Saturday, October 21st was “Smart is Cool Day”, an excellent time to celebrate the gift of “smart” and to encourage us all to be the best version of ourselves.
Television and movies portray smart people as weirdos with coke-bottle glass lenses and zero personality, nerds or know-it-alls, and made fun of or left out of social events.
Contrary to that picture, intelligent individuals don’t all fit the stereotypical mold. They can be amusing, open-minded, and great empaths.
They can, however, be socially anxious because they are more self-aware and can detect more threats. Their minds continually browse for new information and examine theories. Smart people also tend to be more logical and rational, so they are more likely to misinterpret emotional reactions and thus may have a lower EQ, Emotional Intelligence.
In 1850, Sir Francis Galton (a statistician and eugenicist) and Paul Broca (an anatomist who researched the area of the brain involved with language) studied the idea of measuring human intelligence. IQ is the abbreviation for Intelligence Quotient. An IQ test measures cognitive intelligence: pattern detection, divergent production, and thoughtful reasoning, all items which lead to the creative process.
Over 50 years later, in 1904, two psychologists, Theodore Simon, and Alfred Binet, designed the first test to evaluate children’s mental capacity.
During World War I, Robert Yerkes, an American eugenicist, gave group IQ tests to assess Army recruits. The results were used to screen, classify, and assign soldiers.
More information about IQ was introduced in the 1940s when psychologist Raymond Cattell looked at the concepts of fluid vs. crystallized intelligence via IQ tests.
Einstein was a famous genius. You can read about him in Walter Isaacson’s biography, Einstein: His Life and Universe. Author Isaacson has written about many other smart people; you can find a listing of his biographies on his Amazon page.
Are you born with a specific IQ, or can you increase it? 40–80% of IQ is inherited. Environment and learning add additional points. Various activities can boost your IQ: learning a new language or how to play chess, mastering a musical instrument, meditation, and exercise. And the best news: smart people live longer.