People with higher intelligence find it easier to accept confusion and vagueness, a new study finds.
Many problems in life do not have a definitive answer — and intelligent people can deal with this more easily.
More intelligent people can make better decisions because they are able to accept ambiguity, researchers have found.
Other common signs of a high IQ include being conscientious, taking risks and being curious.
People who are conscientious are more careful, efficient and self-disciplined — and they aim for achievement.
Intelligent people are more likely to have ‘Type A’ personalities — this is linked both to being competitive and taking risks.
Curiosity is also linked to high intelligence.
People who are curious ask lots of questions, look for surprises, seek out sensations and make time to search out new ideas.
The conclusions come from a study that included 820 people.
All completed measures of both intelligence and personality.
The personality traits are part of the High Potential Traits Inventory, which focuses on workplace behaviours.
The results showed that four personality factors were linked to intelligence.
The ability to cope with uncertainty is an especially strong sign of high intelligence, the authors write:
“This study found that multiple intelligence measures were predictive of higher tolerance of uncertainty.
Previous researchers have found that more intelligent
individuals are able to adequately adapt to and evaluate
changing work tasks, leading to greater accuracy in decision-making.”
People who are curious also had higher IQs the study found:
“Curiosity – marked by high openness, creativity, imagination, and cognitive complexity – was hypothesised to associate with higher levels of intelligence.
individuals high on curiosity exhibited higher levels of WM [working memory] ability.”
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 (Furnham & Treglown, 2018).