The Surprising Qualities That Make You Smarter
Sometimes it can feel like your brain is on a Groundhog Day schedule. When you just go through the motions and repeat the same routines every day, your intellect can take a backseat. So how do you steer clear of the linear spreadsheet and boost your genius levels to new heights? Well, according to science, you should probably swear a little more, let your mind wander, take risks, and sleep later—you’ll be surprised at what science says makes you sexier, too. Intrigued? Scroll down to see what other startling qualities mean you’re smarter.
Swearing isn’t something we usually encourage; it’s usually met with a grimace or a gasp. But if you have a tendency to throw around a taboo word or two, or several, then we have good news for you. Turns out all those dollars we’ve been making you put in the swear jar should be used to reward you for your heightened intelligence. A study published in the journal Language Sciences found that those who use curse words more often are actually smarter because they have a wider vocabulary than those who don’t. Researchers wanted to debunk the common misconception that people who swear frequently are “lazy, do not have an adequate vocabulary, lack education, or simply cannot control themselves.” Their findings revealed that “people who swear aren’t necessarily otherwise inarticulate,” so we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Thanks to the velocity of modern technology, the rate at which we email, work, and produce content has also increased at an alarming rate. Thinking fast has almost become a necessary tool for the new age. Turns out having the ability to think fast could mean you’re thinking smarter, too. In 1884, London-based researcher Sir Francis Galton made the link between speed and smarts. While there have been many tests after his to prove or disprove, Smithsonian Magazine says there’s an “unmistakable correlation between short reaction times and high scores on intelligence tests” and that the faster your brain processes new information, “the sharper your intellect.”
Are you someone who loves to stand on the edge of fear? Do you often push yourself beyond your comfort zone and enjoy it? Most people will probably call you crazy, but science says you’re smarter than your more cautious cousins. According to ScienceDaily, researchers at the University of Turku in Finland found that the people who took risks did it out of “curiosity and a hunger to experience learning and a sense of mastery over their environment,” which also meant their brains were stimulated more often and enhanced intelligence. But we all know that taking some risks can lead to tragic consequences, so the researchers were quick to point out that “it takes brains to take risks.” Their results found that those who hesitated before making a decision found themselves in a dilemma, while the high-risk seekers didn’t falter, and prevented the circumstance before it happened.
Are you a night owl who craves sleep and loves a good honest lie-in? Well don’t let society (or your parents) make you feel slothful about those late mornings catching z’s anymore, because science has spoken, and it turns out you’re actually smarter and more creative for it; the truth hurts, Mum. The study found that “more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be nocturnal adults who go to bed late and wake up late on both weekdays and weekends.” Going to bed late and sleeping in later also mean you are more creative and generally score higher on intelligence tests. So it’s time to ditch the “lazy” guilt once and for all.
In a world of information overload, trying to retrieve knowledge from the recesses of your brain, when you need it, can be challenging; there’s just so much stuff crammed in there. Thankfully Google has helped to resolve our digital amnesia and restore our confidence. A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that people who googled information for answers were “more likely to overestimate their own internal knowledge in unrelated areas.” What’s the harm in a little false reassurance? Fake it till you make it, right?
Do you have a nonsense radar that can smell bull from a mile away? If this sounds like you and you’re a hard one to fool, then it also means you’re smarter. A study titled “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bull$&t” concluded that people who are good at identifying bull have a higher intelligence. Why? Lead author Gordon Pennycook told The Star that while a “lie is easy to figure out; bull%^t not so much.” He added, “We can recognise bull$&t in people we don’t agree with. The hardest is when we think a source is great and they’re bull$&tting us.” So therefore it takes a heightened level of intellect to determine the difference.
This one seems the most surprising of all the smart studies we’ve read. How many times have you been told that video games make you lazy, make you antisocial, and even lower your intelligence? Well, a new study has disproved the cynics and switched the stigma into a positive for gamers. According to PsychCentral, video games can help boost cognitive skills, strengthen social memory, reasoning, navigation, perception, and even develop problem-solving skills in children. “This has critical implications for education and career development, as previous research has established the power of spatial skills for achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said lead author Isabela Granic. College Raptor has more information on the different game types that can enhance various brain functions.
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What are your favorite brain games? Do you have any secrets to increasing your memory? Share them with us below.