Are You Smart?
We all probably know somebody who is intelligent abut does rather stupid things. Sometimes your family and friends delight in pointing out time when you make dumb mistakes. What does it mean to be smart? Our everyday use of the word is meant to describe someone who is knowledgeable and makes wise decisions, but the very definition is at odds with how intelligence is measured. The most widely known measure of intelligence is the intelligence quotient, more commonly called the IQ test, which includes visuospatial puzzles, math problems, pattern recognition, vocabulary questions and visual searches
The real advantages of being intelligent are undeniable. Intelligent people are more likely to get better grades and go farther in school. They are more likely to be successful at work. They are less likely to get into trouble. Given all the advantages of intelligence, though, you may be actually surprised to learn that it does not predict other life outcomes, such as well-being. You might guess that doing well in school or at work might result in greater to greater life satisfaction or longevity. However,it has been found that most intelligence tests fail to capture real-world decision-making and our ability to interact well with others. Perhaps this is why "smart" people do "dumb" things.
The ability to think critically, on the other hand, has been associated with wellness and longevity. Most often confused with intelligence, critical thinking is not intelligence. Critical thinking is a collection of cognitive skills that allow us to think rationally in a goal-oriented manner and a disposition to use those skills when needed. Critical thinkers are amiable skeptics. They are flexible thinkers who require evidence to support their beliefs and recognize fallacious attempts to persuade them. Critical thinking means overcoming all kinds of cognitive biases. Is it better to be a critical thinker or to be intelligent? YOU FIGURE . . . .