Defining Intelligence

Sit for a minute and relax, and then think about what you consider intelligence. Often, it is thought that intelligence pertains to two main areas in schooling. Grade Point Average (GPA) and the SAT/ACT define it all. They define your intelligence, what classes you were good enough for, and even in some cases your worth. I went around asking people a series of questions regarding intelligence that pertained to if someone was smarter or not. The three questions were as follow: is the business administration major smarter than a plumber, is the kid with a 4.0 GPA smarter than the kid with a 2.9 gpa, and should we judge people’s intelligence based on numbers or them as a person? Whether it’s our school system that has created the thought that numbers mean more than fundamental learning (probably), it is crucial to discuss what I found through this topic.

Most people agreed that the business administration major was smarter than a plumber and that the person with a 4.0 GPA was smarter than a person with a 2.9 GPA. On the base level, these things make sense. From human nature, we have a tendency to based our perception of someone’s intelligence on their “resume” traits. These are traits that people put on their resume to make them look good. They only brag about them because they further their perception to other people. However, most people agreed that we should judge people based on who they are as person, rather than numbers. Truthfully, the only numbers that matter in life are the dollar numbers. When I went back to ask people why they then judged somebody based on their major in college, and why they based somebody’s intelligence on a GPA, they seemed a bit confused. Their thought process had been stunned. Why say one thing yet do the other? We have been told by our education system that if you do not have strong grades, there is not a place in society for you. You will most likely not go to college, most likely work a terrible job, and be a failure at life. However, this is a flawed thought process.

Intelligence comes in a variety of forms. Everybody has their strength in subjects. Some are better at history and math, maybe not so good at english and science. Some people find the overall classroom learning boring, a waste of time, and confusing. Why take notes, and sit in front of a screen all day, when we could do hands-on learning to further crucial applicable skills, such as public speaking.

Certain people excel better doing things such as auto-mechanics, plumbing, electrical work, etc. College simply is not for everybody, and that is perfectly okay. The idea that you have to go to college to succeed in life is an extremely flawed idea. College is very expensive, and that piece of paper matters more than you think. Very few college majors will guarantee you a large salary in life. You will always be limited to the marketspace for your major. In bad economic times, nobody needs a marketing specialist to help their small business. Your major is obsolete in that time. The thing people are focused on is solely their business and keeping food in their bellies. But, doing an economic drought, the plumber, auto-tech, and electrician will still be in a job and still have work. Those are jobs that keep two speciality traits that cannot be taken. They are needed in both good and bad times, and a robot will never be able to replace them.

I am not saying college is bad; in fact, there are many positives of going to college. College opens up a wide variety of resources that you would be lacking without going to college for. My point of all this writing is this: basing intelligence on numbers is foolish. We should be judging people on their applicable skills not numbers. When we tell people you do not have a chance without good grades, and college is the only route to go, you send a message that trades are bad, and bad grades mean you are bad.

We should define intelligence on people’s fundamental thinking. Judging people’s intelligence based on numbers will never work, and leaves out key factors about them. But what do you think? Am I right or is judging intelligence based on numbers the best way to define intelligence? Let me know in the comments below.

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