Wisdom vs Intelligence

Wisdom and intelligence are important characteristics - they are not diametric opposites, and wisdom does not necessarily follow intelligence. Despite their apparent similarity, they are rather separate traits—although it is impossible to possess both. Wisdom is "gaining expertise, understanding, and sound judgment." A wise individual possesses profound insight and awareness; wise beings are sometimes referred to as "ancient souls."

On the contrary, intelligence is "the capacity for skills and data acquisition and functioning." It has to do with intelligence and how that intelligence is used. So, the distinction is between where these traits originate from and how we employ them.

What is Intelligence?

The capacity for abstracting from actuality, conceptual thought, and rational thinking are all characteristics of intelligence. Understanding a sentient character that is enigmatic, inconsistent, and susceptible to constant flux is what is meant by the definition of wisdom. These two structures can draw attention to the advantageous and adaptable aspects of development across time. Both assure a lifetime of learning and are thought to improve with age.

These two aspects are contrasted regarding the behavioral domains they embody, the functional activities employed to evaluate them, and the interaction between reasoning and chronology in their evolution. The purpose of wisdom is described as prompting the person to think about the impact of his actions on both himself and others. The role of intellect is defined as concentrating on themes of how to perform and complete important life-supporting chores.

  • Intelligence − Capacity for abstracting from actuality, conceptual thought, and rational thinking

  • Innate quality

  • Wisdom − Understanding a sentient character, that is enigmatic, inconsistent, and susceptible to constant flux

  • Comes from experience

What is Wisdom?

Wisdom comes from experience, perhaps without our awareness, and intelligence, in all its manifestations, is frequently an inherent quality. The ability to see similarities and act on intuition is a function of wisdom; intuition consists of a "feeling" notion of what is good or incorrect. Data and "knowledge" are more important in intelligence. Depending on their ideals, objectives, and other factors, some people may choose intelligence over wisdom or wisdom over intelligence. However, the significance of each is equal. As much as possible, we should practice approaching a situation logically and intuitively to view the larger picture or understand the covert meaning.

The practicality of wisdom is a priority of more recent conceptions of wisdom. A "balancing" hypothesis of wisdom, for instance, has been established by American psychologist Robert Sternberg. By balancing (a) intrapersonal, (b) interpersonal, and (c) extra personal purposes, he describes wisdom as "the utilization of one's intelligence, inventiveness, good judgment, and information and as moderated by constructive moral codes toward the attainment of a greater good." Sternberg contends that wisdom encompasses more than mere intelligence and may be more significant.

While our cultures presently favor emphasizing analytical intelligence in their evaluations of people in school, university, and afterward, one might contend that evaluations of wisdom might be more helpful. It is more probable that civilians and authorities will fall short in their tasks because of an absence of wisdom than a dearth of analytical intelligence.

Cognitive Dimension of Wisdom and Intelligence

Distinction Between the Intelligence and Wisdom

It can be understood as −

Place of Origin

Logic usually originates in our minds and is founded on absorbing information and making a confident choice. Wisdom, in contrast, emerges with a profound sensation of feeling that this is correct for us, not merely proper in general, and is typically felt in the core or heart. It frequently comes with visceral emotions, such as goosebumps or even sobs. Take note of how the solution was reached; was our reasoning more rational and streamlined? That is knowledge. Or was it all-encompassing and gave us access to our prior knowledge and trends? That is wise.


Furthermore, journaling can be beneficial if we wish to improve our ability to differentiate between the two. Consider the instances when we may have benefited more from our wisdom than our intelligence. We might discover that one is more effective than the other or that doing so results in superior results.

Holding Others' Understanding as Our Reference Point

The next time we are conversing with somebody and want to determine if they are displaying wisdom or intelligence, we could ask them explicitly where their justification is founded. We can likely refer from their response whether they are logical or intelligent by their choice of a more general statement based on personal experience.

How to Gain Wisdom and Intelligence?

The effectiveness with which knowledge may be retained is intelligence, and wisdom is the effective application of knowledge. "Wisdom raises the proper questions; intelligence can respond to inquiries." Our intelligence is increased through reading, attending a dance class, and helping our grandparents in the garden. Our intellect is strengthened by all these experiences, even if we may grow intelligent differently.

We can recall information, finish tasks, and resolve issues thanks to our intelligence. Different kinds of life events also help people become wiser. Imagine that while we are gardening with our grandparents, they start telling us something about their past. We learn about our grandfather's military service and how the nation's outlook altered before and after the warfare. They impart knowledge about compassion, generosity, and humankind. Although they may be imparting their knowledge, this recital does not render us any wiser.

We grow wiser when we process that knowledge in our thoughts and implement it in our environment. How do other people's stories alter our standpoint? What facts might we need to be aware of? It is an indicator of intelligence to pose questions like these and look for solutions.


While neither wisdom nor intelligence is superior to the other, both are advantageous traits. We all acquire wisdom during our lifetime, and atop that, we are constantly given chances to use our intelligence by acquiring new knowledge. The secret is developing each to function together, and we may approach any problem with greater knowledge and logical reasoning.

Updated on: 13-Apr-2023


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