Lots of people think they’re superior to others.
Lots of people do not.
While there might be more people who scored high on an IQ test who take that to mean they are superior to “everyone” or even most people, compared to people who did not score high on an IQ test, it is not my experience that this is common.
The higher one’s intelligence actually is (regardless of tests) the more someone has the ability to become aware of what they don’t know. In other words, the more people know, the more they feel like there is so much more that they do not know. It’s humbling.
If a very intelligent person happens to be arrogant, it is easy for others to blame their arrogance on their intelligence. But I’ve met people at nearly all levels of intellect who have the personality flaw of arrogance. It is particularly common amongst popular teenagers, regardless of intellectual ability.
I have noticed people who think that high IQ people act like they are superior.
When very intelligent people enjoy talking about things that most people find esoteric, they encounter people responding to them like they are looking down on others, when all they are doing is talking about something interesting to them.
At a neighborhood party a few years ago, I was talking with some folks, and I don’t even remember the subject—but I do remember I was really enjoying myself. Then one of the people in the conversation said, “Come on, people, this is a party! Why are we talking about this???”
Everyone else seemed fine with her statement, but I felt a bit sad. I was finally in a conversation I enjoyed. I didn’t look down at these people, they were my neighborhood friends. But it is possible they thought I did. Looking back on it, perhaps my friend who changed the subject thought she was doing me a favor? I’ll never know.
So, I really enjoy hanging out with people who like digging into subjects deeply. From the outside, maybe this looks like I’m “looking down on” people who aren’t as smart as I am, when really, I’m feeling ignored or shunned by people who find my speaking style or subject matter obscure.
The subjects I love talking about are wide and varied, but do not include wine, sports, entertainment, or gossip. Talk with me about physics, human behavior, history, science, relationships, your life experience, spirituality, books, politics, religion, technology, civil engineering, neurology, and a thousand other topics that interest me, and I’m having fun!
But I’ve had people actually tell me (or someone near me, who told me) they thought I was looking down on them, because I wasn’t interested in the topics they were interested in.
I have caught myself feeling superior. Hasn’t everyone? I have caught myself feeling entitled. But these are common personal failings, which shows up in humans from any culture, with any intelligence level, at all times in history, as far as I can tell.
Having a high IQ is like having a tall height measurement. It doesn’t make a person more important or better than others. But it does tend to lead to people who don’t happen to have a high IQ or tall height thinking such people act or feel elitist.
People may feel superior due to their nationality, looks, religion, intellect, family, financial situation, university, talent, skin color, job, and on and on. Feeling superior is a kind of arrogance, a kind of narcissism. It doesn’t require any actual “advantage” for a narcissistic person to feel superior to everyone.
When any person feels superior to “everyone” or even “most people” they tend to think they feel that way due to some quality they have. I’ve learned that feeling superior is an equal opportunity personality flaw—all kinds of people may feel that way.