What is intelligence, Really?

Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving.  The word “Intelligence” is derived from the Latin verb intelligere with root meaning of “pick out” or discern. It is most widely studied in humans, but has also been observed in animals and plants. Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines or the simulation of intelligence in machines.

Numerous definitions of and hypotheses about intelligence have been proposed since before the twentieth century, with no consensus reached by scholars. Within the discipline of psychology, various approaches to human intelligence have been adopted. The psychometric approach, such as IQ test, is especially familiar to the general public, as well as being the most researched and by far the most widely used in practical settings.

We will take several blog posts to further discuss this concept and to provide overviews of some prominent theories of intelligence that significant impact all training and assessment programs today.


2 thoughts on “What is intelligence, Really?

  1. Great article. I recently attended a Emotional Intelligence course. The teacher made the comment that your IQ is something you are born with and it never changes, but emotional intelligence you can improve. I wanted to do more research on the IQ comment and study the difference between Intelligence and Learning. Thanks for posting. I look forward to this series.

    • Thank you for the comment. I disagree on part of the trainer’s comment regarding: “IQ is something you are born with and it never changes.” It sounded like it flow from the old formula of “mental age / physical age”. However, there are many more modern theories that revise that view from several perspective (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_quotient#The_general_intelligence_factor_.28g.29) Most of the wikipedia article is heavy laden with terms from statistical analysis to make it useful for general public but I am sure it is a piece of cake for you. 🙂

      As you can tell, we are behind in the series but this area is so interesting it is hard to resist. Perhaps we need to add the issue of IQ/EQ as a blog post in the queue.

      YC Chen

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