Intelligence vs. IQ


This next lesson is one that feels intuitive, but I’ve never seen a list like this before so I thought I would share it.

We all want to be intelligent. But why? For me, when I’m not caught in an ego trip, it’s so I can perform at my highest level… reach my full potential… become the best version of myself.

Brooks laid out an argument about intelligence I think we all already know – IQ scores are not the best proxy for intelligence. People with high IQs do very well when there are concrete rules to follow, but as it turns out, that scenario doesn’t really describe real life.┬áReal life is messy, non-linear, without rules. In the research, there’s little evidence that performance increases as IQ rises above 120.

Here’s what IQ is missing, and the qualities we need to perform at our best in a world without rules:

  • The restraint and patience to collect information before making decisions

  • The willingness to seek various alternative points of view

  • The ability to pause and think before acting

  • The skill of calibrating our opinions to the available evidence

  • The desire for nuance, and the disdain for absolutism

  • The forethought to weigh consequences and outcomes ahead of decisions and actions

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