Developing and Utilizing Practical Intelligence

Practical intelligence is a crucial aspect of our lives that we utilize daily. It is the ability to adapt to the environment and find the best fit for oneself. It is a skill that can be developed and nurtured over time. Here are some examples of practical intelligence in action:

1. Problem-Solving: Practical intelligence is demonstrated when we face a problem and find a solution that works best for us. For example, when a student is unable to understand a concept, they can use their practical intelligence to find alternative ways of learning, such as watching videos or seeking help from a tutor.

2. Time Management: Practical intelligence is vital when it coms to managing time effectively. An individual can use their practical intelligence to prioritize tasks based on their importance, urgency, and personal goals. For instance, a student may prioritize studying for an exam over socializing with friends.

3. Adaptability: Practical intelligence is demonstrated when we need to adapt to new situations, such as changing jobs or moving to a new city. An individual can use their practical intelligence to assess the new environment, find resources, and adapt to the new culture.

4. Decision Making: Practical intelligence is crucial in decision making. An individual can use their practical intelligence to weigh the pros and cons of a decision, based on their personal values and goals. For example, when choosing between two job offers, a person may consider the salary, work-life balance, and growth opportunities before making a decision.

5. Communication: Practical intelligence is essential when it comes to effective communication. An individual can use their practical intelligence to understand the needs and perspectives of others and adjust their communication style accordingly. For instance, a teacher may use different teaching methods to reach students with different learning styles.

Practical intelligence is an essential skill that we use in our daily lives. It is the ability to adapt, shape, or select a new environment to achieve personal goals. By developing this skill, we can improve our problem-solving abilities, time management, adaptability, decision-making, and communication skills.

What Is A Practical Intelligence?

Practical intelligence refers to an individual’s ability to effectively navigate ther environment by adapting, shaping, or selecting new environments in pursuit of their personal goals. This type of intelligence involves finding the most optimal fit between oneself and the demands of the environment. Practical intelligence is a concept that was first introduced by Robert Sternberg in 1985 and has since been further developed by various researchers. It is distinct from other types of intelligence, such as academic or cognitive intelligence, and is often considered a key factor in achieving success in various domains of life. practical intelligence refers to the ability to use one’s skills and knowledge to effectively solve real-world problems and achieve personal goals in a given environment.

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How Can Practical Intelligence Be Taught?

Practical intelligence can be taught through a variety of methods. One way is through experiential learning, where students are given opportunities to practice and apply their knowledge in real-world situations. This can be done through internships, apprenticeships, or service learning projects. Another way is through problem-based learning, where students are presented with complex, real-world problems and encouraged to develop solutions uing their existing knowledge and skills. Additionally, teaching critical thinking skills and encouraging questioning and inquiry can help students develop their practical intelligence by encouraging them to think deeply about problems and develop creative solutions. Lastly, providing opportunities for collaboration and teamwork can also help students develop practical intelligence by allowing them to practice communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills in a group setting.

What Is Sternberg’s Theory Of Practical Intelligence?

Sternberg’s theory of practical intelligence posits that an individual’s ability to adapt to ther environment and respond to its demands is a crucial component of overall intelligence. In addition to traditional measures of intelligence such as problem-solving and critical thinking, practical intelligence encompasses skills such as common sense, street smarts, and the ability to navigate real-world situations effectively. Sternberg also emphasizes the importance of creativity in intelligence, and suggests that intelligence is not a fixed trait, but rather a set of abilities that can be developed over time. Sternberg’s theory highlights the multifaceted nature of intelligence and the importance of practical skills in real-world success.


Practical intelligence plays a vital role in an individual’s ability to adapt and succeed in their environment. Practical intelligence examples can be seen in everyday situations, such as problem-solving, decision-making, and interpersonal communication. By questioning and processing information, individuals can develop their practical intelligence, allowing them to find a more optimal fit betwen themselves and their environment. It is important to note that practical intelligence, like creativity, can be developed and is not a fixed trait. Therefore, it is crucial to encourage and nurture practical intelligence in individuals to help them reach their full potential and succeed in their personal and professional lives.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.