A recent report published in The New York Times says that people who are smarter than average have some distinct personality traits that may be hereditary or a result of the environment they grew up in, but these qualities give them a leg-up in IQ compared to their peers. These factors may indicate that you’re smarter than the average Joe (or Jane).

1. You’re the firstborn. Studies showed that average firstborns had an IQ of 103, compared with 100 for the second, and 99 for the third-born child. Psychologists say this may be less a natural, biological factor than the result of more psychological interaction between parents and their first-born child.

2. You weren’t born rich. People born with the proverbial ‘silver spoon’ in their mouth are also less mentally agile and less ambitious than those who come from middle class and poor backgrounds. When you have goals to achieve from an early age, your brain learns to develop and devise more actively.

3. You learned to read early. Early readers scored exceptionally well in IQ tests. This is because as children, their curiosity and imagination was fueled by fiction. Reading in early years increases both verbal and reasoning abilities, making you a notch sharper than your peers.

4. You’re interested in music. Music-lovers develop a better natural rhythm and have a softer, emotional side that makes them more aware and empathic than their tuneless brothers and sisters. In addition to their IQ, even their EQ is higher.

5. You have a sense of humour. A good sense of humour helps put things in perspective and makes you mentally stronger. If you can see the funny side in a crisis, that just might help you solve it. And if you can laugh at yourself, you’re smarter than all those who take themselves too seriously.

6. You tend to worry. Anxiety can be a natural alarm or trigger to set your problem-solving skills into action. People who worry are more far-sighted than those who’re only living in the moment. All inventive activity comes from some kind of worry about problem-resolution.

7. You’re politically left-leaning. Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa led a study that concluded that ‘the farther you fall on the left of the political spectrum, the smarter you are’. Being ‘liberal’ intrinsically means you have transcended exclusivism and bias, and that definitely makes you smarter than the bigots the world seems to be overpopulated with.