15 Science-Backed Tricks To Instantly Seem Smart

Step one: Put your glasses on. Flickr/Jim Fischer

Some people are smarter than others — intelligence, scientists believe, is the result of a combination of complex factors, including everything from our genetics to the environments in which we grow up.

But that doesn't mean anyone can't appear to look more intelligent than they actually may be.

In fact, there are plenty of science-backed ways to convince others that you're a modern-day Einstein as soon as you meet them.

We rounded up 15 of them so you can impress your boss and buddies with your seeming brainpower.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

1. Walk at the same speed as everybody else

A study led by Boston University marketing professor Carey Morewedge found that if you walk faster — or slower — than the people around you, they might think you're stupid.

For the study, 49 undergrads watched films of three different people walking at either slower-than-average, average, or faster-than-average speed. Then they indicated how competent and intelligent that person appeared.

Results showed that people were perceived as smarter and more competent when they moved at the same speed as everyone else.

Flickr / Jim Fischer

2. Put on thick glasses

Research suggests that if you're wearing glasses, you'll appear less attractive but more intelligent.

In one small study, researchers at the University of Vienna had 76 participants look at 78 images of faces — some without glasses, some with full-rim glasses, and some with rimless glasses — and rate them on a number of traits, including intelligence and attractiveness.

According to the researchers' findings, people wearing glasses — rimless or with rims — were rated as more intelligent than people without glasses. Yet those without glasses were seen as more attractive than those with full-rim spectacles.

Go hipster, look smart.

REUTERS/Michael Dalder

3. If you're going to hold something, make it something other than a beer

People often do idiotic things after they've had too many drinks.

No wonder that even holding a beer can make you look less intelligent, according to a joint study by the Universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania.

"People who hold an alcoholic beverage are perceived to be less intelligent than those who do not, a mistake we term the imbibing idiot bias," write authors Scott Rick and Maurice Schweitzer.

In one of five experiments the researchers conducted, 300 managers saw photographs and read transcripts from a hypothetical dinner interview. Results showed that the managers perceived the candidates who ordered wine instead of soda as significantly less intelligent and less hirable.

Tony Tomsic / Getty

4. Use a middle initial

It'll make you seem intellectual.

"People's middle initials have a particular and powerful effect on how people are perceived by others," say psychologists Wijnand A.P. Van Tilburg of the University of Southampton and Eric R. Igou of the University of Limerick.

"The display of middle initials increases the perceived social status of these people," they write in the European Journal of Social Psychology, and it "positively biases inferences about their intellectual capacity and performance."

The researchers reached these conclusions by combining seven studies on middle initials. In one study, 85 students were asked to read an essay about Einstein's theory of relativity and rate it on quality. The author of the essay was presented with a range of names: "David Clark," "David F. Clark," "David F.P. Clark," and "David F.P.R. Clark."

As it turns out, "David F. Clark" outdid "David Clark," while "David F.P.R. Clark" received the most rave reviews.

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