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Intelligence is a relative term. In simple language, unless it is measured against a standard, no such thing exists in concrete terms. That is why it is called a construct, a theoretical creation that measures a conceptual, intellectual understanding. To measure intelligence, early psychologists like Alfred Binet designed a series of questions that could, in theory, measure a person’s ability to know and comprehend the word around them. The higher one scored on these exam questions, the high the supposed construct of intelligence. Most modern intelligence tests rely on a complex mathematical formula to calculate a score based on a series of questions in various categories. These categories often include areas such as: Comprehension, verbal ability, memory, retention of previously learned information, vocabulary, mathematics, etc. It is assumed that if one has high skills in these areas that overall ability, or intelligence, will be shown in day to day life. But, here is where the argument of measures of intelligence surface. Theorist like Gardner disagreed that intelligence was solely based on performance measures and knowledge. Instead, he indicated that intelligence is broad and multifaceted, far beyond typical measurements. Personal, musical, visual, bodily intelligence and others were proposed as standards of true intellectual capacity. Still others disagree that intelligence is measurable as we currently assess it. Instead, this latest group of theorists viewed intelligence as applied learning and insight. Wolfgang Kohler felt that insight showed the greatest intellectual evidence and still others stated that “common sense” is the Holy Grail of intelligence, as many pieces of research show that the highest functioning and creative members of our societies tend to be bright, (IQ 115-130) and not gifted and genius level.
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