Science & Tech

Swearing, staying up too late and being messy are signs of high intelligence

Picture: Alex Wong /Getty
Picture: Alex Wong /Getty

Scientists have identified staying up late as a characteristic common to intelligent people. They also identified the amount someone swears and their level of tidiness as a good indicator of braininess.

All nighters

Being a night owl is one attribute of famous clever clogs such as president Obama, sir Winston Churchill, and Marcel Proust. A study published in Psychology Today found that more intelligent children grow up to be more nocturnal adults. Another study found that while night owls were out performed at school by early risers, they tended to be more successful in later life. So while you may have heavy bags under your eyes at the dawn of your life, by its midnight you'll be firing on all cylinders.

Bad language

The idea that swearing is a sign of a limited vocabulary or lack of intelligence has been debunked by a new study published in Language Sciences which aims to deconstruct the 'poverty-of-vocabulary myth'. Essentially, the paper found that the reason some people swear more than others is not because they can't think of another word. In fact the opposite. A series of vocabulary and emotional tests established that 'fluency is fluency', and those who shared emotional characteristics with intelligent people were also the most profane.

Essentially, Malcolm Tucker is the smartest character on the Thick of It, and that's because he is the all-swearing-eye.

Organised chaos

Untidy handwriting is a well known mark of intelligence, often cited in reference to Albert Einstein. Now smart people can blame their big brains for the clutter and mess covering their desks. A study by the University of Minnesota stated that an unwillingness to tidy up was a sign that a person's mind was on other things. It also found that a disorderly environment was better for one's creativity than an ordered one, which tended to perturb people from thinking originally.

Picture: RomarioIen/iStock

Hooray! These three bad habits can now be worn as badges of honour. If only drinking, smoking, and eating garlic bread were also signs of intelligence. Come on science, help a brother out.

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