Sunday, March 8, 2009

Smart vs. Intelligent

I had a high school history teacher who told us that there is a difference between being smart and being intelligent. I forget what their explanation was— but the fact there is a difference stuck with me.

Smart people are the ones who can give you all the facts and figures about things. I consider these types of people good at trivia. They are very good at reciting all the capitals to all the third world countries that gained their independence since 1970. All of this is very impressive and shows that you know a lot of things. These kind of people are very good at test taking because they can memorize the answers.
People who are intelligent tend to know more about the big picture rather than the details. These are the kinds of people who take what they learn and apply it to everyday life. They tend to find connections in things that most people overlook. This makes them very good at problem solving because they can find many applicable solutions rather than insisting on there being only one right answer.

I do not think that anybody who falls into these categories should be labeled as such. These categories are more the tenancies that I find people behaving like. We all can be smart as well as intelligent— even though we may lean more towards one way than the other.

Post a Comment
Web Analytics