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According to britannica.com, human intelligence is a mental quality that consists of the abilities to learn from experience, adapt to new situations, understand and handle abstract concepts, and use knowledge to manipulate one’s environment. So, are IQ Tests valid measurements of human intelligence? And if not, then what is?
Okay, so, there are many theories about intelligence, but we’re gonna look at the main three parts, which is intelligence by nature, intelligence by nurture, and intelligence by both nature and nurture.
The first one, intelligence by nature is basically a general intelligence theory developed by Charles Spearman who believed that a common skill set, the ‘g’ factor, underlies all intelligent behavior, from navigating the sea to excelling in school. This general intelligence comes from our genes.
The second one, which is intelligence by nurture is basically Howard Gardner’s idea of multiple bits of intelligence. There are eight, so far, and they are musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. People have argued about whether bodily-kinesthetic was actually an intelligence, but when you think about it, if our society had not changed and we were still in the stone-age times, it’s the people who are bodily intelligent that are most likely to survive and not those who are good at memorizing words and such. But anyway, Howard Gardner believed in multiple bits of intelligence that come in different packages. Brain damage, for example, may destroy one ability but leave others intact.
Now, the third intelligence is intelligence by both nature and nurture, which brings us to Robert Sternberg’s three bits of intelligence. Sternberg’s theory agrees with both intelligence being something you get from your genes and also there being not just one intelligence. He believed that there was analytical intelligence which is the kind that’s assessed by traditional intelligence tests that test your problem-solving skills. There’s creative intelligence, which is how well you generate novel ideas. Then there’s practical intelligence, which is required for everyday tasks, it’s just like being street smart.
Now, the IQ Test was basically created upon Charles Spearman’s theory of general intelligence by Alfred Binet, it was later changed by professors at Stanford. And I do agree that it’s a valid measurement of our mental abilities, because, like I said before, intelligence does come from our genes, which is proved through twin and adoption studies. The intelligence scores of identical twins raised together or apart are virtually as similar as the same person taking the same test twice. Brain scan reveals that identical twins brains are built and function similarly, so genes do have something to do with our intelligence. But I also know that our mental abilities aren’t the only type of intelligence. IQ Tests are good, but to get a complete measurement of our intelligence, we should take Multiple intelligence tests on top of that.