Some people are smarter than others. But that doesn’t mean anyone can’t appear to look more intelligent than they may be in reality.
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 six of them so you can impress your boss and buddies with your seeming brainpower.
Drake Baer contributed to an earlier version of this post.
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.
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.
Monotone sounds dull.
"If two speakers utter exactly the same words, but one speaks a little faster and louder and with fewer pauses and greater variation in volume, that speaker will be judged to be more energetic, knowledgeable, and intelligent," writes Leonard Mlodinow, author of "Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior."
He continues: "Expressive speech, with modulation in pitch and volume, and a minimum of noticeable pauses, boosts credibility and enhances the impression of intelligence."
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.
Studies have found that the clothes we wear shape the perceptions other people have about our capability.
For example, teaching assistants who wear formal clothes are perceived by students as more intelligent - but less interesting - than their casually dressed peers.
"The clothes we wear have power not only over others," write authors Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky, "but also over ourselves."
Yes, we just advised you to pretend you're more knowledgeable than you really are.
But some situations call for more modesty.
In 1999, two psychologists coined what's now widely known as the "Dunning-Kruger effect": The least competent individuals overestimate their ability, while the most competent underestimate theirs. So if you're trying to impress someone who knows a thing or two about human behavior, it's probably best to stay humble.
Playing down your cognitive ability might help you at work in particular. "Freakonomics" authors Stephen Dubner and Stephen Levitt say that admitting when you don't know something can make you seem more competent - as long as you promise to find out.