Depressing New Study Shows Know-It-Alls Get Better Grades

Ugh. It turns out know-it-alls really may know it all.

New research by scientists at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, shows the more arrogant students are about their intellectual abilities, the greater their academic success.

“Those who think that their ideas are better than those around them were in fact the highest performers in terms of individual projects, such as exams,” Ben Meagher, the study’s lead author who is now a visiting professor at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, told The Huffington Post in an email.

The finding came as a big surprise to Meagher and his colleagues. They had predicted that having a realistic rather than inflated sense of one’s smarts would be associated with better grades, but that just wasn’t the case.

For the study, researchers followed 103 undergraduate psychology students as they worked in groups for an entire semester.

At the end of the term, each group member evaluated everyone on their team, including themselves. They rated each other on assertiveness, intelligence, openness and other traits.

The students who were rated as dominant, extroverted, wanting of attention, inflexible and inconsiderate by other group members were also rated as intellectually arrogant.

The researchers found those students were the most likely to have received high marks at the end of the semester.

But while intellectual arrogance may be associated with better grades, that doesn’t mean intellectually arrogant students get high grades because of their big heads.

“I suspect that it is more likely that students who tend to get better grades are aware of that fact, and so they (perhaps rightly) believe that their ideas are the best,” Meagher said in the email.

What’s more, intellectual arrogance just might backfire — at least when students work in a group. “People that are —> Read More