The concept of intelligence

The word intelligence comes from the Latin word inteligere and means “to understand”.

Intelligence is a mental characteristic that consists of the ability to learn from experience, adjust to new situations, understand and use abstract concepts, and use knowledge to mastering new situations. The concept of intelligence today is generally considered to be a set of different, individual independent intellectual abilities.

Although the definitions of intelligence differ, theorists agree that intelligence is a potential rather than a fully developed ability. Intelligence is considered to be a combination of inherent characteristics of the nervous system and developmental intelligence, shaped by experience and learning.

Although one might think that high intelligence allows to a person success in society, many other factors that affect the social success make predictions unreliable.

Mechanisms of transforming intellectual ability into social success are not fully clarified. For example, there is a strong link between success in elementary school and intelligence, but after elementary school it is no longer possible to predict the success of individuals based on intelligence.

Intelligence can be measured, though imperfect, with intelligence tests.

What are the tests of intelligence and IQ?

IQ tests is a series of tasks that measure the ability of creating abstract ideas, learning and mastering new situations.

The most common intelligence tests are Stanford-Binet’s IQ test and Wechsler’s IQ test. Stanford-Binet’s test is the American adaptation of the French Binet-Simon test, and was first used by Lewis Terman 1916, a psychologist at Stanford University. The result of the test is expressed in units of intelligence quotient (IQ).

The IQ was initially counted as the ratio of the person’s mental age and the actual age, multiplied by the 100. For example, if a child of 10 years old reached an intelligence test at the level reached by an average 12-year-old, his IQ would be: (12/10) X 100 = 120. However, today tests do not include the calculation of mental age, but the test result is expressed as an IQ. Today IQ is calculated from the static percentage of people expected to have a specific IQ. The results of intelligence tests follow normal distribution, meaning that most people achieve results around the middle of the distribution curve, and the probability of achieving results far from the middle of the curve suddenly decreases.

Facts about Intelligence

1: Terrence Tao has a verified IQ of 230 makes it most intelligent man of the world. He is an Australian-born Chinese American mathematician. He is working in harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, additive combinatorics, ergodic Ramsey theory, random matrix theory, and analytic number theory. At 24 became the youngest ever full professor at UCLA.

2: William Sidis was the most intelligent man in history. Born in 1898, already as a child showed extraordinary math and language skills. His intelligence quotient based on a psychological test of 1933, allegedly, was estimated at between 250 and 300.

3: White people are NOT more intelligent, that was a mistake and myth! Regarding the differences in intelligence among races, it was found that in tests of intelligence the black people had an average result of 10 to 15 points lower than the white ones. For a long time this information has been abused for evidence of the superiority of the White Race, but later the researchers realized that the tests of intelligence were culturally conditioned. At the time when this difference was found, black people were not in the same position to get quality education as white people, which influenced the differences found. Also, intelligence tests have been designed by white people in the western world. In recent times, when differences in the possibilities of education between white and black people have diminished, differences in IQ does not exist.

4: Left-handed people are NOT more intelligent than right-handed! The idea that left-handed people are generally more intelligent than right-handed was based on the examples of famous left-handed people like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton… The study of University of Adelaide was conducted on more than 5,000 people. Experts have tracked the school’s success and impression of students about their abilities and found that the left-handed are on average the same or even less successful in the school than the right-handed.

5: Atheists are NOT more intelligent than believers! That atheists are more intelligent is another myth. After this myth started spreading over the Internet in past 10 years, more than 200 studies in the world were conducted that did not show any difference between atheists and believers. The only thing that has been proven is that the students of IT and theological faculties are the most intelligent.

6: In the last 100 years the IQ of women grew faster than that of men – now the results that women achieve on IQ tests are same as in men. Reason behind this is same as in black people explained before. In past women were not in the same position to get quality education as men.

7: Hong Kong has the highest number of people with the highest IQ in the world, and the average IQ is as high as 107. Second is Japan- it is known for its extremely rigorous education system, for which students have to devote much of their day and night to learning and schooling. Even 99 percent of the population is educated. The average IQ in Japan is 105.

8: For serial killers are believed to have above-average intelligence. The average IQ of serial killers is 102.

9: Intelligent people are inclined to empathize with others, even strangers on the other side of the world, in a situation where they never were.


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