Summary of Practical Intelligence

The Art and Science of Common Sense

First Edition: 2007 more...

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Practical Intelligence book summary
Effortlessly develop your reasoning skills using this friendly guide.


8 Overall

10 Applicability

7 Innovation

9 Style


Everyone knows a few super-smart people who continually do super-stupid things. Sure, they can finish a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in less than 10 minutes, play and win three simultaneous chess games handily and multiply seven-digit numbers faster than a calculator. But they also can’t hold a job, are given to fulminating about bizarre pet causes (“Restore the Carolingian Dynasty now!”) and can’t shut up about their “brilliant” ideas (“You mean you didn’t read my 427-page proof of Goldbach’s conjecture yet?”). What’s going on? Well, if Karl Albrecht’s ideas are right, IQ isn’t the whole story of human intelligence. And it may not even be most of the story. Perhaps more important than raw IQ, particularly in today’s world, is practical intelligence: the ability to use common-sense reasoning in a structured way to solve relevant problems. Fortunately, practical intelligence, like other mental skills, is not fixed at birth. How can you develop it? Start with this sensible book, which getAbstract recommends to anyone who wants to be not only smart but also effective.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why practical intelligence is more important than IQ
  • What four habits to cultivate to increase your practical intelligence
  • What four domain-independent skills to practice so you get better at solving everyday problems


Why IQ Isn’t Enough
Time was when “intelligence” meant IQ, that mysterious, general intelligence factor “g,” beloved by psychometricians. A lucky few were born with lots of it, others had little of it and most people desperately wanted more of it – whatever, exactly, it was.
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About the Author

Karl Albrecht is a management consultant, futurist, speaker and author.

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    Dave Bartek 3 years ago
    Good to mention Howard Gardner. As your Mom said: common sense ain't so common. See Sam Kaner on divergent and convergent thinking with the Groan Zone concept. Also see Daniel Goldman's Social Intelligence in this Knowledge Pack. What is your intelligence?? I can tell a good cookie in one bite.

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