The link between personality and intellect has long intrigued researchers. A sweeping new meta-analysis of over 1,000 studies has uncovered connections between specific traits and cognitive abilities. Understanding these correlations provides a roadmap to enhance intellectual potential.

Traits That Boost Cognitive Performance

Several personality tendencies positively correlate with intelligence across domains:

  • Self-Esteem – Confidence provides fuel for achievement.
  • Internal Locus of Control – Believing in one’s ability to influence events.
  • Compassion – Challenges views of brilliance requiring callousness.
  • Industriousness – Hard work powers growth.
  • Orderliness – Organized thinking enhances cognition.
  • Independence – Fosters creativity and innovation.
  • Openness – Seeking experiences and ideas stimulates the intellect.
  • Activity – Engagement in various pursuits sharpens cognition.

Traits That Can Hinder Cognition

On the flip side, certain tendencies may impede intellectual growth:

  • Neuroticism – Emotional instability disrupts focus.
  • Anxiety – Managed anxiety prevents cognitive impact.
  • Uneven Temper – Easily upset makes intellectual pursuit difficult.

Boost Verbal Skills Through Traits Like:

  • Industriousness – Time and effort to improve language abilities.
  • Achievement Drive – Strong internal motivation.
  • Openness – Creativity and openness to new ideas.

Manage Your Traits, Enhance Your Intellect

While the connections are complex, these insights provide a map to harness traits already present. Boost confidence and temperament, embrace compassion and openness, and mitigate anxiety. By managing personality tendencies, intellectual potential can thrive.


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