Edward de Bono – The intelligence trap

Unfortunately, many people with a high intelligence actually turn out to be poor thinkers. They get caught in the ‚intelligence trap‘, of which there are many aspects. For example, a highly intelligent person may take up a view on a subject and then defend that view (through choice of premises and perception) very ably. The better someone is able to defend a view, the less inclined is that person actually to explore the subject. So the highly intelligent person can get trapped by intelligence, together with our usual sense of logic that you cannot be more right than right, into one point of view. The less intelligent person is less sure of his or her rightness and therefore more free to explore the subject and other points of view.
A highly intelligent person usually grows up with a sense of that intellectual superiority and needs to be seen to be ‚right‘ and ‚clever‘. Such a person is less willing to risk creative and constructive ideas, because such ideas may take a time to show their worth or to get accepted. Highly intelligent people are often attracted to the quick pay-off of negativity. If you attack someone else’s ideas or thinking, there can be an immediate achievement together with a useful sense of superiority. In intellectual terms attack is also cheap and easy because the attacker can always choose the frame of reference.
From Edward de Bono’s I Am Right, You Are Wrong