The notion of IQ has been discussed ad nauseam online. The whole idea of measuring intelligence by a single number is most probably bullshit. Online IQ tests definitely are. You can consistently get astounding scores around 130-140 by picking random answers as quickly as possible. And even if you do get formidable results, you’ll find yourself among the likes of Donald Trump.
Even if you do appreciate being likened to Trump, the American history of IQ tests is deeply linked to racism. Henry H. Goddard was the first to translate the Binet-Simon scale, administering tests to immigrants. He concluded that 40 percent of Jews, Italians, and Hungarians were “morons” that should have been deported.
With IQ tests out of the way, is there any factor that correlates with a person’s intellectual abilities? Is there any way to quickly gauge someone’s intelligence? Here are some tricks.
What Smart People Never Do
Let’s start with something that smart people don’t do.
At one point or another, you’ve heard someone speak with absolute confidence on a topic they know very little about. I was on a date the other night and I mentioned my degree. With cool confidence juxtaposed with a complete lack of self-doubt on his face, the guy I was with started a lengthy monologue arguing that everything in philosophy revolves around the definitely overrated trolley problem. It turned out that his source was daytime television.
His absolute certainty was a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. As Dunning, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, says, “if you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent.” Maybe he was just trying to impress me, but he was adamant in his convictions. He knew that he was right and he wanted me to know that he was. As a good rule of thumb, wisdom is never found in certainty.
Smart People Are Always Learning
Jeff Bezos says that “the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved.” They love different points of views and they enjoy challenges to their conclusions. In order to question and develop their knowledge, smart people are always trying to learn something new.
There’s some good news in this regard. Nowadays neuroplasticity is proven science. This finding is twofold. On the downside, bad habits actually damage your brain. On the bright side, you can still grow your intelligence. You just need to exercise your brain properly. To do so, we’ve shared a few tips on how to become a super learner.
There are also weird and true-ish tricks to quickly tell if someone is smart. Some studies found a weak correlation between intellectual performance and height. The higher you are, the smarter. In another study, older siblings performed slightly better on IQ tests. But younger siblings shouldn’t worry too much. After all, Dmitri Mendeleev was the youngest of 17 children and that didn’t stop him from becoming one of the most influential scientists of all time. And by now, you should be wary of IQ test results.
A Quick Test To Identify A Smart Person
I’ll share a final trick. You can try a two-question combo. Ask a group of people an easy question and then a complex one. Smart people won’t be desperate for approval and probably won’t rush to answer the first question. When faced with a more complex task, however, while they’ll have no shame in calling for suggestions, they will usually suggest a fresh idea.
Do you recognize yourself in these points? Are you suddenly fearing that you wouldn’t pass any of these simple tests? Well, for one, that means you’re probably not a full-blown D-K. And then, there is always our brain-stimulating music to help you become smarter. Have a good brain workout!