Extended Definition Essay Intelligence
Intelligence: Extended Definition
Over the centuries, intelligence has grown with mankind. As mankind has developed new technologies, intelligence too has been altered and developed. Many people who use the word intelligence define it differently then what is usually universally understood to be intelligence, and the both of those groups define intelligence differently from the few who have it.
Some would say intelligence is a means to measure a person's mental acuteness to various factors. The more a person is able to adapt to change, whether they are adaptive to technology and advancement in time or just to the weather, the more a person is seen as intelligent. In this sense, it would make a teenager much more intelligent then many elderly people because youth are much more able to adapt to change (fashions and technology change so often) then the elderly (as they still dress like they did in the 1950's).
Others would argue that intelligence is how many facts a person can retain in his or her head. For instance Albert Einstein was able to hold many facts in his head (as well as invent new ones) so would that make him intelligent? It is generally a fact to say that Einstein was a genius, far more then just intelligent. But to call someone intelligent just because they can recollect a large amount of facts would not be a right thing to do. For example, my uncle can tell you anything you need or want to know about corn (he is a farmer), but would that make him intelligent just because he knows facts about corn?
Finally, intelligence could be the accumulative amount of information and education that one can remember. People who have a better understanding of mathematics and social histories are seen as more intelligent as individuals who lack the same understanding. Once again, Albert Einstein had great knowledge in the fields of physics and mathematical calculations; but, his English (as well
My Opinion On The Definition Of IntelligenceWords: 1137 Pages: 4 Paragraphs: 12 Sentences: 75 Read Time: 04:08
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Intelligence is a concept that is encountered everyday but a concept that is often misunderstood.Most people have formulated a definition of intelligence based on their own experiences without even realizing it.We take for granted that we know the meaning of the term without truly thinking about it.Our definitions are often not fully formulated and frequently exclude important aspects of intelligence.It is, however, important to wholly define the term in order to discuss it without ignorance.
Intelligence is much more than just the ability to acquire knowledge.The ability to use knowledge in everyday circumstances is equally as important as the possession of knowledge.Knowledge is like mathematics.Mathematics without application is pointless.It is when mathematical concepts are utilized in subjects such as physics, computer science or economics that they become useful.Similarly, knowledge is only valuable in its application.Without the intention of eventually applying knowledge to some aspect of life, it is futile.
Imagine a man standing on railroad tracks watching a train quickly approach him.It is not sufficient for this man to know that if the train hits him he will die.The knowledge is useless unless he moves out of the way.If the man decides to remain where he is and is hit by the train, one would have a hard time arguing that the man was intelligent.
My freshman year in college, I met a guy (lets call him Jeff), who most people would say was intelligent.Jeff had skipped a year of high school, and he was able to read a book and instantly understand and remember what he had read.With minimal work Jeff could have coasted his way through college.Instead, he never went to class, never did homework, and often didn't take quizzes and tests.Within a year and a half, Jeff was well on his way toward flunking out of college.What good was the knowledge that Jeff had acquired?He could not even understand the stupidity in paying to attend an institution of learning only to learn nothing and end up working at McDonalds for the rest of his life.I would not call that intelligence.I would call it idiocy.
A common error when discussing intelligence is assuming that proficiency in certain subjects equates to greater intelligence than proficiency in other subjects.For example, people who are good in fields such as mathematics, science, and engineering, which many people struggle with, are automatically considered to be very intelligent.This may or may not be true, but people who excel in other fields can be equally intelligent.Many times when people learn that I study computer science, they tell me, Wow, you must be really smart.What is that supposed to mean?How does studying a particular subject suddenly make me intelligent?If I had said that my major was elementary education or art would they still automatically assume I was smart?Somehow, I think not.
According to psychologists, there are seven types of intelligence:logical-mathematical, linguistic, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.These categories encompass a wide range of specialties, many of which are not commonly associated with the term intelligence.It is not necessary to be a whiz in all seven areas to be considered intelligent, but none of the seven are dominant regardless of how they are commonly perceived.For example, my sister and I are talented in very different fields.I am better at subjects such as math and science while she is gifted as a musician.Often, people assume that I am more intelligent than she solely based on my area of expertise.However, this is not so.My sisters knowledge as a musician is just as legitimate as my knowledge of the sciences, and I would consider her no less intelligent.
It is easy to misunderstand the intricacies of intelligence when our formal system of measuring it, the intelligence quotient (IQ), does not address all of these complexities.IQ measures a persons reasoning skills in academic situations but not real life situations.IQ measures certain skills, such as vocabulary, but completely ignores others, such as musical skills.Because of this, IQ is not an accurate measurement of intelligence and should not be taken too seriously when discussing it.
Similarly, tests such as the ACT and the SAT are commonly quoted, especially among students, as measures of a persons intelligence.These tests do not take into consideration the students ability to apply knowledge to everyday circumstances.Additionally, these tests only measure two categories of intelligence, logical-mathematical and linguistic, but completely ignore the other five categories.How can a test that ignores more than half of the recognized types of intelligence be an accurate measurement of it?It simply cannot.
The crux of the matter is that intelligence is not quantifiable.There is no easy way to label each person with a number and line them up from most intelligent to least intelligent.There are too many hindrances to this process.The complexities of intelligence are too complicated to develop a test that would accurately represent it.Such a test would have to incorporate each of the seven types of intelligence as well as test a persons ability to apply knowledge.It is difficult however to devise a way to test things such as a persons interpersonal skills, and the ability to apply knowledge to life is not clearly evident except in practice.
A test to measure intelligence would also have to take into account outside factors that could affect the results.Some people get nervous when tested and do not perform as well as they might have under normal circumstances.Other people think that it is funny to answer questions incorrectly and see how the results will turn out.Some people may react differently to the same set of instructions and get different answers to the questions.It would be impossible to design a test to fully handle these situations and other possible scenarios.
Even if such a test could be accurately designed, it would remain difficult to place a numerical measure on these skills.What do we say?I rate your ability to apply knowledge a 3.5!What does this mean?Where does this number come from?How do you determine that this person is better at applying skills than that person?How much better?It is impossible to truly answer these questions.Faced with these issues, the only logical conclusion is that a persons intelligence cannot be quantified.
With these ideas in mind, it is possible to formulate a definition of intelligence.Intelligence is the non-quantifiable ability to acquire, understand, and apply information of any type to everyday life.With this definition in mind we can dispel common errors of understanding concerning intelligence and equip ourselves to discuss it with awareness, not ignorance.
Class 10 (High School)
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