Smart Thinking Can Be Learned


AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 13 (UPI) — Intelligence and smart thinking are not the same; smart thinking is not an innate quality but rather a skill to be cultivated, U.S. researchers say.

Psychologist Art Markman of the University of Texas at Austin said humans are not born with a particular capacity to do smart things.

“Each of the components of being smart is already part of your mental toolbox,” Markman said in a statement. “The main piece of advice is that you can become smarter. By understanding the way you use knowledge to solve problems, you can develop smarter habits to learn more about the way the world works and to describe problems effectively.”

In his forthcoming book “Smart Thinking,” Markman distilled for readers the information he accumulated over six years of teaching Procter & Gamble Co. employees how to become more effective problem solvers and his decades of cognitive psychological research.

Many solutions to difficult problems arise as the result of analogies drawn from other areas of expertise, Markman explained.

For example, Markman told a story about how his son worked out an answer to a tough homework question about electrical currents by using his existing knowledge about the flow of water.

The takeaway of “Smart Thinking” is that people society considers “smart” are no more innately gifted than anyone else; they have developed a range of things they know about and refined their ability to use the knowledge they have when they need it, Markman said.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.