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    People Are Sharing The "Signs" Of Someone Being Intelligent That Actually Don't Mean That You're Smart

    "People use the phrase 'according to science' to seem more factual and intelligent than they really are."

    From "gifted kids" to Glass Onion, society has been challenging our default assumptions about what intelligence is for years now.

    Recently, u/Ningerbreadman asked, "What's often incorrectly perceived as a sign of intelligence?" Here are some of the best responses:

    1. "Being a contrarian. Disagreeing with everything is as lazy as believing everything."

    graphic of someone opposing a group

    2. "Good memory. It can be a sign of intelligence, but not a guarantee. Lots of kids just memorize facts and get good grades, but they can't apply those facts to real life."

    graphic of a brain lifting weights

    3. "Money. 'I have it, you don’t. Therefore, you should listen to me.'"

    older woman fanning out $100 bills

    4. "Confidence and arrogance. A guy confidently yelled at me that he knew what confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance are in a disagreement. I asked him to explain them for the group, since they may not know. He almost dissolved in embarrassment because he didn't actually understand the concepts."

    person adjusting their tie

    5. "Fast talking. People often assume I'm intelligent because I speak fast."

    person with post-its stuck to them as they sit and write. more out at their desk

    6. "I’m a Ph.D. student, and one that really irks me is using academic jargon and long-winded terminology. Just because you know a couple fancy words doesn’t mean you’re intelligent. It is usually an indication of the opposite. 'If you can’t explain it to a ten-year-old, you’re not that clever' is what I’ve told undergraduate classes before."

    stacks of dictionaries

    7. "Criticism. It’s easy to dole out, so people use it to look smart."

    mom scolding daughter

    8. "The simple fact that somebody has a YouTube channel. All of a sudden, they are seen as an authority on a subject."

    graphic of a computer

    9. "Starting a thought or article with 'according to science.' There's so much bullshit out there that isn't 'according to science' at all, but people use the phrase to seem more factual than they really are."


    10. "Using big words. Some people will use big words to sound intelligent, but in reality they aren't saying anything at all."

    dictionary entry for inflation

    11. "Education. Just because you managed to get good grades or a degree is not a reflection of your intelligence."

    graduatoin cap

    12. "I have a friend who is knowledgeable about a lot of topics, and people have commented how smart he is because of his impressive trivia knowledge. I know him better than they do, and he is dumb as a box of rocks. He has zero critical thinking skills. I marvel at his imperviousness to logic. He believes some of the weirdest shit — even in the field of science. Fortunately, he’s not an anti-vaxxer."

    person putting on a tie

    13. "In India, intelligence is judged by fluency in English."

    kid practicing writing his letters

    14. "Wearing glasses."


    15. "Debate skills. Just because you're good at arguing doesn't mean you're smart."

    person at a podium

    16. "Having a British accent."

    kid holding the england and usa flag

    17. "Being good at chess."

    chess board

    18. "Being articulate. Not all who speak eloquently are smart."

    person speaking on stage

    19. "People in leadership positions. Sometimes someone is very good at getting things done because they're aggressive or tenacious, not because they're intelligent."

    person standing over a guy in a cubicle

    20. "Being old."

    older man

    H/T r/AskReddit

    Some replies have been edited for length and clarity.

    What do you think? Let us know in the comments! 🧠👇