Why You’re Smarter Than You Think

From the time we are schoolchildren, we are ranked and sorted based on how smart we are. But what if our assumptions about intelligence limit our potential? This week, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman proposes a more expansive notion of what it means to be “smart.”

Additional Resources


Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization, by Scott Barry Kaufman, 2020.

Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Bright and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties, edited by Scott Barry Kaufman, 2018.

Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, by Scott Barry Kaufman, 2013.

IQ and Human Intelligence (Second Edition), Nicholas Mackintosh, 2011.


Experiential Learning of Cultural Norms: The Role of Implicit and Explicit Aptitudes, by Krishna Savani, et al., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2022.

The Structure of Intuitive Abilities and Their Relationships with Intelligence and Openness to Experience, by Agata Sobkow, et al., Intelligence, 2018.

Imagination Is the Seed of Creativity, by Rebecca J. M. Gotlieb, et. al, The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity, 2018.

My Quest to Understand Human Intelligence, by Scott Barry Kaufman, The Nature of Human Intelligence,, 2018.

Openness to Experience and Intellect Differentially Predict Creative Achievement in the Arts and Sciences, by Scott Barry Kaufman, et al., Journal of Personality, 2016.

Ode to Positive Constructive Daydreaming, by Rebecca L. McMillan, Scott Barry Kaufman, and Jerome L. Singer, Frontiers in Psychology, 2013.

Grab Bag: 

A New Theory of Human Intelligence, Scott Barry Kaufman speech at TEDxZumbroRiver, 2017.

From Evaluation to Inspiration, Scott Barry Kaufman speech at TEDxManhattanBeach, 2014.

Scott Barry Kaufman singing “Stars” as a high school student


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Go behind the scenes, see what Shankar is reading and find more useful resources and links.