11 science-backed signs you're smarter than average

Are you tall or a cat lover? Here are some interesting signs to detect brainiacs

Life&Style December 01, 2015
Are you tall or a cat lover? Here are some interesting signs to detect brainiacs.

We all know that one know-it-all person who claims to be smarter than everyone in the room. But if their witty nature and impromptu reactions are your criteria to judge their smartness, then you are wrong.

Though a common method to measure someone's intelligence quotient (IQ) is through standardised testing, you really don't need to conduct one every time you run in to a smarty-pants.

After decades of scientific research, varying facts behind intelligence were discovered. Business Insider brings you 11 of these surprising signs that make one smarter than the average person:

1. You learnt music


A research suggests that kids who took music lessons have a tendency to develop their brains in a few ways. A study conducted on four to six-year-old children in 2011 found that scores on a verbal intelligence test were raised only a month after taking music lessons.

Another study led by Glenn Schellenberg, a Canadian music composer, in 2004 on 6-year-olds suggested that the IQ of kids who took nine months of keyboard lessons was higher than the ones who took drama or no classes at all.

In 2013, Glenn found that the kids who took music lessons were also high-achievers. In reality, musical training may only enhance the already existing cognitive differences.

2. You are the first born


Military records of nearly 250,000 18 and 19-year-old men born between 1967 and 1976 were used by Norwegian epidemiologists to examine birth order, health status and IQ scores.

According to the results, an average first-born had an IQ of 103 as compared to 100 for second and 99 for third child.

"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," The New York Times reports.

As the studies suggest, first-borns have a tendency to be more successful as compared to their younger siblings.

3. You are not fat


In a study conducted in 2006, scientists assigned intelligence tests to almost 2,200 adults over a period of five years. Results suggested that the people with big waistlines have low cognitive ability.

Another study, conducted the same year, suggests that people are more likely to be obese in their 40s if they scored less on verbal and non-verbal tests at the age of 11.

According to the authors of the study, smarter kids have an ability to pursue better education, land higher-status and better paid jobs and ultimately end up being a person who can better take care of their health as compared to the less intelligent ones.

However, a recent study suggests that preschoolers with lower IQ have higher body mass index (BMI). According to the researchers, socio-economic status play an important role in the relationship between BMI and intelligence.

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4. You own a cat


You are naturally a smart person if you are a cat lover. A study conducted on 600 college students suggests that dog lovers or "dog people" had a more outgoing personality as compared to "cat people".

The study was based on a test that measured personality and intelligence. Where dog people clearly outshone, cat people were clearly the ones with higher IQ as they scored on the test that measured cognitive ability.

5. You were breastfed


Yes! it's true. Babies who are breastfed may grow up to be smarter kids, a research suggests.

The researchers observed above 3,000 children in two different studies conducted in Britain and New Zealand. The children who were breastfed scored around seven points higher on an IQ test. The only limitation cited in the study was the presence of a particular version of the FADS2 gene, which is roughly equal among the ones who were and weren't breastfed.

6. You are left-handed


Researchers have failed to find the association between being left-handed and criminal as the lefties are slightly more in number among the criminal populations.

However, more recent research suggests that left-handed people have "divergent thinking" -- a form of creativity that allows you, especially men, to promptly come up with novel ideas.

In her review of a 1995 paper, New Yorker reporter Maria Konnikova wrote: "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."

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7. You are tall

Taller people scored higher on IQ tests as kids and earned more money as adults, a Princeton study conducted in 2008 suggests.

The researchers wrote: "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."

8. You are politically liberal

A study led by Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist, found that leftists are smarter. A similar test was conducted among thousands of American adults and the results indicated that people with higher IQ were likely to be politically liberal.

9. You were an early learner


Upon conducting a study on almost 2,000 pairs of identical twins in UK, researchers found that the one who learnt to read before had the tendency to score higher on cognitive ability tests.

The authors of the 2012 study suggested that verbal and nonverbal ability such as reasoning increases when one starts reading from an early age.

10. You worry a lot

Your anxiety may make you smarter in certain ways, a growing body of research suggests.

In a recent study, 126 undergrads were asked to fill out questionnaires that showed how often they experienced worry and engaged in rumination. It also involved constant thinking about the situations' aspects that upset them.

The results indicated that people who worried and ruminated more had higher measures of verbal intelligence while people who didn't had those of non-verbal intelligence.

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11. You are funny


A study assessed 400 psychology students through intelligence tests, measuring abstract reasoning abilities and verbal intelligence.

These students were asked to suggest captions for a number of New Yorker cartoons. After being reviewed by independent raters, it was predicted that the funnier students were smarter than the rest.


Sundus Mustaqeem | 6 years ago | Reply Though writer has not even mentioned such scientific evidences but with the help of Psychology, we can relate them with reality. I mean these points can be true.
Moiz | 6 years ago | Reply This article has not even touched scientific logic. Writer must be in some inferiority complex with celebrities and know nothing about brain.
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