Understanding Intelligence

When a child performs well in their subjects, first mark in class, the child is known to be an intelligent child. But what is the definition of intelligence? A child’s scores in exams determine whether the child is intelligent or not. The truth is that the highest grade doesn’t determine the level of intelligence in a student. There are different factors that determine intelligence in individuals, and marks are one of the factors, not the only factor. The marks in the type of test also matter to determine whether the child is intelligent or not. In school, most of the exams are about learning the concepts and answering the questions asked. The children need to have good memory capacity to remember what they have learned to write in the exam. Does this determine intelligence in a student?

The definition of intelligence, according to the American Psychological Association, is Intelligence is the ability to derive information, learn from experience, adapt to the environment, understand, and correctly utilize thought and reason. Different definitions of intelligence were highlighted. For example, 1921 American psychologist Lewis Terman defined intelligence as the ability to think abstractly, whereas Edward Thorndike defined it as the ability to learn and give a valid response to questions. In recent days, the definition has been more focused on adapting to the environment, which is an important part of understanding intelligence.

Adaptation occurs in different settings: home, school, social circle, family, strangers, etc. For example, a student in school adapts himself to learn and gain knowledge that is needed in his academics. Adaptation is making the change that is required in oneself to cope with and manage the environment. The situation and the environment keep changing. Howard Gardner proposed the theory of multiple intelligences. The theory states that intelligence is comprised of different abilities like linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and natural.

Linguistic Intelligence

Linguistic intelligence is known as language and verbal ability. This individual has the ability to write, speak, and learn languages, as well as the capacity to use language effectively, analyze information, and create books, speeches, etc. Linguistic intelligence involves the ability to use the language to express oneself and manipulate the syntax, structure, semantics, and phonology of the language.

Logical Intelligence

Logical intelligence is the capacity to analyze and understand problems, equations, mathematical operations, and investigations. Reasoning ability, critical thinking, and using logical aspects to solve scientific problems.

Spatial Intelligence

Spatial intelligence refers to the ability to perceive the visual space around the world, transform, modify, and manipulate the visuals and patterns in the surrounding area. Individuals with high spatial ability are good at visualization, drawing, reading maps, and sense of size, shape, and direction of space.

Bodily-kinaesthetic Intelligence

Bodily kinaesthetic intelligence is the ability to use the body and different parts of the body. The ability for physical coordination, balance, dexterity, strength, and bodily flexibility are included in body-kinesthetic intelligence. Individuals who have bodily intelligence are good at sports, dance, acting, and gymnastics.

Musical Intelligence

Musical intelligence is the ability to perform, compose, and understand musical patterns. Musical intelligence is the ability to perceive, create, express, and remember musical forms, patterns, rhythm, tone, pitch, and lyrics. People with musical intelligence are good at singing, playing instruments, and composing music.

Interpersonal intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, empathize, interact effectively with others, manage relationships, and work with others productively. Being sensitive to other people’s emotions, temperaments, motivations, and desires to build, interact, and support. Interpersonal intelligence enables people to communicate and build a supportive environment.

Intrapersonal Intelligence

Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, have insight and self-awareness, and work on oneself, addressing one’s fears, abilities, challenges, strengths, and emotions. Self-awareness is the ability to reframe and restructure, analyze, and regulate emotions.

Natural Intelligence

Natural intelligence refers to recognizing nature and having a keen interest in natural phenomena, such as animals, plantations, forests, and marine life, and exploring different exotic locations. People with naturalistic intelligence have the ability to understand, classify, and prefer to work in natural environments.

Exploring intelligence can help the individual in the process of choosing a career and establishing one’s career by identifying their abilities and areas of interest. Multiple intelligence assessments help gain insight into the type of intelligence.




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