As regards intelligence, which do you rate more, formal education or experience?

Im just pondering this one, looking for your input…

In William James he talks about people who want to have experiences in order to have something to think about, vs. people who think about things in order to do something. When in reality, a balance is essential.


I don’t think you can rate one over the other. Some people learn best one way, and other people learn best another way. You need both.


We’re just now accepting the idea of Kinect learners… Visual learners… Auditory learners…

As far as me… I guess since I got my GED (barely) and I’m nearly 30 and just now getting my education on track… I guess I’ve gotten what few wit’s I have through experience.

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i have a lot of formal education (i was at university when i first cracked, and then was stabilized and ended up with an advanced degree…and then cracked more fully and repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly, and never got it back again…), but that didn’t really prepare me for much outside that system itself, and some conversation topics, because i didn’t end up in academia–far too much stress for me to handle.

what i did end up in is a portion of living where experience matters more. and i’ve had a lot of experiences, but i haven’t done a very good job of actually learning from them. i admire people who don’t have to “learn everything the hard way, and multiple times” as seems to be my path.

there’s also the whole “emotional intelligence” thing and i’m not particularly gifted in that area either. or the “social intelligence” bits.

the only thing i can actually rate is my own understanding and knowledge of myself. that’s been piss poor oftentimes, but hopefully is getting better. regardless, as i am the only one inside my experience, i’m the only one who truly stands a chance at understanding it. so i suppose i’d rate that higher, if i had to choose rank, simply because it’s the one that’s possible and the one i strive for. not with respect to others, however, or some “experience at large”, because i find that presumptuous and arrogant, but i think it’s important to figure myself out and find some meaning in my experiences. learn something, anything, from them at some point.

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both…it is good to know the words in a dictionary…
…but you need to know how to open the dictionary… :blue_book: !?!
take care said the :alien:


A mixture of both is nice.


Not doing a good job learning from the experiences would be part of the experience.

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I come from a country where if people do not have the money then the government pays college fees as well as living expenses.

There will always be an issue where social classes dominated by violence drug abuse etc or spots where there is no tradition of education.

So a person maybe genuinely intelligent and have no education.

But given the opportunity it is true that the higher the education then that does correspond with higher intelligence

Thats the situation where i come from

If done right education should be a predictor for someone that is well ajusted.

I Never believed in the dichotomy that was intelligence or experience. Educated people have a great deal of experience. They usually work in complex social structures and operate in an environment where you generally have to be respectful pf other people. Their social skills are constantly tested and refined.

true enough. it’d be one of the residually shitty parts.

Formal education and experience coincide. Internships are a big part of psychology PhDs and MDs. I hope to get there in a PhD program within the decade. Internships are the final part of those programs and are basically the last step, you must practice what you have learned and prove yourself to be worthy of being a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, surgeon, whatever.

In the US, where I live, formal education is mandatory for being an expert on a subject. I dislike the way the US makes undergrads take irrelevant classes to their majors, I just wrote a three page single spaced paper for ■■■■■■■ literature and I did not exactly enjoy it, despite being pretty good at it. I have an A in that class but I will be glad to be said and done with literature for the rest of my life in like two weeks. Damn. Some classes are fun, like philosophy, it’s fun, oral communications (giving speeches) is fun because I just talk about whatever I want, but French? NO. Literature? NO. sex? YES

college has fun parts. It’s a great place to meet people and have fun experiences. It is also full of ■■■■■■■■ at times. Today was full of ■■■■■■■■. I had to go to literature and brainstorm a final project and then spend a bunch of time writing it after class. I didnt even have lunch, I just had a couple of protein shakes.

Fraternities are no. Alcohol is not the way to be. A few drinks on a Friday night with friends every once in a while is like yeah, sure, you’re driving, good, but getting piss wasted and hungover is not the right thing to do. Been there and done that. I did not receive a medal or course credit.

But writing journal articles in psychology is the ■■■■, that’s the way to go, writing papers on schizophrenia from an academic objective standpoint is the way to go, clinical psychology labs are the way to go, honors psychology classes like abnormal psychology, deviance, physiological psychology, drug and alcohol behavior, all good for me. Literature final project is no bueno. Boo. Fart.

You see, my personal experience as well as education in psychology makes a killer combination. I’m a very highly functioning, very schizophrenic yet well-treated patient as well as an ace student, that is probably why I got invited into a clinical lab with the intent of publishing a major journal article next year during a meeting with a professor last night. He knows I am schizophrenic and obviously quite bright, which can make for insightful research, I guess that is what he sees. I think I see it. The thesis will be on psychotherapy-- I have been in and out of therapy since I was like 12. I have been abnormal to a serious degree since age 11. Im 21 today, I have ten years of being salvaged and repaired with medication and therapy as well as a 3.8 cumulative GPA and tons of honors hours under my belt, all but one of my psych classes done.

Formal education was not my choice. I was raised to go to college and oh well, here I am. I do endorse it, but experience is crucial to expertise, hence why they make physicians and clinicians do internships. I myself have experience of being a patient, which is different. I will most likely become an obsessed professor, researching the schizo while teaching the schizo, that is if I don’t just fall apart.

That’s a crucial “if” right there.

My formal education in architecture only “prepared” me for my being a residential designer. I had to bug my coworkers with tons of questions as to how to put together a house with building specifications that will sail. So, they are equally important in my case.

Never confuse education with intelligence.

Met a lot of people that have college degrees, but no common sense. Sad.


Im sorry i dont agree with that , you look to any business beyond small businesses , shops . Bakers , etc , and the people holding influential positions in the modern day; managers , team leaders , human resources staff, CEO’s, engineers , nurses , teachers , doctors , scientists; all have a considerable amount of education behind them.

And just on this education should not be viewed as eliteist or beyond reach , there’s a wealth of courses free or at a minimal cost at local colleges or online. And also there are so many books out their aswell. I have a background in software but 4 years ago i took a course in biology and social care. This year i completed a course on business and enterprise. And im now doing a course on animations and graphic design. is a resource for free education. Im now on the lookout for a course on evolutionary biology or physics. I have a third level student card , so i can avail of cheaper transport , library services , etc.

Don’t get your panties in a bunch.
I’m all for education, you can never be too educated.
I’m just saying being educated is not a license to look down on those who have not paid to get a degree.
That was my opinion that a lot of people I have met that have a lot of formal education are not as smart as those who were born with (and use)common sense.

Schools don’t teach you how to think — they teach you how to absorb knowledge.

A lot of it depends on the type of education you’re pursuing, too. The humanities, for example, engage critical thinking; whereas hard sciences are more structured and memorization is the most important variable. Unfortunately there is a push within the humanities to become more scientific — philosophy is becoming increasingly structured, history, even subjects like literature.

It kills spontaneity and creative genius.

The OP didnt mention anything about educated people looking down their nose on anyone and you never referred to that in your initial response.

2 types of intelligence , book smart. And street smart.

If you can harness both that is the best of both worlds


Totally agree. I’ve got friends with bachelor’s degrees and they just don’t use there head to actually think. They are book smart trained with 0 life experience

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