How Can You Distinguish Intelligent People and Pretenders?

Intelligent people normally don’t want to or have to prove that they’re smart, unless they have specific experiences that have caused them to doubt their intellect. Intellect is an innate characteristic which breeds certain personality traits.

A big giveaway that someone is pretending to be intelligent is an outright lack of curiosity. You can talk yourself up all you want, but if you don’t crave stimulation, that’s an indication that you’re not actually intelligent and don’t even truly understand what it means to be intelligent.

That’s the drawback of intelligence, a normal life just isn’t satisfying. The person sitting around watching soap operas and boasting about their intellect is basically contradicting themself.

In addition to such qualitative, personal factors, various neuro-diverse characteristics – such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Dyslexia, Anxiety Disorder and Mood Disorders – are relatively common. Psychotic Disorders such as Schizophrenia are actually negatively correlated with IQ scores, while social anxiety is positively correlated. Interestingly, there’s also a correlation between lower verbal IQ scores and childhood PTSD, whereas IQ is a protective factor against PTSD overall. I personally hypothesize that this may be related to brain damage.

An important rule of thumb to remember is that smart is a term that can be applied to anybody that is proficient at a skill, while intelligent refers to one’s ability to cognitively adapt to their environment. Intelligence feeds into “smartness”, but they aren’t synonymous.

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What Is An IQ Score?

IQ scaleInterpretation of IQ score% of population
above 130Very Superior2.1%
111-120Above average intelligence15.7%
90-110Average intelligence51.6%
80-89Below average intelligence15.7%
70-79Cognitively impaired6.4%

An IQ test score is a psychometric score calculated based upon a norm group with an average score of 100 and the most common standard deviations of 15 or 16. The standard deviation is a measure of range, in this case it refers to a range of IQ scores. A standard devation of 15 means 68% of the norm group has scored between 85 (100 – 15) and 115 (100 + 15). In other words, 68% of the norm group has a score within one standard deviation of the average (100).

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