There are many misconceptions about intelligence that can lead to confusion and misinformation. In this article, we will explore 12 of the most common misconceptions about intelligence according to our favorite Redditors. 

Whether you are a student, a teacher, a parent, or simply someone who is interested in the topic, understanding the truth about intelligence is important in order to make informed decisions and avoid being misled.

Let’s start: 

1. Confidence

Confidence can often be mistaken as a sign of intelligence. 

Confidence/arrogance for sure. One incident I can give is someone years ago who confidently replied 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.” shared one. 


2. Well Spoken 

Well spoken.

You can be perceived as intelligent if you’re confident and well spoken, even if everything you’re saying is senseless. Where as even if you’re a subject matter expert, if you cannot communicate it clearly you’re dismissed as bumbling.” shared one. 

So true. 


3. People Who Can Recall Stuff

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.” shared one. 

“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” shared another.

Personally, I have fallen for this one. 


4. Humility 

“Also, humility. Being or not being humble or arrogant has only a tangential relation to intelligence.” shared one.


5. Money

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

Money can sometimes be perceived as a sign of intelligence, as individuals who are financially successful are often assumed to be intelligent and smart. However, this is necessarily true as intelligence and wealth may not be directly related. 


6. Contrarian 

A user shared “Being a contrarian. Disagreeing with everything is as lazy as believing everything.” 


7. Remaining Silent

Silence can sometimes be viewed as a sign of intelligence, as individuals who are quiet and reserved may be perceived as thoughtful and wise.

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


8. Too Much Talking 

I also know people who never stop talking who don’t have much going on up there.” said one. 

Individuals who speak frequently and fluently may be assumed to be knowledgeable and smart. However, this is not always the case, as intelligence and the ability to speak are not directly related.


9. Ability to Speak In English

The ability to speak English” said one.

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


10. Long Winged Terminology

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.” shared a user. 

As rightly said by Richard Feynman, “If you cannot explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it.” 


11. Fast Talking

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.” shared one. 


12. Education

Education can often be mistaken as a sign of intelligence, as individuals who have achieved a high level of education are often assumed to be intelligent.

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

We hope you enjoyed the top picks of this Reddit discussion on what’s often incorrectly perceived as a sign of intelligence?. Do read about 10 American Quirks That Americans Think Are Typical, But Aren’t.

This article originally appeared on Mrs Daaku Studio

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