Being open to new experiences and more extraverted are both linked to higher intelligence, research finds.
People who are open to experience tend to have a more active imagination, higher sensitivity to beauty and more intellectual curiosity, among other things.
Open people tend to retain general information better and they are also better at storing memories in the short term.
The results come from a survey of 381 people aged 19- to 89-years-old.
They were split into different groups depending on their cognitive performance.
The type of intelligence measured in the study is known as ‘crystalised’.
This refers to the ability to use learned information and is often tested through general knowledge and vocabulary.
In a twist to the findings, though, it turned out that some adults over 60 performed as well as younger people.
Among these people, it was being disagreeable that was linked to higher IQ.
Other research has also found that people who are highly intelligent tend to be independent and aloof.
The study’s authors conclude:
“The results also suggests that there are differences in personality–intelligence relationships between those who retain a normal level of overall cognitive ability in old age and those older adults who are cognitively superior.”
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, 2003) 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
The study was published in the journal Personality and individual Differences (Baker & Bichsel, 2006).