Is quick thinking related with high intelligence, and why?

Generally, yes, but you can be highly intelligent without having high processing speed.

If you're inclined to give IQ tests any weight, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale has a processing speed index. The score from that index is the least "g loaded" - In other words, it is the least related to general cognitive ability. But it is related. There are people who do very well on the other indexes and poorly on the PSI, and they'd still be considered highly intelligent by WAIS standards. The most "g loaded" tests are block design and vocabulary, last I checked(I've not followed IQ testing for so

Generally, yes, but you can be highly intelligent without having high processing speed.

If you're inclined to give IQ tests any weight, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale has a processing speed index. The score from that index is the least "g loaded" - In other words, it is the least related to general cognitive ability. But it is related. There are people who do very well on the other indexes and poorly on the PSI, and they'd still be considered highly intelligent by WAIS standards. The most "g loaded" tests are block design and vocabulary, last I checked(I've not followed IQ testing for some years, but it is unlikely to have changed. They may have added or removed subtests, and that could change the landscape). They involve higher order thinking and memory, not just raw speed(although block design does have a speed component).

There is a relatively weak correlation with how fast you notice a simple stimulus and how well you score on an IQ test. This article - Speed Matters, But Not How You Think: IQ & Latent Factors in Reaction Time - goes into some depth about analyzing processing speed and its relationship to problem solving.

In general, quick thinking can be evidence of organic brain health. If all the gears are oiled and turning the right way, you'd expect the processing to be more efficient. But out of all the measures of intelligence, I think it's the least reliable. My general sense is that processing speed relates to intelligence inasmuch as it reflects the working memory capacity of the individual - i.e. if you can hold more things in your head, you'll make less little mistakes, and thus process faster.

It is interesting to note that people who are known for their genius usually took a long time to complete their work. I'm not sure how valuable quick thinking would be for Newton in developing the calculus, or for Da Vinci's amazing journal and paintings. On the other hand, athletes or military commanders might have great need for fast processing. Ultimately, the valuation of how fast you think is probably context dependent.

I don't think so. Although there is a correlation between quicker thinking and higher intelligence, it's doesn't mean there is also causation.

There are many variables you have to have on mind speaking about this idea. Quicker responses could be done emotionally, based on biased experience. Or they could be just random thoughts.

From my point of view, it should be exactly the opposite. More intelligent person should be thinking deeper, and so the response shouldn't be instant, because that could signalize he/she didn't consider all possibilities.


PS: I recommend to also read a comment from Kate

I don't think so. Although there is a correlation between quicker thinking and higher intelligence, it's doesn't mean there is also causation.

There are many variables you have to have on mind speaking about this idea. Quicker responses could be done emotionally, based on biased experience. Or they could be just random thoughts.

From my point of view, it should be exactly the opposite. More intelligent person should be thinking deeper, and so the response shouldn't be instant, because that could signalize he/she didn't consider all possibilities.


PS: I recommend to also read a comment from Kate Liotta

I suspect there will always be people who will take either side of this argument.

There seem to be types of "quick thinking" like being able to respond quickly and well in an emergency, or being able to come up with very funny verbal responses quickly, that seem to have a higher correlation with intelligence. That said, they are skills that can be improved upon, with education and practice.

IQ tests used to include mostly timed sections, assuming that being able to give the right answers or accomplish the tasks accurately QUICKLY reflected higher intelligence than being able to give the same an

I suspect there will always be people who will take either side of this argument.

There seem to be types of "quick thinking" like being able to respond quickly and well in an emergency, or being able to come up with very funny verbal responses quickly, that seem to have a higher correlation with intelligence. That said, they are skills that can be improved upon, with education and practice.

IQ tests used to include mostly timed sections, assuming that being able to give the right answers or accomplish the tasks accurately QUICKLY reflected higher intelligence than being able to give the same answers, but slowly.

Over time, the research has often proven that speed wasn't as highly correlated as once was thought. Intelligence, unlike say, air temperature, is not directly recordable. A thermometer can record the temperature. There is no direct way to measure intelligence. IQ tests attempt to assess a variety of aspects of intellectual ability, that when all told, will generate a number that means a person is "this" intelligent.

Bottom line: there has yet to be a clear definition of intelligence that everyone agrees upon, and that includes people who are trying to test for it. What IS intelligence, and how is it measured, is an ongoing debate.

Not necessarily. It depends on many things.

Intelligence, a favorite discussion topic among Quorans, is subject to specialties - as the individual human brain has yet to master complete dominance in all fields. Intelligence also has many aspects. Pure "book smarts" to allow discussion of a topic does not encompass the creativity to apply concepts to seemingly unrelated or new problems. It also doesn't automatically convey the ability to express the concept in a way to others to aid their understanding.

Topically, someone who has knowledge of social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communicat

Not necessarily. It depends on many things.

Intelligence, a favorite discussion topic among Quorans, is subject to specialties - as the individual human brain has yet to master complete dominance in all fields. Intelligence also has many aspects. Pure "book smarts" to allow discussion of a topic does not encompass the creativity to apply concepts to seemingly unrelated or new problems. It also doesn't automatically convey the ability to express the concept in a way to others to aid their understanding.

Topically, someone who has knowledge of social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, culture, mores, taboo, maybe some psychology background, etc. Is going to have a leg up here. Nuclear physicians, professional accordian players, auto mechanics and beanie baby collectors may not grasp these issues with the same level of mastery.

People who study and analyze behavior, or those who devote a great deal of time to its study will probably be able to apply their skills faster to appearing more 'quick-witted." Adding to the mix, those with creative minds such as artists and writers, and avid readers - maybe even mathemeticians - people who can see patterns, and/or see connections between things, would likely help.

Above all, practice. Much like improv comedy, some of it will suck; especially until the skill level improves. However, it is occssionally possible to deliver the right words at the right moment, and make a memorable moment.

Thinking fast doesn't mean you're able to think up something in a short span of time.

It doesn't mean you process something difficult, faster than an average person.

The fast thinking part of your mind is referred to as system 1 in the book “ Thinking fast and slow“ by Daniel kahneman. It's the part of the mind we use to do a calculation like 2+2. it's our automatic default part which we apply without thinking much or straining the mind.

The part we use to 17*68 calculation is the slow mind. And this is true for everyone , from the highest IQ guy to lowest one. It puts more effort and strain on m

Thinking fast doesn't mean you're able to think up something in a short span of time.

It doesn't mean you process something difficult, faster than an average person.

The fast thinking part of your mind is referred to as system 1 in the book “ Thinking fast and slow“ by Daniel kahneman. It's the part of the mind we use to do a calculation like 2+2. it's our automatic default part which we apply without thinking much or straining the mind.

The part we use to 17*68 calculation is the slow mind. And this is true for everyone , from the highest IQ guy to lowest one. It puts more effort and strain on mind. Unless someone has practiced 17*68 kind of calculations so many times that it comes into their system one thinking , it will be a system 2 task only

Now some facts about system one or fast thinking -

  1. It's prone to more biases and errors
  2. something in your slow thinking can be brought to fast thinking with practice
  3. We are not aware of our actions we do using fast thinking. We do them on auto pilot mode.

The difficulty in answering questions like this is that "high intelligence" has been so difficult to define. So, before I answer in the affirmative (!), I do so recognizing these difficulties (a Nukak may not know physics, but your typical MIT professor would be dead in the Amazon within days [hours?!] Which one is more "intelligent"?).
I answer in the affirmative because "quick thinking" seems to be an integral part of what is
accepted as intelligence, no matter the culture. The ability to size up a situation, identify the elements (hostilities and alliances, ingresses and egresses, hot spots

The difficulty in answering questions like this is that "high intelligence" has been so difficult to define. So, before I answer in the affirmative (!), I do so recognizing these difficulties (a Nukak may not know physics, but your typical MIT professor would be dead in the Amazon within days [hours?!] Which one is more "intelligent"?).
I answer in the affirmative because "quick thinking" seems to be an integral part of what is
accepted as intelligence, no matter the culture. The ability to size up a situation, identify the elements (hostilities and alliances, ingresses and egresses, hot spots and safety zones, etc., whether it is on the hunt or in battle; in the boardroom or on the football pitch; the political campaign or the debate team), and make a good decision---it always seems to be the "smartest" who are able to do these things effectively and, therefore, advance faster to chief, shaman, general, president, CEO, coach, etc.
Good question, and I think "quick thinking" measurements might be a more fruitful avenue in determining intelligence across a broad spectrum of cultures than what is commonly used today. I am not an expert in this field; I am just aware of the ongoing arguments about how to define and test intelligence. Perhaps some researchers are already doing it by some form of "quick thinking" measurement. It would be interesting to hear from them.

I know what a person does in a situation is important but how the person's demeaner r attitude in that situation is true intelligence. IAn example like a car accident and the two invovled argue instead of trying to help the hurt or admit their quilt then the whole situation ends up chaotic. If they r helpful in the accident all is well for both and even wrong the person learns to be a careful driver and how another may have gotten hurt and ruined another's life but in all society eventually benefits from that but if tolerated road rage even willing to shot another at a car accident makes for a

I know what a person does in a situation is important but how the person's demeaner r attitude in that situation is true intelligence. IAn example like a car accident and the two invovled argue instead of trying to help the hurt or admit their quilt then the whole situation ends up chaotic. If they r helpful in the accident all is well for both and even wrong the person learns to be a careful driver and how another may have gotten hurt and ruined another's life but in all society eventually benefits from that but if tolerated road rage even willing to shot another at a car accident makes for a bad society chain reaction The innocent person has not just his lifetime of individualality ruined because now his children family as well as their livilgoid become burdens on the government as well as society because they were done wrong because they were a nobody and sometimes more often than not they go out and give what they feel they got. Nothing good comes out of that chain reaction in society started by someone who didn't want hifger insurance premiums r because their zip code is a better class but whatever the reason it is wronged and there's enough of wronged in our society at some point hopefully we will see the right humanitarian laws to protect citizens and start power good chain reactions like pay it forward r think if that was u r your family Well that's all greed when we only see our families and not the well beings of another's. Maybe I'm an empathy type person now at fiftty and I was the one being a snot to the less fortunate. Society doesn't want to save anyone but themselves but I've learned to save myself and others Nat start with society. We make up society. My actions affects another person even if being ride was on my mind that day I was rude to another then it steaks through society like a chain reaction of lighting that person is devalued and they go home and devalued so it continues. Now I just want people to feel good about them self so they can share a smile and help another feel good. Rich r poor because in quality is the chaos in our society. Not all black and white r whatever. The black and white were usually economical arguements to begin with. In the bilble everyone was equal and if not they were sodimore and gormorea People who do without something often indulge but once it's provided the indulgence is often gone I don't understand why anyone rich can enjoy true life if others r not rich and suffering. I would have to see others make it too so we all make it not just me r mine. Food for thought. Ramblings of a crazy person for u thats been my label and I often question crazy because I refuse to play games with others and their life. R I don't want to mess up another to gain money r ego. Guess that makes me the craziest.

Of course I’ve got only own mind to draw from, but I like to use the measurement TPM, ie thoughts per minute. I know mine is extremely high because I can’t shut it off; I can review something unrelated in my head while having a conversation. And when I have downtime between any sort of menial task my brain lights up with scenarios and ideas out of my control.

My IQ as tested hovers around 140, but I have no way to know for sure if there’s a correlation. I think we all know those folks who seem to take longer to think, so maybe they have low TPM. Again I’m not sure, but in my experience it makes

Of course I’ve got only own mind to draw from, but I like to use the measurement TPM, ie thoughts per minute. I know mine is extremely high because I can’t shut it off; I can review something unrelated in my head while having a conversation. And when I have downtime between any sort of menial task my brain lights up with scenarios and ideas out of my control.

My IQ as tested hovers around 140, but I have no way to know for sure if there’s a correlation. I think we all know those folks who seem to take longer to think, so maybe they have low TPM. Again I’m not sure, but in my experience it makes sense.

The ability to think quickly is a talent, not intelligence. For example, the ability to play a musical instrument is a talent, not intelligence.

That is an excellent question for it reveals what I believe to be the single most problematic issue with the concept of IQ: the test method.

I was tested a while back by a friend of mine who is a neuropsychologist at the university where I was studying at the time, and it turned out that I actually have a pretty high IQ. Because we were friends and did in in private, we had a beer afterwards and discussed the questions, the method etc. at length. I noticed one major issue with some difficult questions that I spent much time on, which my friend found fascinating after I explained it to him: they

That is an excellent question for it reveals what I believe to be the single most problematic issue with the concept of IQ: the test method.

I was tested a while back by a friend of mine who is a neuropsychologist at the university where I was studying at the time, and it turned out that I actually have a pretty high IQ. Because we were friends and did in in private, we had a beer afterwards and discussed the questions, the method etc. at length. I noticed one major issue with some difficult questions that I spent much time on, which my friend found fascinating after I explained it to him: they can have more than one correct answer, depending on how you analyse the pattern. Sometimes, you can conclude which one it is they are most probably looking for (i.e. the “best answer”), but it doesn’t mean that the other answer is wrong — it merely involves either a more complex or simply a less intuitive pattern.

My friend pointed out that of the people he had tested so far, nobody had brought this up before, but after I thoroughly discussed each problematic question, he agreed I had a point. But that isn’t even the real issue. The real issue is that the IQ test, like all standardised tests, involves a time constraint. On one hand, this makes sense: given unlimited time, even a very average mind might get a decent amount of answers right. On the other hand, on the very top, time constraints make no sense in my opinion, as intelligent people are all more or less bright enough to be able to solve the majority of difficult puzzles in a reasonable amount of time. However, some intelligent people are, relatively speaking, “slow thinkers” — not necessarily because they are not intelligent, but because they are very “deep” thinkers and examine stuff at a more abstract level or from more angles than is usually expected in a particular question. This was the reason I discovered the phenomenon of more than one answer: in two or three questions, I chose a wrong answer, but had a perfectly valid pattern to justify my choice.

Why does that matter? Because apart from the fact that you get a correct answer counted wrong, we should remember one of the things the IQ test claims to measure: intelligence that is useful/required for problem solving (psychologists may correct me here). In real life, particularly in academia, you will find that many of the brightest faculty at prestigious universities aren’t necessarily the quickest thinkers, but can think very, very deep and analyse problems from angles you and I wouldn’t have thought of. Thus, I believe there to be a general correlation between inteligence and processing speed, but at the top level, I don’t think this correlation is very strong or holds at all.

Overall, I noticed that the IQ test is rather useless as a means to measure high intelligence (I remind you that I do not benefit from this claim myself as I scored pretty high). In particular the validity of verbal part is highly dubious (here I can even speak as somewhat of an expert) — in fact, I am not sure what it measures at all.

What an IQ test can reliably tell you is if someone is stupid, rather average or rather intelligent. That’s it. Everything beyond that is just speculation and leads to the sort of masturbation you encounted in many answer to this and similar questions (“I scored 160, we see things clearly, we have no friends, we are…”). More importantly, beyond these three categories that I’ve just mentioned, your IQ will help you very little with success. Studies suggest that a very high IQ actually correlates negatively with good leadership, the alpha and omega of success in professional life today.

Finally, on a side note, what I wrote about the test method has another implication: an IQ of 160 doesn’t mean the person is more intelligent than the other guy who scored 150 or 140 or even 135. Those are all arbitrary numbers and at that high level, could be caused by many factors other than difference in intelligence. In any case, these numbers don’t say too much about your success, as long as you are reasonably intelligent, that is (e.g. not below 110) and don’t insist on working as a theoretical physicist. If you’ve ever taken part in a meeting with the board of directors at a Fortune 500 company, you know exactly what I mean. So, intelligence predicts success, yes, but IQ not necessarily.

I don’t like to comment on my own intelligence, and I don’t know about whether you or others would consider me to be “highly intelligent” but I will answer about my own approach. Though it could be nice if/when people indicate that they consider any of us to be highly intelligent, it’s not good form in my view to discuss one’s own intelligence, and it’s not especially fruitful to think too much about it either. On the other hand, it is helpful to know and inventory one’s specific strengths and weaknesses and to prioritize which of them to work on and improve (because they are all likely very m

I don’t like to comment on my own intelligence, and I don’t know about whether you or others would consider me to be “highly intelligent” but I will answer about my own approach. Though it could be nice if/when people indicate that they consider any of us to be highly intelligent, it’s not good form in my view to discuss one’s own intelligence, and it’s not especially fruitful to think too much about it either. On the other hand, it is helpful to know and inventory one’s specific strengths and weaknesses and to prioritize which of them to work on and improve (because they are all likely very malleable). So, let’s put aside how one might evaluate his/her own general intelligence because I don’t think it’s really that helpful, and let me just comment on how I approach problems. So, you might say that this will be an answer not about how intelligent people solve problems but about how to solve problems intelligently.

I don’t try to solve them quickly. I think that the quickest way to solve a problem is to take it slow, because if you aim for quickness, you don’t get to the right solution fast enough (unless it’s a really easy problem, in which case, why are we discussing it?). Rather, you’ll just get some wrong answers and won’t develop the needed insight. I recently came up with this saying: “the shortest path to mastery is the longest path”, but even if we’re not talking about mastery but only solving a particular problem, I think there’s still some truth to the quote. Instead of trying to get to a solution quickly, if I care to solve a problem, I do the following, more or less in this order (and if not chronologically in this order, then at least in general the earlier listed steps are prerequisites to the later-listed steps even if some can be undertaken simultaneously):

  1. Firstly, I get excited by the opportunity to solve the problem, because (a) it’s fun, (b) it could be useful and could improve something in the world or enhance my success, and (c) I get to learn something and improve my skill/intelligence, which is also fun.
  2. Secondly, I obsess a little bit about the problem. I sit and brainstorm, drawing diagrams, scribbling notes, etc. I also think about it in the shower, while lying in bed, or while walking around. It’s like my own internal entertainment system, where I can turn it on any time when I’m bored or don’t have anything else I need to be doing.
  3. Thirdly, I rely on first principles: what is the fundamental model that characterizes the system or process; or if I don’t have a model, then what are some good candidate models? What are the fundamental constraints or limitations that impact the behavior or the possibilities? What are the unknowns?
  4. Fourthly, I cast a wide net: what are some other (e.g. past) situations that might be dissimilar but might bear some non-obvious resemblance? The following answer is awesome and relevant — sometimes, even entities that are identical for all intents and purposes don’t immediately reveal themselves to be: In simple terms, what is an isomorphism in mathematics? For example, what does it mean that there is an isomorphism between the real and complex numbers? However, we’re not restricted to identical situations: what are other known problems with roughly similar structure that are potentially in a very different domain? Recently, I worked on modeling quantum control operations and noticed that my approach relates to modeling the operation of a (macroscopic, classical) mechanical system. Though the two systems are substantially different, still some insights overlap.

    We’re not even restricted to similar situations or problems of similar structure. Sometimes, isolated facts and tricks from a number of diverse areas can be brought together to bear on our problem of interest. Can we make certain ideas from physics fit certain economic models? Can we tweak the economic model without badly affecting its fidelity (i.e. its ability to represent reality with sufficient accuracy) so that it does benefit from these ideas in physics? What does psychology predict about economics? What do economics predict about psychology? You get the picture — cast a wide net.

    The second point above is really essential in enabling you to cast a wide net because if you don’t obsess a little, then you don’t have sufficient energy to dig up distant memories that aren’t immediately and obviously connected to the problem that you’re trying to solve. Also, the more you think about the problem, the more your brain realizes and identifies the similarities and connections with other knowledge that you have. It’s much like swooshing wine around in your mouth or softly and slowly savoring a bite when sampling some exquisite cuisine — when you do that, you draw connections to other flavors and past gustatory experiences.

    In this step, the ability to think abstractly really helps here because we need to be able to adapt and generalize what we know. We likely can’t just apply it to this hard problem right “out of the box”.
  5. I research past attempts to solve the problem or the closest problems to it that I can find.
  6. Now, I try to formulate possible solutions that may or may not work. Once I have a sketch of one or two solutions to attempt, I learn the tools that enable me to perform each step of the solution. Maybe one part requires me to talk to an expert and ask a couple of simple questions. Maybe another part requires me to learn some new mathematics. Maybe a part of the solution requires writing a little bit of computer code and testing it … I try to break it down and then learn each tool that I need to bring into my solution.
  7. When the opportunity is available, I collaborate and appreciate the insight, intelligence, and experience of others. What I suggest is to get them interested in the problem too by highlighting what about it would make it exciting and what the impact of the solution could be. If all parties aren’t hung up on who gets credit while still being fair in attributing credit where it’s due, that makes for a great collaborative environment that will significantly shorten the time to a solution. Don’t be hung up on credit yourself. Prioritize the solution instead.
  8. I attempt to build the solution and then test the solution, including edge cases.

What if you’re critically and intensely pressed for time? Is there a short version of this? I think that whatever solution will work is likely easiest to find if you follow this same process and these same steps, although you might need to rush each individual step, and you’ll get to a solution that might be sufficient though suboptimal. However, I don’t think you can skip any of the steps. The “obsess” step might look a little different and might have a very different time scale for example, but something like it will still need to take place.

Finally, a word of warning: there is such a thing as unhealthy obsession. So, don’t equate your success in solving any problem, or your success in general, with your value as a person. Also, don’t expect that achieving any goal will bring you ultimate happiness and/or security. Both of these kinds of expectations can hurt you tremendously or even ruin your success and happiness. When I say “obsess”, I’m talking about a leisurely, relaxed, pleasurable mulling over; not anything stressful, anxious, or desperate.