Five qualities that make you smart, according to science

Published: June 19, 2017
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PHOTO:FILE

PHOTO:FILE

Most of us move through life never knowing exactly how smart we are. Intelligence is actually a difficult thing to measure. Fortunately, some new research provides some interesting clues linking early life experiences and other things to high or low intelligence. As compiled from Forbes magazine, here is a list of five qualities which, according to science, prove you’re smart.

You’re anxious
It’s hard to think of anxiety as a good thing, but evidence suggests that it might not be all bad. Psychiatrist Jeremy Coplan studied patients with anxiety disorders and found that those with the worst anxiety actually had higher IQ scores.

Other studies have found higher verbal IQ scores in people with higher levels of anxiety. Then there was a more complex experiment conducted in Israel wherein researchers asked participants to evaluate artwork presented by software program and then triggered a fake computer virus, making it look as if it was the result of something that the participant did.

They then sent the participants on an urgent mission to get tech support, only to throw yet another series of obstacles in their way. They found that the most anxious participants were also the most focused and effective. The next time somebody tells you to stop worrying so much, just tell them it’s your oversized intellect forcing you to do so.

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You were an early reader
A study of 2,000 pairs of identical twins found that the twin who started reading earlier had higher IQ than their siblings. On the surface, this one seems easy enough to explain: the kids who learned to read early did so because they were smarter.
But the researchers concluded that learning to read early made the kids smarter. So, if you were an early reader, it might not be because you’re smart. It may be that you’re smart because you were an early reader.

You’re left-handed
There are some intellectual benefits to being a southpaw. One study demonstrated that left-handedness is associated with divergent thinking, all the more so in males. This unique ability to combine two unrelated objects in a meaningful way is a sign of intelligence.

You took music lessons as a kid

A number of studies have shown musical training enhances verbal intelligence and executive function, a skill that’s critical for focus and self-control. In a study conducted by psychologist Sylvain Moreno, 48 children between the ages of four and six participated in a computerised training program.
For one hour for five days a week for four weeks, half the students completed a musical program and the other half underwent a visual arts program. At the end, 90% of the first training group showed improvements in verbal IQ.

You’re funny
Research shows a strong connection between being funny and having high intelligence and propensity for abstract reasoning. It appears that your witty banter is the product of a sharp mind. Now, you just need to come up with a joke about that.

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