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What does your intelligence show about you?

Intelligence makes a huge difference in one's life, but what is it exactly?
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Intelligence is one of the biggest factors for success in contemporary American society. But what is intelligence and what does one’s intelligence reveal about them?

Professor Zach Hambrick, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University, studies how intelligence works and its relationship to skill and expertise. He runs the Expertise Lab at MSU, which focuses on where skill and expertise come from and what allows them to develop.

Intelligence is one of many factors that makes up who a person is. According to Hambrick, it’s made up of both innate intelligence and learned knowledge. There’s a big debate over the relationship between intelligence and genetic factors, but Hambrick says intelligence is inheritable to an extent. Intelligence remains relatively steady throughout one’s lifetime, with marginal variation as one grows older. Hambrick says while intelligence is a key factor in determining success and expertise, it’s only one of many.

There are moral questions, too, that come with how we value intelligence, Hambrick says. It’s an important part of success and what makes one who they are, but other factors can’t be ignored.

Listen to the full interview with Professor Hambrick to learn more about the underpinnings of intelligence.

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GUEST Zach Hambrick is a professor of psychology at Michigan State University and Laboratory Director of the Expertise Lab.

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