Thinking about human intelligence, one would always say the intelligence is what makes us different from the rest of the living life. While it is true, it is rather that our ‘type’ or our ‘level’ of intelligence make us so different and, in our own account, special.
There have been numerous approaches to understanding human intelligence and attempts on defining it.
Say first, how we got the intelligence? Human’s intellectual being is a puzzle that would probably haunt us for more ages to come.
Since ancient times, people have been trying to find out how we got this intellectual point of view; who or what gave us our intellectual being. Was it the deity, were it seemingly chaotic cosmic forces?
Was it a matter of physics and could it be explained through exact sciences? Others seek answers in abstract and spiritual; God was the one who gave us being. Oh, but we ate from the Tree of Knowledge and got all of our knowledge, for good and for bad.
At times, we feel as we were truly blessed to have our intellectual beings; in other times, however, we even think of it as a curse.
It must be certain dynamic of this world. Nevertheless, we will never stop asking, which is good. At the end of the day, it seems it is how intelligence functions. Okay, but why we have it? Of what use is it to us?
Well, although a straightforward definition would be problematic to purpose, there are some rather appealing attempts.
Defining Human Intelligence
According to one of the greatest physicists of our time, human intelligence, in fact, represents our specific ability to adapt to changes.
One theory even claims that our intellectual capabilities come in place of our poorer physical potentials (compared to animals that seem physically ‘fitter’ of survival). In both of these ideas prevails a notion of human intelligence seen as a mean of survival.
Intelligence definitely help us function in the world, avoid danger, adapt ourselves to the environment, natural, but also one human made.
It further tells that we do not only use our intelligence to adapt to the environment, but also to create the environment; in other words, our intelligence is inventive.
We adjust surroundings to our needs, inventing our own changes. So far, it sounds simply and understandable.
Moreover, intelligence plays a tremendously important role in the process of learning from experience. It is wrong to think of it simply as of one’s ability to learn theory, to be an excellent student or whatsoever.
Intelligence is not just being smart in academic terms, but clever in very physical sense. It means that an intelligent person would not repeat the same mistake over again. We learn from mistakes and make use of them.
It is different from what animals do. They certainly have an amount of intelligence, though they act more out of pure instinct.
We seem to have less natural instinct, but instinct that is more intellectual. It does sound paradoxical, though one could understand it as an illustration.
In other words, the intelligence has become our instinct. The intelligence by dictionary represents our mental ability to reason, to gather knowledge and apply the skills.
Complexity of Human Intelligence
The problem is that these ideas about intelligence and these attempts on defining it do not tell much about measuring intelligence, which is something many would deem unnecessary.
Measuring intelligence is problematic, since we cannot even define it. However, IQ tests have been in use for about a century and they serve some purpose, mainly in the area of education and profession.
Even taken so, IQ testing is limited only to several fields. For example, common IQ test could not tell if someone was a gifted singer or an exceptional painter. IQ tests observe only several parameters, focusing on logical thinking, verbal comprehension, problem-solving skills, memorizing, and perceptual reasoning.
They could tell about someone’s logical brilliance, but not of someone’s exceptional voice or their talent for, say, painting, his or hers athletic potential or else.
Some claim these should never be taken as related to the idea of intelligence, but then it would be wrong to take IQ tests as predictors of life success, which they are commonly used for.
Moreover, someone’s personality traits, socio-cultural background, emotional intelligence and more would all play an interesting role even in expressing and making use of their logical, verbal and overall reasoning gifts.
It is very possible that a highly intelligent individual could be a slow thinker, which does not mean that a person is ‘slow’ in a negative connotation.
Simply, such a person loves to think through things in detail, he or she is patient, non-impulsive, but comes up to brilliant ideas in time. Others are quick-minded and instantly give excellent practical solutions.
This is why we have to consider the complexity of the intelligence and not to take it is a simple category.
One interesting idea is the theory of multiple intelligences, frequently criticized as being too broad and including elements that should not even be discussed under the category of intelligence.
Nevertheless, this proposal could be of much use into understanding how our intelligence functions and why IQ tests should be taken up with caution.
Theory of multiple intelligences claims there were different types of intelligences all connected by the common denominator of general intelligence.
These types of intelligences are following ones: logical or mathematical intelligence, verbal or linguistic intelligence, visual spatial intelligence, musical rhythmic intelligence, bodily kinesthetic intelligence, natural or naturalistic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence.
Spiritual or existential intelligence and moral intelligence were later proposed as separate categories. Each of these could be evaluated separately, though behind them all lies general intelligence.
The base of this theory says that each person has them all, though not all equally distributed. Each person starts with all potentials, but they are developed differently.
This complex makes one brilliant chemist, but poor in sports and another amazing singer, but not very mathematical type. This approach challenges IQ testing as a determinant of someone’s potentials to succeed in life and labeling people as being intelligent to this or that degree.
In other words, one person might be average in one skill, but high above average in another one. The problem is, as we have stated, that many of these parameters are not unanimously accepted as actual aspects or types of the intelligence.
On the other hand, supporters of this theory claim common IQ test and definitions those were based upon are too limiting.
Let us see into classification scales, since we talk about a score, as calculated and labeled in an IQ test. The most widespread test is WAIS, one from Wechsler Intelligence Scale family of tests.
WAIS is Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale; its four edition, WAIS-IV is currently in use, while the fifth will soon be released, after finishing the data collecting process. According to WAIS scale, here are ranges of the scores.
All scores that are bellow 69 are considered ‘extremely low’ intelligence. With such scores, we cannot talk about independent functioning. Scores of the range from 70 to 79 are considered ‘borderline’, while scores higher than these, 80 to 89 are just ‘below average’.
Scores that fall under the range from 90 to 109 are ‘average’. Average scores are set around 100 in most of the tests and a standard deviation of 15 is introduced.
Scores above this range, 109 to 119 is ‘high average’, while the next one, 120 to 129 is ‘superior intelligence’. Scores starting from 130 are ‘very superior’ or ‘gifted’ in another scales.
There has been a lot of discussion what high scores actually represent and what a ‘genius’ score was. Some propose 140, others 160, but there were other suggestions. The average score is, in fact, what has always been the hardest to define.
Average score simply means that the greatest majority of population shares this range. Up to 70% of people are within the average range, while the range itself does not speak much about individual capacities.
It simply shows that person is of average reasoning, average logic, average problem-solving skills, average verbal comprehension etc., meaning he or she has all of these in common with others.
IQ 112 Score Meaning
IQ score 112 is above the average score and it falls under the category of ‘high average’ in WAIS-IV system. What does it mean in practice?
If we turn to real life functioning position, this score suggests one is perfectly capable of learning from theoretical materials, capable of sty studying in college style and most likely to get a BA degree without much problems during the studies.
Of course, it does not prevent one aspiring higher degrees. On the contrary, it opens up new possibilities, as some experts claim, IQ scores could even be improved.
In fact, it probably means that, if given right opportunities and setting, one could better use all of the capacities and potentials he or she already has.
IQ 112 makes you above the average population, meaning you process things more easily, wonder about the ultimate ground of existence more than other people, think through things with more interest.
Score 112 does not qualify you for Mensa nor it makes you so different from others, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
You are smarter by many, but you do not stand out that much. This is a favorable position, because it suggests you have means to express yourself and your ideas so that other people may understand you; you have the ability to channel your brilliant through common forms.
It is, in fact, an amazing thing, that would probably contribute top your future success, whatever your goals might be.
In any case, we could conclude that IQ score 112 is a 0good’ one. Of course, your social and emotional intelligence would play a great role.
There are no two people scoring 112 on a test that would express their intellectual abilities in the same manner; this is where other factors step in, from within or from around.
Human intelligence is, indeed, a complex or, if taken as a simple category, it must be influenced by a complex of other factors.