10 Tricks That Make You Seem Much Smarter Than You Are

10 Tricks That Make You Appear Much Smarter Than You Are 10 Be a Critic This doesn’t bode well for the comments section, but a 2007 study from Michigan State University and Central Michigan University found that being hypercritical is a great way to boost your perceived IQ

Researchers separated participants into three groups, one in which they were told to ‘appear smarter’, one where they were told to be ‘well liked’ and a third control group with no instructions Participants were then asked to pick a film and assess it Those asked to look smarter intentionally picked films they considered to be worse so they could more easily criticize them, already indicating an association within our society of criticism and intelligence This decision was proven right by the result, where those who rated the film worse, regardless of their group, were rated as more intelligent by fellow participants than those with more neutral opinions 9

Use a Middle Initial What’s in a name? Well according to Psychologists Dr Van Tilburg and Dr Igou, it could be a lot In their 2014 study ‘The Impact of Middle Names’, they showed four different groups of participants the same academic passage on Einstein's Theory of relativity, but gave each group a different version of the author’s name on the cover When participants were asked to rate the writing quality of the passage and the perceived intelligence of the author, papers with the name ‘David Clark’ on them scored the lowest for both qualities

These scores improved in the group where ‘David F Clark’ was credited, and the highest overall scores for each rating were given to papers by ‘David F P R Clark’

This study was corroborated by another which asked people to pick teammates for a competition, either academic or athletic The number of middle initials positively correlated with a participant's likeliness to be selected for the academic competition, but negatively correlated with their chances of being picked for the athletic one And if being picked last for a sports team isn’t a sign of intelligence then what is? 8 Don’t Have Piercings What you do with your face is your choice, but according to 2012 research by Professor Viren Swami [Vih-ren Swah-mee] at Anglia Ruskin University, a surefire way to make yourself look less intelligent to others is to get a facial piercing Researchers showed 440 participants photos of men and women with varying amounts of facial piercings, then asked them to rate each in terms of their intelligence and attractiveness

Younger, more liberal participants were more likely to judge pierced faces as more intelligent than their older, more conservative counterparts However, regardless of the age of the judge, piercings were generally perceived as making people both less attractive and intelligent The photos with the most piercings ultimately received the lowest overall ratings, although on average, men with piercings were judged more harshly than women with the same amount 7 Make Eye Contact In 2007 an experiment out of Brandeis [Brand-eyes] University suggested that we judge maintained eye contact as a strong indicator of higher intelligence, both consciously and unconsciously

The experiment split 182 undergraduates into pairs to discuss a preassigned topic, and instructed one to act smart and competent, while the other was given no instruction Of the people who were told to act smart, one technique that 100% of participants used at one point was to maintain eye contact, indicating that it may be universally perceived as an intelligent act Furthermore, when each participant was asked to rate the intelligence of the other, the only behavior that consistently correlated with a higher intelligence rating for both partners was holding their eye 6 Be a Leader Despite research commonly linking high intelligence with introversion, our perception of clever people is usually more extroverted and willing to take control of a situation, as evidenced by a 2002 study into leadership and perceived intelligence

The joint study from three US universities told 350 undergraduates that they were managers in a hypothetical computer company, and asked them to attend a hypothetical budget meeting with fellow students Afterwards, the students were asked to rate each group member on their intelligence and identify those who stood out as leaders The results showed a strong correlation between perceived leadership and ratings of intelligence, despite the fact there was only a moderate correlation between leadership and actual intelligence 5 Be Funny On a date, a joke can be a great way to break the ice

But it also turns out that, for a male at least, it can be a great way to look cleverer to the opposite sex – although only if it’s funny A 2010 study from the University of Southern Brittany asked a group of women to rate a list of inoffensive jokes to determine the funniest From this, male participants were asked to tell the funniest jokes to friends at a bar, while a female participant who hadn’t heard the jokes sat nearby Afterwards the men approached the woman to ask for her number, before she rated them each on their attractiveness and intelligence The men who told a joke were rated on average as more intelligent by 3% than those who hadn’t

Interestingly, the telling of a joke also made men 3 times as likely to get the woman’s number 4 Put Your Beer Down After a drink or two, most of us will start to feel a lot smarter than we actually are, even though the opposite is true the more alcohol you drink But as it happens, before you even take a sip, just the act of holding an alcoholic drink can make you look less intelligent This was the conclusion reached in 2012 by researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania, after five separate experiments were conducted into the subject

Using photos, they found that an actor holding a beer was judged by participants as ‘significantly less intelligent’ than one with a glass of water, a phenomenon they coined as ‘the Imbibing Idiot Bias’ The final experiment tested the theory in a real-life situation by having participants attend a staged job interview and order either wine or coke While participants believed that ordering wine would make them look smarter, those hiring them believed in consensus that ordering wine made them appear less smart and less suitable for hire 3 Write Simply A 2012 study from Princeton university, ironically titled ""Consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity"" found that using a simpler vocabulary could actually help your perceived intelligence

In the study, participants were given one of two sociological essays Each were practically the same, except in the second, every word of 9 letters or more was replaced with its second shortest entry in the Microsoft Word 2000 thesaurus 35 Stanford University undergraduates were then asked to rate the paper’s complexity and the intelligence of its author While the ‘simpler’ paper was rated as less complex, its author was perceived on average as being more intelligent Researchers suggested that this was because of the level of confidence with which people use shorter words, while we often suspect people using longer words aren’t completely sure of their meaning

2 Walk at a Normal Speed As most of these entries indicate, following the crowd isn’t always the most successful way to come across as smart, but in a physical sense it may be your best option This is according to a study led by Boston University marketing professor Carey Morewedge The 2007 study showed 49 undergraduates three films of different people walking at different speeds: slower-than-average, average, or faster-than-average, then asked them to indicate how competent and intelligent that person seemed The results showed that the person who walked closest to the average walking speed of about 5 kilometers per hour were perceived as both smarter and more competent than when they moved slower or faster

It was suggested these results came from participants projecting judgements onto the people, such as lazy for slow walkers or running late for fast walkers, which may have influenced wider perceptions of intelligence 1 Don’t Curse Research has frequently dispelled the myth that increased cursing has any effect on intelligence, with several studies even indicating that it correlates with a better grasp of language But the effects of this misinformation are clear, and studies suggest that curbing your potty mouth is actually a good way to come across as smarter The market research company Harris Interactive surveyed 5,800 hiring managers and workers, to gauge their attitudes toward individuals who curse

From this, they found that 54% thought cursing made people seem less intelligent That number rose to 81% for those who thought it made people appear less professional, 71% for less in control and 68% for less mature That was 10 Tricks to Make You Appear Much Smarter Than You Are Which ones are you going to try? Do you know any more? Let us know in the comments and make sure to like and subscribe While you’re at it, check out this great Alltime10s video on screen now

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