12 Analytical Intelligence Examples (2022) (2023)

12 Analytical Intelligence Examples (2022) (1)

Analytical intelligence is the ability to analyze, evaluate, and think critically. We compare it to practical and creative intelligences within Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence.

Analytical intelligence includes abilities such as being able to conduct a compare and contrast analysis of a subject or viewpoint.

The abilities to critique and judge various aspects of a subject matter are also attributes of analytical intelligence. In addition, analytical intelligence can involve the ability to assess and evaluate.

The subject under analysis can range from a piece of art, to solving a complex scientific problem. The subject of study can be just about anything. It is the exercise of analytical abilities that are crucial according to Sternberg.

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Definition of Analytical Intelligence

According to Sternberg, there are three core components of intelligence: analytical, practical, and creative. These three components form his triarchic theory of intelligence.

The analytical component is defined by Howard et al (2001, p. 49) this:

“Analytic abilities are those needed to analyze, evaluate, explain, and compare or contrast.”

Each intelligence has its own pros and cons. For analytical thinkers, we think of them as the good student at school. They’re academically minded and good at theoretical ideas. Here is Howard et al again:

“The stereotype for students high in analytic abilities is that of the “good student”—that is, such students have been found to excel at the kinds of tasks fostered and reinforced within the United States school system”

What Analytical Intelligence Looks Like

Common analytical intelligences include:

  • You are good at analyzing things from a theoretical perspective
  • You are good at evaluating the pros and cons of things
  • You can explain theoretical and abstract ideas
  • You can compare and contrast ideas with ease
  • You are good at critiquing ideas
  • You can see long-term solutions to complex problems

Analytical vs Practical vs Creative Intelligences

Analytical Intelligence ExamplesCreative Intelligence ExamplesPractical Intelligence Examples
Analytical skillsDesign skillsYou can utilize tools to get things done
Evaluative skillsYou like to compose and collateYou like to implement ideas
You can explain things wellYou enjoy discovering new thingsYou enjoy problem-solving
You can critique ideasYou are highly imaginativeYou want to know how to apply knowledge to real-life
You are good at categorizing thingsYou are highly inventiveYou are an action-taker and feel good completing tasks

12 Great Jobs for Analytical People

1. Financial Analyst

If you are looking for a low-stress occupation that doesn’t require advanced problem-solving skills, then don’t try to become a financial analyst. This profession is one of the most pressure-packed occupations in modern times.

A financial analyst gives investment advice and manages the money of very wealthy individuals and institutions. It requires the ability to analyze large amounts of extremely complicated data, using some of the most advanced statistical software programs ever invented.

The stakes are incredibly high, and a single miscalculation can result in the loss of tens of millions of dollars; and probably the loss of a job as well. Being a financial analysist is a prototypical example of analytical intelligence.

2. Pharmaceutical Chemist

Another occupation that requires tremendous critical-thinking skills is a pharmaceutical chemist.

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A pharmaceutical chemist works in the R&D department of a large, well-funded company that studies and develops medications.

This includes drug discovery, delivery methods, and absorption mechanisms. The work involves biomedical analysis and pharmacology, plus a thorough understanding of pharmacokinetics and systems of the human body.

Not only must a person have a rock-solid understanding of medical biology, but an advanced degree in chemistry is a must as well. It may be one of the most intellectually demanding professions in the world. Every component of analytical intelligence is required in this job.

3. Academic

Although not quite as intellectually demanding as being a chemist or financial guru, writing an essay also incorporates many of the elements of analytical intelligence. A well-structured essay has to include potent arguments and often involves comparing and contrasting two subjects or points of view.

Before the first word in the essay is even written, the author must conduct a thorough research of the subject matter. This involves analyzing complex information, evaluating the potency of others’ statements, and assessing how it fits with other points of view or data.

On a higher level of purpose, many political think tanks will write opinion pieces on some of the world’s most serious issues. Those articles often inform and help shape the opinions of high-ranking government officials that formulate policies that will impact millions of people.

4. Food Critic

At first glance, a food critic might seem like a relatively simple occupation. After all, the only requirement is the ability to eat. In reality however, the job involves several sophisticated analytical capabilities that are developed over many years.

The evaluation of a meal in a 5-star restaurant is very nuanced. A sensitive palate enables the detection of very subtle taste variations. Those that are really skilled can even identify individual ingredients and determine if they were used in the right quantity and balance.

The ability to focus on inner sensations is similar to mentally processing complicated data presented in a scientific paper.

In addition, most critics must also provide an evaluation of a restaurant’s ambiance. This requires a more holistic assessment that has also been developed over a period of years, often involving extensive world travel.

If you want to become a food critic, take a look here:

5. Strategic Planner

Understanding the “big picture” is an exercise that requires a thorough understanding of a multitude of factors, plus the ability to predict the future. People that have this ability are hard to find.

This is one reason that possessing this form of analytical intelligence is very lucrative. The CEOs of the world’s largest corporations are paid tens of millions of dollars a year for this skill.

Unfortunately, strategic planning is a skill that one cannot learn at a university. It requires decades of experience and the ability to process data from a wide range of sources. All of that data must then be incubated and combined with the ability to identify trends that are far off into the future.

Strategic planning is a rare form of analytical intelligence that few individuals possess.

6. Editor

Editing a novel utilizes nearly every aspect of analytical intelligence. Numerous considerations must be taken into account simultaneously. For instance, in addition to being able to assess the clarity of another person’s writing, it must also be evaluated in terms of entertainment value.

The storyline has to be assessed in terms of its plausibility and logical progression. Do the events in the novel make sense and are they arranged appropriately?

(Video) Sternberg's Triarchic Theory, simplified

The characters must be evaluated as well. Does the writing develop the characters sufficiently? Has the author presented their personalities in a way that will be understood and believable?

Editing a novel requires advanced analytical abilities involving storyline and character assessment, a critique of writing quality, and judgment of entertainment value.

7. Director

There are many examples that contain all three of Sternberg’s triarchic components. Directing a movie is one of them. Just focusing on analytical intelligence, we can see several tasks that require this component. First, the director must constantly assess if the scene being shot is going to convey the true meaning of the story.

There must be a simultaneous comparing and contrasting of the script’s dialogue with its believability when spoken by the actors. This is the kind of judgement that a good director can deliver repeatedly, every day.

Then, after spending months shooting, post-production involves evaluating the footage and putting it together in a coherent sequence. That sequence must match the storyline, which again requires another compare and contrast process.

Directing a movie is a rare talent, but when it is done properly can result in compelling art that can take an audience through an amazing emotional experience.

8. Doctor

The human body is an incredibly complex piece of machinery. The various systems are interconnected and have multidirectional effects on numerous organs and bodily functions. Plus, it is all coordinated by another incredibly complex structure, the brain.

When that body is in a disease state, it can be very difficult to diagnosis. A physician has to have a thorough understanding of all systems and be an expert in the use of advanced diagnostic techniques.

Even after the use of sophisticated imaging, such as an MRI or CAT scan, a concise diagnosis may still be difficult. In fact, it may require several kinds of tests, each one of which will lead to a narrowing of possibilities.

The constant analysis and evaluation of possible causes of an ailment can take weeks, sometimes even longer. Medical diagnosis is an example of analytical intelligence in its highest form.

9. Mechanical Engineer

Designing a machine to accomplish a task can be a quite difficult endeavor. Imagine being tasked with designing an assembly line to manufacture a plane, or produce and package a food item.

The skills involve sequencing a long-chain of steps, assessing the feasibility of each step, and evaluating the efficiency of the entire process. At multiple points in the process, an evaluation of quality may need to be conducted as well.

As each of these stages of the project are designed, a simultaneous evaluation will be necessary to keep the entire process cost-effective. There will likely also be a multitude of other factors that have to be considered as well, such as government regulations regarding safety and environmental concerns.

Engineering a complex process that requires nearly every aspect of Sternberg’s analytical intelligence.

10. Supply Chain Logistics

Before the era of globalization, managing a supply chain was a fairly straightforward endeavor. Most items produced in a manufacturing facility were sourced from within one nation’s borders. Occasionally, there might be some issues transporting supplies from point A to point B, but those difficulties were relatively stable and easily overcome.

However, all that changed with globalization. Cross-Atlantic transportation became more economical. Labor in third-world countries became too tempting to ignore. Add to that the fact that products became ten-times more complicated, and you have a recipe for supply-chain spaghetti.

What was once just a matter of moving things from point A to point B, turned into an international maze involving point A to point Z++. To make matters worse, each country has its own set of regulations and idiosyncratic challenges.

In the era of high-tech gadgetry, managing a supply chain requires a wizard of analytical intelligence.

11. A Futurist

A futurist is a person that predicts the future. In order to do so, they have to have a keen understanding of history and current trends. By analyzing numerous societal, business, and governmental factors, they synthesize the data to formulate an insightful prediction. At least, it is supposed to be insightful.

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Very large corporations will often consult with a futurist to help them identify potential business opportunities. The hope is that those predictions will give them a competitive advantage.

Sometimes a head of state will consult the opinions of a futurist to guide an economic plan or avoid possible security threats.

To predict the future, it is necessary to perform a wide range of assessments and analyses that can then be utilized for judgements regarding the future. Having a high level of analytical intelligence is a definite prerequisite.

Want to become a futurist? Check out this video:

12. Homicide Detective

Solving a murder mystery is an example of analytical intelligence that contains nearly all of the essential elements proposed by Sternberg. For example, a detective has to first evaluate the crime scene and make a distinction between what is meaningful and not meaningful information.

Then, during the investigation the detective must continuously analyze clues, conduct research, and assess the quality of leads. The process can go on for days, weeks and even months. It is like a puzzle, only a lot of the missing pieces may remain unknown forever.

In the end, the detective has to construct a storyline that explains what happened. A well-organized and logical sequence of events has to be formulated that will lead to an arrest and also hold up in a court of law. It is a job that requires a great deal of experience and analytical intelligence.


Analytical intelligence is one of three constructs identified by Robert Sternberg and his theory of triarchic intelligence. Although throughout most of human history analytical intelligence was of little importance, as life has evolved it has become an essential attribute.

The ability to assess and evaluate complicated data are absolutely necessary skills for everything from conducting financial analyses to diagnosing the medical condition of patients. To critique and judge the quality of something is vital to professions as diverse as film-making to food critic.

Just a few years ago many scholars would have identified analytical intelligence as one of the most vital skills people will need in the future for well-paying and stable employment. Ironically, if the predictions of futurists today are correct, there won’t be any jobs and AI will do our thinking for us.


Hines, A. (2016). Can I Get a Job as a Futurist? World Future Review, 8, 46-53. https://doi.org/10.1177/1946756715627368

Hough, R. M. (2019). The investigation of homicide. Homicide Studies, 23(2), 87-92. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088767919827348

Howard, B. C., McGee, S., Shin, N., & Shia, R. (2001). The triarchic theory of intelligence and computer-based inquiry learning.Educational Technology Research and Development,49(4), 49-69. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02504947

Rajah, N., Musa, H., Nipis, V., Krishnan, P., Suppiah, S., Fyrdaus, A., & Ahmad, N. (2018). Global Supply Chain Management: Challenges and Solution. International Journal of Engineering and Technology, 4, 447-454. https://doi.org/10.14419/ijet.v7i4.34.26909

Sternberg, R. J. (1985). Beyond IQ: A triarchic theory of human intelligence. New York: Cambridge University Press.

12 Analytical Intelligence Examples (2022) (2)

Dave Cornell (PhD)

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Dr. Cornell has worked in education for more than 20 years. His work has involved designing teacher certification for Trinity College in London and in-service training for state governments in the United States. He has trained kindergarten teachers in 8 countries and helped businessmen and women open baby centers and kindergartens in 3 countries.

12 Analytical Intelligence Examples (2022) (3)

Chris Drew (PhD)

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This article was peer-reviewed and edited by Chris Drew (PhD). The review process on Helpful Professor involves having a PhD level expert fact check, edit, and contribute to articles. Reviewers ensure all content reflects expert academic consensus and is backed up with reference to academic studies. Dr. Drew has published over 20 academic articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education and holds a PhD in Education from ACU.

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What are some examples of analytical intelligence? ›

Sternberg says that analytical intelligence is demonstrated by an ability to analyze, evaluate, judge, compare, and contrast. When reading a classic novel for literature class, for example, it is usually necessary to compare the motives of the main characters of the book or analyze the historical context of the story.

What are the 3 types of intelligence according to Sternberg? ›

Robert Sternberg developed another theory of intelligence, which he titled the triarchic theory of intelligence because it sees intelligence as comprised of three parts (Sternberg, 1988): practical, creative, and analytical intelligence (Figure 1).

What is an example of practical intelligence? ›

The practical intelligence definition according to Sternberg is intelligence that allows people to operate well in the real world and solve practical problems. Practical intelligence examples can include: Interpersonal negotiation skills. ''Street smarts'' or practical problem-solving.

What is analytical IQ? ›

Analytical intelligence is one of the three types of intelligence proposed by Robert Sternberg in his triarchic theory. He defined this type of intelligence as the ability to process and apply logical reasoning.

Are analytical thinkers smart? ›

Analytical Thinkers loathe contradictions and illogicalness; with their sharp intellect, they quickly and comprehensively grasp patterns, principles and structures.

How do you write an intelligence analysis? ›

Intelligence Analysis Tradecraft 101: Writing Effective Intelligence
  1. Basic Principles of Analytic Writing.
  2. Bottom Line Up Front. See the “big picture” and put conclusions up front. ...
  3. Organize Information. ...
  4. Use precise language. ...
  5. Economize on words. ...
  6. Achieve clarity of thought. ...
  7. Know the reader's needs.
1 Sept 2017

Which type of intelligence is most important? ›

It used to be that cognitive intelligence was the king of the hill in terms of importance. Then emotional intelligence showed up. But now Cornell University's professor of human development, Robert J. Sternberg, says "successful intelligence" likely matters more than all the other intelligence types you've heard about.

What is the most common type of intelligence? ›

Linguistic intelligence is the type of intelligence that is most commonly shared by humans. It involves our ability to think in words and use these words to make oneself understood.

What are the 4 theories of intelligence? ›

The theories are grouped into four major theory types: (1) psychometric theories; (2) cognitive theories; (3) cognitive-contextual theories; and (4) biological theories.

What type of intelligence is street smarts? ›

Practical intelligence involves the ability to deal with daily tasks in the real world. You can call it “street smarts” that show how well a person relates to the external environment.

What is the difference between analytical intelligence and practical intelligence? ›

Analytical intelligence often involves applying complex reasoning to more abstract situations, while practical intelligence involves applying reasoning to a real-life situation.

What does it mean to be highly analytical? ›

An analytical thinker is a person driven by curiosity to get to the bottom of things and solve a problem or find an answer. Analytical thinkers don't assume anything about the problem at hand; instead, they begin by questioning everything about the issue.

What is analytical thinking mean? ›

3 Ways To Master Analytical Thinking Without Breaking A Sweat - YouTube

What is g in IQ? ›

What Is the G Factor? - #IQ4 - YouTube

What are analytical thinkers good at? ›

Analytical thinkers have the ability to identify and define problems, extract crucial information from data, and develop workable solutions to these problems. They are highly logical and can see patterns, or cause-and-effect relationships in complex situations.

Can being analytical be a weakness? ›

Common Weaknesses People Mention

Too analytical – You tend to overanalyze something and end up not getting it done.

How do I know if I'm analytical? ›

31 Mar 2015

What should be in an intelligence report? ›

Intelligence report risk assessment

It should: consider ethical, personal and operational risks in respect of the source, the intelligence content, its use and dissemination. consider compliance with a legislative requirement or policing purpose. record the justification for decisions made.

How do you write like a spy? ›

The CIA's Rules for Effective Intelligence Writing
  1. Put Your Main Point Up Front. The guide advocates the BLUF (bottom line up front) approach. ...
  2. Write Short Paragraphs. ...
  3. Use Active Voice. ...
  4. Use Short, Conventional Words. ...
  5. Write Short Sentences. ...
  6. Be Correct, Credible, and Complete.
4 Apr 2019

What is intelligence summary? ›

intelligence, In education, the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or challenging situations. In psychology the term may more specifically denote the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as the IQ test).

Which type of intelligence is rare? ›

Among each of the seven types of intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence is considered the rarest.

What are the 7 types of smart? ›

These seven different kinds of smart are:
  • Word Smart (linguistic intelligence)
  • Math Smart (numerical/reasoning/logic intelligence)
  • Physically Smart (kinesthetic intelligence)
  • Music Smart (musical intelligence)
  • People Smart (interpersonal intelligence)
  • Self Smart (intrapersonal intelligence)
27 Oct 2010

What are the 2 main types of intelligence? ›

There are two specific types of intelligence, called fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence.

What are the 8 multiple intelligence? ›

Eight types of intelligence
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence. ...
  • Linguistic intelligence. ...
  • Spatial Intelligence. ...
  • Musical Intelligence. ...
  • Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence. ...
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence. ...
  • Interpersonal Intelligence. ...
  • Naturalistic intelligence.

How is intelligence measured? ›

Does IQ Really Measure How Smart You Are? - YouTube

What kind of intelligence do doctors have? ›

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and crafts people exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

What is the human IQ? ›

IQ, or intelligence quotient, is a measure of your ability to reason and solve problems. It reflects how well you did on a specific test compared to other people of your age group. While tests may vary, the average IQ on many tests is 100, and 68% of scores lie between 85 and 115. 1.

What are the two most widely used intelligence tests? ›

The most widely used intelligence tests include the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and the Wechsler scales.

What is intelligence test? ›

Intelligence testing refers to the theory and practice of measuring people's performance on various diagnostic instruments (intelligence tests) as a tool for predicting future behavior and life prospects or as a tool for identifying interventions (e.g., educational programs).

Which theory of intelligence is the most accurate? ›

The most widely accepted theory is a synthesis sometimes referred to as CHC theory, named after Cattell, Horn, and Carroll, 11 the authors of the original theories that have been synthesized. Carroll's theory itself is a synthesis of earlier psychometric theories of intelligence.

How do you teach analytically? ›

If your students form an opinion, ask them why. Keep going, press them to think analytically and justify their conclusions. If possible, ask them to research and prove their why, or present data points or evidence that could support their argument. If the data doesn't exist, ask them to get creative.

What is everyday intelligence called? ›

Practical intelligence is the ability to deal with everyday problems effectively. It involves being able to understand and solve problems, as well as to adapt to new situations.

Can intelligence Be learned? ›

Intelligence isn't a set trait, though. It's a changeable, flexible ability to learn and stimulate your brain that can improve over time. The key is to practice lifestyle habits that support and protect your brain.

Which factor is the best predictor of intelligence? ›

Empirical evidence suggests that especially parental education, parental income, and maternal IQ are important predictors of intelligence. Parental education together with maternal IQ and the child's sex were found to account for 24% of the variance in IQ at age 5 [6].

Is Social Intelligence real? ›

How To Improve Your Social Intelligence - YouTube

How do you describe analytical thinking? ›

What is Analytical Thinking? Analytical thinking is the ability to tackle complicated issues by evaluating information you've gathered and organized. Analytical thinkers can detect patterns between datasets that often lead to creative solutions. They're able to turn noisy data and information into action.

What are the types of intelligence? ›

Eight types of intelligence
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence. ...
  • Linguistic intelligence. ...
  • Spatial Intelligence. ...
  • Musical Intelligence. ...
  • Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence. ...
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence. ...
  • Interpersonal Intelligence. ...
  • Naturalistic intelligence.

How do you teach analytically? ›

If your students form an opinion, ask them why. Keep going, press them to think analytically and justify their conclusions. If possible, ask them to research and prove their why, or present data points or evidence that could support their argument. If the data doesn't exist, ask them to get creative.

What type of intelligence is creativity? ›

Creative intelligence, or experiential intelligence, is the ability to invent solutions to new problems. It often requires thinking in unique or unusual ways, sometimes in collaboration with others, but also on your own.

How do I show strong analytical skills? ›

How to demonstrate strong analytical thinking skills on your resume
  1. Give examples with critical situations on your job that demonstrate those skills.
  2. Describe a specific process or method you use.
  3. Think of major achievements and breakthroughs made possible by your analytical skills.

What is the highest form of intelligence? ›

Creativity is the highest form of intelligence because it goes beyond knowledge recall and extends into knowledge creation.

How do you know your smart? ›

So here are a few signs of an intelligent person, according to experts.
  1. You're Empathetic & Compassionate. ...
  2. You're Curious About The World. ...
  3. You're Observant. ...
  4. You Have Self-Control. ...
  5. You Have A Good Working Memory. ...
  6. You Recognize Your Limits. ...
  7. You Like To Go With The Flow. ...
  8. You're Passionate About Things That Really Interest You.
30 Jun 2021

How is intelligence measured? ›

Does IQ Really Measure How Smart You Are? - YouTube

Do I have analytical skills? ›

Analytical skills refer to the ability to collect and analyze information, problem-solve, and make decisions. You use analytical skills when detecting patterns, brainstorming, observing, interpreting data, and making decisions based on the multiple factors and options available to you.

What is an example of analytic teaching? ›

Children are taught to analyze letter-sound relationships and look to decode words based upon spelling and letter patterns and their sounds. For example, if the child knows "bat", "cat" and "hat", then the word "mat" will be easy to read.

How do you answer analytical interview questions? ›

How to Answer Analytical Skills Interview Questions
  1. Gather data to inform your decisions.
  2. Assess both positive and negative situations to improve your processes.
  3. Are able to develop processes.
  4. Evaluate information through critical thinking.
  5. Think through problems to find solutions.
  6. Set and achieve goals.

Are highly creative people intelligent? ›

At low or average levels of mental ability, intelligence is highly correlated with creative ability; most people's ability to complete creative thinking tasks corresponds with how smart they are. But among individuals with high mental ability, there is a very weak correlation with creativity.

Are artistic people intelligent? ›

Giving a clear answer to the question, whether artistic people are more intelligent in any way than others is difficult. Nevertheless, yes, creative people who make art in any way imaginable are very likely to be more intelligent than others but yet mainly outside the regular IQ.


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