childhood IQ of less than 75 or “very dull” go to bed around midnight.

5. You are not too sure if you are smart

As Shakespeare said: “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

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This phenomenon is known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect in psychology. This study suggests that the scope of people’s ignorance is often invisible to them. It states that poor performers in many social and intellectual domains are unaware of just how deficient their expertise is. On the other hand, intelligent people are aware of their limitations.

The study also discusses the difference of self-evaluation between the poor and top performers. So, if you think you are not that smart, then you’re intelligent than others.

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6. You love cats

According to a study, cat people score higher on intelligence tests.

600 university students were surveyed about their pet preferences. These students were then assessed on a number of other factors to reveal how people gravitate to animals whose personality traits they share.

The study also found that cat owners are more introverted and “non-conformist”, which means they value expedience over obedience.

7. You are left-handed

According to a study, there is a link between higher cognitive function and left-handedness.

A group of psychiatrists from the University of Athens studied “handedness” and found that those who are left-handed scored high in divergent thinking and cognitive ability.

Divergent thinking is the ability to generate new ideas from a single principle quickly and effectively. Researchers found that left-handed people scored better at tests of divergent thought.

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8. You worry a lot

Psychologist Alexander Penney studied the relationship between worry and intelligence. He and his colleagues surveyed more than 100 students and asked them to report their levels of worry. They found that those who are always worrying about something scored higher on a verbal intelligence test.

According to other research, the worrying and ruminating mind is a more intelligent mind. Results from this study showed that people who are worriers scored higher on measures of verbal intelligence. On the other hand, people who didn’t do much worrying scored higher on tests of nonverbal intelligence.

9. You took music lessons

Research suggests that music helps kids’ minds develop. So, if you took music lessons when you were a kid, it is more likely that your IQ was boosted.

According to a study made by Glenn Schellenberg, 6-year-olds who took nine months of music lessons had an IQ boost compared with kids who had no classes at all.

Music can also affect language development positively. can be seen in the brain.

“Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds,” according to Children’s Music Workshop.

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10. You are the oldest

ScienceMag states that the oldest siblings are usually smarter, and it may not be because of genetics.

This study was backed up by another recent study which suggests that the eldest children develop higher I.Q. than their siblings.

“The new findings, from a landmark study published Friday, showed that eldest children had a slight but significant edge in I.Q. — an average of three points over the closest sibling. And it found that the difference was not because of biological factors but the psychological interplay of parents and children”, according to the NY Times.

So, do you think you’re smart according to science? Let us know in the comments below.


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Written by Jude Paler

I am a poet with a positive outlook in life and a writer with a purpose in mind. I write to express my thoughts so that others will be inspired.

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