The Personality Trait That Indicates High IQ

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Higher IQ scores are linked to
better jobs, higher income and more years of education.
People who are highly
motivated score better on IQ tests, research reveals.
However, those who score lower
on IQ test may simply be less motivated to complete the test.
Motivation could be a better
predictor of success in life than IQ tests, the psychologists suggest.
In other words, what an IQ
test is partly measuring is how well you want to do on an IQ test.
People with this motivation to
succeed on an IQ test will also succeed in other areas of life.
When given an incentive to do
well on an IQ test, those with lower scores improve dramatically, research has
For the study, adolescents
boys were observed taking an IQ test.
People watched the video and
decided who was motivated based on whether they appeared to rush the test or
skip questions.
The results showed that
motivated boys got higher scores.
Angela Duckworth, the study’s first author, said:
“IQ scores are absolutely
predictive of long-term outcomes. But what our study questions is whether
that’s entirely because smarter people do better in life than other people or
whether part of the predictive power coming from test motivation. Could it be
that part of the reason doing well on this test predicts future success is
because the kinds of traits that would result in you doing well –compliance
with authority, self-control, attentiveness, competitiveness — are traits that
also help you in life? This means that for people who get high IQ scores, they
probably try hard and are intelligent. But for people who get low scores, it
can be an absence of either or both of those traits.”
The study was published in the
journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Duckworth et al.,
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.