You probably consider yourself pretty smart, right? You don’t need to fit the image of the typical nerdy bookworm to have tons of intelligence, and a new study proves it. Research has consistently found that brainiacs tend to stay up later, keep their spaces messier, and curse like sailors. Sound like you? You’re in luck.
People with potty mouths know their way around words. According to research published in the journal Language Sciences, people who go around effin’ this and effin’ that (as my mom used to say) have actually been shown to have a much larger vocab than people who don’t let out some foul-mouthed rants at times. While some people believe that cursing shows a lack of intelligence, science proves that’s not true. It’s not that we don’t know other ways to express ourselves, we just like using this one.
The later you stay up at night, the smarter you are. While you would think that “early to bed, early to rise” could be the secret to smart people’s success, studies have shown that night owls tend to have higher brainpower. According to research, people who had “very dull” IQs went to bed around 11:30 p.m. while those who are “very bright” stayed up roughly an hour later. Not a massive time difference, but worth considering.
A little mess is good for the brain. A study by the University of Minnesota showed that people who had messier desks and work/living spaces tend to be more creative and unconstrained by tradition. Creativity is certainly a massive part of intelligence, so it makes sense that people who have a tough time tidying up might have a mental advantage in this regard.
Of course, there is a caveat… It’s worth mentioning that cleaner people come out ahead in different ways. “Prior work has found that a clean setting leads people to do good things: Not engage in crime, not litter, and show more generosity,” explained lead author Kathleen Vohs. “We found, however, that you can get really valuable outcomes from being in a messy setting.”
There are many different ways of measuring intelligence. While all the data here is really encouraging, that’s not to say that all foul-mouthed slobs among us are going to be modern-day Einstein’s, just as not all tidy people on strict routines are going to be total dummies who need to loosen up. There are advantages to each approach to life, though it is encouraging that those of us who often feel like a mess are a little more awesome than we thought.
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