Scientists Reveal What Makes A Person Charismatic

Dec 07, 2015 08:00 AM EST | By Maria Leonila Masculino


Charismatic people are known to be good speakers and great influencers. While people perceive them by their naturally awesome personalities, a new study has found another significant factor that boosts their charisma.

Medical Daily reports a new study published in Psychological Science that says being able to think and respond quickly makes a person more charismatic, regardless of his or her IQ score and result in personality quizzes. "Our findings show that social intelligence is more than just knowing the right thing to do," according to psychological scientist William von Hippel, at the University of Queensland in Australia. "Social intelligence also requires an ability to execute, and the quickness of our mind is an important component of that ability."  

For the research, von Hippel and his team measured the mental speed of a total of 417 participants via two different studies. In the first study, the participants were asked to answer 30 general trivia questions like "name a precious gem" as fast as they could. For the second part, the participants were asked to quickly answer one of these two tests: to either locate the dot on the computer screen or determine if two patterns were identical or not.

In addition, the researchers also asked the participants' friends to judge them based on the three aspects of charisma and social skills.

"We decided to take a slightly different approach to the problem by trying to get a handle on what enables charisma," said von Hippel. "When we looked at charismatic leaders, musicians, and other public figures, one thing that stood out is that they are quick on their feet."

According to results, those who got the highest scores on mental speed tests were also identified as charismatic by their friends.

The researchers concluded that although "it remains a question for future research exactly how mental speed facilitates charismatic behaviour, access to a wider repertoire of social responses within an appropriate response window would seem to be a likely candidate."

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