17 Science-Backed Signs You Are Smarter Than You Think


reason you are smart then you think

Do you disagree when people call you smart? Do you feel you are a fool even when people call you wise? If yes, then it’s time to be sure of your intellect. This blog will ease your work. Check out the signs of smartness -based on scientific studies – that will prove you are smarter than you think. 

smart people underestimate their abilities

1. You’re Left-Handed

The right part of the brain – which is associated with creativity and emotional thinking –  is dominant in left-handed people. This is why lefties come up with novel ideas and are better at 3D perception and thinking. 

Also, they are pro at multitasking, because the conversations between the left and right sides of the brain happen more quickly in lefties when compared with their right-handed people.

Related: 32 Cool And Amazing Facts About Left-Handed People

2. You Learned To Read Early

Early reading is also a sign of intelligence! Some of the famous smart people who learned to read early are Jonathan Swift (writer and poet), Bill Gates, who finished reading the entire World Book of Encyclopedia by the age 9) and Francis Galton – he was a child prodigy that was reading at age 2.

Stronger the reading skills in childhood higher the intelligence in adulthood, according to a 2012 study. Reading skills affect intellectual abilities. Those who learned to read early can increase verbal skills and reasoning abilities instead of another way round as most people think. 

3. You’re Curious

Do you have a hungry mind? Do you always look for new ideas? Pro at planning amazing surprises? Research reveals that people with high curiosity quotients are more inquisitive and have more knowledge acquisition over time. Their intellectual investment is more in the field of science and art, which plays a major role in cognitive growth and success in life.

And that is why probably Einstein said, “Curiosity is more important than intelligence.” So, if you are curious, then you are smart!

Curiosity is more important than intelligence

4. You’re Messy

Do you love messy life? You are quick at coming up with out-of-the-box ideas? Then you are smarter than those who love cleanliness and being organised. If you don’t believe there is scientific evidence to it. 

In a study published in Psychological Science 48 participants were asked to jot down unusual uses for a ping-pong ball. Surprisingly, 24 individuals working in neat and clean rooms could think of less creative responses than the participants working in messy rooms.

a messy room indicates creative thinking

The next time your mom yells at you for keeping your room untidy, tell her you are working on some creative and innovative project 

Related: Highly Intelligent People Are Messy, Swear A Lot, and Stay Up Late, Says Science

5. You’ve Used Recreational Drugs

James W. White, Catharine R. Gale, and David Batty conducted a large cohort study involving 6,000 Brits born in 1958. The team found that those with a high IQ in childhood was highly likely to use illegal drugs in adulthood. 

smart people use recreational drugs

High intelligence can prompt people to consume alcohol, and substances that are harmful for health. Because often they associate intelligence with positive life outcomes. Smart and intelligent people don’t always do what is right, but only the evolutionarily novel thing. And if you know, the use of drugs dates back to about 5000 years ago. 

6. You’re A Night Owl

genes influence whether you are night owl or early bird

Do you night owls beat early birds in terms of intellect?

Considering the fact that “nocturnal activities” were rarer in the ancestral environment, smart people are likely to stay up late  because they “espouse evolutionarily novel values.”

7. You’re Anxious 

If you worry a lot, then you are smarter than others according to different studies on anxiety. Because smart people’s brain keeps browsing new information and keeps thinking a lot. And too much searching and thinking adds to stress and anxiety. Another reason could be that smart people are well-aware of self and environment, so they are quick in detecting threats, hence more anxiety.

people with anxiety perceive the world differently.

In one study, people who tended to worry a lot and keep thinking about the situations that upset them scored higher on the verbal intelligence test and those who were less worried or engaged in rumination scored higher on the non-verbal intelligence test. 

Although people across the globe perceive anxiety as a negative emotion, it offers some benefits too. Cool isn’t it? 

8. You Didn’t Have Sex Until After High School

Researchers looked at 12,000 teens from the 7th to the 12th grade. They found that teenagers with higher IQs were found to be virgins and less likely to hold hands or be intimate with a romantic partner, than those with average or lower IQs. The reason could be that smart people have a lower sex drive or are less able to find a sexual partner or maybe they are more reverse. 

smart people take time to find someone worth being in a relationship with.

9. You Took Music Lessons

Do you love to play guitar or drums or any other musical instrument?
Then that’s a clear sign that you are smart even when you don’t feel like it. Music helps build verbal intelligence.

In one study, 6-year-old kids who played keyboard or took voice lessons had an IQ boost compared with kids who were involved in drama or no classes at all. Another study found kids with good academic performance were most likely to take music lessons. Playing or learning music may only enhance cognitive differences that already exist.

children who engage in music have better speaking and communication skills

10. You’re Funny

Being funny is a sign of intelligence! Albert Einstein too had a child-like sense of humour. So, if you are the one in your friend’s circle, who can light up the mood with funny one-liners or create humorous stuff on the spot, then pat yourself on the back.  

In one study published in the Journal Intelligence, four hundred students participated in abstract reasoning and verbal intelligence test. They were asked to create captions for several New Yorker cartoons. Guess what? Smarter students were rated as funnier.

Related: 16 Research-Based Psychological Hacks for Your Social Life

11. You’re The First Born

If you are firstborn in your family, then you are smarter than your younger brothers and sisters. The eldest children in a family have a significant edge in IQ and tend to be more successful than their siblings. Happy to know that? 
Some of the famous firstborns are Hillary Clinton, JK Rowling, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

According to a study published in the Journal of Human Resources, this difference is not due to genetic factors but the psychological interplay of parents and children. Being the firstborn you tend to have more control and attention from your first-time parents. Therefore you grow up to be responsible, reliable, and careful. 

12. You’re Thin

This is another hard-to-believe sign that you are smart. Being thin comes with cognitive benefits. 

Scientists found that body mass index is independently associated with cognitive function. More than 2000 participants were given intelligence tests and the results suggested that those with bigger waistlines had lower cognitive ability.
Another study involving preschoolers found a lower IQ linked to a higher BMI. However, this association is influenced by environmental and socioeconomic factors. 

13. You Are A Cat Person

Having a cat as a pet is a sign that you are smart even if you don’t feel like it. 

In a 2014 study cat lovers scored higher than dog lovers on a cognitive and intelligence test. However, dog people were found more outgoing than cat people according to a test that measures personality. 

Some of the celebrities who are cat lovers are –  Taylor Swift, Kate Beckinsale, Elisabeth Moss, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus.

14. You Were Breastfed

Hard to believe, right?
But, breastfeeding kids do have an advantage over children, not fed breast milk.

Researchers found that breastfed children score higher on an IQ test, provided they had a particular version of the FADS2 gene. However, there is a need for more studies to identify the exact relationship between FADS2, breastfeeding, and IQ. 

Related: 3 Lesser Known Facts About Emotional Intelligence

15. You Drink Alcohol Regularly

Smart kids grow up to engage in binge drinking and getting drunk according to evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa. Alcohol is an unhealthy habit! Yet scientists say that people’s intelligence is linked to the amount of alcohol they consume. 

Kanazawa and his team conducted two long-term studies and found that among Americans and Brits, people who scored higher on IQ tests grew up drinking alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than those who scored lower. 

So, this may be the reason why you don’t feel smart but you actually are. 

16. You’re Tall

Taller people are considered to be more dominant, healthy, and intelligent, and are likely to be chosen for leadership positions. According to an evolutionary psychology perspective, people associate height with “greatness” and “dominance”, which are important traits for being a leader. Shoutout to all the tall people in the world! 

What more? Taller individuals have higher IQs!
In a 2008 study, taller children performed significantly better on cognitive tests. 

Some of the tallest Hollywood celebrities are Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. And some of the popular leaders who have a good height are – Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: 6 feet, Canada’s Justin Trudeau: 6 feet 2 inches, and Serbia’s Aleksandar Vučić: 6 feet 6 inches.

17. You Don’t Always Have To Try Hard

No doubt smart people are lazy but more than that they don’t always have to try so hard, according to a Vanderbilt University study of highly intelligent young people. The study investigated 2,000 people who scored in the top 1 percent of the SAT by the age of 13. Thanks to their innate abilities, they always have real-world advantages over those striving to be smart. They are highly likely to build successful careers in the medical or literary field. 

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