Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Practical Intelligence

The intelligence that we often talk about, or General Intelligence, is apparently not sufficient for you to get ahead in this world. You also need other types of intelligences, one of which is Practical Intelligence, to be really successful. Psychologist Robert J. Sternberg proposes three intelligences in human cognition:
  • Analytical intelligence is the ability to analyze and evaluate ideas, solve problems and make decisions.
  • Creative intelligence involves going beyond what is given to generate novel and interesting ideas.
  • Practical intelligence is the ability that individuals use to find the best fit between themselves and the demands of the environment.
All of these intelligences together comprise what Sternberg calls Successful Intelligence and this is what will put you ahead of the rest of the world. I see Practical Intelligence as very important as this is what enables you to use your other intelligences to get the best advantage. Malcolm Gladwell also talks about practical intelligence in his famous book, Outliers. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to find an answer to the perennial question, "what makes high-achievers different?"