Looking for Brains? 6 Research-Backed Signs of Above Average Intelligence

Looking for Brains? 6 Research-Backed Signs of Above Average Intelligence

There you are, quietly enjoying yourself at a social function of some sort, and from across the room, someone catches your eye. Carefully you approach, eloquently engage the person in conversation, put on your best smile, and your best foot is forward. All is going seemingly well until disaster strikes: you realize that the person is a complete idiot. Easy on the eyes is nice but as an intelligent person, you feel like this person needs to write an apology letter to the trees that are working their leafy asses off to provide this person with the oxygen they are clearly wasting by speaking. You quietly excuse yourself and run to your nearest center of knowledge to make sure that your brain isn’t permanently impaired.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier for people that care about intelligence in the opposite sex if we just walked around with our base IQ score on a sticker on our shirts?

I think that’s going to be a hard trend to get people to catch on to. So, I found several studies that show simple indicators that a person is more intelligent. Some of them don’t even require having to speak to the person. Now just because these are backed by actual scientific research, doesn’t mean that they are fool-proof.

Still, they make for a mental checklist that helps you seek out intelligence faster, and with less interference from morons.


In 2008, researchers from Princeton University found that children who were tall for their age scored higher on IQ tests. According to their findings, “As early as age 3 — before schooling has had a chance to play a role — and throughout childhood, taller children perform significantly better on cognitive tests.” Interestingly, those children also ended up making more money on average as adults.

Drink Regularly

Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist, found that adults who drank more alcohol scored higher on IQ tests as children and teenagers. Now, I know that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are smarter adults, but it shows at one point in their life that they were intelligent. That’s better than nothing, right?

Musically Inclined

A study in 2011 and a study in 2004 both showed that kids who took music lessons scored higher on verbal and IQ tests. Glen Schellenberg, the researcher who did the study in 2004, also did a study in 2013 that showed that children who were naturally more intelligent were more likely to take music lessons, indicating that intelligence and musical abilities are correlated both ways.

Started Reading Early

A study done in 2012 involving 2,000 pairs of identical twins found that the child who learned to read first was the smarter of the two twins. Now, obviously you can’t tell if someone is a twin without talking to them – unless they are with the twin, and even then you can’t determine if they were the first to be able to read. BUT, you can spark a conversation about reading and if they say something like, “Yeah I didn’t learn to read until I was 17,” you might want to move on.

Uses Recreational Drugs

Don’t assume that the guy in the corner at the party with the joint is a burn-out. A recent study of 6,000 British participants that were born in 1958 found a correlation between high IQ as a child and drug use as an adult. It’s important to note that this was based on “selected illegal drugs”. I’m sure PCP wasn’t on the list. James W. White, Catharine R. Gale, and David Batty wrote in their findings, “In our large population-based cohort study, IQ at 11 years was associated with a greater likelihood of using selected illegal drugs 31 years later.”


This one is pretty simple. There have been dozens of studies linking intelligence to a sense of humor, and they all say the same thing: funny people are smarter. Worst case scenario, even if the person is only marginally smarter than average, at the very least, they are entertaining, right?

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