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What is Not Intelligence?


Intelligence is not what many people think it is and the concept has been misconstrued so much with myths around it. So what really is intelligence? Intelligence is an umbrella term that encapsulates a wide range of cognitive and socioemotional behaviours such as decision making, problem-solving, rational thinking, social relationship, and dealing effectively with the environment.


Two broad categories of intelligence

what intelligence is not
Descartes Quote/ Credit: defence.gov.au
Intelligence is generally assumed to mean an ability to solve logical questions like arithmetic, linguistic problems etc. however, this is only a miniaturization of intelligence; therefore, intelligence is more than just the logic and math. There are generally two broad categories that make sense to classify intelligence into:

- Cognitive Intelligence 
- Emotional Intelligence


Cognitive intelligence

Cognitive intelligence is what people generally tend to think about whenever the concept of ‘intelligence’ pops into their head. This is the type of intelligence related to logical reasoning, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning or other types of intelligence that are western-culture and education imbued.


Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is quite different and deals more in a person’s ability to relate successfully with his/her environment, to be successful in social interaction, being aware of his/her own emotion and others’ emotion, being able to control his/her own emotion, and using this in a socially constructive manner (Golemann, 2001). A part of emotional intelligence is the ability to delay gratification, set goals and being able to achieve those goals; emotional intelligence has been consistently researched and proven to contribute immensely to people’s success in career.

Now, what does not count as intelligence?

It is no news that the popular media is filled with a lot of myths, hypes and flaws about the ideal notion of intelligence and people with poor understanding of intelligence almost always want to associate intelligence with logic, math, verbal reasoning and therefore, the use of an IQ test to prove this. What abilities would IQ tests help us unveil? 

A lot of viable criticisms have been filed against the use of IQ test. Why? IQ tests are often flawed with bias most of which are culturally related (western-culture related), thus rendering them less reliable and less valid. Another flaw inherent in IQ tests is that they tend to sideline intelligence into only one aspect of intelligence itself, which particularly is not helpful in capturing the overall intelligence of someone. For example, many IQ tests have items suitable for the American population but not suitable for the African population. 

Does it make sense to sideline intelligence this way? No. Why? This is because intelligence is more than just IQ, a population, arithmetic, verbal reasoning, and logic. What about musical intelligence, emotional intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, spiritual intelligence, interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence or the aggregate of Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences?


Intelligence is not all about IQ and IQ test

Below are quick facts to note about what intelligence is and what intelligence isn't. Maybe you are already thinking that your 145+ IQ score in Mensa qualifies you to be an intelligent person; perhaps, you've missed that if other factors were not being considered. So, think again.

Cognitive Intelligence is not always Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, also called Emotional Quotient (EQ) is the ability to accurately prevail upon feelings and to utilize feelings to improve thought. EQ is related to a person's ability to see, control, assess, and express feelings. Individuals with high EQ can oversee feelings, utilize their feelings to encourage themselves, comprehend passionate implications and precisely see others' feelings. EQ is somewhat controlled by how a man identifies with others and keeps up the emotional balance.

Unlike EQ, IQ is a score originally developed, normed and intended to test intelligence. IQ relates specifically to scholarly interests, for example, the capacity to learn, comprehend and apply data to ranges of abilities. IQ covers logical thinking, word appreciation, and math aptitudes; individuals with higher IQ can identify patterns. 

Would EQ be able to enhance IQ?

Emotional Intelligence is best taught from an early age by empowering qualities like sharing, considering others, placing oneself in someone else's shoes, giving individual space and the general standards of collaboration. There are toys and amusements accessible to boost EQ, and children who don't do well in social settings are known to perform essentially better in the wake of taking SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) classes.

IQ is to a greater degree hereditary, however, there are a few approaches to tap a person's IQ to its most elevated potential through mind nourishment and free IQ test and brain game practices including riddles, puzzles, and critical thinking procedures.

Intelligence is not creativity but creativity could guarantee intelligence


According to J.P. Guilford, a renowned psychologist, 

creativity involves divergent thinking with respect to the traits of fluency, flexibility and originality of thought process. It means that creativity involves the thinking process in various forms with the originality and flexibility in the thought process

Undoubtedly, intelligence and creativity are abilities of the brain. It is a long procedure to get nitty gritty information about these terms. However, the fundamental distinction between the two is that intelligence is a general ability of an individual, while, inventiveness requires diverse thinking.

Creativity is a wonder where one tries to make something new or important. It is the capacity to cause, to exist, or to make something of subjective esteem. In innovativeness, intelligence assumes an imperative part. One can't make anything in the event that he is not intelligent. It is the way toward creating something unique and advantageous. Though creative ability would always mean a great

Innovativeness is a day by day thought which a man produces. Intelligence surely has an impact on imaginative thinking. So intelligence matters, it exhibits your capacity to accumulate learning and successfully utilize it. Inventiveness is the capacity to go past the intelligence and benefit from apparently irregular associations of ideas.

There are different types of creativity which are fairly same as intelligence, as we have Musical Intelligence, Artistic Intelligence, Analytical Intelligence, Scientific Intelligence, Linguistic Intelligence et cetera; so we also have, Music Creativity, Artistic Creativity, Scientific Creativity, Linguistic Creativity et cetera. Hope you gleaned some inspiration and understanding from this piece. Thanks for stopping by.
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