In order to see how IQ scores could be taken as a value of human intelligence, we have to see into the very nature of human intelligence or, at least, try to define it.
We would like to explore some rather interesting ideas on human intelligence so to better understand where IQ scores stand and what they could reveal. Human intelligence is a complex field of study. For decades, experts have been trying to figure out what it actually means.
One of appealing and plausible explanations on human intelligence is probably not exactly a definition, but it offers perfectly understandable point of view.
Intelligence is, as one great scientists has said (and many others would agree), our ability to adjust ourselves to different circumstances around or, simp0ly put, to adapt to changes. It is, we could say, our specific defense and survival mechanism.
While animals, whom we emphasize to be different from, although animals are far superiors in some other aspects, perhaps, act mostly out of instincts, we act out of intellect. This would be a very simplified view on life, though useful in order to understand how our intelligence functions. We have an intellectual and not instinctive ‘attitude’ towards life.
Some even claim that our intelligence compensates the lack of instincts we have lost during the evolution process. Be it true or not, we definitely use our intelligence in order to adapt to different circumstances.
However, it would be wrong to say that we only adapt to changes passively-actively. We also make changes ourselves. We affect the circumstances by our own inventiveness.
Our inventiveness must originate from our intellectual capacities. They ability to learn, to comprehend and reason, to use gathered knowledge and mold up into something entirely new is inventive. Coming up with genius ideas is inventive.
Making changes so to make our life comfortable and pleasant exceeds mere survival. Therefore, our intelligence could be seen as a powerful creative force.
Are we then the most creative and the most intelligent living beings in the universe? We have no idea. So far, we have not discovered other form of intelligent life. It would be more correct to admit that we have not discovered other intelligent life as ours own. Some futuristic theorists offer an interesting way of thinking about the intelligence. They tell we are still on a very low level of intellectual existence.
Yes, you heard right. There could be intelligences far superior compared to our own. There could be some ethereal forces with perception much wider open than ours. However, the same theorists also say we would probably one day evolve to such new, up-leveled form of existence.
It is an interesting thought, if nothing more. In any case, it inspires completely new approach to human intelligence as a whole.
How to define Intelligence?
Basic definition usually sticks with some common places. Dictionaries usually label intelligence as our ability to gather knowledge and to apply it in practice.
So far, so good. It is a true definition, but to vague, we must say.
It does not actually help us evaluate or measure intelligence, as the case is with IQ tests. Human intelligence is everything we have mentioned, our ability to adapt, our ability to adjust, our ability to invent and create various things in theory.
Our intelligence also helps us execute our ideas in reality, but other skills must be involved. Yes, we should also think about skills.
Basic tests focus on several parameters and do not include many of very useful potentials of a human being. IQ tests are supposed to revel or at least give an insight into someone’s potentials for life success.
As long as we hold on to academic success, education and professional achievements closely associated with it, we could use IQ tests are valid. However, they are not as reliable if we take the very idea of life success.
The problem is with defining intelligence and seeing it as either a strictly logical thinking parameter or a complex of multiple skills, talents and general intelligence.
In this regard, the theory of multiple intelligences must be taken into consideration. The theory of multiple intelligences challenges IQ tests by describing them as to narrow, to strict.
They indeed are narrow, because they do not evaluate nor consider additional skills and potentials that as well might bring one success in life and make that person definitely above the average in certain field.
IQ scores label people as average intelligent, below average and above average. While it could be applicable to general intelligence defined by several parameters, it does not correspond with the idea of life success.
It unfairly labels people who have some exquisite gifts as, say, ‘unintelligent’, to describe it this raw.
For example, it would be perhaps very unfair to say someone is unintelligent if that person was not a brilliant logician, yet demonstrates amazing artistic talent. He or she could be high above average in that field, just as one brilliant mathematician could be below average in terms of art, music or else.
The problem is that we are still not quite sure which parameters should be considered.
While adherents of IQ testing say multiple intelligences theory, one that takes into consideration everything from logical thinking to physical agility or musical talent, or even individual’s morality, is too wide, loose and vague, the theory of multiple intelligences argues IQ tests are limiting and narrow. Perhaps both are right and the answer is somewhere in between.
Actually, a combination of both approaches would probably make for a decent definition on intelligence and help us evaluate it. In any case, both of those are helpful in understanding what certain IQ scores represent and how do they manifest in real life.
Besides the complexity of intelligence, besides general intelligence we all posses, there are additional factors to consider.
IQ Scores and Real Life Functioning
Emotional and social intelligence are definitely to be taken into account. All previously mentioned is very important.
Thinking about one’s IQ score, it would be impossible to avoid that individual’s personality traits and emotional intelligence, and social behavior. Attitude matters a great deal.
Although levels of intelligence to some point correspond to how one would behave in social situation or understand the world, it is but too loose.
Personality structure would greatly affect one’s overall attitude towards the world and thus the actual manifestation of his or hers intelligence score.
To begin with, no chance that there were two persons of the same IQ score whose lives are the same or who think and act the same way. Each person’s actual manifestation of IQ score will be affected by that person’s traits.
Social relations that must be associated with someone’s emotional intelligence would play a major role in real life functioning of a person of any score. To have a high score does not automatically make one successful; we have seen many examples in history and very likely in our lives.
The question is also what the success represents. In common terms, people usually talk about career success.
In this regard, it is of great importance to take into account parameters such as social background, cultural and historical background, someone’s personal traits, emotional and social response and many more.
IQ score alone cannot stand for a determinant to someone’s potential for success and achievement.
He or she could achieve many in one field and not in the other and still think of him/herself successful. It could be exactly the opposite, of course. We would like to illustrate another problem.
For example, high intelligence is usually taken as being ‘smart’ and not easily manipulated or seduced or whatever so.
However, it is perfectly possible that you have a highly intelligent individual who is not self-confident and thus, easily susceptible to being manipulated. He or she could be naïve, which should not be mistaken for ‘stupid’, or simply incapable to resists because of the lack of will, although very aware of the situation.
It is but an example of how IQ score alone would not definitely predispose someone for being exceptionally successful in life. There is also a question whether the person wants to pursues some acknowledgement and be successful in common, public terms.
IQ score 119 Meaning
This IQ score falls under the range of ‘high average’, which is from 109 to 119. People within this range are capable of theoretical study, they are fit for college studies and they would easily obtain a BA degree.
This is a simplified example of what the score means in terms of education and basic parameters involved with understanding IQ scores. In reality, things would be different for each individual.
This is a high score, definitely, although not a super high one. It is nowhere close to Mensa, if it was what interests you. However, this high score has many advantages. First things first, IQ 119 is higher than average and yet not extraordinarily higher. Why is this positive?
It means that one with such a score could get along with a wide range of different people and find excitement in many areas of life. One with such a score could be intrigued by ideas of those of higher scores, but not as easily bored by opinions of those of average scores. This is, to say, a comfortable IQ.
People with higher scores often tend to over-think and worry too much, but this would perhaps not be as dramatic with score of 119. In fact, if an individual with score within this range employs his or her intelligence in a good way, there are fewer chances for becoming an over-thinker.
Of course, that would depend on a personality. This score is just below the next range on WAIS-IV scale, that of ‘superior intelligence’, meaning that you are somewhere in between. Perhaps it would be good to re-test, because there is a very thin line between these ranges.
In any case, this makes you above the average in terms of perceptual reasoning, problem solving skills and basic logic. In practice, things will be different for different individuals.
Usually people do not pay much attention on whether it was just below the next range or not and they simply do not take IQ score as set in stone.
If we talk about success, this score definitely qualifies one for higher education and it would the best way to employ your intelligence level.
However, your personal success and happiness would entirely depend on what you want to achieve, not what your score ‘predicts’.