Seven scientifically-backed signs of genuine intelligence

Swearing, drinking and staying up late could all mean you're actually cleverer than most

We all know that those of us who did the best at school aren’t necessarily the smartest, and cleverness comes in many different forms - you probably know someone who’s extremely academic but also lacks emotional intelligence, for example.

And whilst one person may be practically a human calculator, does that make them cleverer than a polyglot?

Scientists have for a long time been trying to discover once and for all what the signs of intelligence are and different studies have reached varying conclusions.

Here are seven science-backed signs you’re genuinely intelligent.

1. You’re lazy

A recent study found that people who are highly intelligent get bored less easily and are thus likely to be less active because they are happier spending more time thinking.

2. You learn from your mistakes

People who are smarter than average are usually better at accepting their own failures and learning from them, a study on decision-making skills found.

3. You swear a lot

Rather than being a sign of limited vocabulary, effing and blinding may genuinely be a sign of high intelligence, a 2015 study found.

4. You stay up late

According to a study published in Psychology Today, more intelligent children tend to become more nocturnal adults.

5. You read a lot

Not simply a way to expand your knowledge, research has found that reading actually increases your memory function, communication skills and focus.

6. You enjoy black humour

Those of us who laugh at vulgar jokes (about death, disease, deformity or warfare, for example) could actually be more intelligent than others who don’t, according to a study from earlier this year.

7. You drink and take drugs

In 2012, British researchers found a link between high IQ in childhood and the use of illegal drugs in adulthood, despite the potential harm caused. What’s more, another study found that adults who had scored higher on IQ tests when they were kids or teens grew into adults who drank more alcohol than those who’d scored lower.

How many traits do you have?

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