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Old 01-31-2015, 09:16 PM
 
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I've noticed that when we compare these two fields of study it's always done from graphs and charts. I want to know from your own personal experiences and conversations how you would describe each. Just through conversations in class, out of class, at a book store, etc. which group of people seem the most astute?
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:43 PM
 
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Hard to say, I have met brilliant people and absolute morons in both.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:59 PM
 
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I don't think personal anecdotes are going to solve this debate.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:00 PM
 
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That's difficult to speculate based only on anecdote. Some STEM major might not be very articulate because language isn't their forte', but are probably more astute in math than many articulate liberal arts majors.

I do think purely in terms of motivation and effort, STEM is much more difficult for most than liberal arts fields. With STEM you have to exert continuous effort, esp in something like math, otherwise it's difficult to do well. With many liberal arts classes, esp English, it's possible to throw together an essay the night before and still get a decent grade; I know - I did it on more than one occasion.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:35 PM
 
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There are different types of intelligence with varying degrees of importance based on the field of occupation and life situations such as emotional intelligence, verbal intelligence, mathematical intelligence, fluid intelligence, spatial intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, and so on. Spatial intelligence is important in many of the trades. High mathematical intelligence is important in many of the STEM fields, but not all. Verbal intelligence is important in law. Interpersonal intelligence is important for public service and many healthcare occupations.

In general, philosophy majors probably have the highest verbal intelligence. They tend to have the highest average verbal scores on various graduate admissions exams. Because studying philosophy includes logic, their math scores aren't that bad either. Some have argued that mathematics should be classified as a humanity because it's logic. I would even argue that the social sciences have more in common with the natural sciences than mathematics does, but I would also say it's neither a science nor a humanity. But, that's kind of self explanatory because it has its own category in the STEM acronym.
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:55 AM
 
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If we're going on anecdotes, and assuming we are talking about degreed or degree seekers in programs of equivalent difficulty (see how many factors come into play for anecdotes -- most will have associated with others in the same college with similar entrance standards so that a humanities student in college A might be innately brighter than a math student in college B), then I'd say they are about of equivalent basic intelligence.

Instead I think the difference come in in how people apply that intelligence, both through their own work effort and their individual talent. Because of the work effort involved, my experience would be that it is easier for a physics major for example to do well a high level humanities course than for an English major to do well in a high level physics. My own background is I took a 400 level lit course, which was almost completely senior and grad students in lit. Myself, and a friend who was a chem major would spent about 15 minutes on the class each night. The lit majors would come in complaining about how they spent 3-4 hours each night. Won't say it's a difference in intelligence, but definitely a difference in efficiency and time management.
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truthnchess147 View Post
I've noticed that when we compare these two fields of study it's always done from graphs and charts. I want to know from your own personal experiences and conversations how you would describe each. Just through conversations in class, out of class, at a book store, etc. which group of people seem the most astute?
There are smart and stupid people in all fields. Today, among my college students, I would say that smart is smart, no matter what, and likely to be successful is likely to be successful no matter what, but of the average and not-so-smart people and those less likely to succeed in each type of field, they are different.

The not-so-smart STEM people are practical-minded and want a job that pays well, so they've chosen a field that promises better pay - however, many of them don't really have the skills or motivation to do well in those fields (or probably any field). For some, they seem to think it's enough just to declare the major - they don't really understand they actually have to learn something before someone hands them a piece of paper that will help them get a job. With all the press these fields have gotten, I see more and more truly unprepared students trying to enter these fields. Unfortunately, for-profit schools see a lot of these students as easy money - they accept them with no SAT, no TOEFL, poor grades, and promise them high-paying careers in STEM, and then leave them deep in debt with no job prospects at the end.

The not-so-smart humanities people are a little different, because many of them are actually pretty strong in terms of study skills, reading and writing ability, and other typical measures of ability. However, these students often lack a practical mindset, and many have poor research skills. They want to major in forensics because they love CSI; they want to be a famous writer so they major in English; they want to be a psychologist, so they major in psychology (but don't realize you need a phd to be a "real" psychologist, and the job market is weak in general). So these students tend to be naive, but not necessarily poor students. The biggest problem I see with humanities is that average is already not likely to succeed. Average is still likely to get a good job in the STEM fields.

Anyway, that's my impression of the difference.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jjthejetplane View Post
Hard to say, I have met brilliant people and absolute morons in both.
Exactly, me too.
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Old 02-02-2015, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Colorado Plateau
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Originally Posted by tnff View Post

Instead I think the difference come in in how people apply that intelligence, both through their own work effort and their individual talent. Because of the work effort involved, my experience would be that it is easier for a physics major for example to do well a high level humanities course than for an English major to do well in a high level physics. My own background is I took a 400 level lit course, which was almost completely senior and grad students in lit. Myself, and a friend who was a chem major would spent about 15 minutes on the class each night. The lit majors would come in complaining about how they spent 3-4 hours each night. Won't say it's a difference in intelligence, but definitely a difference in efficiency and time management.
I was a geology major and I loved my geology classes but they often had a lot of homework and time spent in the field. Every semester I also had a chem, math or physics class as well, intense with lots of homework too. I sprinkled my required gen-ed classes in amongst these classes each semester and I considered those easy As.
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