10 Scientifically Proven Signs You’re Smarter Than Average

There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others.

This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Doesn’t it strike your curiosity that research says there are the things that smart people have in common? Here is the list of highlighted 1o surprising signs of braininess.

Without administering an impromptu IQ test, there are certain clues you can use to gauge a person’s relative intelligence.

1 – You don’t smoke.

A 2010 Israeli study compared the IQ and smoking status of 20,000 young men.

As the Daily Mail reported, the results were stark:

• The average 18-to-21-year-old smoker had an IQ of 94, and the non-smoker had an IQ of 101.

• Those who smoked more than a pack a day had an average IQ of 90.

• In sibling sets, nonsmoking brothers were smarter than smokers.

2 – You took music lessons

Research suggests that music helps kids’ minds develop in a few ways:

• A 2011 study found that the verbal intelligence of 4-to-6-year-olds rose after only a month of music lessons.

• A 2004 study found that 6-year-olds who took nine months of piano lessons had an IQ boost compared with kids who took drama lessons or no classes at all.

But the researchers may be getting it backward: A 2013 study suggested high-achieving kids were the ones most likely to take music lessons.

3 – You’re curious

Albert Einstein famously said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

Harvard Business Review reports that people with a higher “curiosity quotient” (CQ) are more inquisitive and generate more original ideas, and this “thinking style” leads to higher levels of knowledge acquisition over time.

CQ, the author states, “is the ultimate tool to produce simple solutions for complex problems.”

5 – You are the oldest child

Oldest siblings are usually smarter, but it’s not because of genetics.

The New York Times reports, “The new findings, from a landmark study published [in June 2007], showed that eldest children had a slight but significant edge in IQ — an average of three points over the closest sibling. And it found that the difference was not because of biological factors but the psychological interplay of parents and children.”

For this and other reasons, firstborns tend to be more successful than their siblings.

6 – You are slim

For a 2006 French study, scientists gave 2,200 adults intelligence tests over a five-year period.

It suggested that the bigger the waistline, the lower the cognitive ability.

The Telegraph reports:

The researchers found that people with a Body Mass Index — a measure of body fat — of 20 or less could recall 56% of words in a vocabulary test, while those who were obese, with a BMI of 30 or higher, could remember only 44%.

The fatter subjects also showed a higher rate of cognitive decline when they were retested five years later: their recall dropped to 37.5%, whereas those with a healthy weight retained their level of recall.

A healthy body is closely linked to a healthy mind.

7 – You have a cat

A 2014 study found that people who identified as a “dog person” were more outgoing than those who identified as a “cat person.”

But guess what? Cat people did better on intelligence tests.

“It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog,” lead researcher Denise Guastello said, guessing at what might be behind the differences. “Whereas, if you’re more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you’re more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk.”

8 – You were breast fed

“In two studies of breast-fed infantsinvolving more than 3,000 children in Britain and New Zealand, breastfeeding was found to raise intelligence an average of nearly seven IQ points if the children had a particular version of a gene called FADS2,” Duke University reported in a press release.

That gene version is “involved in the control of fatty acid pathways,” said researcher and University of Illinois-Chicago psychologist Julia Kim-Cohen, and it “may help the children make better use of the breast milk and promote the brain development that is associated with a higher IQ score.”

Figuring out the exact mechanism of this relationship between FADS2, breastfeeding, and IQ will require further study, the scientists noted in their 2007 paper on the finding.

9 – You are left handed

While left-handedness used to be associated with criminality, more recent research associates it with “divergent thinking,” a form of creativity in which you come up with novel ideas from a prompt.

In her review of a 1995 paper, New Yorker reporter Maria Konnikova writes:

The more marked the left-handed preference in a group of males, the better they were at tests of divergent thought.

Left-handers were more adept, for instance, at combining two common objects in novel ways to form a third — for example, using a pole and a tin can to make a birdhouse. They also excelled at grouping lists of words into as many alternate categories as possible.

Maybe that’s why lefties are overrepresented in architecture and music.

10 – You are tall

Like left-handedness, being tall has been a heavily debated trait of smarter individuals. There are studies that back up this speculation.

As a Princeton study noted: “As early as age 3 — before schooling has had a chance to play a role — and throughout childhood, taller children perform significantly better on cognitive tests.”

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