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prasad's avatar

Who would you call an intelligent person?

Asked by prasad (3826 points ) July 7th, 2012

So, what is your idea / definition of an intelligent person? Or who would you consider an intelligent person?

- someone who is born intelligent?
– someone who applies his intelligence to maximum possible capacity?
– someone who can solve the Rubik’s cube within say 3 minutes?
– someone who remembers almost everything? having exceptional memory?
– someone who can solve complex mathematical problems?
– computer geek?
– someone who can deceive anyone easily?
– someone like Sherlock Holmes? (well, I like Sherlock Holmes!)
– someone who is a scientist? ...(Newton, Einstein,...?)
– who has PhD?
– do you consider animals / plants in this regard?
– or any other idea?

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19 Answers

prasad's avatar

I don’t belong to any of the above categories. I belong to fools!

jerv's avatar

Sometimes, intelligence is merely a profound lack of stupidity. With that in mind, it may be argued that you do not need any of the traditional/stereotypical signs of intelligence to be intelligent; you merely need to not be stupid.

thebluewaffle's avatar

It’s all well and good being intelligent (and extremely good looking) but I find it annoys the shite out of me when people have no common sense.

Two very different things!

augustlan's avatar

Innate ability seems to play a large role. Someone who has critical thinking skills and can problem solve.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

A combination of all that! Unfortunately I fall into the opposite category, exact opposite!

downtide's avatar

Someone who is able to understand and construct logical arguments. Ability to solve complex (but not necessarily mathematical or scientific) problems. Memory can be a part of intelligence but memory alone isn’t sufficient. Understanding is vital.

I used to be able to solve a Rubik’s Cube in under a minute, but only because I read and memorised the sequence of moves that someone else had devised. I couldn’t have solved it myself without a cheat sheet.

I believe that intelligence is innate. You can practise to keep what intelligence you have, but I don’t believe it’s possible to gain more.

josie's avatar

Someone who interacts with external reality, and consistently draws a correct conclusion about their circumstances.

Pol_is_aware's avatar

@josie Well said. There are a lot of ways to be intelligent, but the most valuable, to me, is defined by awareness.

JLeslie's avatar

I think a lot of it has to do with being born that way, and then being in an environment that helps to foster it. For me intelligence is being able to take in information, out it together with previously held information and make logical summations. See how the things reate, how one piece of information can help with another problem. Memory is part of it. Intelligent people seem to store memories in several ways and very efficiently, so they recall the information more readily. You might notice how some people can bounce around in a conversation, because one piece of information causes them to think of other situations where the information applies, the are kind of loose thinkers. I think that somewhat is a sign of intelligence. It can also be creative at the same time. We might sit back and think, “how did he come up with that?” Whatever that is. They person is logically putting together all the information he has on a topic, mixing it together with other topics and forming new hypothesis. Less intelligent people seem to learn more by rote, and have one answer for one problem. They can know a lot, but it does not seem to move widely accross different topics, just very focused on what they have studied. That’s just my take on it, not anything I read, no scientific basis, except I have read that people with high IQ’s when scanned tend to have many parts of their brain “light up” when recalling or thinking about something.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Someone with a good combination of book smarts and street smarts.

zigmund's avatar

Someone who uses “who” and “whom” correctly…

trailsillustrated's avatar

I know both intelligent people and stupid people. Of course, being intelligent means you can solve complex problems, have a high level of understanding what you read and see, and probably have an advanced degree, all those things. But a thing that matters is insight. I have met many intelligent people that had a lack of insight. This means they live in a bubble, where nothing is important except for and but their own interests and ends. I have met many people that are not so ‘intelligent’, but their insight is better than that. What to me is intelligent? A brightly interested person, in everything, and everyone.

pezz's avatar

I find someone who/whom has to correct people constantly irritating… ‘cos they THINK they’re smart.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(Would be “who”, @pezz. “I find someone who has to correct people….”)

I think a willingness to listen and carefully consider advice and change opinions if it seems warranted shows a mark of intelligence. Or maybe that’s just wisdom.

zigmund's avatar

Pezz, I’m curious. Are you constantly finding it irritating? Or is it constant correcting you find irritating? ‘Cos (sic) your adverb placement is confusing.
I should also mention that ‘cos is extremely irritating to those of us who value the English language.

I correct (even passively) because (see, THAT’S a word) I would think that the poster would want to better their grammar.

Paradox25's avatar

I’m not sure if there is any certain criteria to be considered intelligent. Many may argue that a good deal of intelligent people lack common sense, or the ability to see the little simpler things, so to speak. In my opinion an intelligent person needs to be able to look outside of the box for answers to persistent problems, and shouldn’t form a bias against any certain thing. Intelligence and cleverness are not necessarily mutual. I’m sure that many otherwise intelligent people opposed the Semmelweis Effect too at the time, hence that term earning its name.

pezz's avatar

@zigmund your work here is done…. and how I adore your use of broken sentences to emphasise just how irritating some people can be…

Dutchess_III's avatar

He was mimicking your writing style @pezz.

zigmund's avatar

I’d say it was more ridiculing than mimicking, but potato, potahto…
My work is never done…

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