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Book Smarts vs. Street Smarts

studentathletechristian8
Posts: 5,810
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6/13/2009 5:31:08 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I always hear people refer to others as either having book smarts or street smarts.
Usually, people considered to be book smart are known as lacking in street smarts, and vice versa. I just want to ask a few quick questions: Can someone possibly have a high amount of both book and streets smarts (if so, name the person) and
what is more important; book smarts or street smarts, and in what scenarios? Personally, I am more book smarts.
JBlake
Posts: 4,634
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6/13/2009 6:47:28 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
There certainly is a useful reason to make such a division. 'Street smarts' is another way of identifying someone with a lot of real life experience. This is in contrast with someone who is 'book smart' who may know a lot of theory and the such, which may or may not be at odds with application in the 'real world'.

Oddly enough, som31john is an example of someone who is 'book smart' but lacks street smarts (specifically in terms of women). He knows theoretically what he should be doing to gain positive attention from women (be a nice guy), but lacks the experiential knowledge for successful application.

It is certainly possible for someone to be both. Many people naturally possess both forms. Others begin with one and need to make an effort to add the other. Book smart people might need to put down the books and theory and force themselves to gain some experiential knowledge. Street smart people might need to stop living in the moment and go to a library.

People with one and not the other may be that way because of life circumstances and availability of opportunity moreso than natural inclination. It isn't that some book smart people are inherently socially awkward, just like it isn't necessarily true that all street smart people are inherently unmotivated or unintelligent (or butt hurt, as som31john so eloquently put it). A book smart person may be that way because his parents emphasized study and the pursuit of knowledge at the expense of being social/ street smart people may not have access to the same resources.
JBlake
Posts: 4,634
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6/13/2009 6:48:59 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/13/2009 6:41:39 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
But aren't street smarts more for "business-minded" people while book smarts are more for "studious" and "nerdy" people?

It might be more accurate to say that street smarts are for practical people while book smarts are more for theoretically minded people.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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6/20/2009 5:57:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Of course people can be both Book Smart and Street Smart. I agree entirely with JBlake on this matter. I think what defines someone as being 'Book Smart' is pretty obvious, though the definition of what makes someone 'Street Smart' should be expanded to include not only those with life experience, but those who have other talents and abilities you cannot learn just from reading, i.e. a knack for persuading people, etc.

Having a good balance of knowledge in both fields is most advantageous, obviously; being limited to one strength is mostly useless. For instance, a teacher who is incredibly book smart but lacks the capacity to hold the interest of the class or explain the material effectively makes them, essentially, a BAD teacher regardless of how smart or knowledgeable of a subject they might be. Similarly, simply being persuasive and insightful will not make just anyone a good lawyer -- One would need to have knowledge of the laws, the legal system, etc. in order to make a good attorney.
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