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.

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

Keep reading with a membership

• Adverts removed
• Cancel at any time
• 14 day money-back guarantee

Members can sign in below:

The Funny Sign That Your IQ Is High

Both men and women are more attracted to a person with this quality.

Both men and women are more attracted to a person with this quality.

Being funny is a sign of a higher IQ, research finds.

Funny people have higher levels of general and verbal intelligence.

Not only that, but being funny is also linked to having more dating success.

Both men and women are more attracted to a person who is funnier.

However, women are more discerning about humour and react to it more strongly.

Men, meanwhile, tend to be focused on producing jokes (often to impress women).

The study’s authors write:

“Humor is not just a reliable intelligence-indicator; it may be one of the most important traits for humans seeking mates.

Of course, mate attraction is not the only function of humor.

Humor can also be used in competing for status with same-sex rivals, reducing social tensions, and other adaptive functions.”

The study involved 400 young people who were given intelligence tests and asked about their dating history.

They were then handed New Yorker cartoons with the caption deleted and asked to come up with their own.

The results showed that, unsurprisingly, verbal intelligence was strongly related to being funny.

However, people found it hard to come up with anything really good, with most captions rated as not funny at all.

This shows how difficult jokes are — especially in the medium of New Yorker captions.

Other studies, though, have also found links between intelligence and humour.

In this study, men were especially focused on trying to write funny captions and theirs were rated more highly, the authors write:

“Men were funnier than women on average and produced a larger number of captions, consistent with the sexual signaling hypothesis in which men try (unconsciously) to signal their mate quality through their humor ability, and women are more responsive to and discriminating about humor.”

The study was published in the journal Intelligence (Greengross & Miller, 2011).

Discovering The IQ Boosting Power Of This Personality Trait

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

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

People who are open to new experiences tend to be more intelligent, psychological research finds.

Being open to experience means taking an interest in things that are new, complex and even unconventional.

They are often drawn to novel and complex ideas, and are willing to consider different perspectives.

They tend to be less bound by tradition and more accepting of change.

In contrast, people who are low in openness to experience tend to be more conventional, prefer familiar experiences, and are more resistant to change.

Cognitive hunger

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

Openness to experience is one of the five major aspects of personality, which also includes neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

Being open, imaginative and sensitive to emotions, though, has the strongest link to a higher IQ.

The reason may be that being intelligent makes people more curious about the world.

This ‘cognitive hunger’ drives people to discover more about the world around them.

Cognitive hunger can be described as a “hunger” for mental stimulation, the drive to learn and understand new things, and the need to be mentally engaged.

This drive to learn and understand can manifest in a variety of ways, including reading, traveling, taking classes, and engaging in other activities that provide intellectual stimulation.

Being able to appreciate beauty and being curious are very strongly linked to a higher IQ.

Personality and IQ tests

The conclusions come from a study of around 500 people who completed personality and IQ tests.

The results showed that the strongest associations were seen between openness to experience and crystallised intelligence.

Openness has a number of facets of its own, the study’s authors explain:

“The Openness to Experience construct involves the tendency to fantasize (Fantasy), aesthetic sensitivity (Aesthetics), awareness of one’s emotions (Feelings), preference for novelty (Actions), intellectual curiosity (Ideas), and preference for nontraditional values (Values).”

Crystallised intelligence roughly equates to general knowledge: knowing many things about the world.

More intelligent people were particularly appreciative of beauty: they had a strong aesthetic sense.

They were also likely to be intellectually curious and to have an interest in ideas for their own sake.

These two facets of openness were most strongly linked to higher crystallised intelligence.

The study was published in the Journal of Research in Personality (Ashton et al., 2000).

The Hairstyles That Make You Look Most Intelligent And Attractive

Certain hairstyles made people look more sexy, others more good-natured or even more narrow-minded.

Certain hairstyles made people look more sexy, others more good-natured or even more narrow-minded.

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.

Shorter, highlighted hairstyles on a woman make them look more outgoing and confident.

However, in one of those inevitable and irritating trade-offs, shorter hair is seen as less sexy on women.

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.

The sexiest hairstyle for a man was rated as short hair with a ‘front-flip’.

Actors Matt LeBlanc and Ben Affleck both often sport the front-flip.

The front-flip, however, was linked to being self-centred.

Some other findings from the survey:

  • Long straight blond hair on women made them look sexier and richer, but also more narrow-minded.
  • Men with shorter, highlighted hair were seen as confident and sexy, but also self-centred.
  • Long hair on men is linked to lower intelligence but being good-natured.

As you can see, there was no one perfect hairstyle.

Many had a balance of positive and negative effects on people’s perceptions.

However, there were a couple of neutral hairstyles that did not seem to affect personality perceptions:

  • Long, dark curly hair on women.
  • Medium-length, centre-parted hair on men.

The results come from a survey in which people were shown pictures of the same man and women with varying haircuts — everything from long hair to bald.

Participants rated each photo on a number of different scales.

The survey was carried out by Professor Marianne LaFrance, who said:

“We wanted to learn whether the frame around the face — the hairstyle — can significantly alter how a person is seen.

We found that different hairstyles quickly lead others to ‘see’ different kinds of people.”

The survey was commissioned by a hair care brand.

7 Everyday Ways You Are Lowering Your Intelligence

How feeling like an expert, googling it and more could be lowering your intelligence.

How feeling like an expert, googling it and more could be lowering your intelligence.

1. Saturated fat reduces cognitive flexibility

A high-fat, high-sugar diet causes significant damage to cognitive flexibility, a study finds.

Cognitive flexibility is the ability to adjust and adapt to changing situations.

The research was carried out on laboratory mice.

They were given either a normal diet, a high-fat diet or a high-sugar diet.

After four weeks the mental and physical performance of mice on the high-fat or high-sugar diet began to suffer.

2. Multimedia multitasking shrinks the brain

Using laptops, phones and other media devices at the same time could shrink important structures in the brain, a study indicates.

Neuroscientists have found that people who use multiple devices simultaneously have lower gray-matter density in an area of the brain associated with cognitive and emotional control.

Multitasking might include listening to music while playing a video game or watching TV while making a phone call or even reading the newspaper with the TV on.

3. Googling it makes you feel cleverer than you are

Searching the internet makes people feel they know more than they really do, a study finds.

And it doesn’t seem to matter much that people don’t actually find the information for which they were searching.

Matthew Fisher, who led the research, said:

“The Internet is such a powerful environment, where you can enter any question, and you basically have access to the world’s knowledge at your fingertips.

It becomes easier to confuse your own knowledge with this external source.

When people are truly on their own, they may be wildly inaccurate about how much they know and how dependent they are on the Internet.”

4. Too much sugar damages memory

Otherwise healthy people with high blood sugar levels are more likely to have memory problems, according to a study published in the journal Neurology.

One of the study’s authors, Dr. Agnes Flöel, said:

“…even for people within the normal range of blood sugar, lowering their blood sugar levels could be a promising strategy for preventing memory problems and cognitive decline as they age.

5. Experts know less than they think

‘Know-it-alls’ don’t know as much as they think, research finds.

The more people think they know about a topic, the more likely they are to claim that totally made-up facts are true, psychologists have found.

Ms Stav Atir, the study’s first author, explained:

“The more people believed they knew about finances in general, the more likely they were to overclaim knowledge of the fictitious financial terms.

The same pattern emerged for other domains, including biology, literature, philosophy, and geography.

For instance, people’s assessment of how much they know about a particular biological term will depend in part on how much they think they know about biology in general.”

6. Poor sleep ruins thinking skills

The damage that poor sleep does to your thinking skills is mammoth.

Sleepy brains have to work harder while short-term and long-term memory is worse.

Attention and planning are worse and it’s easier to follow habits and difficult to create new strategies.

Sleep deprivation even damages the ability to read other people’s facial emotions.

Read on: Sleep Deprivation Symptoms: 10 Psychological Effects

7. Physical exhaustion hits mental performance

Both mental and physical stress can interact to cause fatigue, a study finds.

The brain’s resources in the prefrontal cortex — an area used for planning and control — are divided during physical and mental activity, the research found.

The research is one of the first to show how mental and physical tasks can interact to fatigue the brain.


Why People With OCD Score Lower On Intelligence Tests

People with OCD score lower on IQ tests, but this may not reflect their actual intelligence.

People with OCD score lower on IQ tests, but this may not reflect their actual intelligence.

People with OCD may have lower than average IQs, despite the popular myth that they have higher IQs, research reveals.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is more than just being fastidious about cleaning or checking the oven is off.

People with OCD normally have unreasonable fears (called obsessions) which they try to reduce by performing certain behaviours (called compulsions).

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder and is frequently mixed up with having an obsessive personality, which is something different.

Myth of high IQ and OCD

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, popularised the myth that OCD is linked to higher IQ over a century ago.

Today, TV shows such as “Monk” help to keep the myth alive by showing a highly intelligent person with OCD solving mysteries.

However, a review of almost 100 studies on the topic has found that people with OCD have slightly lower IQs than average.

Dr. Gideon Anholt, study co-author, said:

“Although this myth was never studied empirically until now, it is still a widely held belief among mental-health professionals, OCD sufferers and the general public.”

Why people with OCD have lower IQ scores

People with OCD may not have lower IQs, though, but simply be slower at the test.

Checking the answers and wanting to get everything correct could contribute to lower scores on the test but not reflect reduced cognitive ability.

The researchers write:

“Future IQ assessments of individuals with OCD should focus on verbal and not performance IQ — a score heavily influenced by slowness.”

The study was published in the journal Neuropsychology (Abramovitch et al., 2017).

Are Taller People Smarter? How Height Signals IQ

Are taller people really smarter or is IQ unrelated to height?

Are taller people really smarter or is IQ unrelated to height?

Smarter people are indeed more intelligent, 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.

Around 70 percent of the genetic differences in IQ and height come down to genetic factors, the rest was environmental.

Why taller people are smarter

Multiple studies over the last 50 years have found links between greater height and higher intelligence.

The explanation for the phenomenon could be that tall, intelligent people tend to look for other tall, intelligent people to mate with.

Dr Matthew Keller, who has conducted a twin study on the phenomenon, says:

“It does look like there are genes that influence both height and IQ.

At the same time, it also looks like people who are taller are slightly more likely to choose mates who are smarter and vice versa.

Such mate choice causes ‘IQ genes’ and ‘tall genes’ to become statistically associated with one another.

There are a lot of exceptions, but there’s a statistical relationship that does happen more than would be expected by chance.”

The studies were published in the journals Behaviour Genetics and PLoS Genetics (Marioni et al., 2014Keller et al., 2013).

Do Smarter People Look More Intelligent? High IQ vs Low IQ Faces

Smarter men do look more intelligent, but the faces of high IQ women do not reveal their intelligence.

Smarter men do look more intelligent, but the faces of high IQ women do not reveal their intelligence.

Can you tell how intelligent someone is just from their facial features?

Only if they are a man, according to a study published in the journal PLoS One (Kleisner et al., 2014).

The study finds that when judging men just on their facial appearance, there was a relationship with actual intelligence.

But when it came to women, there was no relationship between how intelligent people were perceived and how intelligent they actually were.

The authors speculate that this is because women are primarily judged on their attractiveness and this swamped any judgements about intelligence.

These predictions were in stark contrast to people’s assumptions about the connection between appearance and intelligence.

The faces that look high IQ vs low IQ

People strongly agreed on the type of face that looked intelligent, which was:

“In both sexes, a narrower face with a thinner chin and a larger prolonged nose characterizes the predicted stereotype of high-intelligence, while a rather oval and broader face with a massive chin and a smallish nose characterizes the prediction of low-intelligence.”

The three image below show what people perceive as low, average and high intelligence appearances in men and women:

The research was carried out in the Czech Republic, so these associations between facial features and perceived intelligence may be culturally specific.

But, as you’ll see from these photos, people’s perceptions of intelligence were also associated with attractiveness.

In other words, more attractive people also appear more intelligent, possibly due to the halo effect and/or possibly because there is a small association between higher attractiveness and higher actual intelligence.

Smile to look intelligent

Finally, the study found…

“…a correlation between semblances of emotions of joy or anger in perceptions of high or low intelligence in faces, respectively.

The ‘high intelligence’ faces appear to be smiling more than the ‘low intelligence’ faces. A similar pattern was described for the perception of trustworthiness.”

On the other hand:

“…low-intelligence faces are perceived as untrustworthy and considered angrier.”

In the other words: frown to look more stupid and smile to look more intelligent.


What Your Head Size Says About Your Intelligence

People with a larger head size also have larger brains and are more likely to have higher IQs, a study finds.

People with a larger head size also have larger brains and are more likely to have higher IQs, a study finds.

People born with larger heads are more intelligent, according to the results of a large study.

Head size — along with greater brain volume — is also linked to having a more successful future.

Those with larger heads are more likely to go on to higher education.

This is probably because children with greater head size have higher scores on tests of verbal and numerical reasoning.

Head size and intelligence study

The findings come from the UK Biobank study, which is following half a million Britons.

Their physical and mental health is being monitored and connections to their genes are being analysed.

The research has been running for over 10 years.

The findings of the study underline the link between health and intelligence.

People who are taller and have a larger head size and, therefore, larger brains are also more likely to be healthy, the genetic study found.

Smarter people had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s diabetes and other diseases.

Dr Saskia Hagenaars, the study’s first author, said:

“The study supports an existing theory which says that those with better overall health are likely to have higher levels of intelligence.”

Dr Stuart Ritchie, who co-authored the study, said:

“This study tests whether genes that are linked to mental abilities and educational attainment are also genes that are related to some disorders.

We found that there are many overlaps: to take one example, genes related to being taller are also related to obtaining a college or university degree.

We also asked whether the sets of genes associated with many disorders and traits predicted people’s actual levels of cognitive abilities.

We found many overlaps there, too.

To take one example, people with more genes linked to cardiovascular disease tended to have lower reasoning ability.”

The study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry (Hagenaars et al., 2016).

What A Hairy Chest Says About A Man’s Intelligence

Hairy chests and body hair may say something about a man’s IQ — now we know why some men undo more shirt buttons than they should.

Hairy chests and body hair may say something about a man’s IQ — now we know why some men undo more shirt buttons than they should.

A hairy chest signals higher intelligence in a man, somewhat tongue-in-cheek research finds.

Dr Aikarakudy Alias, a psychiatrist, has found that hairy chests are more frequent among men who are highly educated, such as doctors.

Dr Alias surveyed male trainee doctors in the US and found that 45 percent of them were ‘very hairy’.

This is in comparison to the 10 percent of men in the general population who had very hairy chests.

The same was also true when Dr Alias looked at the academic rankings among students.

Among engineering graduates, the top students had more body hair than the students who ranked lower.

Hairy chested Mensa men

The evidence doesn’t stop there — even if you are wishing it would!

A survey of 117 male members of the high intelligence society Mensa found they were more likely than average to have a hairy chest.

The most intelligent also had hair on their backs.

Had enough yet?


Tough. There’s more.

Dr Alias has also looked at the body hair of boxers.

After examining pictures of top-ranked boxers, he has found that the world champions were less hairy than non-champions.

What this proves I’m not entirely sure.

That you need to be less intelligent to be a world champion?

That can’t be it.

Einstein had no body hair

Of course, not all intelligent men are covered in body hair.

Just look at Albert Einstein, who reportedly had no body hair at all.

Still, it raises the questions of what all this means for the modern fashion for men shaving their body hair?

Could they be shaving off a proud signal of their higher intelligence?

Answers on a postcard to anyone but me.

The studies were presented at the eighth Congress of the Association of European Psychiatrists in 1996 by Dr Aikarakudy Alias.


Get free email updates

Join the free PsyBlog mailing list. No spam, ever.