Rank-Order of Intelligences in Politicians

To rank-order the importance of different intelligences for politicians, one must understand the context of the definitions for each type of intelligence. For the purpose of this discussion this author will clarify the definitions to be used in order to support the order listed later in this discussion.

As defined by Hughes, Ginnett, and Curphy (2015), analytic intelligence is general problem-solving ability (p. 209). Therefore, analytic intelligence can help politician quickly learn, as well as the connections, and make better inferences with imperfect information.

Creative intelligence is the ability to create outcomes that are new and useful (p. 212), as noted by Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy (2015). This form of intelligence showcases how well an individual can cope with and/or craft the “new”; creative intelligence can expose individuality.

According to Sternberg (2003), emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive and express emotion, while using one’s own feeling to access and/or create thoughts (p. 38). This definition implies that context or associations associated with one’s emotions help shape thoughts.  

Practical intelligence relates to how individuals “know how to adapt to, shape, or select new situations to get their needs met better” (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2015, p. 210). This intelligence determines how well an individual understands how things are done and how to do those things within a specific domain; commonly referred to as “street smarts”.

Sternberg (1988) stresses that how an individual combines the use of analytic, creative and practical intelligence impacts the “amount” of intelligence a person brings to bear in a given situation. He does not directly address emotional intelligence within this equation, and sets it apart as a separate yet equal component of intelligence.

In the case of a politician, this author rates creative intelligence as the least (fourth) aspect of intelligence, as the use-case for...