Table of Contents
How Do You Define Intelligence?
Intelligence is defined as a mental ability involved in reasoning and perceiving relationships, the ability to learn quickly. It can also be said to be a natural ability to reason and proffer solutions to challenges above a general expectation. The part of the brain responsible for intelligence that is, the grey matter and cognitive performance are greatly influenced by genes. Genes remain powerful components of human existence; determines the quality of our intelligence, our ability to integrate and process information. It is generally accepted that intelligence is inherited but can also be related to the environment. While studies showed that heredity is an important factor in determining intelligence; it was also suggested that environment is a critical factor in determining the extent of its expression.
The level of our intelligence determines how well we cope with changes in our environment. It is believed that race and culture have their share in intelligence as well, but so far there is no confirmed conclusion that intelligence varies from race to race. Environmental factors can play a role as well, but in fact, they are capable of slowing down our mental processes more than enhancing it. There is no evidence to indicate that our environment can increase intelligence to a relatively high level. It is also inherently easier to degrade brain tissue than to create more complex brain tissue. Enhancements in brain structure require long periods of evolutionary selection, in addition to the availability of extraneous sources of energy. While brain degradation can happen in a relatively shorter time.
Classification of Intelligence
The differences in the categories of intelligence are used to explain why some people are exceptionally good at performing some tasks and weak at performing others. Below are listed some of the classifications of intelligence:
- Linguistic: This is the ability to speak and write very well.
- Logico-mathematical: This ability is used for logic and mathematical skills to solve word problems.
- Spatial: The ability to think and reason about objects in three dimensions
- Musical: This ability solely for those who are interested in the music world. It is used to perform and enjoy music.
- Kinaesthetic: The ability to move the body in sports, dance, or other physical activities.
- Interpersonal: The ability to understand and interact effectively with others.
- Intrapersonal: The ability to have insight into oneself.
- Naturalistic: to recognize, identify, and understand animals, plants, and other living things.
How to Measure Intelligence
A number of psychologists have argued that intelligence can be quantified. In 1905, Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon devised a means of accessing intelligence of people of different age groups using a score based on mental levels. A German psychologist L. Wilhelm Stern was coined the term intelligence quotient (IQ), a figure derived from the ratio of mental age to chronological age. Although, his old method of determining IQ is no longer invoked, it is abandoned but the term IQ is still very much in use; commonly used to describe the result obtained through other means of assessing intelligence.
There are different types of intelligence tests, they all measure the same intelligence. Some use words or numbers and require specific cultural knowledge. Others do not, and instead use shapes or designs and require knowledge of the only simple, universal concepts. Intelligence tests are not culturally biased against any race, no special preference is given to any race when it comes to an intelligence test, regardless of the race or social class. In other to measure the various categories of intelligence, different tests are conducted.
10 Signs You are More Intelligent Than You Realize
Intelligence reveals itself in many ways. There are other factors and signs that point to one’s level of intelligence, however, these signs may not be noticeable when compared to others but they are good signs of intelligence. Below are signs you are more intelligent than you think:
- Creativity: is a definitive sign of intelligence because it requires flexible thinking outside the box and necessitates the ability to shift and change your patterns of thinking from one way to another.
- Messy: this group brainstorm substantially more creative and interesting ideas.
- Curiosity: curiosity is a very big trait of an intelligent person. A curious person learns more about new things and this helps to improve the brain function.
- Shyness: most intelligent people are introverts who are shy and don’t like to mix with the crowd. They like to stay in their own company often times.
- Self-control: either it is exercised by talking to yourself out loud or just by willing it, it is an overlooked sign of intelligence.
- Loneliness: If you like your own company and are not in need of being around the crowd, it is a sign of intelligence. Keeping to oneself helps to concentrate and think properly and deeply.
- Funny: funny people are usually intelligent people but most of them don’t know this. Funny people have a very high IQ score, they can also be very creative in their thinking.
- Feeling inadequate: smart people are not afraid of saying they do not know about a particular thing. If they don’t know something, they can always find out.
- Worried about even the smallest things: scientists relate it with the fact that those who are always worried tend to do their work more properly.
- Ambidextrous or left-handed: left-handed people are intelligent because their mental state is flexible and they have better memories which can also be said that, they are divergent thinkers.
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Can We Increase Our Intelligence?
One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to intelligence assessments is how to boost one’s level of intelligence. Although there are a number of factors influencing the level of intelligence, of which hereditary factor remains prominent, regardless, it is believed that intelligence level can be optimised through certain ways also called intelligence amplification/ enhancing.
Practising many proven cognitive tools such as mnemonics, problem-solving heuristics, creativity techniques and decision-making tools are very important techniques to improve on one’s intelligence level. An increase in the intelligence level can only result in a better life, health, and standard of living. Here are some simple intelligence boosters:
- Deep thinking: In life, it’s not enough to just react to events, and situations, rather we should have a conscious objective and select our actions to get nearer our objective. Also, it’s important to think about the consequences of our actions, to minimize the possibilities of errors and regret. Deep thinking would normally help you live better, and reach your goal.
- Good reasoning: Having good reasoning is as good as having success; the chances of excelling is high if performed consciously and in the proper order. It is important to have an objective, make general sensing about it, determine your decision based on your sensing, make alternate plans (along with the main objective), select the best response/ plan, start by carrying out your plan, observe results and finally store experiences (for future reference).
- Learning from past experience: Experience they say is the best teacher, it is crucial to learn from experience in other to become smarter and avoid making mistakes. Many inventions known today are products of improved trials and mistakes. Keeping records of inventions are also crucial in assisting us to learn from the past. Learning from the past experience either bad or good is very beneficial for reinventing one’s self into a better version.
- Practice: The best way to learn or acquire a skill is by putting it into practice. It is impossible to learn swimming from a book, the same thing should be taken into consideration when dealing with thinking; you cannot learn to think without practising. And as mentioned earlier, a good way to start is with cognitive tools such as brain exercises: mnemonics, problem-solving heuristics, creativity techniques, brainstorming, puzzles, and brain-teasing games.
Intelligence Pills and Boosters
Over time, a large number of people especially students have sought to know if there could be any magical way of boosting or enhancing brain capacity using drugs. A number of drugs and substances have been produced to improve the mental and cognitive abilities of the brain. These substances are called “cognitive enhancers” or “smart drugs”. The supposed effects of these intelligence drugs can be several things, for example, it can improve memory, learning, attention, concentration, problem-solving, reasoning, social skills, decision making and planning.
In most cases, smart drugs have been used to treat people with neurological or mental disorders, but there is a growing number of healthy, “normal” people who use these substances in hopes of getting smarter. However, it’s arguable if the cognitive enhancers have some effects if any. Below is a list of some intelligence enhancers in their natural state:
- Choline: A natural amine, often classed in the vitamin B complex.
- Caffeine: caffeine acts as a mild stimulant to the nervous system, blocking the neurotransmitter adenosine and resulting in a feeling of well-being and alertness.
- Glucose: has been shown to improve memory when given in certain dosages in association with a learning task.
Intelligence reveals it’s self in a lot of ways, it has so many variations that are why most people don’t know they are more intelligent than they actually think. There are some attitudes that on a normal level doesn’t show intelligence to an ordinary man such as being messy, shy, left-handed and so on but all of these according to research have shown these particular sets of people are highly intelligent.