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Don’t Be Fooled by These 12 Things: They Don’t Mean You’re Smart

Intelligence is a complex concept, and there are many misconceptions about it that can lead to confusion and misinformation. In this article, we will explore 12 of the most common misconceptions about intelligence, as shared by Redditors.

Whether you are a student, a teacher, a parent, or simply someone who is interested in the topic, it is important to understand the truth about intelligence. This is because intelligence is a factor that can influence many aspects of our lives, including our academic success, our career choices, and our relationships.

Let’s start: 

1. Confidence

I'm sorry, I have no idea man.

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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 

confused woman

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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


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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 


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


5. Money

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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 

Unsure confused doubtful European woman with long curly hair in grey casual t-shirt shrugging shoulders in questioning gesture of uncertainty and keeping mouth opened,having confused clueless look.

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


7. Remaining Silent

Close up photo of upset pretty lady wear trendy blue clothes arm face demonstrates no answer help isolated on pink color background.

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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 

Young ginger caucasian woman isolated on blue background being shocked due to an imminent danger

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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

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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

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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

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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

confused woman 1

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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. 

Source: Reddit discussion

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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.