I propose a new measurement of intelligence be recognized, a measurement based on life experiences. This new tool would be called Life Experience Intelligence. Here is how this concept would work: Experience you’ve had, or bodies of knowledge you’ve gained from the classroom, would have value in evaluating your intelligence. For example, if you’ve learned to communicate in another language, this might contribute a number of points to your intelligence. If you’ve taken a trip, this might add something. If you’ve started a business, there would be value in this, even if the business failed. I don’t believe there could be a number assigned to each of these experiences. The values of various experiences would differ from person to person. Further, I don’t believe Life Experience Intelligence could necessarily predict a person’s contributions in life. But I do believe that assessing a person’s true intelligence on his or her life experiences is the most valid way of accomplishing this objective.
A person who has been involved in a large number of endeavors has accumulated a great deal of knowledge in the areas that he or she has delved. The value of this kind of knowledge depends largely upon what it was. For example, knowledge of how to lead could be valuable in industry, but a knowledge of how to rob banks, most likely, would have no value whatever. It seems obvious that estimable individuals would seek to increase their intelligence in areas that could be used to improve their welfare in life or the welfare of society in general.
A partial list of undertakings that I feel could contribute to a person’s intelligence are these: striving to improve vocabulary, perfecting arithmetic skills, learning another language, reading a book, fixing a leaky faucet, adding a room to the home, doing creative or technical writing, painting a picture, trying a new recipe, and viewing the news on TV. There are so many topics that could be shown that this list could contain hundreds of thousands of items, even millions.
I’ve suggested that many endeavors, while they might be examples of life experiences, could represent a fund of experiences that would be counter-productive. A few that come to mind are: embezzling, forgery, operating Ponzi schemes, and dealing in drugs. There are many more that could be suggested.
The values of some life experiences might be counter intuitive. For example, time spent in prison could represent a worthy life experience for some. It could be a game-changer, convincing them that a change of life style is indicated.
As I’ve said, I don’t propose applying a number to a person’s fund of life experiences. Every legal and moral life experience is worth something to be sure, but its worth wouldn’t be the same for everyone. Some persons live life to the fullest and gain life experiences easily while others live shallowly and gain very little. How are any of us to know what is the true intelligence of an individual? By the way the person acts, by the way the person speaks, and by what the person has accomplished!