Reply To: Why is intelligence often confused with knowledge?

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Sandy # Posted on October 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm

I think it’s a bit of a semantics issue. Other things come up like this, for instance, a very good working memory can make someone particularly good at solving certain types of problems, and that makes them seem “insightful” or creative, when actually they’re just good at parsing a lot of data.

The answer is that intelligence is multifaceted, and having a good storehouse of knowledge (as you do) is useful. An example that may highlight the difference as you suggest, is someone like “Rain Man” Kim Peek, the savant who amassed a Library of Congress sized amount of data, but wasn’t particularly intelligent.

For most people, though, intelligence is a mix of knowledge, experience, working memory, creative problem solving, being able to reframe issues, and logical reasoning.

I think one of the most interesting bits of research recently is that praising kids for being smart is not nearly as effective a motivator in the long run as praising them for working hard. So, intelligent or knowledgeable…keep working at it!

http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/