Intelligence comes in many different forms. Some people are gifted in math, while others are good at writing, and some have the ability to create brilliant works of art. While administering an actual IQ test is too much of a hassle (because who wants to take a test anyway...), there are other ways to tell how intelligent someone might be.
IQ tests aren’t just long and boring; they’ve also been shown to be pretty unfair. Not only do they fail to measure creative intelligence, but they also tend to be insensitive toward certain groups on the basis of gender, race, culture and class. But until a better method comes along, the IQ test will still be widely used by psychologists.
Luckily, in the meantime psychologists have continuously been trying to develop more effective means of testing exactly how smart someone is. But until then, there are certain traits that indicate how intelligent a person is. See which ones you have!
Being a chronic worrier really sucks sometimes, but when the going gets tough, just remember that if you’re an anxious person, it could be because you’re smart. In a study performed on college students, researchers found that those who reported feeling worried often or ruminating over things that upset them scored higher on verbal intelligence than their more laid-back counterparts.
Good news for all you potty mouths out there! Smart people tend feel less nervous about censoring their language around others. Science has also found that the ability to drop F-bombs while still being well-spoken is a trait of a highly intelligent person.
This might be a somewhat unpopular opinion in the current political climate, but science has shown that those who have progressive political leanings might be more intelligent. In fact, the farther left you are, the smarter you are, science says. So the next time someone makes fun of you for being a “liberal snowflake,” show them this.
In one study, 400 psychology students were asked to take intelligence tests that measured their abstract reasoning abilities and verbal intelligence. They were then given the assignment of coming up with captions for New Yorker cartoons that were subsequently rated by independent reviewers. On average, those who had scored higher on the intelligence test wrote funnier captions.
Smart people would rather just be left alone a lot of times, as it turns out. The reasoning for this is that they prefer being in solitude in order to focus on their thoughts over having a lot of social interaction. In fact, social interaction might actually inhibit a smart person’s overall happiness!
Smart people don’t just sit around and do what they’re told: they question things that don’t seem right. The more intelligent someone is, the more interested they are in breaking comfort zones and changing the world. Smart people also constantly have new ideas and proof to back up their opinions.
Intelligent people are more likely to stay up late, studies have found. They find it difficult to go to bed and display more nocturnal behaviors. One particular study found that on average, children with an IQ of less than 75 went to bed around 11:40 pm on weeknights and woke up at 7:20 am, while children with an IQ of 125 or more went to bed at 1:30 am and woke up at 7:52 am.
While dog lovers have been shown to be more outgoing than cat people, a study of 600 college students in 2014 found that cat people scored higher on a cognitive ability test. This is probably because, like we established above, intelligent people tend to be more introverted, and the more introverted you are, the more likely you are to have a cat as a pet. Make sense?
Psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa found in a study that adults who scored higher on IQ tests in their childhood and teenage years drank more alcohol in adulthood than those who scored lower. Good news for all the frat boys reading this! You guys must be the smartest ones out there!
In a thread asking which signs and behaviors tell you that someone is intelligent, Redditors said curiosity as well as those who are quiet. Interestingly, one user said they thought that mental illness was an indicator of intelligence, on the grounds that those who suffer from depression and anxiety are more often thinking about existential life questions than others.
Social intelligence is a pretty overlooked form of intelligence. In the words of Kendrick Lamar, “be humble” - because that’s a pretty big characteristic of someone who’s socially intelligent. You can read more about those traits here.
In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest says the famous line, “Stupid is as stupid does.” What this means is that it doesn’t matter how intelligent someone is if they do stupid things. Turned out to be pretty insightful, huh?