1. Wear more clothes
Wearing more clothing makes you look more competent, a study finds.
Something as simple as taking off a sweater is enough to make you look less competent, the researchers found.
The finding applies to both men and women.
The effect occurs because seeing more flesh encourages us to think about a person’s body, rather than their mind.
2. Make eye contact
Maintaining eye contact while talking is one of the easiest ways to appear smarter, research finds.
Indeed, intelligence tests revealed that people who maintained eye contact were actually smarter.
Other common ways to appear smarter include speaking pleasantly, clearly and quickly, having a self-assured expression and being responsive.
3. The right hairstyle
Medium-length casual-looking styles are judged as making women look more intelligent, a survey finds.
These styles are also linked to being good-natured.
The hairstyle that gives an intelligent sheen to a man was medium-length side-parted hair.
The bad news for men with these haircuts is that they were also seen as narrow-minded.
4. Eyes open, don’t frown
Getting more sleep makes people look more intelligent because of how it affects their resting or neutral facial expression.
People who are better rested open their eyes wider and do not have a slight frown on their face.
After restricted sleep, people tend to display a slight frown and their eyes are not as wide open as they are normally.
This makes them look less intelligent.
5. Speak slowly
Speaking slowly makes people sound more intelligent, research finds.
The study had people trying to intentionally change their voices to embody different traits.
They tried to sound more sexy, confident, intelligent and dominant.
Both sexes had no problem sounding more intelligent and more dominant.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do