# Intellectual level in answering questions

• russ_watters
In summary, there is a common problem in both online forums and real-life discussions where people often provide overly complex explanations for basic concepts, making it difficult for those with less knowledge to understand. This was seen in a math forum where a junior high student struggled to understand slope, and in a physics Q&A site where a simple question about the venturi effect was met with a lengthy and technical response. The conversation also touches on the importance of tailoring answers to the level of the questioner and the need for individuals to state their level of understanding when asking a question.

#### russ_watters

Mentor
A thread in the math forum made me feel the need to address this as it is a real problem not just in this forum, but in life in general. The thread was junior high kid asking about how to find the slope of a line. The explanations went WAAAY over his head. They were far more complicated than they needed to be.

I'm a mechanical engineer designing HVAC systems. I was recently talking to the principal of a school we're working for and 2 minutes into a discussion of their systems she asked: what's a CFM. Oops. Some things are so basic once you know them that you forget if someone hasn't seen it before its not so basic to them.

There is a physics q&a site where I saw a question about the venturi effect and went something like this: If air flowing past a car window pulls a vacuum, why don't the people in the car suffocate? The response (not kidding) was written by a phd candidate and was a good 400 words going into excruciating detail on about the level of a 1st or 2nd year aerospace engineering student. I am SURE whoever wrote the question didn't get 3 sentences into the response. All that was needed was a sentence on gauge vs absolute pressure and a sentence explaining how the venturi effect is only a LITTLE vacuum.

I'm not sure there is much of a discussion in this, but I just felt the need to editorialize. Opinions?

I'll wonder if I'm the only other one after the principal who doesn't know what CFM or HVAC stands for...

D'oh. See, I did it again. Most engineers know both (all should) but only a small portion of the general public should even care: HVAC is Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning. CFM is Cubic Feet per Minute (air flow).

I guess the point is that we should all gauge our answers to the level of the questioner, huh? And someone asking a question should state what level they are at.

unfortunately, some people just take every chance they can get to try to prove themselves to everyone; in doing so they often forget the point of what they are doing.

Originally posted by russ_watters
D'oh. See, I did it again. Most engineers know both (all should) but only a small portion of the general public should even care: HVAC is Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning. CFM is Cubic Feet per Minute (air flow).
AAhh, I thought you were constructing High VACuum chambers or something like that

## 1. What is intellectual level in answering questions?

Intellectual level in answering questions refers to the level of cognitive ability and critical thinking skills used to provide a thorough and well-reasoned response to a question.

## 2. How does one improve their intellectual level in answering questions?

Improving intellectual level in answering questions can be achieved through practice and exposure to a variety of topics and perspectives. It also involves developing strong critical thinking skills, such as analyzing information, making connections, and drawing logical conclusions.

## 3. Can one's intellectual level in answering questions change over time?

Yes, one's intellectual level in answering questions can change over time with continued learning and development. As individuals gain new knowledge and experience, their cognitive abilities and critical thinking skills can also improve.

## 4. Is intellectual level in answering questions the same for everyone?

No, intellectual level in answering questions can vary among individuals based on their education, experience, and natural cognitive abilities. However, with effort and practice, anyone can improve their intellectual level in answering questions.

## 5. Why is intellectual level in answering questions important?

Intellectual level in answering questions is important because it allows individuals to think critically, make informed decisions, and communicate effectively. It also helps in problem-solving, understanding complex issues, and promoting intellectual growth and development.