The problem with I.Q
A very long time ago, I believe it ranges around 9 or so years ago, I convinced myself that I was not smart. Everyone went crazy about each person’s I.Q. When I took the test I did not understand the result. A friend explained that it was the kind of score that proved that one had an average level of intelligence. This meant I was not smart but also not dumb. The challenge with this thought was that I believed that it was how every aspect of my entire life was. I measured it against everything I did. It was until out of boredom I saw Dr. Phil each day for about a week. Interesting enough when I saw a particular episode, if I can call it that, that I felt very comforted.
It featured a man who had challenges relating with his one year old child. You see, he would ask him to remain in his cot otherwise he would hurt himself badly. The boy never listened. After a few attempts, he decided on a different approach. He explained the scientific consequences, the danger of the laws of physics and the threat to his psychological development as a result of his seemingly intentional disobedience! It got me wondering how such a smart person was unable to relate well with a small child. On the show they discussed his background. He was an average scoring student who was mocked by his above average classmates. This was a constant, nonstop everyday thing. Might as well be a tradition. One day he determined in his heart that he would succeed them at an exponential rate. This is exactly what he achieved.
They listed a few different kinds of intelligences: Emotional intelligence, Quantitive intelligence and Qualitative intelligence. That confirmed something I was speculating regarding the reason why someone with such a high I.Q could not relate to his child.
This also reminded me of the scene in The Social Network where the main character eats out with his friend and he openly mocks her for not tackling her situation from a logical and mathematical point of view! All this made me feel better and after researching the types of intelligences, I found out that Howard Gardner had come up with different kinds of intelligences after noticing that people are a lot more complex than we think, and may be too much so to confine them to one kind of intelligence.
Why the craze about I.Q?
As I nearly finished the 12th grade I found out that there was a connection between I.Q tests or measurements and school. No one ever talked about them any other time or anywhere else. It was almost as if you could tell the kind of life a person was going to live based on their I.Q. Taking some long deep thoughts about this, it simply did not make sense. Why and how could one govern their life based on how smart they are? When I found out that those with enormously high I.Q’s had relatively to very low Interpersonal skills, I remembered my friends at school. Now being someone who was very good friends with people who had a decent balance between Logic Mathematical and Interpersonal Intelligence, I was smart enough to know that generalizing my discovery would be imbecilic, however, it would also not leave me too far off. In both instances I would be correct. In other words it may be safe to say that most people who have high cognitive skills have a reasonably low social skills and a small percentage have a high rate of cognitive and social skills. Bear in mind this discovery was a long time ago and it may have changed today.
What I.Q really does
I have learned that the main thing, if not the only thing, that I.Q does is measure your general ability to solve problems and understand concepts. Now being a slow learner, listening to a fast-talking lecturer was hard. My favourite part was dictation. Going back and rereading what I wrote down was helpful. I do believe that subvocalizing (reading “allowed” in your mind) caused me to try and understand what I was reading as I was reading it. Your I.Q includes measuring reasoning ability, problem-solving ability, ability to perceive relationships between things and ability to store and retrieve information. That last one what I had the biggest problem with. My subvocalizing did more damage than good so that I was basically left more confused about a subject after reading it. The few ways your I.Q is measured is by:
- spatial ability: the ability to visualize manipulation of shapes
- mathematical ability: the ability to solve problems and use logic
- language ability: This could include the ability to complete sentences or recognize words when letters have been rearranged or removed.
- memory ability: the ability to recall things presented either visually or aurally
My strongest point out of all these is the language ability. The limiting thing with I.Q tests is that they measure your ability to understand ideas and not the quantity of your knowledge, thus learning new information does not automatically increase your I.Q. Your score is therefore stable throughout your adult years. You can maintain it by solving puzzles and learning new skills but to increase your intelligence as a whole, you need to do more than just that. Let us take a look at what that might be.
The Types Of Intelligences
1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”). This is basically the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). In essence conservationists, botanists, florists and I think zoologists fall under this.
2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”). This is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.
I loved it when I learned about this because it meant that I did not have to worry about not being above average in every area of my life. I used to be a recording artist, but that was just for fun. Understanding the beat and the effect it had on the emotions played a big part in the way I wrote songs. My friend who is an audio engineer pays very close attention to the pace, tone, pitch, rhythm, flow and other components of any piece of music he listens to. He does this by nature and I believe anyone else with the level of musical knowledge he has or intelligence in general may do the same.
3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart). This is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.
I have friends who are straight-A-students (well who doesn’t?) telling me that they have reasoning and problem solving skills but no math skills. That raised a huge eyebrow for me. I thought about that for a few days and I came to the conclusion that the more they claimed that the less true it was. Why? They would simply cease to fall under, “straight-A-student,” if that were the case. They not be exceptional at math but they have to be good enough to not only at least score an “A” but also formulate possibilities and consider variables, in certain situations, from a mathematical perspective. In other words think in a calculable manner.
4. Existential Intelligence.
Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here. I am not going to lie, I do not think I have met such a person in real life. I have attempted to answer the question of the meaning of life but not the point of reaching a confident conclusion, neither did I know such a type of intelligence existed.
5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”). This is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.
This intelligence is the one I first learned about. The only thing was that I could not appropriately name it. Social jobs can be quite hard to get but are very fulfilling for those who have this kind of intelligence. In primary school I recommended becoming a talk show host or doing their own show and often referenced Tyra Banks and Oprah Winfrey.
6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”). This is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.
I am a runner and I thoroughly enjoy that. I have a fair amount of knowledge concerning that but not to the point where I can coach someone on a big scale. I know a lot, but I still have even more to learn.
7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart). This is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.
As I mentioned earlier that the language ability was my strongest in the four ways that I.Q is measured. Anyone who keeps a diary or journal extensively, along with everyone on WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger Technorati, and other blogging platforms fall under this, especially if they express themselves best in writing, which includes poems, stories and even letters and cards. I have often been told that I am good with words. Maybe because I say the right things at the right times. Who knows?
8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”). This is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directing one’s life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. These young adults may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.
This is the second one I learned about, obviously because it goes in direct contrast to interpersonal intelligence. To some degree for a long time I thought that I had this kind of intelligence, but I realized that there is so much about the human condition I do not know, although I have begun to understand a lot about the frailty of humans, which focuses on how predictable a person’s behaviour is based on the info you have provided and how easy it is to be misunderstood. Other factors include making the wrong choices, in the wrong places, at the wrong times with the wrong people. I have also learned about the counter-intuitive aspect of life which suggests that in most cases, not all, you are to do the opposite of what the seemingly common-sense thing to do is in order to achieve the positive result. I may write about these in future posts.
9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”). This is the ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.
Of course visual learners to a certain extent have this. There may not always be a direct correlation between spatial intelligence and visual learning. I have a friend who has linguistic intelligence and can draw. It is actually how she processes information, she needs to draw it out. Get it? In contrast I have another friend who also has linguistic intelligence but cannot draw. Both are novelists and one is an infrequent blogger.
The Other Kinds Of Intelligences
1. Emotional Intelligence. This is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. It actually comes in four parts:
a) Perceiving Emotions: The first step in understanding emotions is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.
Many people do not know that I focus more on body language than anything else. It is almost always easy for me to see how a person feels.
b) Reasoning With Emotions: The next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention.
c) Understanding Emotions: The emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean. For example, if your boss is acting angry, it might mean that he is dissatisfied with your work; or it could be because he got a speeding ticket on his way to work that morning or that he’s been fighting with his wife.
Anger can be very difficult to deal with because it is so easy to misinterpret. I do know that anger does not get aroused by the immediate situation. A similar experience in one way or another, a long time before, would trigger the emotion at the present moment. In other words anger lays dormant until someone or something unleashes it. The person has to deal either with the past or come up with countermeasures for the person or situation that springs it up, in order to gain self-control in this area. More so if they are short-tempered.
d) Managing Emotions: The ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.
2) Creative Intelligence. This is the vital dimension for the capacity of knowing and learning. The creative is unconventional, anarchic, flexible and open. It is fostered through understanding how the creative process works in human beings and how to apply it. Human creativity is activated through processes of intention and attention. When we are aware of these processes, we can learn how to direct them into creative flow ( a state in which you are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter, like being in the zone).
At its core, creativity is all about knowing what is meaningful to people. Successful mining of meaningful knowledge reveals important patterns and shows you possible paths to the new. It is all about connecting the dots, for example, connect ‘looking for friends’, ‘sharing’ and ‘social media’ and you get Facebook, and connect ‘cheap’, ‘shoes’ and ‘social media’, you get Zappos.
The other thing is frame. A frame basically means, how you interpret the world and make sense of it. We construct a frame for a given scenario by applying meaning and understanding to what we see. This is a powerful tool for innovation, because understanding how we frame things also enables us to re-frame that narrative, or to change how we see and interpret something. This ability lies at the very core of creativity.
Symtoms of creativity.
When individuals do not understand why they have certain difficulties in their lives; and even those who are aware of their creativity often experience it, alternately, as a gift and a burden.
Having luminous insights, a prolific flow of ideas and the ability to make meaningful connections.
The experience of feeling overwhelmed by numerous ideas and projects, the sensory trials and emotional pains that accompany acute sensitivity, and the sense of feeling ‘different,’ than most others.
How to identify your creative intelligence
a) You would recognize the relationship with your own creative process as the No 1 relationship in your life, the one that defines all the others.
b) You would allow yourself to observe and express the truth of your unique character and experience
c) You would be awake to life through seven senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, overall perception and intuition).
d) You would know how to summon stillness, awareness and presence and do so regularly.
e) You would see that you are not separate from the rest of creative life, that the same process that creates one thing creates all things.
f) You would allow challenging relationships and events in your life to teach you what you need to know.
g) You would understand that creative intelligence is not acquired so much as accessed. It is alway there for us though we are not always there for it.
h) You would feel confident of your ability to create because you would know how to tune into your creative potential.
How to increase creative intelligence
A good first step is to stop and reflect on what you are good at. Most of us aren’t aware of our own capabilities and even when we are, we don’t see how to connect the skills from one area to another. For instance, you might be great at reading body language, or organizing family trips; by framing these skills differently, you can utilize them in countless creative ways.
Another way to become more aware of your creative potential is to start keeping a portfolio. It might begin as a journal containing your ideas, notes, sketches and work. Over time, it will show the many ‘dots’ you’ve collected over time, and this will encourage you to think about connecting some of them.
3) Academic Intelligence. This is having cognitive abilities that are regarded as being highly imperative to achieve academic success. It refers to the skills that typify our examinations of general intelligence: math reasoning and language among them. It is actually used to find out what one’s I.Q is. These people have a high level of general knowledge or tend to know more things about a subject at hand than the info provided by an average or below average person. It is closely related to Logical-Mathematical Intelligence but not completely. One can easily grasp the concept of any subject and apply it fairly quickly but not tackle all situations or challenges from a reasoning and numbering perspective.
4) Financial Intelligence. is the knowledge and skills gained from understanding finance and accounting principles in the business world. Although a fairly new term, financial intelligence has its roots in organizational development research, mostly in the field of employee participation. There are four areas of understanding that make up financial intelligence:
Understanding the foundation. Financial intelligence requires an understanding of the basics of financial measurement including the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement. It also requires knowing the difference between cash and profit and why a balance sheet balances.
Understanding the art. Finance and accounting are an art as well as a science. The two disciplines must try to quantify what can’t always be quantified, and so must rely on rules, estimates, and assumptions. Financial intelligence ensures people are able to identify where the artful aspects of finance have been applied to the numbers, and know how applying them differently might lead to different conclusions.
Understanding analysis. Financial intelligence includes the ability to analyze the numbers in greater depth. This includes being able to calculate profitability, leverage, liquidity and efficiency ratios and understanding the meaning of the results. Conducting ROI (Return On Investment) analysis and interpreting the results are also part of financial intelligence.
Understanding the big picture. Financial intelligence also means being able to understand a business’s financial results in context – that is, within the framework of the big picture. Factors such as the economy, the competitive environment, regulations and changing customer needs and expectations as well as new technologies all affect how the numbers are interpreted.
It is very sad that classes related to accounting and business in schools are the only ones that best prepare students for the world outside school. It needs to be put in the education system that all syllabi must have some form of financial education in it, especially high school and college students.
5) Qualitative Intelligence. This is an area of research within Artificial Intelligence (AI) that automates reasoning about continuous aspects of the physical world, such as space, time, and quantity, for the purpose of problem solving and planning. Numerical values are avoided and qualitative values are used instead (e.g., high, low, zero, rising, falling, etc.). Qualitative reasoning creates non-numerical descriptions of physical systems and their behavior. An example is observing pouring rain and the steadily rising water level of a river, which is sufficient information to take action against possible flooding without knowing the exact water level, the rate of change, or the time the river might flood.
6) Quantitative Intelligence. This is the breadth and depth of a person’s quantitative or numerical knowledge. Gq is largely acquired through the investment of other abilities primarily during formal educational experiences. Gq represents an individual’s store of acquired mathematical knowledge. It is safe to say that someone with mathematical knowledge also has quantitative intelligence.
I realize that the beauty of God’s creation can be further appreciated after understanding how everyone operates at their best, particularly when it comes to working together. To truly increase your intelligence I believe acquiring at least one or more of another kind of intelligence in addition to the one you already have will help in that regard. The most of effective way to do that is by finding out which one goes together with the one you have. Spatial intelligence can link well with Creative intelligence and so does Linguistic Intelligence since they are all in the art department. In part 2 I will talk about how understanding our learning styles plays a part in knowing we are. At the end of the day, it does make a big difference in how we value ourselves when we know each other’s intelligences. They must never be limited to only Logic-Mathematical Intelligence.