The Strong Personality Trait That Indicates High IQ

This character trait is linked to a high IQ.

This character trait is linked to a high IQ.

Being conscientious is linked to having a high IQ, but only among females, a study finds.

People who are conscientious are more careful, efficient and self-disciplined — and they aim for achievement.

Among males, however, those who are more careless and indifferent have higher IQs.

The study of school children also found that introverts who are conscientious get the best grades.

Fear may also be a factor in driving up grades, the Swedish research found, since neurotic pupils got better grades.

Neurotic people tend to worry more, which may motivate them to work harder if their worries are stoked by the system.

Ms Pia Rosander, the study’s first author, said:

“We have a school system in Sweden that favours conscientious and fear-driven pupils.

It is not good for psychological well-being in the long term if fear is a driving force.

It also prevents in-depth learning, which happens best among the open personality types who are driven by curiosity.”

The study included 200 pupils entering secondary school at 16 who were followed for three years.

The results revealed that girls who were eager to please got better grades.

On the other hand, boys were more likely to be curious, but the system tended not to feed their curiosity.

Ms Rosander said:

“Greater conscientiousness, i.e. getting things done, arriving on time, etc. may be a way for boys to compensate for a lower IQ.”

The study also found that introverts get better grades, probably because extraverts have so much to distract them.

Ms Rosander said:

“My studies clearly show that the school system needs to be more individualised.

How else can we support talented pupils with the ‘wrong’ personality type, those we call under-performers, who are capable but lack the ability to plan their school work, for example?”

The study was published in the journal Learning and Individual Differences (Rosander et al., 2011).

How Your Childhood Personality Predicts Your Future — High IQ Included (M)

A child’s humble nature may reveal more about their adult self than you might think.

A child's humble nature may reveal more about their adult self than you might think.

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Signs Of Intelligence: 23 Fascinating Indicators Of A High IQ

Signs of intelligence include better rhythm, liking dark humour, being prone to worry, sleeping late, high self-control and new ideas.

Signs of intelligence include better rhythm, liking dark humour, being prone to worry, sleeping late, high self-control and new ideas.

Signs of intelligence are many and varied and go way beyond a standard IQ test.

This is partly because intelligence has so many different aspects to it.

Here are 23 signs of intelligence, some of which might surprise you.

1. Rhythmic signs of intelligence

People with high IQs find it easier to keep time, research finds.

This has nothing to do with being musical, just the simple ability to tap out a regular rhythm.

Good timing seems to be built in at a fundamental level to the brains of more intelligent people, making it one of the subtler signs of intelligence.

Brain scans also revealed a link between high intelligence, ability to keep time and more white matter in parts of the brain linked to planning, problem solving and managing time.

2. Dreaming signs of intelligence

Being a daydreamer is a sign of intelligence and being creative, research concludes.

The result comes from a study in which over 100 people had their brains scanned while they stared at a fixed point for five minutes.

The researchers wanted to see how their brains worked in unison when they were given nothing in particular to do.

People whose brains worked more efficiently had greater intellectual abilities and also reported more daydreaming in their everyday lives.

3. Funny signs of intelligence

People who appreciate dark humour are likely to be more intelligent, research finds.

Those who prefer twisted comedy also score higher on tests of emotional stability.

To get twisted humour, it seems you need to be laidback and clever.

The reason intelligence may be linked to appreciating dark humour is that it can take a little work.

4. Signs of intelligence and mental illness

Disorders of mood could be the price some people pay for high intelligence, recent research finds.

Psychologists have found that higher childhood IQ is linked to features of bipolar disorder in young adulthood.

The research adds fuel to the debate over the connection between intelligence, creativity and mental health issues.

Other studies now suggest a link between intelligence and mental illness that may go back into our evolutionary past.

The increased signs of intelligence of Homo sapiens was originally a result of gene mutations.

The cost of these gene mutations, however, may have been an increase in mental illness (Nithianantharajah et al., 2012).

Other studies on this do not agree, though, finding that people with high IQs enjoy better mental health.

5. Perceptual signs of intelligence

Having stronger basic perceptual skills is another of many signs of intelligence, research finds.

For example, they can tell which way objects are moving more quickly.

They are also better at blocking out background information to make their judgement.

A higher IQ makes the brain faster at a fundamental level.

6. Worrying signs of intelligence

People of high intelligence are more prone to anxiety than those of moderate intelligence.

Indeed, anxiety may have co-evolved with intelligence — worrying may have given early humans a survival benefit in the ancient past (Coplan et al., 2012).

It’s just a pity that it’s left intelligent people with higher levels of anxiety disorders.

7. Larger pupils are signs of intelligence

People with larger pupils have higher intelligence and the difference is visible to the naked eye, research finds.

A larger pupil size reflects both a higher fluid intelligence and a greater working memory capacity.

The pupils are the black part at the centre of the eye which dilate in response to changes in light.

Psychologists have found they also respond to brain activity: the faster our brains are working, the more the pupil widens.

8. New ideas are signs of intelligence

Set against the higher levels of mental illness and anxiety, is the fact that one of the signs of intelligence is being more likely to come up with new ideas.

Historically, that might mean rejecting superstition and finding new ways of organising society.

One study argues that this explains why more intelligent people are more likely to be atheists and more likely to be politically liberal (Kanazawa et al., 2010).

This study found that young adults who described themselves as ‘very conservative’ had an average IQ of 95, while those who described themselves as ‘very liberal’ had an average IQ of 106.

9. Tall signs of intelligence

Being taller is one of many signs of intelligence, research finds.

The reason is that the genes that are correlated with height are also correlated with intelligence.

The conclusion comes from a study of the DNA of 6,815 people.

Of course, there are still people who are short and intelligent, plus those who are tall and dim.

But, on average, there is a small association between being taller and having higher intelligence.

10. Loners

The more that intelligent people socialise with their friends, the less satisfied they are with life, recent research finds.

The finding challenges the accepted idea that socialising generally makes people happier.

It may be that for some people — especially those with high intelligence — socialising does not increase life satisfaction.

The possible reason why is intriguing…

11. Signs of intelligence: sleeping late

Another or these signs of intelligence is going to bed later and getting up later (Kanazawa & Perina, 2009).

The study examined the sleep habits of 20,745 adolescent Americans and found that on a weekday the ‘very dull’ went to bed at an average of 11:41 and woke up at 7:20.

In contrast, the ‘very bright’ went to bed at 12:29 and got up at 7:52. At the weekend the differences were even more pronounced.

12. Do drugs

People with higher intelligence are more likely to use drugs — which is one of the more surprising signs of intelligence.

The link is particularly strong for women.

This is despite the fact that higher IQ is often linked to living a healthier lifestyle.

The results can be explained in both positive and negative ways.

For example, intelligent people are known to be more open to new experiences.

At the same time, intelligent people are also more easily bored and may be more likely to be picked on in childhood.

13. Signs of intelligence: being trusting

Intelligent people are more likely to trust others, according to a new analysis of US public opinion poll data.

This may be because more intelligent people are better judges of character.

They found that people who were more trusting were also happier and had higher levels of physical health.

14. Financial patience

People with high IQs are more patient in financial matters, research finds.

They are willing to wait longer to increase their money and to endure the risks involved.

Intelligent people did not demand so much reward for taking the risk.

It seems that signs of intelligence, risk tolerance and patience are closely related.

15. Lazy signs of intelligence

Lazy people are more likely to enjoy thinking, new research finds.

On the other hand, those with who don’t enjoy it need to ‘do more stuff’ in order to escape their own thoughts.

Previous studies have found that people who like to think more have better memories and often take more time to make decisions and end up making better ones.

16. Accept confusion and vagueness

People with higher intelligence find it easier to accept confusion and vagueness.

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.

17. Attractive signs of intelligence

Attractive people are also likely to be more intelligent.

People who are physically attractive can have IQs up to 14 percent higher than the less attractive.

The results come from data on 17,419 children in the UK who have been followed since 1958.

Attractive male children have 13.6 more IQ points than their unattractive peers.

Meanwhile, female children have 11.4 more IQ points.

18. Curious signs of intelligence

Curiosity is a sign of being smart, research suggests.

Curiosity could even be as important as intelligence in how well people do in life.

People who are curious ask lots of questions, look for surprises, seek out sensations and make time to search out new ideas.

Intelligence, along with curiosity and some personality factors, predicts successful performance in many areas.

19. Less aggressive signs of intelligence

People with higher IQs are less aggressive and tend to follow the rules, research suggests.

Since higher intelligence is linked to better behaviour, intelligent people are less likely to steal and cheat.

In contrast, younger people with lower IQs are more likely to alarm and harass others, as well as taking part in antisocial behaviour.

Antisocial boys typically have IQ scores 10 points lower than their more social peers.

20. Self-controlled signs of intelligence

Having stronger self-control is a sign of higher intelligence, research finds.

Faced with temptation, more intelligent people stay cooler.

In the study, those with higher intelligence waited longer for a larger reward.

21. Cooperative signs of intelligence

Being cooperative is another of these signs of intelligence, recent research finds.

More intelligent people tend to be cautious with their trust at first, then build it up with experience.

People who are cooperative tend to be more helpful, believe in teamwork and be mutually supportive.

In addition, those who are cooperative tend to be better at seeing the big picture and learning from experience.

22. Signs of intelligence: enjoying new ideas

Being willing to entertain new, unconventional ideas is the strongest personality trait linked to high fluid intelligence, research finds.

Preferring variety and new activities over routine and sameness are signs of intelligence, the same survey found.

People with with these signs of intelligence are more likely to enjoy philosophical arguments, brain teasers, new problems and eccentric or uncommon activities.

Fluid intelligence refers to the speed at which the brain works.

It is like the raw power of an engine or the speed at which a computer can process information.

23. Feeling happier

People who feel happier tend to have a higher IQ, studies find.

In fact, experiencing positive emotions, feeling lively and wide awake all predict higher intelligence.

The idea that more intelligent people tend to be grumpy or unhappy is probably not true, on average.

Part of this link between intelligence and happiness may be down to life circumstances.

More intelligent people tend to be better off, have higher levels of education and consequently have better jobs.


This Charming Personality Trait Is A Sign Of High IQ

The trait is not normally associated with intelligent people.

The trait is not normally associated with intelligent people.

People who are generous by nature have a higher IQ, research finds.

Generous people are unselfish and sometimes deny themselves so that others can have more.

Although generosity is not something people usually associate with intelligence, psychological research clearly shows a link.

Intelligent people may be more generous partly because they can afford it.

People with higher IQs generally have greater resources, or can expect to recover what they have given away later on.

The conclusions come from a study in which 96 people played games that involved either donating to others or keeping things for themselves.

The results revealed that intelligent people were more generous to others.

In contrast, those who kept more for themselves tended to be less intelligent.

The study’s authors used the results of SAT tests, which can be converted into approximate IQ scores.

They write:

“We find that subjects who perform better on the Math portion of the SAT [Scholastic Aptitude Test] are more generous in both the dictator game and the SVO [Social Value Orientation] measure.


Our results involving SAT scores […] suggest that measures of cognitive ability, which are less sensitive to the intrinsic motivation of the subject, are positively related to generosity.”

The study was published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization (Chen et al., 2013).

6 Intriguing Psychology Studies On Human Intelligence

Answers to: Is IQ dropping around the world? Where does human intelligence come from? What are the signs of a high IQ brain?

Answers to: Is IQ dropping around the world? Where does human intelligence come from? What are the signs of a high IQ brain?

While it is obvious to us that some people are smarter than others, scientists are definitely not agreed on the root of one of our most precious abilities: intelligence.

Certainly, many aspects of intelligence are mysterious, and these six recent studies published in the members-only section of PsyBlog have asked questions including:

  • Where does human intelligence come from?
  • What are the signs of a high IQ brain?
  • Is IQ dropping around the world?

Perhaps the last of these questions should concern us the most; after all, without our intelligence what a paltry being is left?

To access these articles, you need to have a paid membership.

Once again, many thanks to everyone who supports PsyBlog in this way.


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How Reading For Pleasure Affects Your IQ (M)

Around half the children in the study had little or no experience of reading for pleasure or did not pick up the habit until later on.


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The research revealed the facets of the major personality traits that are signs of high intelligence.

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This Part Of Your Brain ‘Masterminds’ Fluid Intelligence (M)

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Human Intelligence Arises From Efficiency Of The Whole Brain Rather Than A Specific Area (M)

There is no specific area of the brain that ‘masterminds’ our intelligence, research finds.


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A Very Popular Drink Is Linked To Lower IQ

The ‘refreshment’ is linked to a slower brain and making more mistakes.

The ‘refreshment’ is linked to a slower brain and making more mistakes.

Drinking higher quantities of alcohol and smoking cigarettes are both linked to a lower IQ, research finds.

People who smoke and drink have a worse memory and poorer problem-solving skills.

Similarly, higher rates of binge drinking are also linked to a lower IQ, a previous study found.

Smoking may be even more damaging to thinking skills than drinking.

High levels of smoking and drinking both lead to a slower brain and making more mistakes.

The reason may be that smoking and drinking damage the blood vessels supplying the brain.

The conclusions come from a study of 172 men, some of whom were alcoholics.

All completed tests of IQ, memory and thinking skills and were followed up over nine years.

The results showed that the more they drank and smoked, the lower their IQ.

Drinkers and smokers also had worse memories and poorer thinking skills.

Dr Jennifer Glass, the study’s first author, said:

“We can’t say that we’ve found a cause-and-effect relationship between smoking and decreased thinking ability, or neurocognitive proficiency.

But we hope our findings of an association will lead to further examination of this important issue.

Perhaps it will help give smokers one more reason to quit, and encourage quitting smoking among those who are also trying to control their drinking.”

Professor Robert Zucker, study co-author, said:

“The exact mechanism for smoking’s impact on the brain’s higher functions is still unclear, but may involve both neurochemical effects and damage to the blood vessels that supply the brain.

This is consistent with other findings that people with cardiovascular disease and lung disease tend to have reduced neurocognitive function.”

The study was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence (Glass et al., 2006).

Why Being A Daydreamer Is A Sign Of High IQ And Creativity

People with efficient brains tend to have spare capacity.

People with efficient brains tend to have spare capacity.

Daydreaming is a sign of being more creative and having higher intelligence, research suggests.

Those who report more daydreaming have higher intellectual abilities and their brains work more efficiently.

People with efficient brains tend to have spare capacity, so it is natural for the mind to wander.

Wandering minds and intelligence

The conclusions come from a study in which over 100 people stared at a fixed point for five minutes while their brains were scanned.

The aim was to see how the areas of the brain worked together when they were given nothing in particular to do.

The results showed that those with more efficient brains were also smarter and more creative.

Dr Eric Schumacher, study co-author, said:

“People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering.

People tend to think of mind wandering as something that is bad.

You try to pay attention and you can’t.

Our data are consistent with the idea that this isn’t always true.

Some people have more efficient brains.”

Brain efficiency insights

One sign of an efficient brain is being able to zone in and out of conversations without missing anything.

Dr Schumacher said:

“Our findings remind me of the absent-minded professor — someone who’s brilliant, but off in his or her own world, sometimes oblivious to their own surroundings.

Or school children who are too intellectually advanced for their classes.

While it may take five minutes for their friends to learn something new, they figure it out in a minute, then check out and start daydreaming.”

Ms Christine A. Godwin, the study’s first author, wants to examine exactly when mind wandering could be useful and when not:

“There are important individual differences to consider as well, such as a person’s motivation or intent to stay focused on a particular task.”

The study was published in the journal Neuropsychologia (Godwin et al., 2017).

What Being Realistic Or Pessimistic Reveals About Your Intelligence (M)

Human beings are mostly primed by evolution to be optimistic, but it is not always the best policy.

Human beings are mostly primed by evolution to be optimistic, but it is not always the best policy.

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