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Polly_Math's avatar

What do you think is the best measure of intelligence?

Asked by Polly_Math (1733 points ) February 3rd, 2010

What does the term “intelligence” mean to you?
How intelligent do you think you are?
What’s your take on IQ tests?

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25 Answers

CMaz's avatar

Time. And, time is an illusion.

erichw1504's avatar

I think an IQ test measures how intelligent one’s brain can be. How much they actually know, whether it be by the book or by the street is a better representation of how intelligent they actually are currently.

qashqai's avatar

Achievements.

TehRoflMobile's avatar

I see it as the amount one can learn. We are all human and can learn, however some people absorb information quicker, others can cram more information at a time, giving them a more adept ability to learn. The more you are capable of learning, the higher your I.Q., this is just an opinion though.

eponymoushipster's avatar

not necessarily stored knowledge, but the ability to a) admit when you don’t know something b) and look for it, along with c) knowing WHERE to go to find it.

erichw1504's avatar

Well, definitely not by the size of their shoe…

chucklmiller's avatar

The Miller’s Analogy Test

Snarp's avatar

IQ tests can reveal some intelligence, but not everything. They remain culturally biased, and the old ones were very much so. When I was a kid I had to take one as a placement test, but it was mostly oral and I was painfully shy. Ended up in remedial classes until the teachers said, “um, he really ought to be in advanced classes”. I still couldn’t get into the gifted program because they wouldn’t re-do the IQ test.

wundayatta's avatar

I think IQ scores are virtually meaningless. What I need to know is how someone thinks and behaves in a variety of situations. How well can they solve problems? How creatively do they solve problems? How much fun is it and how interesting is it to talk to them? How stuck up are they and how hung up are they—say, on IQ scores. The more such things matter to a person, the more likely it is I won’t like them or think they are very intelligent.

adrianscott's avatar

Intelligence is a completely subjective topic as certain things that may make people appear “smart” to some people, can be completely the opposite to others.

I think in most cases people get intelligence confused with wisdom. People who are wise, aren’t necessarily smart, and vice-versa.

cheebdragon's avatar

“I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.”
 ~Socrates

Barbs's avatar

People hold too much enphasis over intelligence. It is not necessarily the way you should define yourself as a human being. Having said that the thing that sets us apart from the rest of nature is the fact we have a highly evolved intellect. There are paradoxes everywhere you turn!

njnyjobs's avatar

Intelligence is a relative theory. I usually associate it on a case to case basis to the ability of a person to get out of a predicament at the quickest/easiest way.

For me, a street punk may very well be more intelligent than a PhD grad walking the streets of NYC. . . . although the PhD grad, due to his intelligence makes enough money to get himself a cab or even a black car service.

mea05key's avatar

I think a person that makes best use of his available wits, circumstances and always seek improvement is intelligent.
Some people are born intelligent (in this case high IQ) due to good genes, grow in a better surrounding, having better education etc, so its really unfair to compare between two human being in that way.

Val123's avatar

I think it’s just the natural ability to retain information and make connections between things.

bea2345's avatar

And which will be improved by training and education. The best measure of intelligence is how well one functions in a given environment. It is culturally determined: I think the best comments on this come from cartoons like B.C.: note the strip for January 25 2010.

HTDC's avatar

Warning: Long rant on the philosophical meaning of “intelligence”.

There really is no such thing as “intelligence”, except that it is the most overrated concept in society. Why should someone who knows something more about a particular subject be called “intelligent”?

Perhaps they have spent longer memorising the subject; that’s not “intelligence”. Some say it’s not what you learn but how you learn and how quickly. But surely that can be attributed to greater concentration, greater ability to memorise and greater attention to detail.

What about people who can perform highly on IQ tests but don’t achieve high marks in school? Does that make them less “intelligent”? Perhaps they are just less focused and less willing to apply themselves. More achievements means higher “intelligence”? Once again, maybe they do not have the motivation to go out and perform those achievements.

Most say it is the ability to take in and process information. However, that is caused by greater attention and more efficient sending of messages between neurotransmitters. That isn’t intelligence. That is just the parts of your brain working harder or less harder than other individuals. Either due to biological factors or factors of the mind such as motivation or willingness to learn.

But I hardly think the workings of one’s brain is reason enough to call someone more or less intelligent than the next person. If you think the physical make up of the brain is a measure of intelligence that is entirely up to you. But to me, the socially made concept seems false, unnecessary and misleading.

HTDC's avatar

@eponymoushipster But surely that can be called wisdom? Or maybe it is a behaviour learned from someone they know? Perhaps they are emulating someone they look up to and adopting those behaviours? I don’t think that is intelligence.

drClaw's avatar

Beauty, obviously the better looking you are the smarter you are… duh

philosopher's avatar

A truly intelligent person knows enough about most issues to have a conversation about it.
I have one Doctor I think is brilliant. She is not simply a knowledgeable Physician. She is able to carry a conversation on about most subjects. Subjects I am well versed in. It makes me relax. when I am stressed.

Polly_Math's avatar

@HTDC I think there are many confounding concepts and words whose definitions we need to agree on (at least partly) in order to have a reasonable discussion. It seems like you’re deconstructing the term till it’s become essentially meaningless for you (though I do agree that “intelligence” is definitely one of the more difficult ones). But there are so many of them; in order to have intelligent discussions (sorry), we need to agree on some mutual notions. There’s a very postmodern bent to your answer. That’s when we hit the slippery slope.

HTDC's avatar

@Polly_Math “It seems like you’re deconstructing the term till it’s become essentially meaningless for you”

That’s exactly what I aimed to do. To show just how meaningless the term really is. Intelligence is such a broad, vague concept, it’s really not worth using it so easily to categorise people. But I get what you’re saying.

Macaulay's avatar

You’ve truly mastered an area when you can teach it.

Snarp's avatar

Clearly forehead size is the best predictor of intelligence.

HungryGuy's avatar

The number of Linux servers he has stacked in the corner of his dining room???

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