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Is natural intelligence becoming more underrated nowadays?

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sportsperson

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More and more talking with people as well as having been through different undergrad courses where lecturers emphasized the importance of nurture (saying it is a 50-50 split between nature and nurture or even more so in favor of nurture over nature) ... It just seems natural intelligence is given less importance in the grand scheme of things. Kids in schools are now taught that "they can do anything they want" when teachers themselves know that's not the case (usually from first hand experience). And this ultimately sets up a dangerous situation where people will fall short due to natural limitations and be more depressed than those around the world living in sub-par conditions.

So why isn't natural ability given more importance? After seeing that thread with a link to where some guy is saying he's studying 12 hours a day x7 days a week and still hasnt passed a single class in first year med school... that's how you know intelligence matters (a lot).

Going through elementary school and high class, the most intelligent people always has the most academic success. Best natural athletes had the most athletic success. Then there were some who worked very hard and never got anywhere close. So what gives? Why are we not teaching kids there are natural limitations in different aspects of one's life? Why are we teaching them hard work/dedication/blah blah can get them to where they want to be? Cause sure... it can... provided they have the talent to succeed. In all my time of academics/athletics so far, it has always been the smartest/naturally best person who's won/succeeded the most. Why? Cause those with natural talent also do work pretty hard almost always. So what chance does that leave for lesser talented individuals?

And of course many of you reading this now are thinking "so what? should we tell kids to become janitors if they have trouble with elementary school math?" Well.. not really. There just needs to be less false promises of hope made to those who 'dont have it." It will spare them a life-time of frustration and self-regret. Myself, I know lots of happy people who are very average in every aspect, but yet are very happy because they are where they expected to be.

Anyways, thoughts?
 

aSagacious

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And of course many of you reading this now are thinking "so what? should we tell kids to become janitors if they have trouble with elementary school math?" Well.. not really. There just needs to be less false promises of hope made to those who 'dont have it."

Sounds good. Find me an objective, predictive, and falsifiable method by which we can quantify and categorize who 'has it' and we'll get to sorting folks like Brave New World.
 

xroc

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Sounds good. Find me an objective, predictive, and falsifiable method by which we can quantify and categorize who 'has it' and we'll get to sorting folks like Brave New World.

that's exactly the problem. how exactly do you know who is the most intelligent person? I have very intelligent friends in college who refuse to spend a lot of time studying for a test and get a B (which they are happy with), while there are people who spend an entire week straight studying for a test to get an A. I am 100% certain that the person with the B is more intelligent, so grades can't be the only measure.

Aside from that, what else can you use? An IQ test? Even that has limitations...
 

Thego2guy

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I see what you are saying. As Sagacious pointed it out, realistically this is a tricky situation, so I will just refer to theoretical stuff.
I am personally an optimist, and I am really fond of the brain's plasticity and neuroscience. Each day we are finding out more and more about how the environment influences genetics, and we are discovering break through interactions such as with miRNA's, with epigenetics, viruses etc...
I think the brain has a wonderful capacity to adjust, adapt, train, and learn. But perhaps there is a limit. (The question is, whether that limit can be overcome).

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10013111

Incredible, no? Then the question comes up of whether he always had that amazing ability and never had a chance to exercise his potential until he reached his 20's, or if he truly mentally came from nothing. Some food for thought.
 

Thego2guy

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that's exactly the problem. how exactly do you know who is the most intelligent person? I have very intelligent friends in college who refuse to spend a lot of time studying for a test and get a B (which they are happy with), while there are people who spend an entire week straight studying for a test to get an A. I am 100% certain that the person with the B is more intelligent, so grades can't be the only measure.

Aside from that, what else can you use? An IQ test? Even that has limitations...

Yeah. You know what I was thinking recently...? I was wondering what is the relationship between knowledge and intelligence. Intelligent people generally know A LOT, but not always. At what point is someone considered to be intelligent because of what they know vs. how much they don't. If that even makes sense.

In other words, can you still be intelligent but not know much? I bet the layman wouldn't refer to you as someone smart. (my experience). And vice versa, in my case I know a ****load of information way ahead of my years, but I personally consider myself dumb as ****. When some really 'less smart' people talk to me and hear what I know, they think I am a genius - which is very far off from the truth. So the correlation between those two factors is interesting to explore.
 

tn4596

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I see what you are saying. As Sagacious pointed it out, realistically this is a tricky situation, so I will just refer to theoretical stuff.
I am personally an optimist, and I am really fond of the brain's plasticity and neuroscience. Each day we are finding out more and more about how the environment influences genetics, and we are discovering break through interactions such as with miRNA's, with epigenetics, viruses etc...
I think the brain has a wonderful capacity to adjust, adapt, train, and learn. But perhaps there is a limit. (The question is, whether that limit can be overcome).

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10013111

Incredible, no? Then the question comes up of whether he always had that amazing ability and never had a chance to exercise his potential until he reached his 20's, or if he truly mentally came from nothing. Some food for thought.

The guy was already smart from the start, he just didnt have the oportunity to show it because he was living in Mexico_Obviously, he knows that he can do better than a farmworker.
 

Thego2guy

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The guy was already smart from the start, he just didnt have the oportunity to show it because he was living in Mexico_Obviously, he knows that he can do better than a farmworker.

I mostly agree with you, but I can't be certain about it. The realistic problem is that we can't prove either way.
 

ccesssu

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there doesn't need to be some sort of test to measure natural intelligence. most of it shows up by the time you're in high school. i know a hs senior who's going off to college with enough credit to enter as a college senior, and then going off to do a phd. he doesn't stay up late, still hangs out, plays two sports etc. and you have other people, that kill themselves (staying up til 2,3am to finish work) but still manage to go to ivies, do the same thing. but the effort that it takes to do this makes it pretty obvious how much one is capable of. this one girl who is at mit was so happy she got in (worked incredibly hard in hs) but is now really suffering since she is not as naturally talented. at a certain level, when everyone is dedicated and puts in the time, you simply cannot "beat" them.
i don't think anyone is so mentally limited (excluding the actually mentally disabled) to be sent to a "janitor school", but it should be a factor when going off to grad school, whether it's a phd, or med or whatever.
 

Porfirio

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More and more talking with people as well as having been through different undergrad courses where lecturers emphasized the importance of nurture (saying it is a 50-50 split between nature and nurture or even more so in favor of nurture over nature) ... It just seems natural intelligence is given less importance in the grand scheme of things. Kids in schools are now taught that "they can do anything they want" when teachers themselves know that's not the case (usually from first hand experience). And this ultimately sets up a dangerous situation where people will fall short due to natural limitations and be more depressed than those around the world living in sub-par conditions.

So why isn't natural ability given more importance? After seeing that thread with a link to where some guy is saying he's studying 12 hours a day x7 days a week and still hasnt passed a single class in first year med school... that's how you know intelligence matters (a lot).

Going through elementary school and high class, the most intelligent people always has the most academic success. Best natural athletes had the most athletic success. Then there were some who worked very hard and never got anywhere close. So what gives? Why are we not teaching kids there are natural limitations in different aspects of one's life? Why are we teaching them hard work/dedication/blah blah can get them to where they want to be? Cause sure... it can... provided they have the talent to succeed. In all my time of academics/athletics so far, it has always been the smartest/naturally best person who's won/succeeded the most. Why? Cause those with natural talent also do work pretty hard almost always. So what chance does that leave for lesser talented individuals?

And of course many of you reading this now are thinking "so what? should we tell kids to become janitors if they have trouble with elementary school math?" Well.. not really. There just needs to be less false promises of hope made to those who 'dont have it." It will spare them a life-time of frustration and self-regret. Myself, I know lots of happy people who are very average in every aspect, but yet are very happy because they are where they expected to be.

Anyways, thoughts?

In the end, life will balance it all out. Kids are pushed because we (society) want to see them reach their full potential - whatever that potential may be. We have control of whether or not we push them, but we do not have control on who gets the natural ability.

Natural ability and hard work are given importance, but you fail to make the additional connection with free will, "dumb luck", and societal expectations.
 

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IDK but every time someone mentions that malcolm gladwell book outlier about the 10k hours thing my brain wants to explode. The study he quotes actually proves the opposite of what he claims. Rather than practice being the only important component in success (you need to do 10k hours) the study actually shows there is a HUGE variance in the amount of time required and the distribution is really flat.

Takeaway is that mastery might take 2k hours for 1 person and 20k for another and the person with only 2k hours would still be better. Talent has a massive impact and that is exactly what that research shows.

I hate malcolm gladwell books they get quoted everywhere and people take them as the gospel truth. He's a freaking journalist for god's sake and what he says is usually either unsupported by decent evidence, or completely wrong and the opposite of what the evidence he cites says.
 
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Law2Doc

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that's exactly the problem. how exactly do you know who is the most intelligent person? ...

It's quite simple really. The people who don't work hard because they think they are "naturally intelligent" are the *****s of society. They are underachievers who will forever fall short of potential. The person with half a brain who knows their limitations yet works hard enough to be a top student is the one who will almost always accomplish more.
 

Law2Doc

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IDK but every time someone mentions that malcolm gladwell book outlier about the 10k hours thing my brain wants to explode. The study he quotes actually proves the opposite of what he claims. Rather than practice being the most important component in success (you need to do 10k hours) the study actually shows there is a HUGE variance in the amount of time required and the distribution is really flat.

Takeaway is that mastery might take 2k hours for 1 person and 20k for another and the person with only 2k hours would still be better. Talent has a massive impact and that is exactly what that research shows.

Anyone who is actually an expert in something knows that extensive practice matters more than native skill. You seriously think being a gifted surgeon or diagnostician is genetic? It comes from countless hours of practice. This is kind of the point of residency and fellowship -- you log lots and lots of cases to get a good chunk of the needed experience.
 
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Whiskeypunch

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Anyone who is actually an expert in something knows that extensive practice matters more than native skill.

I'm not disagreeing with that.The amount of practice required though is a function of natural talent. Not my opinion, just based on the research he cites in the book. I'm not an expert in that area so I don't pretend to know if there is other better research.
 

yellowfish

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Have opinions concerning the importance of intelligence significantly changed over the years?
 

music2doc

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More and more talking with people as well as having been through different undergrad courses where lecturers emphasized the importance of nurture (saying it is a 50-50 split between nature and nurture or even more so in favor of nurture over nature) ... It just seems natural intelligence is given less importance in the grand scheme of things. Kids in schools are now taught that "they can do anything they want" when teachers themselves know that's not the case (usually from first hand experience). And this ultimately sets up a dangerous situation where people will fall short due to natural limitations and be more depressed than those around the world living in sub-par conditions.

So why isn't natural ability given more importance? After seeing that thread with a link to where some guy is saying he's studying 12 hours a day x7 days a week and still hasnt passed a single class in first year med school... that's how you know intelligence matters (a lot).

Going through elementary school and high class, the most intelligent people always has the most academic success. Best natural athletes had the most athletic success. Then there were some who worked very hard and never got anywhere close. So what gives? Why are we not teaching kids there are natural limitations in different aspects of one's life? Why are we teaching them hard work/dedication/blah blah can get them to where they want to be? Cause sure... it can... provided they have the talent to succeed. In all my time of academics/athletics so far, it has always been the smartest/naturally best person who's won/succeeded the most. Why? Cause those with natural talent also do work pretty hard almost always. So what chance does that leave for lesser talented individuals?

And of course many of you reading this now are thinking "so what? should we tell kids to become janitors if they have trouble with elementary school math?" Well.. not really. There just needs to be less false promises of hope made to those who 'dont have it." It will spare them a life-time of frustration and self-regret. Myself, I know lots of happy people who are very average in every aspect, but yet are very happy because they are where they expected to be.

Anyways, thoughts?


Last time I saw any research on this, all indications were that nature was the morecritical component, accounting for around 70% of the variance to nurture's 30%. The thing is that without nurture, the natural abilities may not be manifested in the ways society desires. (These abilities still manifest. We see them in the natural resourcefulness of some individuals in undereducated groups.) Nature largely limits what nurture could ever achieve in a given individual.
 

lobo.solo

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It's quite simple really. The people who don't work hard because they think they are "naturally intelligent" are the *****s of society. They are underachievers who will forever fall short of potential. The person with half a brain who knows their limitations yet works hard enough to be a top student is the one who will almost always accomplish more.

I concur with you. Intelligence is a strange thing to measure because it encompass many different things.

You could argue that the average person who works hard to accomplish things and contribute to society is showing more "intelligence" than the one who is lazy and doesn't work hard to do anything (is average in everything).
 

lobo.solo

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Yeah. You know what I was thinking recently...? I was wondering what is the relationship between knowledge and intelligence. Intelligent people generally know A LOT, but not always. At what point is someone considered to be intelligent because of what they know vs. how much they don't. If that even makes sense.

In other words, can you still be intelligent but not know much? I bet the layman wouldn't refer to you as someone smart. (my experience). And vice versa, in my case I know a ****load of information way ahead of my years, but I personally consider myself dumb as ****. When some really 'less smart' people talk to me and hear what I know, they think I am a genius - which is very far off from the truth. So the correlation between those two factors is interesting to explore.

Interesting, I have wondered the same thing. Another thing to consider is the level of confidence a person shows when performing a task or answering a question, which people perceives and correlates with how smart that person is. The illusion of confidence is an interesting concept that is explored in a book called "The Invisible Gorilla."
 

music2doc

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Yeah. You know what I was thinking recently...? I was wondering what is the relationship between knowledge and intelligence. Intelligent people generally know A LOT, but not always. At what point is someone considered to be intelligent because of what they know vs. how much they don't. If that even makes sense.

In other words, can you still be intelligent but not know much? I bet the layman wouldn't refer to you as someone smart. (my experience). And vice versa, in my case I know a ****load of information way ahead of my years, but I personally consider myself dumb as ****. When some really 'less smart' people talk to me and hear what I know, they think I am a genius - which is very far off from the truth. So the correlation between those two factors is interesting to explore.


This is the difference between fluid and crystallized intelligence (aka Gf and Gc). It's a well-developed theory, actually. Wikipedia has a nice little intro to it....
 

ligand

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Doesn't matter how it's rated, it determines everybody's life anyway.
 

Amba

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Semi-related to this thread and something I've been thinking about: what do you consider yourself, naturally smart or hard working? Personally, I find myself correcting the people who think all I do is study (because I do a heck of a lot more with my life than study). But then a friend will make a remark about how I'm "lucky" to only need a 70whatever percent on a final for an A and then I'll find myself defending my work ethic.

So, long story short, I guess I'm slightly above normal intelligence with a good understanding of how/what to study? :cool:
 

Amba

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C, none of the above.

Fair enough, I figured most people would say a combination. I guess I'm asking if you had to pick one side of the spectrum.
 

7175pank

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IDK but every time someone mentions that malcolm gladwell book outlier about the 10k hours thing my brain wants to explode. The study he quotes actually proves the opposite of what he claims. Rather than practice being the only important component in success (you need to do 10k hours) the study actually shows there is a HUGE variance in the amount of time required and the distribution is really flat.

Interesting. Do you have a link to they study? :D

I'd love to give it a read.
 

Morsetlis

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I'd rather run the risk of false hopes than no hopes.
 

zherussianbear

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We live in an industrial society; the whole world is and has been one for a long time. What this means is that subconsciously, we are all trying to get everything to run efficiently - to work in some sense like a machine. This means that we need hard workers and not just naturally smart people. Indeed, natural intelligence is almost irrelevant. If somebody works hard enough, s/he will "have it." Period.

This is true for all careers. I studied engineering and business and am med. Learning math (I mean like PDE or Complex Analysis, not Calc II) to solve problems comes down to sitting and studying from your book until you understand the concept enough to apply it. Most research in applied math nowadays comes down to putting together a good model, which is a lot of minutia. The same applies to engineering. Sure, you ought to be creative to come up with an idea or to improve someone's, but after that you need to put in a ton of work to get it moving. In business, you have to get your work done, study a lot of background info, and probably work for twenty years before you can be in a position to make any naturally smart decisions. Medicine doesn't come naturally for anyone either; a lot of it is memory work, and then the creativity of problem solving gets reduced to essentially routine clinical work once you're a doc. Even research asks of you to publish in quantity; there's no escaping hard work - which I think is really the central dilemma here.

The fact is that you are part of a larger society that demands results. Results require a lot of work - not brilliance. Sure, it may be easier if you're a genius, but it is by no means necessary. Frankly, it's better this way. If you consider yourself naturally smart, you're bound to have some degree of self-entitlement and might even consider yourself "above" working beyond a concept or to perfection at times (I sure as hell once did). It's better if I have physician who works at his/her profession each day than one who touts his/her genius without enough second-guessing.

Bottom line: you can, in fact, be whatever you'd like if you work hard enough. There's plenty of brilliant people serving fries because they're lazy or happier that way.
 

sportsperson

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It's quite simple really. The people who don't work hard because they think they are "naturally intelligent" are the *****s of society. They are underachievers who will forever fall short of potential. The person with half a brain who knows their limitations yet works hard enough to be a top student is the one who will almost always accomplish more.
I doubt this. you are speaking of exceptions, not the general rule. The general rule is that those who are naturally good, are motivated to work hard and most of the time do work hard and have the most success.
 

Thego2guy

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It's quite simple really. The people who don't work hard because they think they are "naturally intelligent" are the *****s of society. They are underachievers who will forever fall short of potential. The person with half a brain who knows their limitations yet works hard enough to be a top student is the one who will almost always accomplish more.

Thank you for giving me hope. Just out of curiosity, did your studies come easy to you (did you consider yourself *extra* talented), or did you have to claw your way up?
 

Narmerguy

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Let's not ignore that often people's conceptions of "natural" intelligence is nothing more than a product of how they were raised and whom they were surrounded with. Genes account for very little of our intellectual success.

If people are serious about this stuff, read some Psych and Neuroscience studies on this stuff. People act like these are new topics that haven't been (or aren't being) researched to death for the past few decades.
 

Porfirio

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Let's not ignore that often people's conceptions of "natural" intelligence is nothing more than a product of how they were raised and whom they were surrounded with. Genes account for very little of our intellectual success.

If people are serious about this stuff, read some Psych and Neuroscience studies on this stuff. People act like these are new topics that haven't been (or aren't being) researched to death for the past few decades.

Don't forget to read the paper about larger head size = more intelligence. ;)
 

Morsetlis

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The concept of hard work vs. brilliance is quite simply demonstrated by finding a friend that has 9+ publications from the NIH / CDC and yet a <3.0 GPA. Which I have two of.
 

ligand

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The concept of hard work vs. brilliance is quite simply demonstrated by finding a friend that has 9+ publications from the NIH / CDC and yet a <3.0 GPA. Which I have two of.

So the publications are hard work and the GPA is brilliance? Or the other way around?
 

Aerus

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This subject isn't as tricky as it may seem. Hard work and Natural Aptitude can be more effectively analyzed if the other factor is held constant. Thus, measuring hard work is actually a lot easier than measuring natural aptitude.

For example, I would consider myself as more naturally smart as hard working. Thus far, I've relied purely on my natural abilities to get to where I am with minimal hard work. I've surpassed many others who've worked multitudes harder than me but have failed to reach where I am. Of course there are vast amounts of individuals with more natural intelligence than me who have gotten further than me with minimal work. Notice that I've used "minimal work" rather than NO WORK. I say minimal to mean the required amount of work to get by.

But of course, if someone with half as much natural smarts as me works four times harder than me, they will get further. Hard work can be quite a good substitute for those who are lacking more of the natural intelligence. They can reach breath taking heights relying purely on hard work. But yes, they will encounter a barrier eventually that requires more natural ability. The same goes for those who rely on natural intelligence. They will eventually reach some sort of barrier that cannot be passed without some hard work. The latter barrier is easier to pass than the former, for obvious reasons (genetic limitations/early environment impacts).

It takes a balance of the two to get anywhere. A person who has an incredible amount of natural ability but does not have ANY work ethic whatsoever will get as far as someone who relies PURELY on hard work and has no natural aptitude whatsoever. You need both to get anywhere.

That is why those with both incredible natural ability and extremely well refined work ethics are forces to be reckoned with. However, these types of people are somewhat rare, as someone with natural ability earlier on would experience more "inflated egos" in childhood and be less likely to actually work extremely hard.
 

TheToothsayer

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Let's not ignore that often people's conceptions of "natural" intelligence is nothing more than a product of how they were raised and whom they were surrounded with. Genes account for very little of our intellectual success.

If people are serious about this stuff, read some Psych and Neuroscience studies on this stuff. People act like these are new topics that haven't been (or aren't being) researched to death for the past few decades.

That's backwords. Intelligence is mostly inherited. Of course, nature vs nurture plays a big roll in it. I grew up in a studious/asian work-ethic environment. It really pays off when kids work hard when they're young. Being in the blue group instead of the less advanced green group in your 4th grade class might just mean something later down the road. Once you get behind, it's very hard to catch up. I know this first hand!

I really don't like it when people use anecdotes and examples. The CEO of this company didn't go to college and he's a millionaire. Albert Einstein, Mark Zuckerburg, and Bill Gates dropped college, so I can too. My friend publishes this many publications and has <3.0 GPA

This is 100% wrong. These cases are rare, personal, in some cases only chronologically relevant and not to be used as a general rule of thumb. Stick to studies. It's the best representation we've got.

Perhaps with the use of revolutionary nootropics used similarly as cosmetics are we can all become super smart geniuses and as a race-evolve. To infinity and beyond! Neurobiology is great.
 

EvilSpawn

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In my opinion, so called natural intelligence is nothing more than critical thinking ability.

"Naturally intelligent" person: Most likely began reading at a young age. Parents pushed them to pursue stimulating activities. Curious by nature. Learns how to problem solve. May get bored easily in school if the material is too easy. This can be reflected in the example people have given of someone who is perceived as smart, but does poorly due to laziness.

"Hard worker": Not a fan of reading. Parents may not have pushed them as hard. In school, they do what they need to get by, rather than what they need to actually understand it. This leads to poor problem solving abilities. They are unable to draw connections between material, which means they're perceived as "slow". This is the kind of person that will do well on a problem if they do it over and over, but freeze if one little thing is changed.

Now obviously these are extremely broad generalizations, but the key difference is in critical thinking. The "natural intelligence" person is able to draw connections, and solve problems, that the "hard worker" is unable to. The real question is whether or not critical thinking can be taught. Obviously it is a skill that develops over the course of one's life, but in the case of the "hard worker", it's possible that they missed the boat. In my opinion, schools should spend more time trying to nurture critical thinking and problem solving ability, which can be applied in any given situation, than things like history, which really don't serve much practical purpose.

tl;dr: Nature and nurture both play a role, but people are not being nurtured properly
 

sliceofbread136

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I felt like my intelligence increased after my insane MCAT cramming....
Ever since I learned all of bio in a week (I ap'ed out of bio), I've become insanely good at memorizing.

This honestly made me think intelligence can be sort of "learned"... if that makes any sense.
 

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The concept of hard work vs. brilliance is quite simply demonstrated by finding a friend that has 9+ publications from the NIH / CDC and yet a <3.0 GPA. Which I have two of.

This isn't hard work vs. brilliance. This is hard work in research vs. hard work in school. Unless you are suggesting that it doesn't take hard work to get so many publications?
 

sean80439

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I work with the second largest dataset (we have over 1000 participants in lifespan research) that measures intelligence; specifically fluid and crystallized, and we found that fluid intelligence is one of the biggest predictors of ability. Additionally fluid intelligence reaches its peak at about 18-23 y/o, plateaus until ~40, and then drops off a cliff to the point that 65-70 y/o's score equivalent to adolescents. It also appears to be somewhat correlated within families. When students ask us: "How do you increase your intelligence," we respond "Choose your parents wisely." If you are interested in how intelligence affects ability, read Salthouse's book "Major Issues in Cognitive Aging". It is far better than the wikipedia entry.
 

FutureCTDoc

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IQ is like this there is a minimum requisite to graduate college (approx 115 +-5), go into professional school (120 +- 5) and win a Nobel (130 +- 5). These are simply thresholds, Marilyn Vos Savant has an IQ of 200+ she writes an IQ column, what matters once you have the minimum requisite IQ isn't how much more you have i.e. an IQ of 150 doesn't change things that much from an IQ of 150, but rather how you apply it.
 

Plue00

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that's exactly the problem. how exactly do you know who is the most intelligent person? I have very intelligent friends in college who refuse to spend a lot of time studying for a test and get a B (which they are happy with), while there are people who spend an entire week straight studying for a test to get an A. I am 100% certain that the person with the B is more intelligent, so grades can't be the only measure.

Aside from that, what else can you use? An IQ test? Even that has limitations...
Obviously they aren't intelligent if they chose not to study and take a B. Doesn't that mean that the person who chose to study was the smartest? Don't contradict yourself, now.
 

Morsetlis

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This isn't hard work vs. brilliance. This is hard work in research vs. hard work in school. Unless you are suggesting that it doesn't take hard work to get so many publications?

School doesn't require hard work in undergrad, lol.
 

SpecterGT260

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Sounds good. Find me an objective, predictive, and falsifiable method by which we can quantify and categorize who 'has it' and we'll get to sorting folks like Brave New World.
you missed the very next statement (well... you didnt... I think you are being sarcastic, but the guy I quoted below did)

that's exactly the problem. how exactly do you know who is the most intelligent person? I have very intelligent friends in college who refuse to spend a lot of time studying for a test and get a B (which they are happy with), while there are people who spend an entire week straight studying for a test to get an A. I am 100% certain that the person with the B is more intelligent, so grades can't be the only measure.

Aside from that, what else can you use? An IQ test? Even that has limitations...

nobody is suggesting that we pre-determine vocations so early. The current system isnt bad. I agree with the OP that there is some great stigma against discussing innate ability. The idea that "if you put your mind to it you can do anything" is not exactly true. If you put your mind to it you can achieve your full potential, but people do have different potentials. We see these threads all the time where people are failing all of their basic science undergrad courses but just "know that being a doctor is for me". This, IMO, has much less to do with "they system just isnt set up for me to shine" and more to do with "I refuse to believe my mommy lied to me when she said I really could be an astronaught ice-cream taster when i grow up".

There is no perfect system, but there are plenty of things that indicate intelligence. 2 big ones are grades and standardized tests. and to cite specific exceptions in no way contradicts an indication. That is why it is an indication (or correlation) and not a hard fast rule. Grades also indicate work ethic, which is also important in being a physician. The smartest man alive will not help many patients if he does not apply that ability.

when I read the OP i am reminded much more of the people who fall short and then claim that they are just as good as the guy next to them at the things that guy does and the system just doesnt allow them to show it.

from the OP:
Going through elementary school and high class, the most intelligent people always has the most academic success. Best natural athletes had the most athletic success. Then there were some who worked very hard and never got anywhere close.
you are missing the statement :there are also the ones that worked very hard and overcame the limitation.

Somewhere along the line, we as a society seemed to accept that willpower alone is enough to overcome anything. This is not true. A better (in my opinion) outlook is to teach people to take advantage of their own personal strengths rather than to teach them to directly compare themselves against someone else with a different set of strengths. Some things are just not in the cards for some people.
 

FutureCTDoc

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Obviously they aren't intelligent if they chose not to study and take a B. Doesn't that mean that the person who chose to study was the smartest? Don't contradict yourself, now.

Effort and intelligence aren't linked.
 

Law2Doc

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Thank you for giving me hope. Just out of curiosity, did your studies come easy to you (did you consider yourself *extra* talented), or did you have to claw your way up?

I don't consider myself extra talented. I just milk what I've got for all that it's worth. Some people like to think they can scale tall mountains effortlessly. Others actually do it, one step at a time.
 

Law2Doc

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Obviously they aren't intelligent if they chose not to study and take a B. Doesn't that mean that the person who chose to study was the smartest? Don't contradict yourself, now.

Yeah I think it's naive to try and measure intelligence on ability and ignore accomplishments. It's well and fine to talk a big game, but if you are the genius that ends up living life on your parents couch because it's not worth it to you to push yourself, while others with fewer brain cells actually accomplish things in this world, you are working on a different definition of genius than the rest of the world. I submit that the person in this case is actually the village idiot, regardless of their IQ. You can't bank on potential -- actual accomplishment is a better yardstick.
 

sliceofbread136

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Effort and intelligence aren't linked.

I think this flawed to an extent, because while your brain is still developing mental effort will cause it to make and get rid of various neural connections which could definitely increase learning efficieny/critical thinking ability (this is atleast what my neuroscience teacher taught lol).
 
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