5 Personality Traits That Are Linked To High IQ

Certain common aspects of personality are often linked to higher levels of intelligence by psychologists.

Certain common aspects of personality are often linked to higher levels of intelligence by psychologists.

Dutiful, competent and self-disciplined people have a higher IQ, research finds.

This means that higher IQ is linked to people who have a strong sense of responsibility, who are self-disciplined and confident in themselves and what they can do.

On top of these three factors, psychologists have found that both being open to experience and having stable emotions tends to indicate a higher IQ.

People who are open to experience are more interested in things that are complex, new and unconventional.

Emotional stability is linked to being better at dealing with stress and minor frustrations.

People who are emotionally stable usually find it easier to control their urges and are mostly unselfconscious.

Personality and IQ tests

The conclusions come from two studies: in the first many thousands of people in 86 different countries were given personality and IQ tests.

The results showed that people who were seen by others as more competent, dutiful and self-disciplined also had higher IQs.

All three are facets of the major personality trait of conscientiousness.

The general link between being conscientious and intelligence makes sense, the study’s authors write, since…

“…conscientiousness and cognitive ability are positive
correlates of several real life outcomes.

It was proved that both variables are especially important predictors of job performance, school achievements, and health-related behavior.

Interestingly, in most studies the effects of conscientiousness and intelligence on life outcomes appear to be independent.”

The second study included 201 university students in the UK who were given tests of personality and general knowledge questions, including:

  • Who wrote Anna Karenina?
  • Who discovered penicillin?
  • Which Beatle was shot in New York?

(See the end of the article for the answers.)

The results showed that people got more answers correct if their personalities were more emotionally stable and they were more open to experience.

Openness to experience is particularly important for general knowledge because it makes people more curious and motivates them to learn new things.

(The answers are: Leo Tolstoy, Alexander Fleming and John Lennon, respectively.)

The studies were published in the journals Personality and Individual Differences and Learning and Individual Differences (Chamorro-Premuzic et al., 2006; Zajenkowski & Stolarski,, 2015).

Author: Dr Jeremy Dean

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.

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