Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What is really intelligence?


Much has been said and written about intelligence, however, in reality this word is only served for many years to label, or even segregate, the intelligents from those who are not. Therfore, when you accept the saying “common sense is the least common of all senses”, the next level is considering that intelligence is a fairly rare ability, something endangered. So, when the intelligents are few because they can do things of which the majority is incapable, we consider intelligence as an unmovable and segregationist gift. In the purest Binnet style.

Fortunately, since few years have spread different concepts of intelligence, such as the much-vaunted emotional intelligence or the multiple intelligence and the intuitive intelligence. All these have intervened to save the reputation of those who, historically, have always been considered less intelligent. But in addition to the probable existence of different types of intelligence it is certain that the majority of people continue to evaluate themselves and others according to the traditional criterion.

But, what really is intelligence? What means to be an intelligent person? Paradoxically, the answers can be very different, given that historically the concept of intelligence has been reported with the school environment, with knowledge, so that being smart is associated with the outcome, the possibility of triumph and insert easily into society.

In any case, everything is relative. We know it. Maybe intelligence is, above all, something relative and contextual. History is full of examples of brilliant people who were outstanding in some fields of science and simply a disaster in others. The most intelligent person is who does a scientific discovery or the plumber who finds a different solution for the hydraulic problem? I would say they receive different social recognition, perhaps have different degrees of creativity but talking of intelligence...

Finally, there is no intelligence in a vacuum, as an abstraction, intelligence exists in something in which all (or almost) we are smart, but in a different way. In every human being there are skills that make him feel useful and necessary to other human beings. I would say then that intelligence consists rather in knowing to determine in what we're intelligents.

IQ yes IQ no...

How many times we asked ourselves this question? How many times we doubted of our intelligence?

From the first intelligence test developed by Binnet commissioned by the Paris’ City Hall, until today, much water has passed under the bridge and at present, intelligence tests can be found everywhere. Many of you may have succumbed to temptation of knowing what is their IQ (intelligence quotient), completing various tests, often stressful, that turns us nervous.

Below I propose six simple questions that can tell us a lot about our intelligence:

1. The 4th of July is an important date for North Americans on which celebrate the Independence Day. But Peruvians have their July 4th too?

2. If we make a hole in the ground 10 meters deep by three meters in diameter, what volume of ground we have inside the hole?

3. You are taking part in a race and surpass the runner in the second place. In what position are you in now?

4. A tramp builds a cigarette collected using seven butts collected on the street. If he encounters a total of 49 butts, how many whole cigarettes will build?

5. How many months of the year have 28 days?

6. Anna's father has five daughters, who are: Nora, Noemi, Nunzia, Norma. What’s the name of the fifth daughter?


1. Of course, we all have a July 4, except that in some countries it is a national holiday, and in others not.

2. There is no land, is supposed to be a hole, right?

3. You’re the second since you assume the position of who you surpassed.

4. He’ll get eight cigarettes, given that with the last seven butts will make another cigarette.

5. All months of the year have 28 days and a few more.

6. Anna, it is clear since the beginning.

Evaluation of the results:

If you have answered correctly all the questions, congratulations! It means you read them carefully and are a difficult person to fool around. If you responded well to 5 questions do not worry, nobody is perfect. If you responded well to only 2 questions what’s the problem, do you think 50% isn’t enough? If you responded well to less than two questions, I must confess that this was the intention of those who have chosen them and also, there are more important things to worry about.

The IQ evaluated by these tests serves, often, very little to deal with the difficulties of everyday life. In fact, the result is a cold number when the questions that really matter would be: do you feel tense when you know you have to face a test? Would your results have been better if you were not tense? Are you doing everything impulsively without stopping to analyze in detail the conditions of the problems? Do you pretend perfect solutions from yourself and this makes you crazy? If at first you were wrong, do you later have enough willpower to try it harder and search for another solution or you let yourself be overcome by the first failure? 

All these answers relate to attitudes for facing life that tell us more than just the IQ and determine what we will achieve in these tests. Therfore, intelligence is not a divine gift, is a skill to be developed with much effort.


Keep feeding your neurons

What is really intelligence?
4/ 5

Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to to string words together. Discover my Books


Psychology as you never heard about...

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1 comments so far

This article makes sense. I would like to add that "INTELLIGENCE" is how you approach a "problem" and how you respond to the "results."

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