Charisma and Quick Thinking (What Science Tells Us)

Freddie Mercury of “Queen” fame throwing hand in the air while in concert

Got Charisma?

When asked of Queen’s skyrocketing fame, dynamic frontman Freddie Mercury is said to have answered, “The reason we’re successful, darling? My overall charisma, of course.”

While talent may have played a larger role in the band’s international stardom than Mercury’s statement would suggest, his off the charts charm couldn’t have hurt either. A new study from Psychology Today finds that social intelligence (a key factor in attaining and maintaining stardom) positively correlates with with quick wit and quick thinking. According to Psychology Today, the study, conducted by the Association of Psychological Science, concludes that those “who are able to respond more quickly to general knowledge questions and visual tasks were perceived as more charismatic by their friends, independently of IQ and other personality traits”.

The Study

This is not the first study to be conducted on what creates and facilitates charm. However it is one of the first to study it in relation to mental processing. Dr. William von Hippel of the University of Queensland in Australia stated of his work: “we decided to take a slightly different approach to the problem by trying to get a handle on what enables charisma […] When we looked at charismatic leaders, musicians, and other public figures, one thing that stood out is that they are quick on their feet.”

With this in mind, Hippel lead a team of researches in conducting a two studies. In the first, a group was given mental processing challenges. These tests recorded their ability to think quickly and accurately. A visual test was administered to the second group, in which participants were tasked with solving patterns.

The Results

The results of the study demonstrate that those with faster response times were regarded as more charismatic by their friends and family than their slower counterparts. Researchers posit that quicker response times may aid in the assistance of masking inappropriate emotion, facilitating positive feelings among others.

For a more in depth look into the study and its results, read the complete article Charisma Linked to Quick Thinking   here.

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