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Science says if you have these 13 traits you’re smarter than you think

You know your IQ score and it may be quite respectable, or not, and you’ve always wondered if it is a true reflection of your intelligence. It probably isn’t as IQ tests have their limitations.

If you have always wondered if there are other ways to gauge your intelligence, we have a list of 13 common signs of high intelligence supported by science. Business Insider sourced them from a Quora thread. Keep reading to find out which of them apply to you.

You’re not easily distracted

Blocking out background distractions is a feature of people with higher IQs. The findings come in a study of 53 people given a simple, visual test in Current Biology.

The paper describes two small studies that found people with higher scores on an IQ test were slower to recognize large background movements in an image. That’s likely because they focus on the most important information and filter out the rest.

You’re a night owl

A growing body of research is finding that the smarter you are, the more likely you are to burn the midnight oil.

One study, published in 2009 in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, looked at the link between childhood IQ and sleep habits among thousands of young adults, and found that smarter individuals reported that they stayed up later and woke up later on both weekdays and weekends.

You’re highly adaptable

A sign of true genius is the success with which a person can adapt to changing conditions. Great minds agree – Stephen Hawking has said that intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

Adaptability, the ability to be flexible and embrace new and creative thinking is a crucial skill for leaders and a key emotional intelligence competency. In the Economist Intelligent Unit’s study Growing Global Executive Talent, adaptability was mentioned as one of the tree top leadership skills.

You understand how much you don’t know

The more you know, the more you know how much you don’t know – this is the sign of a person who is not caught up in their own field of expertise, but look wider and realize that there still much they can learn.

A really smart person is highly unlikely to outright dismiss new information of any kind no matter how surprising or bizarre. On the contrary, they’ll probably start investigating the issue immediately!

You are incurably curious

Well, this goes without saying, doesn’t it? People who are intelligent often have a high curiosity quotient (CQ) meaning they have a hungry mind.

Individuals with higher CQ are generally more tolerant of ambiguity. They are the ones who are best able to handle today’s complexities, to come up with simple solutions to complex problems, which is a sign of intelligence.

You’re open-minded

A study published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Social Psychology Quarterly found that people who are less traditional, more open-minded, and generally go against the grain tend to have higher IQs than those on the opposite side of the spectrum.

You like your own company

If you are happiest on your own, you are probably very smart. Scores of highly intelligent people throughout history have been known to prefer their own company.

This study found that highly intelligent people feel happier alone than when others, even good friends.

You have high self-control

On Quora Zoher Ali made the point that smart people are able to overcome impulsiveness by planning ahead, clarifying goals, exploring alternative strategies and considering consequences beforehand.

His insight is supported by this study. In this study participants had to choose between two financial rewards: a smaller payout immediately or a larger payout at a later date. Results showed that participants who chose the larger payout at a later date — i.e., those who had more self-control — generally scored higher on intelligence and memory tests.

You’re really funny

Both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking are known for their sharp sense of humor. One study published in the 1970s looked at 55 male and 14 female comedians and found that they consistently scored significantly higher on IQ tests than the average population.

You’re sensitive to other people’s experiences

People who are high on the empathic spectrum can actually feel what is happening in others in their own bodies. As a result, they have incredible compassion for people and often get exhausted from feeling “too much”. Is this you? This is a sign emotional intelligence.

You are an ace at deductive thinking

Deductive reasoning allows one to make logical inferences. It is a central cognitive process and a major component of intelligence, so intelligence tests include problems in deductive reasoning. If you can solve the mystery with Sherlock, you’re obviously intelligent.

You procrastinate a lot

Steve Jobs is an example of someone who procrastinated a lot, so you’re in good company.

Wharton psychologist Adam Grant told Business Insider that procrastination is key to innovation: “The time Steve Jobs was putting things off and noodling on possibilities was time well spent in letting more divergent ideas come to the table, as opposed to diving right in with the most conventional, the most obvious, the most familiar.”

You contemplate the big questions

This, I think, goes without saying. People who are able to think and question deeply and can’t simply accept the current popular wisdom on face value are obviously intellectually gifted. These people tend to ponder the meaning of life and the universe, the nature of consciousness and our alien neighbors. That kind of thing. They don’t keep their minds occupied with the next NFL game or the best beer on the market.

Or do you?

Now read: How many senses do we have? 4 senses you probably have no idea about

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Pearl Nash

Written by Pearl Nash

I've always been passionate about eastern philosophy, ever since I became aware that western philosophy places too much emphasis on being positive and happy all the time. I prefer to keep things simple, and I hope you enjoy my writing on Hack Spirit.

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