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The Most Intelligent Presidents in U.S. History

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Written by the Smmirk.com editorial team
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During the first Republican debate, Ben Carson stated that when it comes to being a president, ‘the thing that is probably most important is having a brain.’ While a high IQ never guarantees success, it can certainly help. Effective leaders are usually extremely intelligent and capable of solving complex problems. Recently, the website InsideGov ranked the 27 smartest US presidents in history, using data collected by UC Davis professor Dean Simonton. What’s most interesting about this list? 8 of these presidents either never attended college or never finished. So how did they become presidents and not insurance salesmen? It just goes to show you, being intelligent is about more than just a fancy piece of paper on your wall.
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Dean Simonton’s study involved a comprehensive examination of the ‘intellectual brilliance’ of 42 US presidents. While IQ scores were not available for all of the presidents compared on this list, Simonton did have a workaround. The UC Davis professor was able to estimate their score by studying certain personality traits found in the presidents’ biographies that would indicate above-average intelligence. These personality traits were: wise, inventive, artistic, curious, sophisticated, complicated, and insightful. Simonton compiled his score by giving each one of these traits a score. Some of the presidents on this list will surprise you!
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