If you think you are smart, you might want to take an IQ test to prove it. However, science has recently discovered a few rather unusual signs of intelligence that you probably haven’t even considered.
These 4 unusual signs of intelligence are…
1. You’re politically liberal.
Smart people tend to be socially liberal in their outlook and this could be for evolutionary reasons.
Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science, suggests that intelligent people tend to look for novel ideas rather than sticking to conservative ones.
“General intelligence, the ability to think and reason, endowed our ancestors with advantages in solving evolutionarily novel problems for which they did not have innate solutions,” says Kanazawa, “As a result, intelligent people are more likely to recognize and understand such novel entities and situations than less intelligent people.”
Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health supports Kanazawa’s hypothesis. It found that young adults who subjectively identify themselves as “very liberal” have an average IQ of 106 during adolescence. Those who identify themselves as “very conservative” have an average IQ of 95 during adolescence.
It was also found that countries whose citizens score low on international tests of mathematics achievement tend to be more conservative in their political outlooks and policies.
As a result, intelligence is correlated with socially and economically liberal views.
2. You drink alcohol regularly.
It seems strange that drinking alcohol might be one of the signs of intelligence. However, studies have suggested just this. This too could be because of our evolutionary growth.
In a study of Brits and Americans, Satoshi Kanazawa and colleagues found that adults who had scored higher on IQ tests as children or teenagers drank more alcohol in adulthood than those their lower-scoring peers.
Although high childhood IQ generally has been associated with favorable health-related behaviors, it has also been linked with more frequent alcohol consumption. Kanazawa suggests that this is because more intelligent individuals may be more likely to develop evolutionarily novel values than less intelligent individuals. Consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is evolutionarily novel.
3. You have used recreational drugs
Studies into drug use have found similar results and for the same basic reasons as for alcohol use.
A 2012 study of more than 6,000 Brits born in 1958 found a link between high IQ in childhood and the use of illegal drugs in adulthood. “High IQ at 11 years was associated with a greater likelihood of using selected illegal drugs 31 years later,” wrote researchers James W. White Ph.D. and colleagues.
They conclude that “in contrast to most studies on the association between childhood IQ and later health,” their findings suggest “a high childhood IQ may prompt the adoption of behaviors that are potentially harmful to health in adulthood.”
The study did not find that intelligent people were likely to become addicted to drugs. It was more that they were likely to experiment at some stage in life.
4. You’re thin.
It’s good to know that intelligence can lead to healthy behaviors as well as some more risky ones.
In a 2006 study, scientists analyzed data from 2,223 healthy workers aged 32 to 62 years. The results indicated that the bigger the waistline, the lower the cognitive ability.
Another study showed that a lower IQ score in childhood is associated with obesity and weight gain in adulthood. It found that 11-year-olds who scored lower on verbal and nonverbal tests were more likely to be obese in their 40s.
Overall, these unusual signs of intelligence suggest that intelligent people are less likely to stick to conservative ways of thinking and behaving. They are more likely to seek out novel ideas and experiences. This can lead to some risk-taking behaviors. However, intelligent people are likely to eat healthily and take care of themselves.