More often than not, we associate smartness with the ability to think fast, act fast, make a decision quickly but flawlessly, being knowledgeable, and many of such related concepts. While many still hold this view, some have reduced it to academic performance. However, These are shallow descriptions of the phenomenon. Is there any other psychological variable to associate smartness with? Yes, there is and that is ‘intelligence’. Whatever intelligence depends on culture as Smartness but smartness seem a bit universal than intelligence. What value does the society put on smartness? If smartness is thinking fast then, what is it to fast-think about? We fast-think about the variables of thought itself. Another question to ask is what differentiates smartness from intelligence.
Intelligence has been defined as a person’s ability to act purposefully, think rationally, and deal effectively with the environment (Weschler). Piaget defined it as a person’s ability to adapt to his/her environment. If these definitions are to be employed then, intelligent people may be smart people but being smart does not necessarily mean one is intelligent.
Intelligence may come in various forms as explained in the Gardner’s (1983) theory of multiple intelligences. They are:
1. Logical-mathematical intelligence
2. Linguistic intelligence
3. Musical intelligence
4. Kinesthetic (body) intelligence
5. Personal intelligence
a. Interpersonal intelligence
b. Interpersonal intelligence
6. Emotional intelligence
7. Visual-spatial intelligence (picture smart)
So who is an expert? What differentiates an expert from a genius? Simple, experts possess expert knowledge and abilities that is, knowledge most often acquired by ‘devising the means’. Experts derive their expertise from experiences as geniuses but geniuses are somewhat favored by their neurobiological endowment. So while Mozart is a genius who was able to master complex musical structures and compositions at about age 5, Dr. Ben Carson did not begin some kind of mastery until he reached adolescence.
If this is the case why then should we risk schizophrenia because of creativity?