What is intelligence? What makes a person smart?

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  1. kirstenblog profile image78
    kirstenblogposted 14 years ago

    I have often wondered about this. I personally have no education beyond that of High School. I do not hold any special qualifications and think of myself as being average in intelligence. I do read a lot and pay attention to as much as I can as a habit. If there is text I read it, even a cheesy ad on the side of a bus! I work at a school in positions that do not require qualifications or degrees or anything of that sort. In my job I get to meet lots of different people, some very posh people too (my school has a lot of posh families who send their kids there). I am often pleasantly surprised at how I can impress these posh and well educated people with my understanding and awareness of current events, social issues and the sciences even. I have often been told that I am very smart and should be working in something that requires a high level of intelligence, problem solving etc. My response is of course are you hiring? lol I lack the qualifications to even get an interview for these types of jobs and have no ambition to go into debt to gain those qualifications! The thing is I do not think I am anything special. The only difference I see in myself is a willingness to use my average brain to work things out, problem solve and attempt to better myself at every turn. I am now wondering how much of our intelligence has to do with forces outside our control, like being born with true genius or true learning difficulties. Or do we have a lot more control over our intelligence then we realize. Is a person who says they are dumb really dumb? or are they resistant to learning? Perhaps they have not found the right method for learning? Likewise when we call a theoretical mathematician a genius because their theories create huge advancements in understanding and application are we bestowing them with more then they actually possess? Perhaps they have just applied themselves to learning to a greater extent and have learned how to learn more efficiently?

    I recently watched a show about the influences of nature versus nurture in regards to intelligence hosted by the mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy. He allowed his brain activity to be scanned and monitored and discovered his brain is not particularly special in its 'wiring' for maths. He even admits that he does not think he is above average in intelligence and that he can't do math in his head!

    What do you guys think? Are you smart? Why? Are you dumb? Why is that?

    1. marinealways24 profile image60
      marinealways24posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      It seems the more intelligent a person believes they are, the less others think they are. I think it is intelligent to believe you know nothing with the possibility of knowing everything. As long as you don't let it show that you have the possibility that you believe you can know everything or else others will believe you know nothing.

      1. kirstenblog profile image78
        kirstenblogposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree that arrogance is a real disgusting quality in a person! Funny thing is I have known well educated smart people displaying such arrogance as well as self proclaimed dummies. I do not really believe someone when they call themselves dumb or stupid, and in most cases think its a cop out. It may be that a person lacks confidence and is afraid to try for this reason so saying I am dumb is a way of protecting themselves from what scares them.

        All of this leads me to a new question: How do you convey your intelligence without being arrogant  or self depreciating? False modesty or genuine lack of confidence that leads to a belief that you are stupid can be just as damaging as an inflated and superior view of ones intelligence. If you are being fair to yourself and give yourself credit for the effort you have put into learning are you automatically arrogant?

        1. marinealways24 profile image60
          marinealways24posted 14 years agoin reply to this

          I think it comes down to tact and level of awareness. How to relay something without it being offensive or arrogant is hard because everyone has a different idea of what offensive or arrogant is. I think it also helps to find common ground and understand that just because you are smarter than others in one subject doesn't mean you are smarter than them in all subjects. I think it is fine for a person to continually give themselves credit, but this doesn't mean they have to broadcast them giving themselves credit in front of others, kinda like when a person begs for compliments. I think any hint that a person is asking for a compliment usually gives others instinct that that person is arrogant or has low self esteem being dependent on other for their self esteem. Then again, these comments could all be ignorant.

        2. Mikel G Roberts profile image74
          Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          By sticking to the facts. By adhereing to the principles of the arena in which you find yourself. By not accepting something solely on the basis of that persons pedigree, years of schooling or heaven forbid because of that person's name. For me this includes names such as 'Jesus', 'Einstein', 'Newton', and anyone else. If I see a flaw in what is said, no matter who says it, I point it out. If I am wrong about the flaw, then I will be corrected, if I am right then the flaw will be corrected.

          In my humble opinion it is not the messenger that counts, not the messengers pedigree, not how many PHD's the messenger has, it is the message that is important.

          When I respond to forum posts, I don't look at who wrote the post and judge the validity of the post based on who wrote it and wether I like them or not, I look at what they posted, and respond to the post, not the person.

          College systems that can produce graduates that cannot read... for me signifies college educations are meaningless.

          1. profile image0
            StormRyderposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            I can verify that...No offence to anyone from West Virginia but we had a guy in college from WV that probably couldn't spell his own name but he could play basketball!!

          2. profile image0
            LegendaryHeroposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            What the hell kind of colleges are you talking about?! To even GET into college in the first place you have to had done pretty well in school. To have done pretty well in school, you'd have to had be able to read. EVEN IF you have miraculously done this you wouldn't have been able even make it through your first semester of freshman year. The ability to read is absolutely necessary. You need it for all of your classes. If you couldn't read, you'd fail right out.

            If you think think that college educations are meaningless then lets just take out all of our doctors and engineers and all our scientific advancements for the last several hundred years and then see if you still think that becoming more educated is meaningless. For me, whenever I hear about how a college education is meaningless, I feel that it is the height of ignorance or, at the very least arrogance, for someone to say that. No education is meaningless.

            1. Rafini profile image81
              Rafiniposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              there are some college scouts who will give a scholarship to an excellent sports player who has been passed through the public school system, and then set up a cheat system to keep them in college just so their sports team has a chance to Win.

              1. profile image0
                LegendaryHeroposted 14 years agoin reply to this


                1. Rafini profile image81
                  Rafiniposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                  wish i had it    LOL

                  i have only heard of it

                2. Southern_Smiley profile image60
                  Southern_Smileyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  I was paid under the table to tutor SEC football players when I was in college. This was a strictly to assist them in maintaining a C average so they would not lose their eligibility. Some (not all by any means) could read at about a fourth grade level.

                  1. Rafini profile image81
                    Rafiniposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                    thanks for the proof. smile

    2. qwark profile image61
      qwarkposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      First, one must define intelligence, dumb and smart.
      I base my definition of intelligance on an ability to survive.
      "intelligence is the ability of one to use all the knowledge one has gained in life to live for as long as his genetic programming will allow."
      I think of "dumb" as being a problem of genetic programming. The dictionary definition of dumb is: "1.lacking power of speech, 2. silent, 3, stupid (very dull in mind)
      Smart? To me would to be able to utilize "intelligence."
      Now, your question is, are you smart, intelligent or dumb.
      The answer to that would be what do these words mean to you?
      Personally, I am trying to, to the limits of my natural abilities, be "intelligent."
      I was not born "dumb" so I cannot claim to be that.
      I was taught that "knowledge is power."
      The more knowledge one has attained, if used logically, the better ones chances are to "survive."
      The prime goal of all life is the survival of the species.
      The only way the species can survive is if each member adapts to the environment within which is desires to exist.
      Being a "conscious" animal means that I can, willfully, gain the knowledge necessary to insure that my chances of survival are enhanced.
      What do you think?

      1. kirstenblog profile image78
        kirstenblogposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        By your own definitions you are living your life in an intelligent fashion. My personal definitions for these words are less well defined appreciate the perspective you have offered for your experiences of intelligence. The parallel between success in survival and intelligence is appealing in its logic, I do wonder if it means that viruses and bacteria are highly intelligent? Or other species who have survived as they are now for longer then we have been on the planet? This type of view can be a bit of a knock on human status as top of the food chain lol

        1. qwark profile image61
          qwarkposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          TY Kirsten;
          We humans are NOT at the top of the food chain. That position is held by bacteria.
          Micro, cellular levels of life react to the environment instinctively. Not willfully.
          In biology there is something called "SOR" which simply means: Stimulus, Organism, Response.
          That means that when a Stimulus is introduced to an Organism, the Organism Responds.
          Everything in "simple" life responds very quickly to it's surroundings. Mutations will occur that will adjust the organism in a manner that will enable it to adapt to it's environment.
          That has happened in the evolution of all extant life.
          We humans are a combination of instinct and will. We can, by will, decide how we react to a stimulus.
          The anomaly "consciousness" will decide our viability as a species.

          1. profile image53
            jhinckleyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I think you have misunderstood what it means to be at the top of the food chain. There is no animal, including bacteria, that I cannot  kill and eat if I think it will advance my survival.

    3. IlearnedToday profile image59
      IlearnedTodayposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the pertinent question
      I personally beleive that some brain of some people link things better than others,but it's very dificult to make a jugment about the rank we should give to ourselves in regards how smart we are?
      we can be the one who handle some kind of problems or some kind of calculations easily ,but for some reason from what I have seen it's very dificult to find someone smart in evrything,you can find a smart accountant but you will find out that his is not that smart in having a balanced social life,
      you can find a smart business owner,but not smart enough to protect his business from the accountant who is stealing  his money.
      personally i beleive that the brain of humans is not working the same way for evrybody.
      yes there are people smarter than others,but not in evrything.

    4. profile image55
      randolbovposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      One percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration in equal to intelligence.
      http://www.articlesbase.com/finance-art … 66204.html

    5. qwark profile image61
      qwarkposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Do you enjoy life?
      Do want to live a long one?
      Are you convinced that this is the only life you will ever enjoy?
      Do you understand the concept "eternity?"
      I ask all these questions for you to consider them before I define "intelligence" for you.
      If you've thought them over and have made a judgement in ref to each one, I'll give you my definition of the word "intelligence."
      The goal of "ALL" life is to survive. To survive both as a species and as an individual.
      What is the secret for survival in we "conscious" creatures?
      The answer is simple: "understanding."
      What does it take to "understand?" Four things:
      1. experience...both physical and intellectual.
      2. formal education.
      3. Time.
      4. Common sense
      What is gained from a combination of all 4 of these subjects is: wisdom!
      The more "wisdom" gained, the greater is the possiblity of being "intelligent."
      My definition of "intelligence" is this:
      Intelligence is the ability to use all the wisdom gained in life to LIVE for as long as ones genetic programming will allow.
      Think this over well before responding.
      It is the most logical definition that one can create.

      1. kirstenblog profile image78
        kirstenblogposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        OMGoodness, I forgot about this thread! I do enjoy this response so will respond in kind (all be it some what late).

        "Do you enjoy life?" - Hell Yeah!
        "Do you want to live a long one?" - With one provision, that it is a healthy one that is lived with satisfaction
        "Are you convinced that this is the only life you will ever enjoy?" - No, I am convinced of no such thing. Reincarnation, heaven and hell, or oblivion, none have convinced me only intrigued me wink
        "Do you understand the concept "eternity?"" - Only to a degree as I doubt anyone can really understand this concept. Take those times when time passes so slowly you think its going backwards (like a bad class at school) and multiply that by the life span of the universe and you haven't even scratched the surface. Eternity has not even blinked an eye in that span of time. I mean its really really really really long! How long is a piece of string? Not as long as eternity wink

    6. Shahid Bukhari profile image60
      Shahid Bukhariposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Intelligence, is the Knowing, the Speaking, and the Doing, of the Right Thing at the Right  Place, and Time ...

      Intelligence, is basically, either a Specialist, or a Non Specialist Acivity ... meaning, Appropriate Human Thinking, and Actions.

    7. profile image50
      samuelgrayieposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Intelligence is nothing but 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration is equal to intelligence. There are no unintelligent people in this world, there are only people who don't know how to be intelligent.
      http://www.articlesbase.com/health-arti … 13761.html

  2. Cagsil profile image70
    Cagsilposted 14 years ago

    Hey Kirsten,

    I've explained my position in a hub. I was asked to explain my intelligence by PrettyDarkHorse. smile

    Does it make me smart? In some people's eyes and not in others.

    A person can see themselves as intelligent and it's not about arrogance. Some people can consider themselves with an average intelligence, however, even tests make for testing intelligence are subjective, to those who "claim" to understand intelligence better than others.

    Some people do have a better understanding on how to use their intelligence and some barely understand the word itself.

    There are some people who "project" themselves, false posturing and try to be smarter than they really are. These are the people who want themselves to be recognized for something they think they are entitled to.

    Even discussing "intelligence" can be subjective, because there really isn't a unified understanding of the word. smile

    Just a thought. smile

    Hey Kirsten, how are you today? Hope to find you well. smile

    1. profile image52
      davelawton93posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      When I was in high school I were naughty and in with the wrong crowd. Constantly being took out of lessons, sometimes permanently until I promised to behave, getting suspended for fighting and only having three or four days in school a week.

      Teachers constantly tried to get me to try and get higher grades because I were under achieving and they said I were clever. But because I were in with a bad crowd and only cared about my friends, I ignored them.

      Teachers decided because of little time in school and when in school I were naughty they decided to put me on the Foundation paper.

      The end result is obvious, my GCSE results were a high C in Maths (FOUNDATION), high C in Science (FOUNDATION) and a high B in Art.
      For those who don't know about foundation, it's a GCSE paper that you can only get a C at most on.

      Now I have matured and changed. I want to learn and carry on to College but I cant because I could only get a C at most. I need a B at least for A levels.

      I am interested in Physics and I'm always learning new things about Physics at every chance I get. When my friends or older sisters ask me anything to do with Physics I am really enthusiastic and if I had the chance I would discuss and debate it all day.

      I am also always being told I am intelligent by my family, but is that because my sisters have no GCSEs and my mum and dad there GCSEs years ago?

      I often think I'm somewhat intelligent. Once or twice I have used the knowledge I know about Physics and come up a little theory. Then a week or two later I watched a documentary and I find that I was right and I get goosebumps and I get a feeling like a shiver from my head to my chest.

      Any idea what that is?
      And would you say I'm intelligent or just someone who thinks he is and wants to be?

  3. cheaptrick profile image75
    cheaptrickposted 14 years ago

    IMO,Intelligence is the ability to digest information from disparate sources Then combine it to Create New information.
    My Philosophy professor in school told me"The purpose of college is to learn How to think,nothing more".I assume therefore that formal education dose not Indicate level of Intelligence.
    Objective Relentless Self Examination is the Key.Nurturing and loving self correction and Heaps of reward bring about a balanced and healthy self image.

    1. profile image0
      Twenty One Daysposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      string theory, D? jeje.

      Intellect is assumed to be the ability to decipher information.
      Intelligence is the application of that ability.
      It does not, however, determine whom is or is not 'smart'.

      All it does is prove it can be done and is done -from some sources- nearly 60,000 instances per day, per human.
      Generally, it is believed that the thoughts of each human are the same, from varying perspectives/instances of thought collecting (string theory) but not necessarily 'new'.

  4. profile image0
    StormRyderposted 14 years ago

    Intelligence? That can be something illusive to pin down and quantify. While in college I met some very intelligent people when it came studies and learning, yet it would be some of these people you could find standing in front of a microwave or vending machine for ten minutes before asking someone how to use it. big_smile  I think common sense and life experience can go along way towards intelligence. Being well read or having a degree dosen't automatically equal smart in many cases.

  5. profile image0
    girly_girl09posted 14 years ago

    I've been doing a lot of work lately for a psych class on intelligence. My colloquial definition is simply how well someone can understand and apply knowledge to a certain area. It doesn't necessarily have to be academic.

    You may be interested in reading works by Dr. Howard Gardner who proposed 8 different levels of intelligence. We've come a long way since standardized IQ tests which completely ignore some people's abilities.

    Gardner's 8 identifiable types of intelligence are:

    Verbal, mathematical, spatial, bodily - kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intra-personal and naturalistic.

    I'm sure everyone can find one or two of those areas that they are very 'intelligent' in.

    Dr. Daniel Goleman is a proponent of emotional intelligence. Essentially, how people understand and use emotions for their behavior and decisions.

    These people are very self-aware, they have good management over their emotions, they are great at 'reading' others and are good at relationships because they are good problem solvers/communicators.

    He has recently published a new book on ecological intelligence.

    1. profile image0
      EmpressFelicityposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I tried a couple of freebie online EQ tests and came out with a below-average score each time!  A lot of the questions were IMO best answered by an "It depends..." response rather than the limiting multiple choice options they gave you.  Not a fan.

      In answer to the original post: academically I'm clever.  But in several practical ways (e.g. (hand-eye co-ordination and money-making ability) I'm at the back of the queue.

  6. RKHenry profile image63
    RKHenryposted 14 years ago

    What makes a person smart?

    Fish, fruits and veggies.

  7. donotfear profile image83
    donotfearposted 14 years ago

    I would think that a combination of education, logic, and common sense would determine intelligence. Reasoning ability comes to mind also.  You know, this makes me think about several things. Some people may excel in one area, but defunct in another.  Think of a talented musician who can compose music in his head. But on the other hand, he cannot add 2+2 or write a simple paragraph. I guess it all goes back to which side of your brain excells: the creative side or the more complex mathmatical side. (right or left brained)

    I can truly say that I score very, very low on tests where you have to figure out how to DO something. Like put together a fairly simple puzzle when logic is needed. It really seems like I cannot figure out the simplest of things. Like how to tie a 'quick release knot'. It's one of the easiest knots in the world. So simple, in fact, a very young child could do it. But no matter how hard I try, it always comes out screwed up. It's very embarassing. Doesn't mean I'm not smart, just not able to grasp the simple concept of 'how to do'.

    Interesting subject.

    1. profile image52
      hovelukeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      music and maths are closely linked, i think that possibly a talented musician(talented in composition)would have an above average grasp on fractions and addition.

  8. Mikel G Roberts profile image74
    Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years ago

    I think that some people confuse intelligence and smarts.

    Intelligence is the persons ability to learn. It is not how much they know.

    Smarts is how much they know, not how easily they learned it.

    1. kirstenblog profile image78
      kirstenblogposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Well said! Simple and straight to the point and profound smile
      There is another type of intelligence, the ability to communicate what you know so as to be easy to learn from big_smile

      1. Mikel G Roberts profile image74
        Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years agoin reply to this


    2. profile image52
      hovelukeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      intelligence and smartness are the same thing, it is knowledge that you represent as smartness

  9. Rafini profile image81
    Rafiniposted 14 years ago

    Intelligence is an interesting thing.  Some people have it.  Some people don't.  Some can improve it.  Others refuse to.  There are even some people out there who are unable to improve their intelligence. But for someone with true genius it is almost impossible for them to hide it - not because they don't want to but because it can be sensed by others.   

    I have heard a true genius does not have to be taught and there are different types of genius.  I consider Michael Jackson to have been a genius for his music and dance because from an early age he knew what he was doing w/o being taught.  A true genius doesn't have to study like others do, however, the true genius is also usually deficient in one or more other areas - such as social skills or physical aptitudes.

  10. profile image0
    Justine76posted 14 years ago

    I suck at Jeopardy, and real life freinds, but I know who I am? does that count for anything?

    1. Rafini profile image81
      Rafiniposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yup!  You are who you are and you know it.  smile  It's a good thing!  smile

    2. Mikel G Roberts profile image74
      Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Are you happy?

      1. profile image0
        Justine76posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        ??? what does that have to do with intelligence?
        And, mostly, YES Im happy. No one is always happy.

        1. Mikel G Roberts profile image74
          Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Then it counts for something.

          {You said, "I suck at Jeopardy, and real life freinds, but I know who I am? does that count for anything?" So...if you're happy...Then(see above)}

          1. profile image0
            Justine76posted 14 years agoin reply to this


  11. kirstenblog profile image78
    kirstenblogposted 14 years ago

    On my dads side I have twin brothers. When I lived with my dad my bothers both excelled at school in their studies. Me? I struggled A LOT! One of my twin brothers had a photographic memory. He never saw a B on a report card and it was effortless. My other twin brother struggled, probably as much as me but he got his A's for the most part, the occasional B (which killed him). There was a lot of competition between them for grades and it was a one sided competition! My struggling brother couldn't stand being second to his twin and it motivated him to work harder for grades. Now is the brother who was able to memorize and learn with total ease the smarter one? Or the brother who worked his butt off to match his brother?

    And what about me? Did they leave me in the dust? lol
    I did not get any kind of good grades until I got to High School and by then I lacked any confidence to take on a learning challenge. I have gained a lot of confidence since having left learning institutions. I do wish I had taken some of the elective courses that had been available such as marine biology. My low self esteem regarding my intelligence resulted in missed opportunities and now I highly value a good chance to learn something new or expand on something I already have some understanding of. My spelling is even improving! It only takes one try for spell check to know what it is I am trying to say instead of 3 or more tries just to get close enough to use spell check! lol

    1. profile image0
      EmpressFelicityposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Sometimes school is the worst possible place to be if you want actually to learn anything - bad teachers, bullying... 

      I was extremely lucky with my secondary school, which encouraged me to go to university - I was the first person in my family ever to go to uni.  My mother also encouraged me.  But if you don't get any encouragement at home *or* at school then you're starting with the brakes on, so to speak.

      If you want to take up any formal education, there's always local adult ed institutes/colleges.  Not to mention the Open University.  So it needn't be massively expensive.

      1. kirstenblog profile image78
        kirstenblogposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I love all the open university shows! I record them and if they are really great I tend to save them so that some day I can maybe watch them again with my kids and take their learning out of the class room and that learning can be flexible and fun. I have thought about moving to New Zealand and have actually read that there are universities free to attend and offering a great range to suit just about anyone. I really do hope to get my earnings here up enough that I could move like that without major worries, look for a part time job and no money worries smile. I would strongly consider geology or something to do with identifying edible and medicinal plants in the wild similar to what tribal societies know.

    2. Rafini profile image81
      Rafiniposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      intelligence is not always apparent in a school setting.  even tho my ex has learning disabilities I realized early in our marriage he was quite intelligent.  The same for my son with Aspergers - even the school said they knew he was intelligent, they just couldn't Prove it cuz he never finished a test!

  12. heart4theword profile image60
    heart4thewordposted 14 years ago

    I have observed one thing that some of the smart, intellectual type have in common.  "Listening to classical music, when they were young."

  13. ddsurfsca profile image69
    ddsurfscaposted 14 years ago

    I believe it can most easily be understood broken down likie this.....
    Intelligence is the ability to understand information given.  Wisdom is something that is not learned from a book but from years of learned experience.  Stupidity is the inability or stuborness to not be able to learn or absorb information given to you.
    It does not take money to learn or obtain certificates or earn degrees.  There are many many self taught people who are geniuses in this world.  An example of this is my father, who never went any farther than high school as far as formal education goes.  ut on his own he studied electronics, and got his ham radio operators liscence. 
       In the end, as they say need is the mother of invention, he wanted to be able to talk to a good friend on his ham radio that lived in Japan.  His antenae that was on our roof was not sufficient to reach him.  This led to some thinking, which led to some experimentation, which in the end led to his invention of the very first cable tv satalite, for this was the only way he could think of to get his radio signal to Japan, and that is how we got cable tv world wide.  It did not take formal education, but it did indeed take intelligence and the motivation to use it in a correct and useful way.

  14. WriteAngled profile image73
    WriteAngledposted 14 years ago

    My mother's only ambition was to be a seamstress. She was not allowed to follow that path. When she was 16, the Russians invaded Lwow, where her father was chief of police. He was shot. Her younger sister and mother were sent to a goldmine in Siberia, where her mother died of typhoid. My mother was sent to another camp, where eventually she was liberated into the Free Polish Army under General Sikorski. Apparently, she was one of the top communication specialists, being able to decipher and send Morse code faster then most other radio operators. At the end of WW2, she ended up in the UK and worked in a factory, then had me, and finally worked as a shop assistant in Woolworths. Before the days of electronic cash registers, she was able to add together the total price of a customer's purchases in seconds.

    Despite that background, she was an intelligent woman who never had the means to make the most of her intelligence.

    As for me, I had the privilege of free education in the UK, moving through grammar school, undergraduate studies and PhD. I am an intellectual snob in many ways, primarily because I despise mass culture, turning instead to classical music, opera, theatre and literature. Whether or not I am "intelligent" I cannot say. I tend to score 160 or more in IQ tests, but then I have been trained in completing such tests, so the results are probably fairly meaningless. What I do know is that I am certainly no more intelligent than my mother.

    1. profile image0
      Justine76posted 14 years agoin reply to this


    2. qwark profile image61
      qwarkposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I read this response. It was interesting.
      You used the word "intelligent" a couple times but didn't define what you meant by it.
      This "hub" is captioned: "what is intelligence?..."
      Can you define it in ref to how you use it in your response?

      1. WriteAngled profile image73
        WriteAngledposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Intelligence: ability to use brain capacity in various ways to a greater than average level

        1. qwark profile image61
          qwarkposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          If one can do that but lives a life which offends every cell in his body and dies much earlier than his genetic programming would allow him, would you say he lived intelligently?
          Would the fact that he could "...use brain capacity in various ways to a greater than average level" really describe him as being "intelligent?"
          ...or would you reconsider and decide that "...use brain capacity in various ways to a greater than average level" is but a "facet" of the macro, more concise and complete definition of "intelligent?"

        2. bonny2010 profile image60
          bonny2010posted 14 years agoin reply to this

          I consider all good kind hearted people intelligent and smart - i don't care if they can't read or write or hold an "intelligent" conversation at the drop of a hat - cause it takes a special kind of intelligence to be a really good person and I believe a lot of people have this

          1. qwark profile image61
            qwarkposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            What do you mean by "good?"
            Isn't "good" relative to the culture or society one exists within? i.e. at one time in China it was ok to destroy a female baby because it was deemed not to be as valuable as a boy child.
            In some areas of the world, as soon as a girl experiences "menses," she is given to a rich important man to bear his children.
            Those are "good" things in certain cultures.
            Pls, what does "good" have to do with the definition of "intelligence?"

            1. bonny2010 profile image60
              bonny2010posted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Hi qwark - good is someone who is kind-hearted and would not knowingly do harm to others - good is someone who respects the right from wrong  - it takes intelligence to do that - well I believe it does.
              Intelligence comes in all forms - good is one of them in my opinion - in your eyes Iam probabl way off course - so I will bow out of this one as I believe I am thinking way way outside the box

              1. qwark profile image61
                qwarkposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                Hey Bonny:
                It's ok! Ya gave it a shot.
                I have to respect that..:-)

                1. bonny2010 profile image60
                  bonny2010posted 14 years agoin reply to this

                  actually  reading it now after a couple of hours sleep i think i must have been half asleep when i wrote what i wrote - no iam not on drugs - just finished an allnighter with a horse with colic - he is old but we pulled him through -anyway thanksfor having a sense of humour  - i really wasnt atmy most intelligent  - but MAN IAM GOOOD!!

                  1. qwark profile image61
                    qwarkposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                    Best wishes to you and yer horse...:-)

  15. Internetwriter62 profile image80
    Internetwriter62posted 14 years ago

    First of all, just because those people you knew were wealthy,  that doesn't imply in anyway, that they were intelligent, it just meant they were financially gifted. I live in an affluent community and I would say that most of the people that drive around in their fancy cars and live in the really posh addresses are kind of average, if you meet them, or talk to them. I also believe, there's a huge difference between intelligence and wisdom. There are many intelligent people in history, who have led many astray and have hurt many people with their superior brain power. Yet, there are those that are not geniuses, yet have lived very productive lives and have done so much good. For true wisdom I recommend reading Proverbs. I think you are very intelligent, since you are an observer and that is important. I bet you're a good listener to. I guess intelligence has a lot to do with giving of one's self, so if that is you. Keep it up.

  16. profile image59
    logic,commonsenseposted 14 years ago

    Being intelligent and being smart are 2 different things.

  17. Isabelle22 profile image61
    Isabelle22posted 14 years ago

    The abilty to think for themselves smile

  18. Retsced profile image59
    Retscedposted 14 years ago

    Intelligence is quite simply the effective use of knowledge gained over a sustained period of time. It is said that the more intelligent a person is believed to be then the less creative his\her mind is.

    If one has extensive knowledge on a certain subject matter but fails to use that knowledge effectively, then he or she is not considered to be very smart

    So in my opinion, Intelligence is using the knowledge you have gained effectively which at the same time makes you smart.

    Jesus does that even make sense lol. Me not so smart wink

  19. bojanglesk8 profile image62
    bojanglesk8posted 14 years ago

    General world knowledge.

  20. timorous profile image83
    timorousposted 14 years ago

    I believe intelligence is the ability to distill any number of related (and un-related), learned facts into a coherant whole, and applying that understanding in a meaningful way.  i.e. to solve a problem, figure out how something works, make a sensible decision, or whatever the situation calls for.  It's a kind of adaptation.

    I think learning is taking in information, and trying to make sense of it, based on previously learned facts and common sense.  You can learn as much as your mind can take in, but if you can't put it all together and apply it in some meaningful way, it's just a bunch of facts, or you have a learning disability.  Everyone learns differently.

    Learning requires an open mind, a willingness to question what you already know.  It is a life-long journey.

  21. Obscurely Diverse profile image61
    Obscurely Diverseposted 14 years ago

    This is an easy question, and the answer is: LIFE!

  22. izettl profile image90
    izettlposted 14 years ago

    My father is a genius- by his standards and Mensa, etc. I used to want to be as smart as him but then I realized what he lacks in other areas- believe it or not- common sense and social skills. These two factors are severly lacking in many proclaimed geniuses. He's spent most of his life with his head in books that he missed out on socializing and he has to have a repetitive schedule every day because he lacks common sense and does not do well if thrown from that schedule. So if that's what ultimate intelligence lives like, I don't admire it anymore.

    I learned my own lesson on intelligence. I was an average, mostly below average, student up through high school. I labeled myself average intelligence until I decided to go to college. I only did well in courses I enjoyed so that made me think about learning- people accell in certain areas naturally. The more specified the courses got in college pertaining to my major interest, the better grades I got. Also, it made me realize, you are as intelligent as the amount of effort you put into it. Perhaps when people are interested in a certain subject, they put more effort into it and they are smarter in that subject. I graduated from college with an almost perfect cumalative grade average.
    Effort, natural abilities, and confidence = how intelligent a person is.

  23. starme77 profile image75
    starme77posted 14 years ago

    what makes a person smart is being really observant, quietly paying attention to their surroundings , and reading, reading, reading, plus research , thats always good too

    1. nadp profile image74
      nadpposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      It is true that the things you've mentioned, Starme77, do increase the knowle3dge that someone has.  But I think "knowledge" and "intelligence" are two different things.  Of course they are related - but not the same.  I think intelligence has to do with the ability to process information and the ability to make connections between different pieces of information.  Someone can be extremely intelligent - have these abilities I've mentioned.  But that doesn't necessarily mean they have a lot of knowledge in one particular area or another.  And on the other hand, someone my have a lot of knowledge on a particular subject but not necessarily have the intelligence to see how this knowledge is relevant to the bigger picture.  I think it does tend to be true, though, that the more intelligent a person is, the easier it is for them to learn and retain a vast amount of knowledge.

      1. Pandoras Box profile image60
        Pandoras Boxposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        You said it best.

  24. profile image0
    ralwusposted 14 years ago

    lay your hand on a hot pot belly stove and you'll know smart soon enough

    1. starme77 profile image75
      starme77posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      lol lol Nice One smile

    2. timorous profile image83
      timorousposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Ouch!! yikes  It's also called learning (hopefully).

  25. Ann Nonymous profile image59
    Ann Nonymousposted 14 years ago

    That ever elusive, declining UN-common existence called.....

    Common Sense!

    Since this has mysteriously been deprived from many individuals worldwide companies are forced to write, Caution it's hot! on coffee.....and so on and so forth. Book knowledge is basically useless if practicality and common sense are absent.

  26. timorous profile image83
    timorousposted 14 years ago

    Are people more stupid than they used to be?  Or is it just that companies that produce consumer products are afraid of being sued by these same stupid people, who prefer to place the blame for their own stupidity on someone else, rather than accepting their own responsibility, and at least have a modicum of common sense.

    Sorry about the little rant.  Cheers smile

    1. nadp profile image74
      nadpposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I think people are more stupid than they used to be.  As a teacher I see that students expect to have information spoon fed to them.  I teach high school and it constantly amazes me how many students get to that point and they have not learned how to THINK!!!!
      It's a combination of the breakdown of society and family in many communities, and schools being afraid of law suits if they displease parents, and parents wanting everything to be easy for their kids.
      Now of course, this isn't always the case - I have a lot of GREAT students.  But there is too much of what I mentioned above - it's increasing. Teachers and education are not valued in our society as they used to be, and the result is people who are more stupid than they used to be.
      And please pardon me for my rant : ) (but thanks for giving me the opportunity!)

      1. profile image59
        logic,commonsenseposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Their parents do not give them responsibility and do not hold them responsible!

  27. blondepoet profile image67
    blondepoetposted 14 years ago

    What makes a person smart is knowing that they still much in life to learn smile

    1. Jerami profile image60
      Jeramiposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      If they are always thinking about how smart they are..
      They have taken their mind off of the things that make them smart in the first place.

         I sure am glad that I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree.
      Wouldn't it be awful to not have anything to aspire to?

  28. Flightkeeper profile image69
    Flightkeeperposted 14 years ago

    I don't care so much about people being intelligent, it's not the most important thing.  I think being sensible, kind, brave, savvy and persistent is what prepares people for whatever life throws at you.

  29. IntimatEvolution profile image68
    IntimatEvolutionposted 14 years ago

    Omega 3!tongue 

    I hear omega 3 makes people smart.

  30. brettdeaneaster profile image56
    brettdeaneasterposted 14 years ago

    wow I need some of omega3

  31. zzron profile image58
    zzronposted 14 years ago

    I think common sense makes a person pretty smart.

    1. Obscure Divine profile image59
      Obscure Divineposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah, but if the majority is dumb and/or commonly ignorant, does it still make sense?

  32. terrordronetimmy profile image60
    terrordronetimmyposted 14 years ago

    I seen a documentary on the BBC that showed that some people are born with their brains wired up naturally to be a chess player etc.  They are just discovering that no matter how hard you try you cant get your brain to emulate the other guys who has been born with it like that.  Its like some people can look at a chess board and just see the way the games gonna go, but people like me would have to think hard about it, this means they have a massive edge because it comes natural to them as their brains were wired that way when they grew from birth.  This sucks.  They showed test subjects of Grand masters that had been playing chess all their lives and acquired it as a skill by reading books and playing etc and compared it to Grand masters that just hadn't bothered and that were just born able to do it.  It showed that the ones that were naturally good were all networked up differently and using different parts of their brains which the others could not switch to.  9 times out of 10 these chess geniuses always won against the normal players.

    It came to the point of discussion about why bother when this knowledge has come to light that you just wont beat them.  But its because of the 1 chance that you will and rub it in their faces I guess.

    But on the plus side they also said they discovered how to increase intelligence to genius level by switching on a gene and sending electric pulses into areas of the brain to stimulate growth.

    Tested on mice as always.

    But they said its gonna be put in a pill in about 10 years so we will all be able to enhance our brain power.

  33. timorous profile image83
    timorousposted 14 years ago

    They also say the brain is able to re-wire itself after brain cells die, which they do constantly anyway.  The brain is constantly adapting to changing stimuli and conditions.  This is what learning is all about.  This means that you're not necessarily hard-wired for anything from birth.  You simply have an pre-determined aptitude, because of your brain's initial chemical makeup (or pre-wired route map) at birth.

    I think virtually anything can be learned.  I suspect however, because of various brain chemical differences, some people may have more difficulty than others.  It may be in the genes after all, at least in part.

  34. ceciliabeltran profile image65
    ceciliabeltranposted 13 years ago

    Actual Brain Theory states that intelligence is the ability to predict outcomes. smile

    1. profile image0
      Twenty One Daysposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      which we can. again, all the data is in there. it is all conclusive. big_smile

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image65
        ceciliabeltranposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        i agree big_smile (press button)

    2. profile image0
      china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      There are many ways of considering intelligence, it is not surprising that someone involved in brain theory would describe it as the ability to predict outcomes as that is what they are good at.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image65
        ceciliabeltranposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        i don't know what this means, you don't agree with the guy?

      2. ceciliabeltran profile image65
        ceciliabeltranposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        well the question that he opened the discussion with was if something cannot move or express itself, is it intelligent?  then he proceeds in explaining that neuroscience has a lot of data and no theory, for this reason, we know all there is to know about the brain but we don't how to make sense of it.

        so he came up with that theory and an entire foundation was built around proving that theory.

  35. Robert A. Harris profile image61
    Robert A. Harrisposted 13 years ago

    I don't believe in intelligence per say and I think it's misunderstood by many.  We all have our weakness and strengths and I don't believe anyone is more intelligent than the other person.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image65
      ceciliabeltranposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Intelligence is not a belief PER SE,  its a phenomenon that can be measured as observable.

      However, you are right in that all people are intelligent in some way that equates them.

  36. Swettypie profile image54
    Swettypieposted 13 years ago

    hi how r u

  37. profile image0
    newday98033posted 13 years ago

    When you poke around at how this place works it seems the answer is better directed toward consciousness than intelligence. I suspect that we each decide what we want to be aware of and what we don't want to be aware of. There is process to becoming more or less conscious of what is around us. Learning that process can be useful!

  38. Lady_E profile image62
    Lady_Eposted 13 years ago

    Being Observant.

    (Eyes and ears wide open).
    It's not all about Qualifications. smile

  39. wingedcentaur profile image64
    wingedcentaurposted 13 years ago

    Kirstenblog, this is a reply to your very first posting, here, on this topic. It seems to me that you answered your own question, and the way you answered it is revealing. Intelligence is defined by the dictionary as the faculty of acquiring and applying information. Both acquiring and application functions must be operative in order to display intelligence.

    As you told us, you did that, being able to impress those "posh" people with your understanding of social issues, current event, and "even the sciences." You told us that you are a voracious reader - even reading "cheesy" ads on the sides of bypassing buses (Do I have that right?). You took what you read and applied it effectively in conversation, even getting job offers because of this.

    You mentioned two brothers who got good grades, one has a photographic memory. I'm sure their very smart, like you, but strictly speaking, gettting good grades is not a display of intelligence. What is being shown here is that they were both good at acquiring information.

    Getting good grades on tests and homework are not proof of the application function of intelligence. Education is largely regurgitation. You also told us how fluid intelligence (or IQ) is by your own experience, again. You said that you work like heck to "figure things out," and so forth. You are most certainly "smarter" than you were when you first started your job at the school. You achieved this by working at it.

    Lastly, I would just say that I wish we didn't have such a linear, hierarchical view of intelligence. The fact is that each of us is good at acquiring and applying different kinds of information, in different ways.


  40. Paradise7 profile image70
    Paradise7posted 13 years ago

    I have a fairly high IQ.  I can do the number sequence problems and things like that, like a house on fire.  I have a very poor memory for things like people's names, though.  So I know my short-term memory is limited, especially if I haven't seen the name in print.

    I think everyone has the advantages of a pretty good brain, to begin with, and also has some limitations, to begin with.  We usually go with what we find suits us best; we usually end up where we're comfortable.  And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  41. profile image0
    kimberlyslyricsposted 13 years ago

    more than one divorce to millionaires

  42. timorous profile image83
    timorousposted 13 years ago

    I suspect Kimberly is being cleverly obscure, here.  Nevermind...I know to what she refers, and don't ask her for an explanation. Just be satisfied that she made an intelligent decision. Nice going, Kim smile

  43. profile image0
    Keatonposted 13 years ago

    This sounds like a discussion we had in my novels class some time ago about what makes a person sophisticated. I said that there were four stages, one dependent of one another. Education, knowledge, wisdom, mannerisms.

    When we utilize our education, it becomes knowledge. Knowledge is earned throughout our lifetime.

    When we utilize our knowledge to lead and help the progression of others, it is wisdom. Wisdom is the accumulation of our knowledge to better ourselves and others.

    How that wisdom is received and followed, or not followed, ultimatemly depends on mannerisms. How do you present yourself? Are you strict? Merciless? Passive?

  44. profile image50
    belindalangposted 13 years ago

    Hi everyone..

    his is another technique that has helped me to receive good tickets.  There are a couple types of presales.  There is the public presale, or no password needed.  There is the venue or radio presale, and then there is the fan club, AOL or American Express presale.  In most cases you need a password to get into the sale.  Look ahead online and see if your event is offering a presale and what kind it is.  I join a lot of mailing lists for venues.  Go to the actual website for the venue and join their mailing list.  Everytime they have a presale they will email you the password!!  Join a Fan Club.  This usually costs money, but if your a fan already, what the heck.  If it's a radio station presale, go to their website.  Sometimes they are posted, sometimes you need to join their mailing list.  AOL members sometimes have access to presales.  Since AOL is now Free, get an AOL email address and visit their City Guide and sign-up for their AOL Ticket Alert. If you have an American Express card they have many presales for shows they sponsor.  I have got FRONT ROW seats before with this kind of presale. There are also a lot of blogs and PAY websites that publish passwords to about any show.  Search the web before you PAY for one. You can also buy the code on eBay.  JUST REMEMBER, a password code DOES NOT guarantee you a ticket...

    ebay ticket selling

  45. profile image0
    Precious Williamsposted 13 years ago

    Kristen, paper qualifications don't make you happy or necessarily define you as a successful person. Some of the most successful businessmen and woman- were not every good academically but no one would accuse them now of not being intelligent and they are certainly smart.  And so are you because you have insight, a good way with words and you are compassionate. Those things come through in your writing and comments.I'm sure you have many more - acknowledge them and be proud of them.

  46. skgrao profile image67
    skgraoposted 13 years ago

    Beg,Barrow or Steal knowledge and your self motivation and determination to do something  better than your best doers is all that is required for you to get a place that you would be proud of when you sit at the end of the day and think back.
    Self Education,Wisdom and intelligence are part of the above. 
    A thief can be smart and also few of the above.

    1. profile image50
      kimedwardposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      intelligence is something you learn how to nourish the things that you've learned on the other day..
      A real intelligent person don't have time to waste time to learn everything, of his environment , his self, his philosophy and everything that is for him, can help to learn.

  47. GStamp profile image60
    GStampposted 11 years ago

    I think intelligence is the ability to quickly and effectively retain knowledge, learn and apply applications.  Having any type of advanced education has no bearing on a person's intelligence.  I know a lot of simple people with degrees.

  48. starme77 profile image75
    starme77posted 11 years ago

    Creative and critical thinking foster  intellegence. Being able to set aside bias and examine the facts in order to make an informed decision - that is intellegence to me anyway.


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