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“He knew what I did for a living, because I listed it on my profile.But he made a comment about something in my field, and I responded with some information from a research paper I had just published,” she told me.As Jim Winer writes, intelligent people "are not afraid to say: 'I don't know.' If they don't know it, they can learn it." Winer's observation is backed up by a classic study by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, which found that the less intelligent you are, the more you overestimate your cognitive abilities.In one experiment, for example, students who'd scored in the lowest quartile on a test adapted from the LSAT overestimated the number of questions they'd gotten right by nearly 50%.
The smartest folks are able to admit when they aren't familiar with a particular concept.Not all, but many men are only comfortable when they can have the last word.These alpha types might seek to avoid partners who compete with them intellectually, looking instead for someone to bolster their ego, rather than destroy it.Over on Quora, more than 100 people have answered the question "What are the common traits of highly intelligent people?" Some users claim to know from personal experience; others are just taking an educated guess.