What does it mean if someone is intelligent, but has problems with technical thi

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  1. KoraleeP profile image60
    KoraleePposted 10 years ago

    What does it mean if someone is intelligent, but has problems with technical things?

    They can think logically and analytically, but have issues such as: No sense of direction, can't read a map or a compass, no technical abilities. For example, if a button gets pushed on a remote they have no idea what to do, can't put Ikea furniture together if their life depended on it, can’t set up a home entertainment system, etc. I’m sure there is a name for it and I’m hoping someone knows.

  2. mizwoody profile image57
    mizwoodyposted 10 years ago

    It's book smart. There are people that know information about many things and are very intelligent; however, they lack advanced social skills. There are many reasons for this but the most common I hve found is, since they spent a lot of time studying they lacked the interaction with others to learn how to do simple things. Hope this helps

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you  mizwoody. Your answer helps a lot. I'm going to look more into your social skills theory.

  3. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 10 years ago

    I suppose everyone has their niche.  Some people do some things well, others do other things well.  My husband has a masters degree, but will not learn how to fill out a deposit ticket and the computer?  Forget it...I am the one syncing his iPod.

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hi duffsmom: You're funny smile. You made a good point, I guess everyone can't be good at everything. I just thought it may have something specific to do with the brain.

  4. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 10 years ago

    I don't necessarily think there's just one name for all the things you've described.  Sense-of-direction is related to spatial skills; and of all the types of cognitive skills people can have, spatial skills are just one (and that happens to be an area in which a lot of men tend to do better; although, as with all things, there are exceptions and there are different levels of skills between individuals, regardless of sex).

    I suspect, though, there's the chance that not being a visual learner (someone who leans to taking in/processing information visually; as opposed to through auditory means or through kinesthetic means) may be responsible for things like reading maps, following directions that are in the form of pictures, rather than words; and in fact, taking in information through any visual presentation.  The last time I read the numbers, it was said that about 60% of the population are visual learners.  About 20% are auditory learners (and if I recall correctly, girls and women tend more to be auditory learners), and 20% learn through kinesthetic means.  An auditory learner who is a very skilled and fast reader may tend to assume she is a "visual learner" (because we see the words), but the process by which we take in information through reading involves first seeing the words, then "hearing" them in our head, and essentially taking them in that way.  If the furniture assembly instructions are (as most instructions are) mainly pictures even the person who is capable of understanding them may feel irked enough to get irritable and "not want to be bothered" trying to follow them (because that person thrives best when information is in words).

    As far as the example of the remote goes, I'd guess that's just lack of practice and/or interest on the part of the person who has become conditioned to believe he/she is "no good at technical stuff"; and who may just kind of mix up lack of practice/interest with lack of skill.

    Finally, there are people who are very "human focused".  Their main interests are people, relationships, history, psychology, sociology, etc. etc.  Some of those will see "non-human-related" things are necessary to learn.  Then practice helps them learn yet more.  Some have more trouble mustering up at least a little interest to learn more..  Either way, such people often can only "give so much of the proverbial rat's-whatever" about non-human-associated things.  (lol)

    "Lack of confidence" may actually be one name for it too.   smile

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you so much Lisa HW. Your explanations make a lot of sense. Particularly since I don't think a brain injury is associated with the case I'm researching. I can't wait to get more information on each of the points you made!

  5. Dr Billy Kidd profile image92
    Dr Billy Kiddposted 10 years ago

    Great question. I've often pondered it:

    My friend at U.C. Berkeley, Mike, could ace his tests without studying. He rewrote his friends papers. He broke up with his girlfriend. So she stopped taking him to class for the tests. Not remembering what to do, he got all Fs and dropped out and was driving a taxi, last time I heard. I went on to get a PhD in psychology.

    I've never heard of an expression for this sort of person. We test for analytic skills and natural abilities with our IQ tests. Some call what you're talking about as having a low social IQ. But that's missing the point. There's an operational part of the psyche that is not engaged.

    2 of my friends did no know that the oil on a car needed to be changed and so  they burned their engines out. Yet one of them is quite an egregrious salesperson.  So it's not a social thing, necessarily. Both, however, were spoiled rotten and weatlhy.

    Just a thought.

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you so much Dr Billy Kidd. "There's an operational part of the psyche that is not engaged." That makes total sense. I need to do more research on your points. That is so unfortuneate about your friend.

  6. Patty Inglish, MS profile image89
    Patty Inglish, MSposted 10 years ago

    It's best to see a doctor and ask -- All of the items you mention might be related to a deficit in development of the Hippocampus of the brain early on, or to effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or similar trauma - even by illness  -  to the Hippocampus.

    Besides "sense of direction", all the rest also can relate to Visual-Spatial Intelligence, which is better in some people than others from the start, although it can improve in some people.

    It could also all be related to some other brain dysfunction or something else physically based that has gone undisovered in this person. It could be minor or serious. It all happened to me once, temporarily, and we found it was from an allergy to cut grass on a farm! it lasted a week. Your friend's case sounds long-term.

    But look at this opinion from another professional in USAToday/Health in 2008:

    As a child, Roseman (female, age 61) says, "I spent all of my time being lost." Just two months ago, she learned her problem has a name: developmental topographical disorientation — a profound lack of navigational skill, probably rooted in early brain development.

    That makes her part of an increasingly recognized group: people with normal intelligence and no obvious brain injuries, but with extreme, lifelong difficulty in some skill most of us take for granted.

    For some, it's remembering faces (prosopagnosia), naming colors (color agnosia) or recognizing pieces of music (amusia). For Roseman and one Canadian woman recently described in a scientific journal, it is finding their way through the world.

    "All of these are things that you might see in people with a brain injury," says Brad Duchaine, a researcher at the University College of London and an expert on prosopagnosia (also known as face-blindness). But these "selective developmental deficits" show up in otherwise typical, healthy people.

    "It's like a little black hole," Duchaine says.


    See more at:

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/hea … alth_N.htm

    And research journals have more related articles.

    Best of luck to you!

    1. MarieAlana1 profile image69
      MarieAlana1posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      This is really interesting knowledge, but yet important to know.

    2. Patty Inglish, MS profile image89
      Patty Inglish, MSposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Very interesting! Sometimes others criticize, name-call, and put down people with these conditions that are not of their doing/choosing - or say "snap out of it" or "act right." A few may fake it to avoid work, but not most I've seen in practice.

    3. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you very much Patty Inglish, MS for your detailed answer. Your link was very educational as well.

  7. lburmaster profile image73
    lburmasterposted 10 years ago

    There are different areas of intelligence. Linguistic, mathematical, musical, visual, physical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. For example, I have high intrapersonal, moderate interpersonal, moderate mathematical, moderate musical, low physical, low to moderate visual, and moderate linguistic intelligence. However, that is just one theory. Depends on who you talk to as to how many types of intelligences there are.

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you iburmaster. Where did you find out your statistics on levels of intelligence? The types of intelligence sounds really interesting.

    2. lburmaster profile image73
      lburmasterposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      A book. Study Smarter, Not Harder. It's an interesting read.

  8. profile image0
    itsjustnormitaposted 10 years ago

    I don't know, what name you would call it. To me sounds like the person who is constantly thinking about something, planning, investigating, or problem solving. It has to be complicated enough for them to stay interested. So, simple things are just boring and tedious for them, therefore they lose intertrest and do other things. Its not that, they can't do it, its cause its has no value to them. Then again, some people, can do it all. Now, that would be a real intelegent person.

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      itsjustnormita: The answers keep getting better and better. Thank you!!! That is totally a theory that I have to investigate more.

  9. ytsenoh profile image78
    ytsenohposted 10 years ago

    I know a lot of intelligent people who are not mechanical or technically minded.  I work in a law firm, and I'm also mechanical, but I know some people who have no mechanical skills at all and I look at it as not being gifted in that ability.  But, they are gifted in other areas.  I know attorneys who are technically deficient, but they are strong in logic and the law. 

    My mother had no sense of direction, but she was intelligent in the subjects she knew well.  I know someone who has a lot of book knowledge, but he also has a photographic mind, so he's soon to be working on his bachelor's in nursing--but he is also mechanical and technical--very gifted.

    I think we're all unique and we have different gifts and strengths.  I once knew a lawyer who was extremely smart, but he couldn't do simple things and he lacked people skills.

    Remember, too, that people who are categorized as "old school," didn't grow up with computer knowledge or maybe didn't even have those technological advances in their employment as they have exited in the last decade. 

    On the TV remote subject, I can work the power and volume and channel and record, but if I hit another button in error, I've messed something up and I can assure you between two or three controllers, I do not know how to fix it if I push something wrong.  I'm sure I could learn the process, but I'd rather write than watch television.

    We all have inherent abilities and skills we are gifted with.  When I started making wedding cakes years ago, I used to think "anybody can do this."  And, that's really not true, at least if you don't have a creative mind and some inherent gift, it's more challenging if it's possible at all.  When I was younger, I used to wonder why others couldn't do what I could do and vice versa.  I suppose that factors in to how we are each defined as unique individuals.

    Good thinking question.

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks ytsenoh. You too have given me more to think about and research. I totally understand what you are saying about the remote, and writing. What you are saying backs up a lot of the "human focused  theory Lisa HW discussed.

  10. wqaindia profile image38
    wqaindiaposted 10 years ago

    Definitely, it is me only. I have no technical knowledge and I started my journey on the web in the end of August 2012, somehow managed Google Adsense approval and could get catch hold of HubPages to start exploration with the help of fellow hubbers like you. I do not know how much time will it take me to be technically strong.

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks wqaindia! Good luck. It sounds like you're well on your way.

  11. Admiral Murrah profile image69
    Admiral Murrahposted 10 years ago

    There is a big difference between problem-solving skills and those areas which are commonly referred to as intelligence. What popular culture often refers to as 'intelligence' is often speed of mental processing, conceptual thinking, verbal skills, verbal logic and abstract reasoning. In terms of understanding technical items, the kind of skills you are likely referring to are problem solving, tool using skills, and technical manipulation skills.

    The people who originally developed items like 'intelligence tests' often limited their definition of intelligence to the verbal skills, mental quickness, and analytical thinking. They did not include technological abilities. This has led to us thinking that intelligence refers to book smarts, which viewing those with superior technical skills as having less intelligence. That kind of thinking often leads to the development of wrong assumptions about people, their skills and abilities.

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Admiral Murrah: That is an excellent point, that  problem-solving skills could very well be a factor. When I said intelligent person in my question, a lot of people assume I was talking about book smarts, I just meant overall intelligence.

  12. liesl5858 profile image84
    liesl5858posted 10 years ago

    It means that we people have been given different capabilities by our Creator and that makes us all different. Some are more intelligent or gifted than others. Some are beautiful and some are ugly. It is like my husband is good at doing "Do It Yourself Jobs" which I am rubbish at but I am good at cooking.

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks liesl5858. I agree that our Creator gave us different talents, so some of us are better at some actions than others. I'm not sure though if that applies to having a sense of direction.

  13. Serendipity7 profile image72
    Serendipity7posted 10 years ago

    As others have mentioned, there are theories of areas of intelligence.  Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory speaks well to your question.  Through cognitive research he identified seven distinct intelligences.  He states that “students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform and understand in different ways.”  He feels that the educational system should have disciplines presented in a variety of ways and also create assessments for learning through a variety of means based on students’ multiple intelligences. 

    Here is a brief description of Gardner’s 7 learning styles:

    Visual-spatial:  They think in terms of physical space and are in tune with their environments. They draw, do jigsaw puzzles and read maps.  They like physical imagery, graphs, charts, television, etc.

    Body-Kinesthtic:  They are very aware of their bodies   They like making things, movement and touching.  They like role playing and hands on learning.

    Musical: They like rhythm and music.  They often perform better with music in the background and are sensitive to sound in their environment.  They like learning tools such as musical instruments, radio, turning lessons into lyrics or tapping out time.

    Interpersonal:  They learn through interactions with others.  They are street smart, have a large number of friends and are understanding.  They like group activities and dialogs. 

    Intrapersonal:  They understand their own goals and interests.  They are motivated and intuitive and like independent study.  They are in tune with themselves and are independent learners.

    Linguistic: They often think in words and have strong auditory skills.  They like word games, writing stories, lectures.

    Logical-Mathematical: They think conceptually and like exploring relationships and patterns.  They like to solve problems, games of logic, details, experiments and investigations.

    1. Patty Inglish, MS profile image89
      Patty Inglish, MSposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Very good. I used this theory in my GED classes to help students learn according to their own talents and we had the highest rate of GED certificate obtainment in a 17-county area for several years. Plus, both men and women had spatial intelligence.

  14. lone77star profile image74
    lone77starposted 10 years ago

    There are different areas of intelligence.

    Some people are naturally intelligent emotionally, and have great empathy for others, but they may not be able to program a computer. My wife is like this. Me? I'm the opposite, but with humility, I'm learning more empathy.

    Other people may be geniuses when it comes to spatial patterns and recognition, but have trouble tying their shoes or spelling words correctly. My youngest brother, Ken, is like this -- IQ far above 200. When I talk to him about science -- like adiabatic lapse rates and pressure gradients, he quickly leaves me in the dust! I'm just a borderline genius.

    But I have learned from even children and homeless people. Each person has a gift of perception from a unique viewpoint. We can learn from each other if we are only open to the lessons being given.

  15. Sullen91 profile image72
    Sullen91posted 10 years ago

    As the question is stated, it's presumably hyperbolic rhetoric, deliberately embellished to provoke strong, mixed reactions. It's like picking low hanging fruit; create a contrived scenario modeled on a stereotype and feign ignorance about what the scenario "means."

    The dis-ingenuousness is let bare if one asks why the QUESTIONER is asking what does it mean...? instead of What are some possible reasons...? or What could be the cause why...?

    It's not in congruence to document in detail something worth exploring (implicit by your need for a question) but presented as mere ignorance/happenstance.                                                                                                                                         It's sort of like asking why you saw some huge brown hybrid between a man and a bear after leaving food by the camp unattended. Shallow and insipid.

    It means what you stated to be the facts.

    QUESTION: If someone is unable to walk, what does it mean?
    Answer: they are unable to walk.

    QUESTION: I noticed someone having trouble keeping upright and leaning against something at all times; what could be a possible explanation?

    ANSWER: Someone propped him up; the reality is he's unable to stand or walk on his own two feet.

    Really, I wouldn't harp if you had just kept out "no idea what to do" and "if their life depended on it."

    It's an unhealthy predilection for sensationalistic lies.

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      You're reading too much into the question. It's not a psychological thesis. You assumed “as if their life depended on it,” was the key to the sentence. It is merely being used to stress that it is difficult for them;

    2. Sullen91 profile image72
      Sullen91posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      We can further present a case. First, to "have no idea what to do." is a strongly negative characterization assuming it's someone you know and can speak about. If not, it's a description that is by definition, an exaggeration. 2-3 more clues no space

    3. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Addiitonally “no idea what to do,” was used to stress technical difficulties with technology. To clarify I am speaking about myself in the question. It's not a huge problem, but frustrating at times. I would never talk like that about someone else.

  16. ladydeonne profile image72
    ladydeonneposted 10 years ago


    Intelligence is not defined solely by someone's ability to understand or do technical things.  The brain has a left and right hemisphere.  I'm sure you've heard individuals say "I'm right brained" or "I'm left brained."  Most people are a balance of both.

    Predominantly right brained people, like myself, process information differently than left brained people.  Left brainers are more detailed and process oriented in making decisions and solving problems, while right brainers are more intuitive and emotional in solving problems and making decisions.  Left brainers solve problems according to logic and the given information. Right brainers tend to look at the whole picture and question the why of it.  Left brainers concern themselves with the how of it and don't care about the why.  Right brainers are creative and artistic.  Usually our writers,musicians, actors, dancers, therapists, social workers, etc, are predominantly right brained. Our engineers, scientists, doctors mathematicians, architects, etc are predominantly left brained.

    Would you not agree that people in all of these occupations are intelligent?  So, if you are  not good at technical matters,you are, in all probability, predominantly right brained.

    1. KoraleeP profile image60
      KoraleePposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks ladydeonne. I agree and I think your analogy is right on the mark! The reason for the question is that sometimes predominantly LB thinkers get frustrated with me because I'm not technical and I don't know what to tell them or what to do.

    2. ladydeonne profile image72
      ladydeonneposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Your lack of technical skills is nothing to apologize for or to be ashamed of.  Thank God we are all have different gifts!    Learn to embrace your differences and capitalize on your strengths. You have many I'm sure. Celebrate your GIFTS!

  17. profile image0
    Deepes Mindposted 10 years ago

    It simply means that their aptitude doesn't cover that specific area


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