Even though we would all like to think that we are highly intelligent, decoding the capacity of our brain potential can be complicated. Lots of people use IQ Tests, which use tasks to measure various areas of intelligence, including:
However, there are other subtle qualities highly intelligent people tend to share that aren’t found in test results. Having knowledge in a variety of subjects doesn’t necessarily mean one is of a higher intellect; sometimes, it comes down to how our brains work.
1. Having an insatiable curiosity. Those with a hungry mind generally have higher levels of intellectual investment and knowledge acquisition over time. Curiosity tends to lead to answers, and it takes brains to question the status quo. “Intelligent people let themselves become fascinated by things others take for granted,” Bayesian rationalist Keyzurbur Alas said. “Their minds are constantly saturated with probing questions about the world around them.”
2. The tendency to worry. The saying that ignorance is bliss may have some scientific validation, as a study proved that intelligent people are more prone to worrying. Psychologist Alexander Penny surveyed over 100 students at Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada, and asked them to rank their levels of worry. Results showed that those who scored higher on a verbal intelligence test were more worrisome.
3. The tendency to forget things. While forgetfulness might seem like a contradictory quality to intelligence, it’s actually a highly evolved form of it. After conducting a word memory test that involved similar options, Stanford University’s Brice Kuhl concluded that the brain discards akin memories in order to conserve space for memories that matter.
4. Humor. According to multiple studies, being inclined to comedy has been linked to having above-average intelligence. Researchers at the University of New Mexico conducted a study in 2011 that measured the verbal intelligence and abstract reasoning ability of 400 psychology students. The test subjects were then asked to write captions for New Yorker cartoons. Those who scored higher on the cognitive ability tests were more likely to create funny captions.
5. Enjoy reading. Researchers discovered that children who have achieved a good reading ability by the age of seven are more intelligent in later years. Considering reading is one of the greatest tools we have for mental expansion, it should come as no surprise that bookworms are more likely to have higher intelligence than those who don’t read.
6. Being messy. Many famously intelligent people throughout history have been known to be notoriously messy, a correlation that even science backs up. Studies have concluded that visual and mental clutter forces the brain to focus and comprehend more clearly. A sense of chaos has been shown to fuel creativity in individuals, contrary to the popular belief that messiness correlates with mental disorganization.
7. Staying up late. In a study, “Why Night Owls Are More Intelligent,” British researchers concluded that those who stay up later are more likely to be of higher intelligence than those who go to bed early. Research also found that children who stay up later are more likely to become intelligent adults. Not only does the study link a nocturnal lifestyle with intelligence, but it also associates being a night owl with creativity and an independent spirit.
8. Embracing mental challenges. Having ideas and knowledge tested is a major part of learning, and geniuses are known to seek these mental challenges. Those with above-average intelligence are more likely to enjoy debate and don’t mind being proven wrong. Challenging and pushing the limits of mental capabilities undeniably results in bettering one’s overall intellect.
9. Not having to try hard. While not to say that laziness equals intelligence, those who have felt they haven’t needed to try as hard as those who visibly strive to achieve the same goal are generally brighter. Various studies have concluded that while aiming to be smarter will warrant results, there are some innate abilities that can’t always be learned.
10. Talking to yourself. Usually, people associate talking to oneself with craziness, but it has been proven that it helps improve memory. Speaking to yourself aloud helps reinforce ideas and can instill them more than thinking quietly. Talking to yourself can not only make your brain work more efficiently, but it also helps organize thoughts and achieve goals.