Does Trivial Knowledge Denote Intelligence?

I’ve wondered the above question before and last night, after playing a good game of Trivial Pursuit (the 90s edition), I found myself wondering about this again.  Does having a lot of trivial knowledge actually mean that you possess strong intelligence or does it just mean that you have a knack for retaining random information?  I am sure that somebody has studied this before and that there are different hypothesis on the matter.  Personally, without any definitive background knowledge on the matter, my guess would be that the concept of intelligence is one that creates a number of difficulties in regards to determining what is actually an attribute and what isn’t.  As such I would guess that trivial knowledge might be seen as an aspect of a certain type of intelligence but in and of itself is not a denoter of strong genius.  The reason why I say this is because it is my assumption that while memory plays a big part in trivial knowledge there is more to it than just that.  Trivia requires an ability to link association of information which is not just a simple act of memory.  Some people undoubtedly have the uncanny ability to find association between facts and ideas allow for them to expand and supply further information themselves.  I would think that the way in which one is able to utilize knowledge provides a stronger marker for intelligence than the actual knowledge itself.  

Anyway, in case you were wondering, I love Trivial Pursuit.  It might be one of my favorite board games.  But saying that I have to now release a gripe in that the game is entirely too long.  I feel like an average game of Trivial Pursuit progresses through three stages which are the following:

  1. Enthused Opening: Everybody in the game is excited to get playing.  The first couple of correct answers leading up to the first won pie pieces is filled with excitement and fun (along with the necessary trash talking of the opponents).
  2. Mid-Game Stagnation: After awhile the game generally falls into a long period where not a whole lot occurs.  A correct answer is provided here and there and slowly the teams acquire pie pieces fighting for the end game at a slow pace.
  3. Exhausting End Game: Most of the teams have won all or most of their pie pieces and the end is in sight, but inevitably the game continues on in a seemingly unending fashion.  Everybody fall into a mix of exhaustion and irritation just wishing that the fucking game would finish.

Yeah, that is kind of how I see Trivial Pursuit going in general.  Of course every once in a while you get one of those super teams who just have a huge amassed resource of trivial knowledge and they can just breeze through the game.  

My secret success to Trivial Pursuit?  I play better when I am drunk but I usually do not recall playing.

~ by Nathaniel on November 21, 2008.

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