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To ask what it means to you to be 'intelligent'?

(20 Posts)
ComingUpTrumps Thu 19-Oct-17 10:36:54

I was thinking about this earlier, and I think it can mean: having very good reasoning abilities (e.g. being able to give suitable answers to 'why' questions), making links between things and understanding new concepts relatively quickly.

EvilDoctorBallerinaVampireDuck Thu 19-Oct-17 10:37:44

An ability to learn things easily.

LemonysSnicket Thu 19-Oct-17 10:45:01

Knowing a lot about a lot of things, easily learning and retaining new knowledge, forming links between concepts easily

SomethingNewToday Thu 19-Oct-17 10:46:29

Knowing a lot about a lot of things

Now see, I personally feel this has no link to 'intelligence' at all - it just means you're educated.

thecatsthecats Thu 19-Oct-17 10:58:00

I think that intelligent people have a greater capacity to learn and retain knowledge, so it's not 'no link', but just an element of intelligence. They're also better at learning important evaluation skills that help them process new information successfully, or at the very least to appreciate the dimensions of a problem, even if they don't immediately understand them.

I like to think of it as everyone could be placed out of ten - half of the points available for mental aptitude that you're born with, half for skills and knowledge that you acquire. A 'six' could be five of one, one of the other. Only the 'five plus five' people are the real geniuses, so it's a good job we don't need too many of those grin.

I do know a brilliantly well-educated guy who places enormous importance on intellectualism, and is incredibly good at repeating arguments, but he can't debate with you. It's all a regurgitation of other people's ideas, and he can't easily deconstruct ones presented to him on the spot.

I expect people will be along in a minute to say that everyone is intelligent in their own way and that there are different kinds of intelligence (that I don't deny - it's way more complex than I'm saying here, obviously). Most people like to think of themselves of intelligent though, and any notion that it's in any way pre-determined is a fact that some people don't like to face.

dratsea Thu 19-Oct-17 11:16:19

To be able to question answers rather than answer questions.

ComtesseDeSpair Thu 19-Oct-17 11:34:15

Being mentally quick and perceptive and making connections between concepts easily and with good understanding of how and why those connections are.

This then helps you to learn things, retain information and recall it to be used in the correct context (I think having lightning wit is a marker of intelligence) but I don't think just knowing loads of stuff is a sign of intelligence in itself.

Taffeta Thu 19-Oct-17 11:42:50

Yes I’d say it’s about making connections between concepts.

Which makes it a spontaneous ability rather than a rehearsed one.

Also for me there’s something around emotional intelligence, social skills - saying the right thing at the right time to the right person in the right tone.

CockacidalManiac Thu 19-Oct-17 11:44:11

I like the definition that it’s the ability to adapt quickly to your environment.

orzal Thu 19-Oct-17 11:52:16

Intelligence is being able to grasp situations and their implications quickly and being able to communicate this to other people.

didnthappeninmyday Thu 19-Oct-17 11:57:15

I think intelligence is the ability to work out things for yourself, quickly and effectively.

Unfortunately schools and exam boards seem to rate intelligence as the ability to remember stuff.

user1483964745 Thu 19-Oct-17 11:58:37

To be able to think about information in either a logical or creative way and be able to have a critical stance on some things, e.g. not just recite the opinions or behaviours of others.

For example, My graphic designer DP who failed most exams in his life, is someone I would deemed highly intelligent. A different intelligence from me doing a masters of science, but intelligent all the same!

RatherBeCrazy Thu 19-Oct-17 12:02:09

I agree with pps. To me it’s about questioning and curiosity, but also about self-awareness I.e. knowing what you don’t know

SilverSpot Thu 19-Oct-17 12:05:01

Intelligence is being able to grasp situations and their implications quickly and being able to communicate this to other people.

I don't think you have to be able to explain things to other people well to be intelligent.

Eolian Thu 19-Oct-17 12:14:06

Yy to understanding and learning things easily and quickly. Being able to explain or communicate things well isn't necessarily a sign of high intelligence. There are definitely very clever people who can't explain for toffee!

As for the knowledge thing - a person who is intelligent doesn't necessarily have to be knowledgeable, or vice versa, but the two often go together because intelligent people usually find it easier to attain (and retain) knowledge. Not sure if having a good memory is necessary in order to qualify as intelligent, but it definitely helps with the knowledge side of things.

withlotsoflove Thu 19-Oct-17 13:01:21

didnt totally agree with you.
I could have typed the same.

Morphene Thu 19-Oct-17 13:04:04

An ability to use acquired knowledge to create new connections and solve problems outside of the context in which you originally gained the knowledge.

Morphene Thu 19-Oct-17 13:06:21

I think people think of the speed with which someone acquires new skills - but actually that's nowhere near as important as people in the UK think. Intelligence as quickness is a very culturally embedded concept that isn't that relevant out there in the wider world, where intelligence as depth is more common.

VladmirsPoutine Thu 19-Oct-17 13:08:22

Good question. I have a very good ability to learn and retain new knowledge very quickly, however, I struggle to apply this to 'actual' real life situations. Do I consider myself intelligent? Yes. But there are areas which I fall down.
I suppose everyone has their own way of processing things. I can explain complex philosophical concepts very well but I can't change a tire even though in theory I can explain to you (or someone) how it's done having read how to do it.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 19-Oct-17 13:10:41

It's the one thing I envy in others. I'd love to be more intelligent. I don't admire beauty, I admire brains. Although both are the luck of the draw.

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