abstaining from dumb decisions

Our understanding of intelligence, he writes, has been muddled by the discrepancy between the vague, comprehensive vernacular term, which encompasses all the functions and manifestations of "smarts," and the narrower theories that "confine the concept of intelligence to the set of mental abilities actually tested on extant IQ tests." The latter conceptualization allows intelligence to coexist with foolishness because IQ tests do not measure the rationality required to abstain from dumb decisions, according to the author. Casual observers, however, usually define intelligence broadly and are confused by inconsistencies: "Blatantly irrational acts committed by people of obvious intelligence ... shock and surprise us and call out for explanation."

- Irrational Intelligence