One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.
This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.
The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.
“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”
Reddit user Gisgiii posed a question to the AskReddit subforum “What is a subtle sign that someone is really intelligent?” and the answers painted a clear picture of how smart people behave. They tend to be great communicators who understand their audience and are more concerned with getting things right than being right.
Here are 18 of the best answers.
1. They draw wisdom from multiple sources.
"They draw wisdom from multiple sources. Wait but that might be more wise than intelligent... But I guess those two tend to be seen together a lot," — Puzzlehead-Engineer
2. They know their audience.
"They can switch up the way they talk to match the person they're talking to without sounding condescending. They listen to how others learn and explain it in that person's language of understanding," — Wynonna99
3. They develop a keen sense for their job.
"I used to work with a doctor - Tom Howard - and the day I realized he was a genius was the time he guessed every single condition a patient of mine had based on minute pieces of information about him," — Yodei_Mon
"They are curious about everything. To be intelligent you need to be knowledgeable and you can't be knowledgeable if you are never curious," — soup54461
5. They're great at conveying ideas.
"When they explain something they make you feel intelligent," — gwoshmi
6. Considerate questions.
"They spend time thinking before asking a question," — ParkMan73
7. They make hard ideas simple.
"They effortlessly communicate complex concepts in a simple way," — joculator
8. They know what they don't know.
"They know when their knowledge ends and say something to the extent of 'i don't know and anything else i say on this topic is ignorant speculation,'" — blutoboy
9. They ask great questions.
"They can ask really good questions."
"Edit: to anyone not understanding what mean, I’m talking about people who ask “really good questions”, not just any questions, really good ones. I don’t know how one would achieve this skill(I know I haven’t)," — milkmanbran
10. They don't pretend to know everything.
"They aren’t afraid to say they don’t know the answer to a question," — xchernx
11. They change their minds with new information.
"They admit to changing their mind about something," — FarAwayAdventure
12. They pivot well.
"They apply knowledge from one realm into a new and relevant situation," — soubestitch
13. They are open-minded.
"They can genuinely consider an idea which opposes their worldview without necessarily accepting it," — paidshill29
14. They use analogies.
"People who use analogies to explain concepts to others. It’s a form of code-switching and integrating concepts on the fly and is a clear indicator someone is both socially and conceptually intelligent," — SwimmerAutomatic2488
15. They don't argue.
"I think intelligent people are more willing to calmly debate/discuss, rather than argue. Like, you explain to them why you disagree, and they listen to you and ask further questions about your viewpoint before offering a different perspective; as opposed to an unintelligent person, who would just resort to insults when other people disagree with them," — AngelicCinnamonBun
16. They learn from mistakes.
"Admitting when they're wrong and being willing to learn from mistakes," — siyl1979
17. A sense of humor.
"Humor. I think that truly funny people are often very smart and cognizant of the different ways an idea can be humorous on several levels. They also know their audience. I think the difference between say a Jeff Foxworthy and a Dave Chappelle and a Bo Burnham is their audience and their interests," — biscuitboi967
18. A love of learning.
"They say they love learning and they learn something new every day. Then they listen more than talk," — throwingplaydough
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Most of us spend our lives understanding that there is a certain order to nature. We have prey and we have predators, and some predators, like big cats in the wild, sit at the top of the chain, feared by all.
So when a big honking mountain lion, also known as a cougar or a puma, shows up on your property, it's normal to be concerned—especially if you have pets that spend time outside. Most people would find themselves sweating a bit if a cougar showed up at their door, even with a thick pane of glass between them and the big kitty. Most animals would, too, if they understood the danger of what they were looking at.
But Dash the tiny doggo is not most animals.
Dash is delighting the masses with his reaction to a mountain lion that paid his house a visit in Colorado recently. In a video shared by Sarah Bole on Facebook and then reshared on Twitter, Dash sits right up against the glass door, cool as a cucumber, as the cougar approaches. Even when the lion taps the glass with its formidable paw, Dash stands his ground, totally unfazed. While you can hear the panic in his human's voice, Dash just sits there wagging his tail.
"I came home from work tonight and walked to see this on the patio. Watch the whole thing as the lion taps the glass. Pardon my language and shaking voice. I was shitting my pants." - Sarah Bolepic.twitter.com/tKpfNLoJbY— Reesus Patriot (@Reesus Patriot) 1638735751
Is Dash a brave badass? Is he lonely and thought he'd found a new friend? Is he terrified on the inside but playing it cool to protect his castle? Who knows?
There's so much to love here. It's the tail wag. And the casual stare as the cat approaches. And then the "I'm not looking at you, I'm just staring out the window" bit. And then the barking and growling that only came after the cougar walked away. Absolutely hilarious.
Dash is a friggin' hero. His poor human was distraught, and Dash just exuded calm confidence that that cougar was not gonna get him. His human kept telling him to get back, and he was absolutely not having it. You can almost hear him saying, "Shush, human! I've got this."
You do got this, Dash. Clearly. That cougar didn't even know what to do with you. If you can't beat a predator, confuse them to make them think you're not prey, right?
(Also, let's hope that owner had those door handles locked and considers changing to a round doorknob instead. The only real danger here is if kitty cat had reached up and pulled down on the lever of the door handle, which domestic cats have been known to figure out how to to do.)
Now we just need to give the little puppers a neckerchief that says, "Dash don't dash."
Or maybe just "Here kitty kitty."
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One dad who decided to go clubbing with his daughter is making our day while having the night out of his life.
Talia Schulhof (aka @taliasc) had to know she had all the makings of a viral-worthy TikTok when she posted:
“My dad wanted to go to a club so here’s how it went.”
If she didn’t know before, the now 10 million views are a sure indicator. People are loving this adorably wholesome video.
@taliasc flash warning!!! @taliascdad iconic to say the least #madrid #espana #spain #clubbing #nightlife #dadsoftiktok ♬ Low (feat. T-Pain) - Flo Rida
Dad’s ultra cool club attire consists of square rim glasses, a button-up top, and, of course, a gilet (because as we all know, the club is a notoriously chilly place).
The ensemble was, undoubtedly, a hit.
“You let him go with a vest on? Let some of the other guys have a chance,” one person wrote.
After doing the “classic dad overview of the scene” and snapping a quick selfie for the family group chat, he’s ready to party. And by party, I mean he’s ready to sip Diet Coke while the rest of the group downs tequila shots.
Flo Rida’s club classic “Apple Bottom Jeans” plays in the background, to which dad knows every lyric. He’s even seen fist pumping while checking work emails. That’s about as “dad lit” as it gets.
The last thing we see is him dancing out of the exit, which Talia explains is to “remind everyone that he’s the main character.” TikTok seems to agree. One user joked: “He is the main character and we are just living in his world.”
Finding the video oddly … relatable? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people in the comments had the same epiphany.
“The work emails LMAO that’s me writing discussion posts at like 11:40 while I’m out partying.”
“But that’s literally me at the club... am I? Am I? A dad??”
Talia wrote in the comments that her dad was so excited his video outperformed her mom’s (yes, she was at the club too), because apparently whenever Talia posts family videos, mom wins.
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