Photo cred - TheWolfOfWallStreet

When we imagine smart people, we tend to picture an innocent looking person with thick glasses who never goes out and spends all their time studying. But research has shown that our image of smart people and their habits is pretty distorted.

As it turns out, the people who engage in deviant activities such as staying out late, doing drugs and having sex, show on average a higher level of intelligence and a higher IQ.

What these three behaviors have in common is that the fact that they are novel behaviors, which are actions that go against the norms of society. Going against the norm is an evolutionary advantage because it helps expand our knowledge and problem solving abilities, in a way your brain is being pushed out of its comfort zone in order to evolve.


Photo cred - WebMD

Staying Up Late

The first study explored sleep patterns and found that smarter people tend go to bed on average 30 minutes later than the rest of the population. This means there is a direct link between having an elevated IQ and having non-traditional sleep cycles.

The study suggests that if you have a habit of staying up late, you should use that time to pursue creative projects instead of forcing yourself to got to sleep later.


Photo cred - TheGuardian

Drug Use

The second study was about drug use. Although a lower IQ is associated with a higher percentage of smoking and drinking, studies have shown that people with higher IQs are more likely to experiment with psychoactive drugs. Which means the old hippie cliche of using drugs to 'expand your mind' might not be all that crazy.


Having More Sex

The third study explored sexual habits.  It found that intelligent people tend to go against the evolutionary norm which in this case would be to get married in order to have children. The correlation is linked to the fact that people of higher intelligence are more open minded and choose not to follow social convention. They are more experimental and therefore more likely to remain single to keep their sex options open. The sexual morals we have today are based on older beliefs and traditions which intelligent can see past because they see their own satisfaction and happiness as a priority.


Now before you decide to go out all night while consuming amphetamines and having lots of sex with several partners, consider that engaging in these activities won't make you smarter. It only means that the people who show higher levels of intelligence during their childhood are more likely to engage in these activities.

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