What is intelligence?
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Have you ever heard the word 'IQ' bandied about, but never know exactly what it means? Intelligence is of an abstract nature, yet we have come up with a rather simple way to quantify it. We call it IQ, or intelligence quotient, which is a dividend of a person’s mental age taken from a series of intelligence tests, and chronological age. We use this number for educational placements, assessment of intellectual disability, job applications, and perhaps even as a measure of worthiness, but can IQ predict success and if so, what kind of success is it able to predict? There are a few theories simplifying intelligence. The one general intelligence theory suggests that all subclasses of intelligence are linked in a way that people who score well on one aptitude test also tend to score well on another. Some of us are better at mathematical rather than verbal reasoning. This is because different people specialise in different disciplines relative to themselves, but relative to other people they are approximately on the same level in all aspects of intelligence. Studies show that this tends to be true in practice. There is also support for the multiple intelligences theory. Analytical intelligence is one leg of it. It is what we might call “school smarts” which helps us solve well-defined problems like the ones given in math class. Then, there is creative intelligence, which allows us to adapt to new situations and have unique ideas. Lastly, there is practical intelligence, which aids us in everyday problems requiring critical thinking. Yet, another theory suggests that there are two types of intelligence: fluid and crystallised. The former is a measure of our speed in understanding and evaluating hypotheticals while the latter is simply the knowledge we gain through experience or study.
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