12 Things People Mistake as Intelligence Today

Krystal Smith

We often encounter false beliefs and stereotypes that attempt to define intelligence. Here, we debunk 13 common misconceptions surrounding intelligence.

Being a Leader

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Just because a person is in charge of something does not necessarily mean that a person is intelligent. Think about all of the bosses you have had in your lifetime and not all of them would be the personl you would trust in if your life depended on it. Sometimes people make their way to the top because of pure effort and determination rather than being intelligence. There are even some people who bully their way to being a leader as they know how to say and do the right thing at the right time.

Silence

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Silence is not always golden and it is certainly not a sign of intelligence. Some people believe the quiet, brooding type and sitting thinking of ways they can solve the problems of the world when in reality they are silent because they cannot think of anything intelligent to say.

Being Confident

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Many of us strive to be more confident and envy those who are. When we look up to people who act confidently we should be mindful that we are not mistaking their arrogance for confidence. Sometimes people put on a show of confidence in a bid to make themselves appear intelligent but it is not always the case.

Being Good at Debates

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If you are admiring people who are great at debating, stop and look around to see how many other people are getting a word in during that debate. Rather than being intelligent people who are good at debating may just be good at arguing their point and overpowering others who are intelligent.

Being Left Handed

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Some people falsely believe that being left-handed makes you more intelligent. While the thoughts on this phenomenon are interesting there is no proof. People have researched this topic for years and have concluded that there is no evidence that left-handed people are more intelligent than right-handed people. For instance, a study published in 2013 in the journal “Frontiers in Psychology” suggested that left-handedness might be associated with divergent thinking, a component of creativity, but not necessarily with higher intelligence.

Being Wealthy

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Wealth does not equate to intelligence but some people, particularly those who have money, believe it does. If you have enough money you can buy anything you want but no amount of money can buy a good education.

Glasses

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One of the silliest misconceptions is that people who wear glasses are intelligent. Geek and nerd culture is portrayed on TV and film as being all knitted tank tops and thick glasses but not all intelligent people wear glasses and not all people who wear glasses are intelligent. It is also important to note that not all secretaries wear glasses despite what the media portrays.

Having Strong Opinions

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People who have strong opinions are usually not afraid to tell people about them. While talking about your opinions comes across as being confident and assertive it does not mean that this is a sign of intelligence. Sometimes people are so caught up in their own opinions that they fail to take onboard other people’s thoughts, which is not very clever at all.

A College Degree

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It is assumed that if you have a college degree you are intelligent but this is not always the case. Sometimes people are just very knowledgeable about the subject they study and do not have an all-round good education. Other people wing their way through college and have no real depth of knowledge that would classify them as being highly intelligent. Some of the most intelligent people in the world do not have a college degree so when you hear someone skipped college don’t discount them as being dumb.

Using Big Words

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Just because you use words that could easily get you a role in Dawson’s Creek it doesn’t mean you are intelligent. People who are insecure about their intelligence can often compensate by using big words to look impressive to others but they may not know what those words truly mean. It is also possible that while they spend time reading the dictionary they are missing out on all of the other things they should be learning.

Having A Good Memory

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Some people have an incredible memory and they can recall all sorts of information. While they undoubtedly have a skill it does not mean that they are particularly intelligent. A lot of people can learn by repetition but are they simply recalling information without understanding it?

Having A Posh Accent

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There is a misconception that people with a posh accent, particularly a British accent, are intelligent. While this accent will be portrayed as being upper-class in Hollywood movies and they would have attended prestigious schools but the way somebody sounds does not mean that they are clever. A lot of people who speak ‘proper’ English have indeed received a good education but that is not true of everyone.

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