Do you think you’re intelligent?
If you’re like most people, you probably think you aren’t.
Unfortunately this is what boring, routine tests do at school. The people who “conform” and “follow instructions” believe they’re smart because they get As, while the people who think for themselves and pursue their own interests are labelled as dumb.
But intelligence isn’t about getting an A-plus on a test and then forgetting the information immediately.
Intelligence is about creativity and thinking for yourself.
So, forget about what society has taught you.
Here are 7 science-backed reasons why you’re actually much smarter than you think.
1) You’re a night owl
You won’t believe it, but research has found out that people who stay up later are smarter than people who go to bed earlier.
This doesn’t mean that staying up later will make you smarter. It just means that there’s a correlation between high intelligence and night owls.
What explains this?
One theory suggests that back in our ancestors’ day, staying up late was “evolutionary novel.” Evolutionary novel is a good thing, as research suggests that intelligent people are more likely to adapt such behaviors.
Also another study found that night owls are mentally alert for a longer part of the day than early birds.
2) You’re an introvert
There’s quite a lot of evidence out there that shows introverted people are more intelligent on average. A study done by The Gifted Development Center showed that 60 percent of gifted children are introverts.
In fact, people with very high IQs of 160+ are often extremely introverted, even pathologically so.
A particularly interesting study showed that the brain works differently for introverts compared to extroverts.
German psychologist Hans Eysenck researched the brain of an introvert and found that introverts have a naturally high cortical arousal, meaning their ability to process information per second is higher than the average extrovert.
3) You can make people laugh
A study in the 70s proved that comedians have higher IQs compared to average people.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out why. Funny people are more witty and creative in conversations.
Interestingly, funny people also score particularly high on verbal intelligence examinations.
4) You understand how much you don’t know
People who are smarter have no problem in admitting when they don’t know something.
This is backed up by a classic study by Justin Kruger and David Dunning which found that the less intelligent you are, the more you overestimate your cognitive abilities.
In the study, students who scored in the lowest quartile on the test overestimated the number of questions they’d gotten right by nearly 50%.
5) You have insatiable curiosity
You’ve probably heard of the famous Einstein quote:
“I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.”
A study in 2016 found that there’s a link between childhood intelligence and openness to experience – which often to leads to intellectual curiosity later in life.
6) You’re open-minded
If you’re smarter, you’re unlikely to close yourself off to new ideas.
Psychologists believe that people who are able to look at both sides of an argument tend to score higher on intelligence tests.
At the same time, an intelligent person won’t blindly accept any new idea.
As the great Aristotle said:
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
7) You’re sensitive to other people’s experiences
Intelligent people tend to be highly skilled at showing empathy.
Psychology says that being attuned to other people’s feelings and needs is a big component of emotional intelligence.
Emotionally-intelligent individuals enjoy talking to new people and understanding where they’re coming from.
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