Kids Obsessed With Dinosaurs Are Smarter Than Others. Can you distinguish a Ceratosaurus from an Allosaurus? Yeah, me neither! But there are kids who easily could!
And they’d love nothing more than to tell you all kinds of interesting stuff about their favorite thing in the whole wide world: dinosaurs. Such kids are already little geniuses to me, but science confirms that they are smarter than others!
Little pint-sized dino experts know the names of different species, how these giant creatures lived, what they ate, and even when they died out. More often than not, they always carry a dinosaur toy around and can’t go a day without watching cartoons about them.
Such kids rattle off facts about the pre-historic ages to their parents on a daily basis for hours on end. And, yes, parents have to act as if they’re super interested!
Anyway, if this describes you during your childhood, then you had what psychologists call an “intense interest,” or what most of us normies call an “obsession.” So researchers from Indiana and Wisconsin universities decided to find out how having this sort of fascination in early childhood affects a kid’s intelligence.
Their study shows that it improved their attention span, complex-thinking skills, and the way they process information. Psychologists also believe that the way these kids study dinosaurs helps them adjust to new situations and solve problems later on in life.
And, of course, this type of spirited dedication not only broadens their knowledge on the subject in particular but also encourages a passion for learning new things. Now that’s definitely an upside to watching Jurassic Park over and over again!
And this obsession can be in anything: space, trucks, insects, and so on. Interestingly enough, that same study suggests boys tend to have intense interests more often than girls.
It might be because of the fact that boys prefer to seek information and facts about their interest while girls tend to be more into creative subjects like art and literature. In any case, the intense interest usually appears when kids are 2 to 6 years old and only lasts between 6 months and 3 years, at least according to a 2007 study by scientists at the University of Virginia.
However, 80% of kids lose their interest when they start school and don’t feel passionate about things they were crazy about before. The researchers think that it happens because children don’t have much free time once they start school, so they can’t be devoted to their hobby anymore, and the interest disappears.
But kids who go through this phase of passionate interest are typically above average in terms of intelligence. Parents should not only encourage their kids to keep pursuing their interest but also take an active part in it.
This could be in the form of museum trips or just talking about the topic with them and teaching them new facts. Who knows, you might learn something too! Trying to remember if you had any particular interest when you were a kid, but nothing’s coming to mind? Hey, it’s okay!
There are plenty of other signs that a person has the potential to be ahead of the curve, for example:
1. Mom is smart.
Yeah, if your mom is quick-witted, then you probably are too! There’s a higher chance that children will inherit their smarts from mom instead of dad. After interviewing 12,000 young people ages 14 to 22, scientists at The Medical Research Council found that there was only a 15-point difference between the participants’ IQ and their mothers’.
And a 2016 study from the University of Ulm in Germany supports this idea, revealing that genes related to cognitive abilities were located on the X chromosome. And since women carry two X chromosomes (versus men who have the XY pairing), it’s twice more likely that mom’s intelligence is passed on to her child. So, be sure to thank your mom for being so bright!
2. Dad plays a role too!
If you spent a lot of time with your dad (or any other important male role model) when you were a kid, then you also have higher chances of being a smarty. Over four years, UK researchers collected data on 11,000 boys and girls and measured their IQ when they reached age 11.
The participants of the study showed that those who had more involved dads had a higher IQ than kids who didn’t get a lot of attention from their father. And having a hands-on dad influences not only a child’s intelligence but also their success in adulthood.
That’s because kids who had dads around more often grow up more emotionally stable and more confident when it comes to challenging situations and solving problems.
3. You learned to read early.
Yep, it’s called “book smart” for a reason. The earlier you start reading, the brighter you are! In 2012, researchers compared 2,000 pairs of identical twins and found that the sibling who had learned to read earlier scored higher on cognitive ability tests.
You may think that you’re smarter and that’s why you started reading at a young age but actually, it’s the other way around. Reading increases both verbal and nonverbal skills, making you a faster thinker and learner overall. But let’s talk more about siblings…
4. You’re the oldest kid in your family.
A 2017 study found that firstborn kids may have better thinking skills than their siblings. The researchers observed 5,000 children until they turned 14 and assessed their development every two years. The results proved that firstborn children typically perform better than their siblings as early as age 1.
This could be connected with the fact that parents are less likely to engage in mentally stimulating activities with their younger children. I mean, think of it this way: before your other siblings were born, you got all your parents’ attention, so they could focus their efforts on their only child.
Once siblings start entering the picture, mom and dad have to divide their time up among all of you. So, if you have younger siblings, then you’re most likely the smartest among them all, at least statistically!
5. You’re a cat person.
Yep, apparently, being a cat person is a sign that you’re smarter than others. (Sorry, dog lovers!) But science backs up this idea. Researchers from Carroll University in Wisconsin studied 600 students and found that those who liked cats more than dogs scored higher on intelligence tests.
But who’s the smarter pet, eh? Show me a cat that can balance a treat on its nose! Check and mate!
6. You’re tall.
Ok, so all basketball players are geniuses? Eh, not exactly. But a 2014 study published in the journal Behavior Genetics found that the genes connected with height also play a role in intelligence.
On average, there’s only a small correlation between being taller and having higher intelligence. So, of course, there are still people who are short and super smart. Plus, you’ll meet plenty of people who are tall and, well, let’s say, less bright.
7. You like to sleep in.
Ah, yes! I must be a genius! Hey, science has got my back on this one! A 2009 study found that night owls are more likely to have high intelligence. As psychologist Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa explains, going to bed later than most people is “evolutionarily novel,” meaning it’s a new step in human evolution.
And it makes sense given that our pre-historic ancestors couldn’t do that since there was no electricity. And staring in the darkness with a possible mammoth looming somewhere outside your cave is a scary thing! A separate study also showed that night owls stay alert for longer. So, rejoice, my fellow night owls!
8. You’re messy
Don’t ever feel guilty about your cluttered desk! A new study coming from the University of Minnesota showed it’s not a thing to be ashamed of at all. Psychologist Dr. Kathleen Vohs and her fellow researchers tested how well students came up with new ideas. It turned out that those who worked in a neat space and those who had disorderly work areas generated the same number of ideas.
But the ideas from the second group (that is, the messy bunch!) were rated as more interesting and creative. What’s more, it’s a well-known fact that Albert Einstein was really messy, and his desk was always cluttered with books, manuscripts, magazines, and letters.
And here I was about to start cleaning mine! Maybe I’ll go buy a cat or take a nap instead! What were you obsessed with when you were a kid? Let everybody know in the comments below!
Credit: BRIGHT SIDE