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If Doctors are So Smart, Why is Their Handwriting So Messy?

Would it surprise you to know that sloppy penmanship is often a sign of high intelligence? What are other traits smart people share?

Would you believe that studies have shown that highly intelligent people often have messy penmanship.? It appears they care more about the message than how it looks. Appearance of the words is unimportant. Doctors are not the only ones with slopping handwriting, many times University level professors, Lawyers, and other professionals, will have poor penmanship.

As well, you may note that some of the worlds smartest people, are deceptively sloppy looking. Consider Einstein, with his crazy hair for example, clearly not a master of self grooming.

Now by no means does this mean that every one with pretty penmanship is an idiot, it is simply a proven fact that poor penmanship is often a sign of higher intelligence.

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Oddly, spelling mistakes are very common in smart folks too, it is not uncommon to see a genius who relies on spell check to get through the day. Again this is to do with a subconscious mentality that what message says is more important than the minute details, like accurate spelling. Sometimes poor spelling is a result of their mind processing ideas at a fast rate, jumping ahead, thus omitting letters, or entire words when writing things.

So, what other traits are commonly seen in more intelligent people?

  1. They tend to have smaller families. Although marriage rates are the same, it is not uncommon to see them childless, or with only one child. This is probably due to an awareness of how population levels effect the planet, and a families lifestyle. Smart people respect the planet, not only for themselves, but others, and make the conscious choice to limit the contributions of population to the planet. They also realize the cost, financial, emotional, and time wise, of having more than one child.
  2. They eat less meat. Sure, eating of meat made humans intelligent, it allowed their brains to grow, but smart people do not crave the extra protein so much. Their brains are powerful enough without it. Intelligent people do eat meat, but typically they eat smaller portions.
  3. If they own pets, these pets are generally spayed or neutered, for the same reason as above. The intelligent person feels no vanity that their pet is any better than any other animal, they do not feel a need to let it reproduce. Sure some smart people own show dogs who they breed, but on the whole, many own fixed pets.
  4. A desire to share their information, either by writing, instruction, or some other means.
  5. A recent finding was announced that the more intelligent a person is, the less likely it is that they believe in God, or more specifically, Religion. On this note, I must remind readers that these are facts, proven to be common traits among intelligent people. It neither proves or disproves the existence of God, or many Gods.
  6. Intelligent people tend not to be “neat freaks”. Although they may like order, it is more likely that their space is somewhat disordered. This is likely because they are too busy to clean, or that it is unimportant to them to do so, compared to other things. Typically people who are “neat freaks” are compensating for some other short coming. Generally when an intelligent person is a “neat freak” they have some other social problem they are trying to mask by being a perfectionist.
  7. Intelligent people tend to be unhappy. If you have ever heard the saying that “Ignorance is bliss” you can understand why the reverse is true. Intelligent people have figured out more stuff, and this causes a huge loss of innocence. Many times they are also shunned, and become socially isolated. Either one of these reasons is a huge factor to why intelligent people are less happy.
  8. Intelligent people tend to be more independently creative. This means they prefer to do their own creating, rather than following rules or guidelines. They would rather paint their own picture and have it turn out poorly than paint a perfect one that had a “step-by-step” guide. They prefer “arts” to “crafts”.
  9. The more intelligent a person is, the more likely it is that they enjoy being outside. Not necessarily are they “outdoorsy” people, but they probably have a yard and enjoy spending time in it, or going for walks in the park
  10. Intelligent people are more likely to be Philanthropists, giving their money away to people more needy than themselves.

There are two facts that are untrue stereotypes of intelligent people. One common misbelief is that they are all working in high end jobs. In fact many high IQ people work in mundane jobs, with unusual hobbies to keep them mentally stimulated.

The other fact is the belief that all smart people are rich. In reality, although many have high paying jobs, many intelligent people share the belief, and knowledge, that there is only so much money to go around, and therefor they sacrifice on themselves, so that others can have a piece of the pie as well.

Remember, IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, is something you are born with, it simply cannot be changed. You may become more educated, but intelligence generally does not increase throughout your lifetime. Sometimes extremely smart people appear to be dumb, because they are misunderstood. The sloppy handwriting is just one example if a judgment made against a persons intelligence, when in fact it may indicate differently.

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  1. nobert soloria bermosa

    On July 19, 2008 at 9:37 am


    very interesting article, i enjoyed reading it,and i would say… i agree with almost all of the traits of an intelligent person you mentioned,thanks

  2. Ruby Hawk

    On July 19, 2008 at 10:18 pm


    Don’t tell my better-half but you have described him perfectly. You can’t read his writing. He does not care how he’s dressed. He loves dogs and the outdoors, he doesn’t care a thing about money,and he’s the most intelligent man I know.

  3. neils

    On August 3, 2008 at 8:41 am


    i had always been like this when i was in my school years i had a very ugly penmanship in my class and i was to be called stupid cause i was always lowest score in my class. i believe that this has changed me when i grew up. i think im a late bloomer because i believe that practice makes perfect, and i can do multi tasking with my studies of today ,yes im a loner and i love pets and i dont care about money i give it to somebody who is better in need of it than i am like my friends who lives in my other country where they are hungry & needs to go to school. i dont wear such fancy clothes. i just wear close that are neat and clean.

  4. Denny Lyon

    On September 14, 2008 at 10:06 am


    yep! you pretty well nailed the genius crowd, both in my family and the ones I grew up around in the intelligence community (since the government was high on collecting geniuses for their stable).

    what did I learn from being around so many collected of the highest intelligence? grow your emotional intelligence, big time! or you end up sounding like a clown talking nonsense. and learn some people skills too; kindness goes a long way to reaping positive social interaction.

    and if you really want to blow the bell curve off the scale, get serious about your own spiritual development because guess what? you actually DO grow your IQ, contrary to what the so-called geniuses believe as part of their limited faith system.

    as to the IQ crowd rejecting religion… it is based on the fact that is quite obvious in every generation: any religion is only as good as the emotioanl maturity level, lack of jealousy, pettiness and untrained critical intelligence of the people of that generation running said organization!

    thanks for a good read! ~ d

  5. Jameson

    On January 21, 2009 at 10:35 am


    no references? you’re just making stuff up

  6. Joanne

    On February 11, 2009 at 10:17 pm


    My IC is 165, and you’ve hit the nail on the head at leat with me.

  7. Ash

    On March 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm


    Creepy, all of my traits match except 9..and partly 8. But i’m not very smart…hmmm :/

  8. Resounding Glass

    On April 16, 2009 at 12:21 am


    very interesting article. I never really thought about this before. Many of those match my traits, guess it makes sense…

    Thanks for sharing,

    -Resounding Glass

  9. Fresh Writing

    On April 16, 2009 at 12:35 am


    YES! I COMPLETELY AGREE-why are doctors’ handwriting always so messy? I have never understood that…

    Thank you for writing this article!!! That has been a question I’ve had ever since I had my first visit to the doctor’s. :D

    -Fresh Writing

  10. sicanrf

    On May 24, 2009 at 5:03 am


    hahaha, what a bunch of bull crap placed a top some truths…so, in some respects, this atricle kind of stinks.

  11. ......

    On June 9, 2009 at 7:42 pm


    Omitting words is 100 percent accurate. Even typing at 80wpm my mind moves to fast, when I re-read what I wrote I have often skipped numerous words. Lawyer…..terrible writing…..neutered dogs and so on

  12. Tia

    On September 1, 2009 at 7:19 pm


    This is so true! AMEN! Thank you for this article. I have been trying to tell people this for years. Every bit of this article describes me!

  13. Brad

    On October 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm


    Reading these points – my personality is that of super genious.In Engineering /Communications technical.

    I have tried to perfect a neater handwritting , slant left to straight and back to slant right.Always end back to slant right.

    I do agree that when over these periods(3-4 months) of writing in the abnormal style ,the text is clearer to understand but do agree that I perhaps spend more time on neatness than trying to get the message out .

  14. IABW

    On October 16, 2009 at 1:49 am


    i disagree with that last statement…if there is a test for the iq then your iq may be able to increase by studying the contents of the test…ex there is a test for biology then if i study harder and retain more information then i will do better…btw my iq is 154 and i believe when i crack the code it will be 200..cheerio

  15. Not so Smug

    On October 25, 2009 at 2:41 am


    “spay and [nuderrrrrrr] pets”? what the heck. so paris hilton is smart? hmmm. where is this information coming from. Most everyone commenting on this fourm is way too smug. “YES, that is EXACTLY like Me.” Whatever…..

  16. jascase901

    On November 21, 2009 at 4:39 pm


    This post seems very …inaccurate. You are saying that intelligence is directly prortional to kindness and humanity. Sadly that is not the case. The vast majority totalitarian dictators were clearly intelligent, but not usually conisourers of the vegitarian, animal loving, green, budist lifestlye you describe. With intelligence money does not come for everyone, but it does come for many. I have no statistics to proove this, but i would bet that 80% of the top 100 richest men in the world are intelligent, and that of that 80% the majority of them have average ethics.

  17. Pete

    On December 18, 2009 at 12:58 am


    You are an idiot. None of these so called “facts” are real indicators of anyone’s intelligence. Intelligent people are able to articulate themselves well, dress well, groom themselves properly and many of them contradict the majority of your arguments, which have no references or credible facts other than your own misguided opinions.

    Do some research next time please.

  18. Brenda Nelson

    On December 18, 2009 at 10:39 pm


    Lighten up Pete, and why these points might not indicate intelligence they are proven things that are common to intelligent people. Messy handwriting being very common among intelligent people. Also just because a person CAN dress well does not mean they always will, many intelligent people are not mentally confined by societies need to look good -not all brainiacs judge people based on appearance, and in return some dont put much effort into their own looks.

  19. Leander V

    On January 12, 2010 at 7:30 am


    Interesting topic, i believe its trying to keep generalized, by not going to deep into explanations, because even though “smart” people are diferent, there are always exceptions, so this doesnt cover everyone, but a good amount of most of smart peoples habits.
    The religion and happiness things are very true in my opinion, but let me point out two different kinds of smarts, the ones your born with, and the ones you acheive through hard work. hard work alone cant get you to the level of those born with it, but nature tends to have those born with it end up lazy. but the laziness comes to pass with years, when goals are set, and hope is returned. (hope is a fuel for happiness, happiness is a fuel for happiness, but no matter how often these things slip by, you have to remember that geniuses are gas guzzlers)

  20. slackerbabe

    On February 22, 2010 at 10:25 pm


    Smaller families and neutering your pets? Seriously? That sounds more like modern day”political correctness” than a sign of intelligence. Anyone with half a brain would know that these are things you”should” do in this modern world. Messy handwriting and maybe being a bit “strange” or socially different could definately be signs of intelligence…but also signs of the mentally challenged. Just as could a larger head equal a larger brain or as studies have shown in younger children be a sign of autism. I’m sure there are signs or traits among the more intellectuals but some mentioned in this article seem a bit absurd in my pea brained opinion.

  21. Paco de La O

    On February 24, 2010 at 4:48 pm


    I am smart and in my opinion this is too general.
    Gooooooooooooo Raiders!!!

  22. Zzzzz

    On March 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm


    What sources are you citing in this article? Are these opinions based on your own observations and interactions with people that you, personally, consider to be intelligent?
    Intelligence is interesting stuff. I’m not trying to be rude, but I don’t think this article here is at all fact-based.

    If you’ve ever studied developmental psychology, you would know that one’s IQ score can change over the course of their lifetime; your IQ number is not a concrete thing. Many scientists have done studies on intelligence & IQ which have shown that IQ scores can, in fact, be successfully improved. Look up the Carolina Abecedarian Project. It’s all about children being raised in “high risk” environments (poverty, improper nutrition, overcrowded home, lack of father figure in home, etc.) and how this project produced positive, long-term effects on their IQ scores by providing them with an intensive and structured educational & social support system.
    The bottom line of the project is that, not surprisingly, the better home environment in which a child grows up, the higher their IQ is likely to be.

    If anyone’s interested:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abecedarian_Early_Intervention_Project

  23. Brenda Nelson

    On March 24, 2010 at 12:08 am


    to Zzzzz
    I was inspired to write this because of a television show documentary I watched several years ago. My father has horrid hand writing, yet has a PHD and taught University Science courses for years, even was a Dean, has many lifetime acheivement awards too…So I for sure remembered what I saw on the show about poor handwriting and Intelligence.
    There are many links with regard to the other points too, such as :
    http://www.moreintelligentlife.com/story/faith-equals-fertility

  24. imsmrtrthny

    On June 4, 2010 at 12:31 am


    It seems like \”smart\” and r3tarded people have a lot in common.

  25. Pat

    On January 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm


    You’re really just talking out of your ass here. Smart people eat less meat due to a lesser need of protein in the brain? Enjoy being outside? Give me a break. Either produce citations or state facts on a molecular level with raw evidence of these statements. You’re blindly portraying one side of “Nature vs. Nurture” without credible citation and introducing both takes. The really disappointing part is that people are believing this.

  26. Mary

    On May 30, 2011 at 1:29 am


    I would disagree with the fifth point…not all intelligent people lack faith in God. As a matter of fact, I happen to be a highly intelligent teenager who has strong faith in God. I utilize the metaphor of a bird, sometimes one wing functions more than the other, but in the long run, both wings would have been used equivalently. It is all about balance. And if you were a true analyst who though through situations rationally, you would believe in the law of balance, which is necessary in every angle and matter of life. However, everything else I would gladly say corresponds to my traits!

  27. Akan

    On January 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm


    I have an iq of over 180 and this seems to match me pretty well, im sad to see all the negative comments, these people must believe that if they do not match the above it must all be false.

  28. Sam

    On February 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm


    I’m going to have to disagree with you on a few things. Like someone else said I don’t believe that religion affects anyones inteligence. Just look at all of the Theists that have helped shape this world to the way it is now. We wouldn’t have many things now if it wearn’t for those religious people.
    Another point is that smart people tend to be less happy. While history does seem to back that theory up, there are also plenty of smart people out there (myself included) that are very happy and content with they’re lives.
    I happen to be both happy and a Christian. Does that make less smart? I don’t think so.

  29. Chris

    On March 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm


    I find it ironic that this is an article about intelligence… full of generalizations.

    “To Generalize is to be an Idiot; To Particularize is the Alone Distinction of Merit.” – William Blake

    That’s all.

  30. Cameron

    On March 20, 2012 at 3:55 am


    Actually I’m extremely intelligent, everything here matches up and you can add maximization of utility. Also, if you don’t have an affiliation with animals you’ll still get one. Instead of PJ’s pets mart though, it’ll be from the animal shelter because you’re trying to fix “stupid” people’s problems.
    Also it’s possible to improve IQ, it just happens from “mental stimulation” often from unusual sources.
    Mine are: Halo, Brainworkshop, Drawing Animals as an obession

  31. yawny

    On March 21, 2012 at 2:26 am


    sigh… i wish that was me, but im a dork, and an idiot and! far from a genius that looks like an idiot, serioulsy ahh! insanity is just insane.

  32. Zach

    On September 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm


    That is all just a bunch of crap. Where are all the references? It all depends on context… I think it is simple: If your handwriting is sloppy it is because you didn’t take the time to write legibly or it isn’t a priority to have legible writing. Ever thought of that? I can write sloppy or legibly, depends on if I am in a hurry, if it is important, if it is going to be seen by people about whose opinion I care etc.

    If you write sloppily and you know it is important for someone to be able to read it (i.e. medical records), then you are just selfish and probably arrogant. This is a display of power, an “I don’t care because I am important, and I am going to make how I write as important as what I write”.

    This article is opinion. I love it when people draw assumptions for long enough that they regurgitate them as fact. FYI, I am lawyer… Does that make me smart? My handwriting is legible sometimes. What does that mean?

  33. Damien

    On January 15, 2013 at 3:01 am


    Well Zach, that just means that you may be getting defensive because you question your intelligence level due to your inability to understand how people can be this way, hence we are sometimes misunderstood. And fyi the majority of highly intelligent people speak faster also, our minds move extremely fast so our mouths and hands (handwriting) are in a constant state of “catch up “. It is unbelievably difficult for us to slow down otherwise we get too far ahead and lose our train of thought.
    My IQ is 142 and I am a member of Mensa, i am no better a person than you, so no need to get defensive. Trust me, i am jealous of people who can write with great penmenship and speak slowly! things would be much easier

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