Knowing whether you are intelligent or not isn’t always the easiest thing to figure out; though you may do well on a certain test, you may be a total klutz in something else.
But researchers have found that there are ten personality traits that a large number of intelligent people all share. These include:
1) Staying Up Late
A study from 2009 found that night owls, or those who generally stay up past midnight, are statistically more intelligent than those who sleep early and wake up early.
The study found that people who sleep and get up late have more energy and mental stamina throughout the day than those who rise with the sun.
Other studies have also found that late risers are both richer and smarter than early birds.
However, there’s definitely a certain point at which a “late riser” becomes a “lazy afternoon riser”.
2) You Are Hilarious
Humor and intelligence have always been strongly linked.
According to Dr. Gil Greengross from the University of Aberystwyth, a study she conducted from 2010 in partnership with the University of Mexico found that humor is sexually attractive, as it is usually connected with creativity and intelligence.
Knowing how to say the right thing at the right time takes a type of skill you can only have at a certain intelligence.
3) You Cuss a Lot
Thought curse words are often associated with low intelligence, a study from 2014 found that people with more colorful tongues aren’t necessarily uneducated or lazy, but rather smarter than the average person.
Those who are more confident in using words that are considered socially taboo are actually more articulate than their peers.
In the study from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, it was discovered that there was a correlation between taboo fluency and overall verbal fluency.
4) You Can’t Help But Make a Mess
Cleanliness and orderliness are often associated with intelligence; after all, why would a smart and successful individual possess the inability to keep their desk or home clean? However, the truth seems to be the other way around—people with messy desks actually possess clearer thinking.
In a study from the University of Groningen in 2012, it was found that people have an easier time to think when they are surrounded by a mess, as they have an easier time simplifying their current task.
Visual clutter in front of us keeps us focused on what we are meant to be doing.
Some renowned geniuses who were known for their messy ways include Roald Dahl and Albert Einstein.
5) Your Left Hand Is Dominant
Left-handedness is sometimes associated with bad luck or evil, but the truth is: left-handed people are statistically better at math.
The study from the University of Milan and the University of Liverpool examined 2,300 students, and found that those who were left-handed were significantly smarter when it came to mathematical skill.
6) You are the Eldest Sibling
If you are the eldest sibling in your family, then chances are, you are also the smartest.
The National Institute of Occupational Health in Norway conducted the 2007 study, where it was found that biological first-borns are generally the smartest sibling amongst the bunch.
They suspect that this has more to do with “social factors in the family environment” than biological factors.
7) You Love Cats
The argument of whether cats or dogs are better has gone on for centuries, but it seems that a recent study will make many more people prefer the cat side.
The study from Carroll University in 2014 found that cat owners are generally smarter than dog owners.
Why? They believed that it was because cats reflected smart personalities moreso than dogs—sensitive and open-minded as compared to wild and energetic—and thus attracted owners who were generally more intelligent.
8) You are Modest
Not-so-intelligent people have a tendency to brag about everything they can do and everything they have, while smarter people tend to keep things to themselves.
This is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect: the more competent you are, the less confident you become in your abilities.
9) You Worry Often
According to a 2016 study from Lakehead University in Ontario, people who worry more often are more likely to be verbally intelligent.
This is because those who worry tend to be more self-reflective and tend to think more about situations and possibilities.
However, the events that you worry about is important, too—worrying about negative events is correlated with high verbal intelligence, while worrying about social situations and self-confidence is correlated with lower non-verbal intelligence.
10) You Stayed a Virgin Until Your 20s
In 2000, Dr. Carolyn Halpern from the University of North Carolina found that people who didn’t have sex until in their teen years tended to be more intelligent than their more promiscuous peers.
Even signs such as kissing and holding hands were negatively correlated with intelligence.
What About You?
How many of the signs above fit your personality? Or are you an intelligent person who fits none of the descriptions above? Remember: all of these studies concern themselves with averages and generalizations; there will always be exceptions to the rule.