Educational Insights
Educational Insights 1.8.18
Posted on 01/08/2018


¬≠The assumption is that a person with a high IQ is smart in the everyday sense of the word. But what do IQ tests really contain? Vocabulary questions, math problems, pattern recognition, visuospatial puzzles, and visual searches. It’s not surprising that measured ‘intelligence’ doesn’t predict some very important life outcomes, including well-being, life satisfaction, and longevity. People who score high on IQ tests still do stupid things, right?

So what is the secret of a long, happy, satisfied life? Critical thinking, says Butler. Defined as “a collection of cognitive skills (including verbal reasoning, argument analysis, hypothesis testing, judging probability and uncertainty, decision-making, and problem-solving) that gets us thinking in a rational and goal-oriented fashion in everyday life”.

“Critical thinkers are amiable skeptics,” she says. “They are flexible thinkers who require evidence to support their beliefs and recognize misleading attempts to influence them. Critical thinking means overcoming all sorts of cognitive biases (e.g., hindsight or confirmation bias).” 

Butler and her colleagues recently completed a series of international studies correlating negative life events experienced by adults with people’s intelligence and critical thinking skills.

“Repeatedly, we found that critical thinkers experience fewer negative life events,”

reports Butler. “This is an important finding because there is plenty of evidence that critical thinking can be taught and improved. Anyone can improve their critical thinking skills. Doing so, we can say with certainty, is a smart thing to do.”

            So, can we really measure what matters and makes a difference? What about ‘emotional intelligence’?? Read more next week…

-Dr. Paula Sissel

Elementary Principal/Superintendent

Garden County Schools