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I am curious: When do we label a person as being 'intelligent', 'smart' or 'clever'? This is subjective, and it seems unlikely that it is possible to reach a bulletproof definition. A high IQ has been used for some time, but it seems that taking IQ tests is a learnable skill as any other, see 1 (other sources contradict this fact, however, see 2). But when do we say when somebody is 'smart'? It is not rare to hear people utter 'Wow, he's really smart!'. Does he have a high IQ score? Does he know all the capitals of all countries in the world? Does he play piano extremely well, have a Ph.D. in mathematics or paint incredibly beautiful paintings?

Along the same vain, is it because we consider some tasks to be more intellectually challenging? Have they achieved things that are relatively hard to accomplish, e.g. becoming a grandmaster at chess, solving an elite sudoku in <1 min (no idea if this is reasonable), publishing groundbreaking results in science? (Just what came to my mind).

So the question is:

How do laypeople form a judgement that another person is smart or intelligent?


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The second part of this question makes it off-topic. The first part is marginally on-topic, but as you've figured out for yourself, these definitions are highly subjective. I'd recommend reformulating a question around that. – Chuck Sherrington Jul 22 '14 at 19:41
@ChuckSherrington Thanks for your comment! I have tried to edit the post to reflect this. Let me know what you think. – Numbersandsoon Jul 22 '14 at 19:54
It's a lot better. :) I think you should refocus it on how we define thresholds for subjective measurements, as that would provide a more general answer, but it's up to you. – Chuck Sherrington Jul 22 '14 at 19:59
I tried to help distil the question. In essence I think you're asking about how everyday people form judgements about intelligence. Thus, the question is not talking about how psychologists should categorise someone as intelligent, but rather how laypeople actually do it. Note that the question is now no longer subjective even though the individual decision making process is. – Jeromy Anglim Jul 23 '14 at 3:53
I don't have a reference because I heard it in class long ago, but the professor of the course on intelligence told us that people are fairly accurate (whatever that means) in assessing other people's intelligence - if it's lower or similar to theirs. But they can't make fine grained judgments about people who are more intelligent. – Ana Jul 23 '14 at 7:48

If any one want to be treated as genius then they should roam around fools.

It totally depends upon third persons mentality more over IQ alone is not enough for determining a person as clever,Smart and intelligent. EQ also to be taken in account.

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Well, not totally. IQ may be more or less observable depending on the target's personality too (e.g., extraversion). BTW, some scientific support for your claim would go a long way toward improving the quality of this answer... – Nick Stauner Jul 24 '14 at 0:06

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