8 Personality Traits of Highly Intelligent People (Backed by Science)

5. They like their own company.

Richard He points out that highly intelligent people tend to be “very individualistic.”

Interestingly, recent research suggests smarter people tend to derive less satisfaction than most people do from socializing with friends.

6. They have high self-control.

Zoher Ali writes smart people are able to overcome impulsiveness by “planning, clarifying goals, exploring alternative strategies, and considering consequences before [they] begin.”

Scientists have found a link between self-control and intelligence. In one 2009 study, participants had to choose between two financial rewards: a smaller payout immediately or a larger payout at a later date.

Results showed that participants who chose the larger payout at a later date — i.e., those who had more self-control — generally scored higher on intelligence tests.

The researchers behind that study say one area of the brain — the anterior prefrontal cortex — might play a role in helping people solve tough problems and demonstrate self-control while working toward goals.

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