What traits classify somebody as a genius, or at least smarter than average? Below are 10 common signs of high intelligence, supported by scientific evidence. Read on and see which of these describes you.

1. You're not easily distracted

People who can focus for long stretches at a time and tune out distractions are highly intelligent. According to a 2013 paper published in the journal Current Biology, it found that people with higher scores on an IQ test were slower to recognize large background movements in an image. This is likely because they focus on the most important information and filter out the rest. 

2. You're a night owl

Smart people are more inclined to stay up into the wee hours of the morning, according to research. According to a study published in 2009 in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, looked at the link between childhood IQ and sleep habits among thousands of young adults. Smarter individuals said they stayed up later and woke up later on both weekdays and weekends. Another study, published in 1999 in the same journal, looked at about 400 US air force recruits and yielded similar findings.

3. You're highly adaptable

Intelligent people are flexible and are able to thrive in different settings. In fact, intelligent people adapt by showing what can be done regardless of the complications or restrictions placed upon them. Recent psychological research supports this idea. According to the findings, intelligence depends on being able to change your own behaviors in order to cope more effectively with your environment or make changes to the environment you are in.

4. You understand how much you don't know

Smart folks are able to admit when they are not familiar with a particular concept. Intelligent people are not afraid to say, 'I don't know'. This is backed up by a classic study conducted by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which found that the less intelligent you are, the more you overestimate your cognitive abilities.
It was found that in one experiment, students who had scored the lowest overestimated the number of questions they'd gotten right by nearly 50% Meanwhile, those who scored in the top, slightly underestimated how many questions that had gotten right. 

5. You have insatiable curiosity

Intelligent people become fascinated by things others often take for granted. In the words of Albert Einstein, "I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious."In a study published in 2016 in the Journal of Individual Differences, suggests that there's a link between childhood intelligence and openness to experience.

This encompasses intellectual curiosity in adulthood. As part of the research, scientists followed thousands of people born in the UK for 50 years and learned that 11-year-olds who had scored higher on an IQ test turned out to be more open to experience at 50.


6. You're open-minded

Smart people open themselves up to new ideas and opportunities. Intelligent people are willing to accept and consider other views with value and broad-mindedness. They are more open to alternative solutions. Open-minded people, who seek out alternate viewpoints and weigh the evidence fairly, tend to score higher on SAT and intelligence tests. Despite their openness to try new things, smart people are careful about which ideas and perspectives they adopt. 

7. You like your own company

Highly intelligent people tend to be very individualistic. They tend to derive less satisfaction than most people do from socializing with friends. 

8. You have high self-control

Smart people are able to overcome impulsiveness by planning, clarifying goals and exploring alternative strategies, as well as considering consequences before they begin. A link between self-control and intelligence has been discovered by scientists. In fact, in one 2009 study, published in the journal Psychological Science, participants had to choose between two financial rewards: a smaller payout immediately, or a larger payout at a later date.

Findings showed that participants who chose the larger payout at a later date - those who had more self-control - scored higher on intelligence tests. The researchers said that one area of the brain, the anterior prefrontal cortex, may help play a role in helping people solve tough problems, as well as demonstrate self-control while working toward goals. 


9. You're really funny

Highly intelligent people tend to have a great sense of humor, according to University of New Mexico scientists. In one study, they found that people who wrote funnier cartoon captions scored higher on measures of verbal intelligence. It was also found that professional comedians scored higher than average on measures of verbal intelligence. 


10. You're sensitive to other people's experiences

According to some psychologists, empathy, being attuned to the needs and feelings of others and acting in a way that is sensitive to those needs is a core component of emotional intelligence. Emotionally-intelligent individuals tend to be interested in talking to new people and discovering more about them.

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