Why IQ

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2010 at 5:19 am

There is a common misconception  thrown about about that IQ tests decide intelligence.

Although IQ tests measure a certain aspect of intelligence potential, there isn’t complete agreement that what  is measured is actually intelligence.

Standard intelligence tests focus a lot on exploring and measuring linguistic/logical/mathematical ability. But is that really the same quality as intelligence? Or is intelligence something more than that?

We have all met people who have a lot of “book smarts” but seem to have no “street smarts.” A driving instructor friend once told me about one of his pupils. The man was a brilliant British surgeon and could perform surgery with amazing precision, yet he could not pass his driving test and eventually gave up.

Should we really be saying that they are intelligent?  There are some interesting cases that truly go against the grain of established ideas; some people who did poorly in school often become very successful in later life. So,why do our current IQ tests seem unable to predict or explain these outcomes?

A person that may have failed dismally in school, and yet later on becomes a genius in sales. Is this person stupid, or brilliant? If a man is a great scientist, but can’t ever pick a suitable partner, is he really very smart?

Was Picasso inept because he wasn’t also a brilliant mathematician? Was Einstein lacking because he wasn’t also a great artist?

Which of these two men had more intelligence? Is there more than one kind of intelligence? How should we define intelligence? Can we really quantify it? What is intelligence, really?

Several experts in the field of intelligence have proposed that we need to expand our understanding of what intelligence really is, and the role it plays in successful living.

Psychologist Howard Gardner of Harvard University has suggested that we should consider a wide range of talents and abilities as valid forms of intelligence.

In his intriguing book, “Frames of Mind: Theories of Multiple Intelligences”, Gardner speaks about  at least seven types of intelligence: verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, social-interpersonal and intra-personal.

Another psychologist, Robert Sternberg, has suggested we consider three distinct forms of intelligence. One type is the ability to think logically and rationally, doing well in an academic type of environment.

A second kind of intelligence identified by Sternberg is the ability to come up with creative solutions to real life situations. And the third type, according to Sternberg, is the ability to psychologically understand people and interact effectively with them.

A very famous and  different perspective on the IQ issue  by Daniel Goleman in his best-selling book, “Emotional Intelligence”. Goleman offers an explanation for why a high IQ does not always lead to success in career or in life.

He says that EQ, or emotional intelligence, has been an overlooked reason that is an extremely important ingredient for success in life. healthy optimism and determination are among the many factors that help us to succeed, perhaps even more than intellectual ability.

Are you starting to realize that intelligence is not just a numbers game that forever limits possibilities? If we define intelligence primarily as an aptitude for mathematical and linguistic/logical thinking, we  might be discounting other forms of intelligence that are also important.

If you happen to know your own IQ score, don’t think of it as something that limits or defines your potential. If your IQ is in the average range it does not in any way mean that we limit ourselves to a life of average success and average accomplishment. If your IQ is in the above average range, it does not guarantee you a life of ease. You can’t use either a high IQ score or a low one as an excuse not to try very hard.

Your IQ score is only a number. That is all and  it does not define us.  It should not really limit us either. It’s just a starting point. Remember that many other qualities we already have or have the potential to develop further  are also important for success in life.

Keep on winning…

  1. I am very much one of those IQ people. I like to know what my IQ is knowing that it really has no true relevance. You made some great points that some of the smartest people are not capable of the simplest tasks. And it seems that IQ sometimes does effect EQ. We really need to be well balanced people. To be intelligent in our own eyes or the eyes of other is a nice thing but we also need to be able to display other qualities that will make us better people and increase our contribution to society.

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