You accept that there are plenty of things you don’t know
You may think that pretending you know everything, even when you don’t, makes you come across as smarter. But in reality, people who aren’t afraid to be self-critical tend to be the brainier ones. Intelligent people accept their own shortcomings and understand that there’s always more they could be learning. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology compared how students performed on a test to how they thought they did. Students took a test similar to the LSAT and then had to predict how many questions they got right. Many of the students with lower scores had vastly overestimated their scores, while the higher-scoring students tended to think they scored worse than they actually did.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know something—you’re liable to learn a lot more. Here are some things you encounter every day that make you smarter.
You’re constantly curious
Since knowing you have more to learn means you’re smart, wanting to learn more naturally does too. A study in the Journal of Individual Differences found that people who scored higher on IQ tests as children tended to be more curious and open to new ideas as adults. Intelligence and curiosity go hand-in-hand. Intelligent people tend to be inquisitive not only about everyday curiosities but also about “the big questions,” pondering philosophical topics like the meaning of life and the universe. (Answering these questions, though, is another story.) Try out these 12 jokes that will make you sound like a genius.