How can you define intelligence
Brain Research: What Is Intelligence?
It is commonly believed that intelligent people get through life more easily. Shrewd thinking is an indication of good performance in school and at work. But what exactly is intelligence? How is it measured? And what other factors play a role in a successful and contented life?
How is intelligence defined?
Scientists have long been concerned with the question of how intelligence is defined - but there is no single, universal answer to it. The term comes from the Latin word "intellegere" and means to see, understand or understand. Intelligence describes the ability to find one's way in new situations and to solve tasks through thinking. So it's about a person's cognitive performance.
Scientists discuss different theories
The US psychologist Edward Boring defined intelligence in 1923 as follows: "Intelligence is what the intelligence test measures." However, intelligence tests reveal differences between people's ways of thinking - they do not provide a definition of intelligence. Some researchers assume a single intelligence factor, the general factor or g-factor, which is reflected in different areas. This could be different in people. Other researchers emphasize that a general factor is not sufficient, but that there are a number of types of intelligence that are largely independent of one another. Another research approach is that a person's intelligence depends on how well individual areas of the brain work together.
What do the intelligence test and the intelligence quotient mean?
Intelligence tests examine various properties such as the ability to solve complex tasks as well as the ability to remember and concentrate. A numerical value is determined, the intelligence quotient (IQ). Most tests consist of several subtasks and include, for example, mathematical and linguistic intelligence, spatial thinking, memory and logic. Many tests are designed so that the average score is 100 points. Around two thirds of the test persons achieve values between 85 and 115. Only two to three percent of the population achieve 130 points or more and are then considered to be highly gifted. The informative value of intelligence tests is controversial.
Success also depends on other factors
Intelligence undoubtedly plays a role in school and at work. A person's performance depends not only on their IQ, but on many factors - such as communication skills, creativity, perseverance, impulsiveness and enthusiasm. In addition, the so-called emotional intelligence of a person plays a role, i.e. the ability to recognize and react to the emotions of others. Scientists agree that genes influence intelligence. In childhood in particular, predisposition plays a major role, in adult life the influence of external factors increases, for example family and cultural influence.
Alcohol and drugs are detrimental to intelligence
There are things that can damage a person's intelligence, such as alcohol, drugs, smoking, and various environmental toxins. A lack of exercise, stress and constant worry can also reduce a person's intelligence.
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