Is there a limit to the capacity to absorb, retain and understand information?
(What can I muster?)
Is it just a matter of putting in the necessary effort until you can understand and analyse information?
(Am I the master?)
I'd like to believe it's a skill that can be mastered as we all learn something (eg. geography, recall, discipline or ways of avoiding work) from going to school, training, and practicing. However, sometimes there is a sense of restriction to the amount of information I am capable of understanding, because I can't be bothered doing all the necessary research, or, deflecting the fact that I cannot possibly understand the mechanisms.
To make things more difficult, the belief may be plastic and perception of intelligence is reflect by mood. That is, under some conditions (confidence and support) intelligence can be attained, while other instances it is restricted by low self-esteem, distraction and inattention. It may be logical to think like a Vulcan but sometimes you need passion and perseverance to help get you there!
Check out Art Markman's thoughts on a 2011 study by Miele, Finn, and Molden in Psychological Science.