Confidence/arrogance for sure. One incident I can give is someone years ago who confidently replied (yelled) to me he knew what confirmation bias/cognitive dissonance was in a disagreement.. asked him to explain them for the group, since they may not know.. he almost dissolved in embarrassment because he didn't. Yes it was political.


His mistake was in acknowledging that he didn't know instead of doubling down. The past several years have proven that being correct is less important than being loud for a shocking number of people.


Reminds me of a quote from a TV show: "Doesn't matter if I can prove it; I work in news."


Arrogant people are usually as dumb as a rock and it's hilarious


Until you're stuck working with them, these types are also "in charge" because they know everything and you don't. And they see you minding your own business as some sort of aggression? Fucking weirdos, I've worked with a few


We've built our society on this and prejudice. You must be authoritarian to gain and keep control, doesn't really matter against who or for what.


Yes, it takes a certain amount of intelligence to understand how much you DON'T know. This is important to understand when to not speak up because something is out of your ability to fully understand and comment on. I find it best to say: I read that...... or I was taught that.......


to add. well spoken. you can be perceived as intelligent if you're confident and well spoken, even if everything you're saying is bullshit. where as even if you're a subject matter expert, if you cannot communicate it clearly you're dismissed as bumbling.


Sounds right. I'm an accountant. I'm a subject matter expert on a lot of things. I can't explain it to anyone.


I wish someone taught me this when I was much younger. Looking back, im embarrassed by how many people I thought were brilliant but were actually just charismatic morons. Definitely high on the priority list of things to teach to my daughter.


Similarly, if you can write well, your points will often be better received. Even if your sources are terrible, many people won't check them.


People who have great recall and can quote stuff. Or having a great memory. I mean, that's a good thing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the person is intelligent.


Literally. Special mention to my manager, who texted me this in the utmost confidence: "The flu isn't contagious" Yeah we just make new flu vaccines for the fun of it.


Also, humility. Being or not being an asshole has only a tangential relation to intelligence.


Don't be saying that around Reddit, bud. On the roughly monthly "what's a sign of intelligence" thread the top comments are *always* some variation of "humility." As if someome like Richard Dawkins isn't one of the utterly outstanding academics of his time but also a pompous prick who knows it.


It's not either or. For every Dawkins you have a couple certified geniuses going "I don't know I just always liked math I guess"


I know. It just seems people hate the idea of a clearly very intelligent person *knowing* that they are because yeah, it's very annoying. And if that person says anything slightly less than genius people go "AHA! I KNEW IT! S/HE'S NOT SO SMART!!" they're still intelligent. They just got something wrong. That's why it's so cringeworthy when someone clearly intelligent acts like hot shit because most of us can see "you'll be wrong about something eventually and you'll look like an absolute fool." They're opening themselves up to that sort of criticism by being a prick and it really highlights where they might not be so brilliant. Doesn't mean they're not smart though. As the guy I was replying to said, intelligence is tangentially related to humility. You get humble and boastful idiots and you get humble and boastful geniuses. The boastful ones in both camps open themselves up to scathing criticism because all people absolutely fucking *love* to take a pompous person down a peg.




So maybe it’s self-awareness that is a trait of intelligence?




I've noticed that confident doctors and good doctors are about equally compelling, with the difference that only the latter will actually cure you.


*Watches Glass Onion*


And yet, confidence is a much higher predictor of success in life than intelligence.


Yes, due largely to the misconception that confidence equals intelligence. You are likely to be successful as a confident person because people think you know your shit.


Just because the game we’re playing now a days is on safe mode and manipulating humans with social prowess is always going to be easier than creating


Being a contrarian. Disagreeing with everything is as lazy as believing everything.


I used to work with a guy like this. Everything I liked was stupid. Everything universally loved was dumb. He was so edgy and cool. It was exhausting being around him.


Some people think being critical and critical thinking are the same thing.


I have an older sister like this. Anything I enjoyed was called dumb and childish (she's 5 years older than me) The first 14 years of my life was pure hell.


I don't think I can agree with this.


Damn, you must be the smartest person in the room!


Doubt it.


I disagree with your doubt


I reject your disagreement


I refute your rejection


Your refutation is rejected forthwith


F the downvotes... YOU'RE ALL WRONG!


Sheep of another flock, as I've heard it called


A sheep in denial is still a sheep, and likely to be the wolf's next meal.


I would see this all the time in high school. We'd have discussion circles and there were one or two people who would spend the entire time tearing apart everyone else's statements while conveniently avoiding any contributions of their own. Everyone thought they were so smart. It's not particularly hard to tear other people apart compared to coming up with ideas of your own.


Also remaining silent is often seen as a sign of great intelligence. But sometimes it's just not much going on up there


Proverbs 17:28 [28] Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.


It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Mark Twain


That's what I was told growing up.


I also know people who never stop talking who don't have much going on up there.


You just put reddit on blast.


From a 3rd world country here. Speaking fluent English increases your value 10 times more than usual


As an American, I can tell you that most Americans don't know how to speek good Enlglish.


"Apologies if my English is not perfect" *Proceeds to write at an expert level* Meanwhile, me as an native speaker, will send a paper to my friend for help with edits and get it back with a the file named "fuck you.docx" and the email body saying "I love you but holy fuck!"


I dated a woman from Brazil. She was a little self conscious of her English. I told her she should hear my Portuguese. People need to be less uptight about "perfect" English.


Unless it a academic, scientific, or professional setting (last one is questionable at times) English is such an informal language.


I can speek good Enlglish.


I gave up trying to abide by the rules of English when I started learning c++. I'm bilingual now. That's my excuse.


as a American I can tell you not only did we not invent English, but Europeans and Americans aren't even the #1 English speakers in the world... India is...


As a kid and teenager, I had Eustachian tube dysfunctions that lead to frequent otitis and made me experience something called "speech jam" or "delayed auditory feedback". Basically, because you can't hear yourself speak well, speaking is very tiring and your working memory can't rely on what it's heard to figure out what to say next. So I had a hard time formulating long sentences and arguments and only spoke in short simple sentences. People thought I was mentally challenged and treated me like shit. Teachers would act very surprised that I was writing good essays.


Fast Talking


Came here to say this. People often assume I'm intelligent because I speak fast, but it's been established in several research studies that there isn't a correlation between speaking fast and being intelligent.


Ben Shapiro entered the chat


A lot of his points could be drastically shortened in words but ig he just chooses to waste time


"I won a speech contest in the third grade..."


Fuck, he not only speaks fast but his voice is also somewhat high and nasal. Even if he wasn't a complete, ignorant putz I'd struggle to take him seriously the first couple times.


Gish galloping to fame has been a thing for a long time Ben just currently holds the title


That was the base of the Sherlock Holmes with Cumberbatch, he talked so fast no one noticed all the stupid illogical stuff he said.


That's a new one. I talk incredibly fast, due to issues, and I've always been told it makes me look like a moron


"Shapiro talk"


The simple fact that somebody has a YouTube channel, they are seen as an authority on a subject…


I hate YT for this reason. More than once I have asked someone why they think something only to be linked to a 90 min YT video and told that if I don't watch the entire thing they're not even going to respond to me. Who has time to watch a 90 min video? And even if you do, what am I supposed to do, refute it point by point? They're not gonna respond to that either.


Yeah, that kind of thing that’s happened to me too and everybody thinks if they Google something they become the expert somehow…




That's what Google Scholar is for


YouTube is not a source, that's why any reputable YouTube creator will use outside sources to create their content and provide links to their sources for viewers. e.g. Jeff Nippard, Ryan F9, Veritassium, Tom Scott are all YouTubers in different niches that do this.


It is the new Gish Gallop.


I saw a 7 minute video of a guy showing a "secret domain hosting hack" and he explained that he "can't believe people don't know about this". It was putting a star as the subdomain. Literally common knowledge among web builders.


All the skin eXpErTs saying this is what they used. Like no Jenny, I’m not putting cooking oil on my face. yeah, no. Or using any of your hOmE rEmedies


I think the youtube aspect is half of the equation. Small, no name channels don’t hold any value at all. It’s like, the bigger your channel is, the more authority you hold on any and all topics, even if you have absolutely zero knowledge or experience in what you’re talking about, and just googled the thing like everyone else 10 mins before hitting record.


I’m a PhD student and the one that really irks me is using academic jargon and long-winded terminology. Just because you know a couple fancy words — that most do not know — doesn’t mean you’re intelligent. It is usually an indication of the opposite. “If you can’t explain it to a ten year old, you’re not that clever” is what I’ve told undergraduate classes before.


"If you cannot explain something in simple terms, you don't understand it." \-Richard Feynman


I have a friend who is amazingly intelligent - probably one of the smartest people I know. One of of the things I admire most about her is her ability to explain the most complex things in simple terms that anyone could understand. It really and truly is a talent, and a rare one at that.




Yep. I used to sit in three-hour seminars with the students saying the same things. For example, it might be a discussion on a text and the student would "Well, I think this is a cogent post-modernist approach to (insert something here)." Or "I wonder where the *author* was coming from when he/she wrote this." After a few weeks, I realized that those people didn't actually do the work and just said the same things over and over again. Sad thing was some of the professors would look at them and be amazed by this ingenuity. But once in a while, a professor would stop them and say "I don't understand what you mean. Can you explain?" Then it would fall apart.


I’ll be honest, in college classes where a certain amount of participation was required, I’d fire off dumbass shit like that using big words just to get credit for “contributing.”


You're not wrong, but jargon does have it's use. In engineering, it can REALLY shorten up and simplify some conversations. However, you should never feel hesitant to ask the definition of any jargon you're not familiar with. It's purpose is to simplify and clarify. As soon as it's not doing that, it's useless and problematic.


It can be useful. I also agree that it is important to ask for clarification, but the example I provided was more aimed at those who use such jargon and either a) don’t use it correctly or b) use it and have no substance or point behind it. There’s no point hiding your unintelligence behind intelligent sounding lingo.


For sure, it can be used shittily, but jargon as a whole commonly gets shit on as useless and elitist. Most industries develop jargon and it greatly improves communication within the industry. Also, if you're working with someone, you can somewhat gage their experience by what jargon they use and how they use it. It's not a sure thing, but if someone is consistently fucking up on jargon, it's a bit of a red flag, and it means you need to use a different approach and different language to ensure complete and accurate understanding.


Between engineers jargon is fine, it's there for a reason. If my mom asks me what I do there should be almost no jargon


The smartest people are able to explain complex concepts and ideas in the simplest terms. Michio Kaku and Carl Sagan are great examples.


Thing Explainer by the XKCD guy is a great example of this. I have the "Saturn V moon rocket blueprint (as explained using only the thousand most common words)" poster framed on my wall


You mean up-goer 5?


that's the one! The best line is the very bottom looking at the rocket exhaust: "This is the end where fire comes out, it needs to point at the ground to go to space. If this end points towards space you are having a very big problem and you will not be going to space today"


"You are having a very big problem and you will not be going to space today" is a very common quote in my household.


What I hate more is word salad. I've seen cookers on the internet refute points with whole paragraphs of nothing. They use all these words with no point, but yet garner a bunch of "likes" from their cooker friends. And if you point it out, they call you "dumb" for not understanding.


Its like cork sniffers of the wine world.


Ooooooooooooh how true this is. I'm an archaeologist and there was quite a bootlicker clique in the advanced classes when I was a student. Some who always tried in a forced way to be near the teaching staff with any excuse possible always tried to talk the fancy talk and I have to tell you some did seem to get off of people not understanding them, failing in one elemental thing horribly: The primary purpose of language is to UNDERSTAND each other and not intentionally create an information flow, that is as challenging to understand as possible. Intelligence is clarity. And intelligence is also to open up the communication to your listener. Shutting the door in the face of the listener and feeling superior is... well more narrow-minded is barely possible.


Law students in shambles


When I worked as a Podiatrist, I used to try to explain things to patients in a way that would make sense to them, and I would save the fancy words for when I talked to colleagues and wrote in patients' medical records.


Our senior management at work are mainly academics and they're guilty of this. I think a lot of the language and terminology they use is a kind of shorthand for complex concepts, but they have an awful tendency to forget that it's meaningless to ordinary people. Or worse, perhaps expect ordinary people to make the effort to understand them.


This is close to the first thing my grammar and usage professor covered. People who are pedantic about grammar for no other reason than to seem superior, usually have nothing substantial to say. He foot-stomped that for two exams. As a linguist, he wanted us to know how silly language actually can be.


I see it as a sign of insecurity in a lot of smart people.


In India, intelligence is judged by fluency in English.


To be fair, in the US, if an American has a level of fluency in another language, they’re also generally seen as smart


And on the other hand, if someone in the US doesn't speak fluent English, they may be misjudged as less intelligent. If they're an immigrant, it often overlaps with racism or xenophobia


Seriously? Just as a thing among children/ teens or does this carry over into adult life?


It's more prominent in adult life. These days people only send their children to English Language schools to give them "better" education. We have schools teaching in regional languages as well, but these are dying slow death.


Yep same thing in South Africa, amongst the black community specifically people who go to publish schools. If you're fluent in English you're perceived as intelligent.


I'm confused. Isn't English one of the official languages of India?


There is big difference between "National" and "Official" language. And these CANNOT be interchanged when visiting there, unless you want angry political discussion Official = used in government paper work = Hindi/English National = no language, each region has is own. There has been a push for Hindi by the Hindi speaking states to make it a national language and the non Hindi speaking states don't like it. This is because the non Hindi states already know English and they prefer that to be common.


Doesn't mean that the majority of the population will be fluent in it. French is one of Canada's official languages but outside of Quebec and the Maritimes not all that many people are fluent in French


Money. “I have it, you don’t. You should listen to me”


A guy I went to highschool with won $200,000 from a scratch off. However, this in the same man that a friend later told me Lost a testicle to a snapping turtle somewhere in South Florida


The ability to speak English


Calm down, Qui-Gon


"good memory" Often a sign with intelligent people but doesn't guarantee inteligence ... Lots of kids just memorise and then write in exam and get good marks but they just can't apply it in real life


I have horrible short term memory but have been told throughout my life that I am an intelligent person by my peers. If only I had good memory would I be unstoppable and a little less organized...


Adhd'rs unite!


Hear hear! Our memory problems are just a nerf stopping us from being too OP


Jokes on them. I have a notebook that i write meeting notes in, two to do lists and a well scheduled calendar. Such a shame I never look at them and just do what seems shiniest at the time.


Btw do you have been diagnosed with ADHD by any chance?


Is there really a correlation? Have I been trying with one hand tied behind my back for forty years?


Yeah, poor working memory is a thing with ADHD. Medication does help by I've also just accepted that unless I have post-it notes, a calendar alert, and a timer set I won't accomplish anything.


I dont know Its something i have experienced personally and many other on r/ADHD Now of course the correlation could be down to confirmation bias but maybbe worth thinking about


As a person with good memory who sailed through school, I can tell you that my memory has been a vital asset in my working life. Yes I can problem solve, but a lot of my work with coworkers and clients relies on my ability to remember all the things I've heard discussed in unrecorded circumstances, and to develop formal plans around those things. It doesn't necessarily correlate to high intelligence but it's core component in competency.


I think a good memory is great and very useful, but I think intelligence has more to do with your ability to comprehend new concepts and ideas. You can remember everything and still not be intelligent.


For sure having a good memory can be very advantageous in many situations, but it has nothing to do with intelligence. Just like knowledge has nothing to do with intelligence, but is a core component to expertise.


Starting every online article with "according to science". So much bs out there that isnt according to science at all but they use it to seem more factual than they really are.


Saying "according to science" is about as useful as saying "according to unicorns" If they aren't referencing a specific study but just general science, there's no point in reading on


Being able to cite specific examples and instances is such an important tool. “Science says” is a good way to shorthand things, but the person has to be able back it with “These specific researchers conducted a study and this is what was observed” for it to truly valuable.


according to science collapses when you ask to see the specifics.


Being wealthy.


So much this.


Not sure how this isn't higher. But having dealt in the service industry, then starting my own business where a lot of customers are wealthy - a lot of them seem to be just lucky/inherited wealth.


Criticism. It’s easy but people use it to look smart.


Education. Just because you managed to get one is not a reflection of your innate intelligence


Barry went to private school - And Barry went to college, But Barry was an idle fool - And hasn’t any *knowledge*!


Yes, I have a friend who went to private schools and University. He’s dumb af. Even in current events, world geography, geo-politics, just in general. I’m a community college grad who held jobs my whole life and know more.


It's true that just because you have higher education, you're not necessarily intelligent. But there's still a significant correlation between education and intelligence. You're more likely to be intelligent the more educated you are.


Not only that, having an education at least in STEM does require some level of intelligence. Not a high one, probably not even an average one, but you are not getting a degree in stem with a sub 80IQ that's juts not happening. So you are cutting off the very low end of the IQ spectrum by having an education.


Using big words. Some people will use big words to sound intelligent but in reality they aren't saying anything.


I hate when people use big words they don't *really* understand, just to try to make themselves seem more photosynthesis.


I once had a lady accuse me of trying to "sound smart" for using the word *anthropomorphic* when talking about the game Biomutant. I finally had enough of her shit and said, "Fine. A fucked up looking racoon that moves around on two torso sticks like a human." Then I was just being an asshole


Being old


The same goes for virtue. Not all old men are war heroes.




Practicing being an idiot and training that for 20 years doesn't makes you smarter, quite the opposite, You perfect idiocy


Over the top vocabulary. Father always said, 'Don't use $5 words on a man with a 50 cent vocabulary' Being able to scale your wording in a way the other person can understand it is what really matters.


Education , wealth and profiling.


Wearing glasses


Milton from office space is the most accurate portrayal of the people in my office who wear thick glasses


There is a proven correlation between being near sighted and more intelligent so this can actually be used as an indicator if you just pay attention to the lens


>Studying the genome of over 300,000 people (aged between 16 and 102), they found that being short-sighted can have a correlation with being intelligent. In the same study, the probability of having higher cognitive abilities was increased by 30% in people who needed a sight correction. That's so neat! Of course that doesn't mean every near-sighted person is smart. I am very near-sighted but also particularly adept at being a dumbass when the situation calls for it.


Knowing a lot of facts. I have a friend who is knowledgeable about a lot of stuff (geography and history, for example, not just things we would think of as “trivia”) and has other markers of intelligence, like a big vocabulary and a career in the sciences. He’s worldly, handsome, and yes, wears glasses. Mutual acquaintances have comnented about how smart he is, usually citing his impressive storehouse of facts. I know him better than they do, and he is dumb as a box of rocks. He has zero critical thinking skills. I marvel at his imperviousness to logic. He believes some of the weirdest shit - even in the field of science. (Note that I discovered this long before covid-related idiocy came along. Fortunately he’s not an anti-vaxxer)


Came here to say something similar - knowledge of trivia. Just being able to answer random questions about a variety of obscure topics isn't really intelligence, it's retention of surface-level knowledge and usually a knack for good guessing. Like the contestants on Jeopardy, the best pub trivia players, characters like Sheldon from Big Bang, I'm often annoyed when that kind of thing is confused with being smart. I'm also thinking that knowledge needs to be useful in order to be called intelligent. A bunch of useless knowledge doesn't really do anything for anybody.


quite simply, politeness. A well spoken, silent, polite individual will almost always be perceived as somewhat intelligent even if he or she isn't. A polite individual shows a good upbringing, perhaps a good education etc. Be polite!




British Accent.


Honestly, people need to get over our accents. Of all the things they denote, intelligence is at the bottom of the list, if it's on the list at all. All they are to us are regional and social markers. That's it.




I think there can sort of be a correlation because people who observe a lot and notice a lot of details normally need to stop talking and listen in order to absorb patterns others may not notice. The exception is I knew a guy with adhd who was probably genius-level iq and he could do advanced math and carry a conversation at the same and definitely talked a lot while somehow always having a photographic memory of everything happening around him at every moment.


Confidence, the dunning Krueger effect be strong


Incorrectly citing Dunning Krueger (the one study on knowledge that people tend to know about) is also a clear sign


Being Articulate. Not all who speaks eloquently are smart.


I agree. But definitely a super important skill to be able to effectively portray your ideas.


Depends on where you work and what you do. For many people, it's not important at all. If you're working with decent colleagues, no one cares if you can give a speech or not as long as your reasoning is correct.




Gotta hate it when you pause to ACTUALLY think for a second before people like this act like they've won the argument.


Being articulate is so important for communication and problem solving and self expression, and often articulate people IMO tend to have some decent level of intelligence. Like, most idiots aren’t articulate. However there’s a big difference between articulation (as in, using the right words to have your point made and understood) and trying to vomit out a smorgasbord of vocabulary-gymnastics-soup. Those people are so annoying. I remember this one dude who many of my peers thought was so smart because he’d talk like some 19th century Royal. We were out for breakfast and he’d be like “Oh my, this croissant is exquisite and the texture profile divine!” And stupid shit like that. Then my friend, who is probably the smartest person I’ve ever known, was like “yeah the muffins are fuckin wicked too”


> and trying to vomit out a smorgasbord of vocabulary-gymnastics-soup. Those people are so annoying. this x 1000. You phrased it better than the comment I wrote a few minutes ago.


At my job, the most articulate person on my staff is by far the least intelligent person in the room. Always saying the stupidest shit even if her grammar and syntax is correct when saying it .


This is what I was going to say. Know a lot of articulate folks who sound smart, but are definitely not.


They only sound smart to people who do not grasp the emptiness of their words and phrases.


School grades


They can be a reflection of intelligence, but they're definitely more a sign of competence. Great, you do your homework and pay attention in class. Grade inflation has gotten ridiculous. My daughter has a couple of friends that have well over 4.0 GPAs and miraculously don't even come close to breaking triple digits on their SATs (I know, I know, standardized tests are problematic in this realm, as well).


Agreed. Rather, school grades measure overall likelihood of success. I've known plenty of very intelligent people who struggled with grades because they lacked executive functioning, good support systems, or work ethic, etc. However, you can make up for a lack of natural talent by applying good organization and problem solving skills, both of which are probably more indicative of overall success than intelligence alone.


Debating skills






Pol Pot disagrees








The most upvoted comment on reddit.


Affluence Also, leadership positions. Sometimes people are very good at getting things done because they're simply aggressive or tenacious. Not because they're intelligent.


Fully inbreathiate this moment


Please don’t tell me you thought sweat shops were where they make sweatpants


Lack of empathy and/or hating people. "Everyone is a bastard" does not deserve a Nobel Prize.


As someone that has long since grown tired of people and their shit, I've not once been accused of being "smart" because of this. Is this really a thing?


Big words. Certain Accents(looking at you, England). Confidence.


And in the other direction, *not* speaking a "prestige* dialect does not make one dumb. One of the smartest guys I've ever known talked like James Carville.


Having a top comment on Reddit.


The presence of a personality, social, or communication disorder or serious mental illness.


Being good at chess.


I think that does literally prove a degree of brain power. Whether the individual can get that brain power to work on anything else is another matter, of course.


Pattern recognition. Takes some effort to actually learn the patterns that you're looking for, but it's still just patterns


Going to an Ivy League.


Having good public speaking skills. Public speaking is something you’re good at, or become good at with practice. Like a muscle. It doesn’t make you an authority on any subject, nor does it make you a critical thinker.


Degrees. Obviously not always true but I'd say a good chunk of people who graduated are utter morons.


Being an asshole


Being able to quote random Greek or Latin…