In the past, your intelligence quotient (IQ), was routinely linked to your genetic makeup: In other words, if mom and dad were smart, you’re probably pretty smart, too. Recently, the schools of thought on IQ and intelligence have become more divided. In fact, many scientists believe that IQ isn’t really linked to genes or heredity at all, but is instead a product of a pattern of behaviors and actions that is subject to change greatly over time. So, what does this mean? It means that with a few changes in your everyday behavior, you could potentially boost your IQ. This compiled list of habits and behaviors are thought to increase mental agility and stoke your brain-flames – **if anything, they’ll go further to enhance people’s opinions of your intelligence than a pair of eyeglasses and elbow patches.**Don’t accept everything you hear as the truth. The world is full of misinformation, and it’s your job to challenge all of it. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should argue with everyone you meet. However, what you should try to do is mentally take an oppositional stance to every argument – even if you never verbalize it. Doing so will keep your brain sharp, and distrusting information often leads to critiques that no one has ever thought of before. In other words, giving some thoughtful side-eye might just inflate people’s opinions of your intelligence.
There’s an old adage that says that you are an average representation of the six people you spend the most time with – if you believe this to be true, why not spend your time with smart people? Intelligence by association can be pretty powerful, and being surrounded by such brainpower might give you an idea or two. Now, if Barack Obama would just start taking your calls.
C.L. Downing is an intelligence expert who coined the “Downing Effect.” This theory states that people with below-average intelligence usually think they are highly intelligent, and highly-intelligent people underestimate themselves. Modesty isn’t only an indicator of current intelligence, either: This particular personality trait can mean that a person is more understanding and open to new arguments, which means that their intelligence levels can potentially grow and expand. In other words, if you try not to be a jerk, everyone will think you’re smarter (and also, you won’t be a jerk)! Win-win!
One shared quality of many unintelligent people is the inability to keep their mouths shut. If you’re not sure of what to say, don’t say anything at all: Being a strong, silent type is seen as more intelligent than being boastful, especially if what you’re boasting about is incorrect. Feel free to share this information with that one guy at your office.
Loyola Marymount University psychology professor Nora A. Murphy did a case study that observed people interacting with one another in taped interviews. The interviewers then identified the subjects they believed to have higher IQ levels, based on eye contact and conversation skills alone. Pro-tip: Don’t mistake steady eye contact for a deep, longing gaze – otherwise, things might go from intellectual to downright uncomfortable.
According to a recent study by two European psychologists, having a middle initial means that other people automatically believe you have higher intellectual ability. This may explain your feelings about Samuel L. Jackson.
It might seem counterintuitive, because late-nighters are often associated with revelry and partying. However, a 2009 study showed that people who went to bed later are actually more intelligent than those who don’t. That’s right – you now have an excuse for that 2 a.m. pizza & brainstorming session.