If one would ask you to define human intelligence, how would you do it? Human intelligence is a complex subject, difficult to define, though not impossible to describe or to point out some rather important features or characteristics of it.
Human intelligence is what makes us very different from other living beings on our earth; something we love to brag about, as we believe it makes us supreme beings.
Some animal species possess impressive level of intelligence, compared to our own, but they are nowhere near ours. However, they have skills and instincts that we could ever hardly match.
Some even explain the development of our intelligence as one peculiar kind of survival mechanism. Our intelligence has, to say, became our instinct. It compensates basic instincts animals live by.
If intelligence was, indeed, a survival mechanism, how does it function? How does it fulfill the task? Well, even the greatest scientists and geniuses of our day agree on the idea of intelligence helping us survive and leading us to progress.
Human intelligence is often defined as an ability to gather knowledge and to use that knowledge in real life.
It is a common dictionary definition of the intelligence as it is and it is true. Our intelligence helps us adapt to different circumstances we might experience in life, be it natural conditions or men made environment, or both.
We learn through our experience, but not only by trick and trial and instincts, but through thinking about it. We seek ways to adapt to changes, in order to allow ourselves enough space to grow and develop.
In addition, we make changes ourselves, which is even more impressive. We think through things we experience and learn and then create something entirely new that would suit us the best way.
In that process, we change the environment and our conditions. Humans are not passively involved with the existence. Even animals are not that passive, although we tend to identify living by the nature rules with simply adapting to those.
However, our intellectual power to imagine, create and invent new things that would adjust the conditions to our needs, while at the same time we adapt ourselves to those conditions, exceeds that of the animals kingdom.
Many would say we ruin the earth through our super intellectual progress; well, if it were so, it would hardly be in our nature to do so.
Defining Human Intelligence
Let us not lose track and get lost into the metaphysical. We will focus on the idea of intelligence, since we have at least to try defining it, so to understand what IQ tests and IQ scores mean and reveal.
As we have said, most dictionaries state that intelligence is an ability to gather and apply knowledge. It is true, of course, but it is an insufficient definition. IQ tests usually hold on several parameters, in order to evaluate someone’s intelligence.
Those parameters are more or less verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory skill and task processing skill, as in the most widely known WAIS tests.
While those elements could definitely be seen as some parameters of the intelligence, the question is whether they were enough or not.
Some argue that these are too strictly determined parameters and that intelligence must be a complex, at the same time affected by different factors, of which some are outer factors.
Human intelligence is also inherited; we do get born with certain intellectual capabilities that develop while we are growing up. The studies have shown that great part of our intelligence gets passed down to us through genetic materials.
People who have been living separated from their biological parents, never ever exposed to their influence, present with very similar level of intelligence.
However, the conditions of growing up would most likely affect someone’s intelligence or, better to say, intellectual development. It does not mean the inborn intelligence would become higher or lower in itself, but the potential might or might not develop to the fullest.
It depends on whether you would use all the capacity or not. This idea confirms the thesis of human intelligence being unchangeable in its essence.
It is even more complicated than that. What to do with personality traits and emotional response? Those could have to do with intelligence, but it is unclear to what degree and in what way.
It is a common phenomenon that highly intelligent individuals are also those who worry too much, but it is not a rule. They could be very satisfied and self-confident, as well as others and vice versa.
Emotional intelligence is claimed by some authors as even more important than IQ, if we take tests as predictors of life success, which is their purpose.
Emotional intelligence would definitely play an important role in actual manifestation of someone’s intelligence level or actual, practical use of all the intellectual potential of an individual. Needless to say, the complexity of intelligence must be taken into account.
Do we have Multiple Intelligences?
One intriguing question regarding the nature of our intelligence is whether it was a single category or it was a complex of many layers and aspects. Perhaps it was a bit of both.
The theory of multiple intelligences offers an interesting alternative to simplified definitions, as it observes intelligence on a larger plan. It has often been claimed as too broad, to loose and without sufficient proofs.
Nevertheless, it helps in understanding the complexity of the question of the intelligence. Human intelligence, according to this theory, is a complex of many types of intelligences that are connected by something we could label as general intelligence.
This complex consists of several types of intelligences, eight, to be precise. Two more were suggested.
These intelligences are not what those who support conventional IQ test reliability would even call intelligences. These types are verbal and linguistic intelligence, mathematical and logical intelligence, which correspond with those IQ tests observe.
However, there are also physical kinesthetic intelligence, musical intelligence, visual spatial intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, natural intelligence and even spiritual and moral intelligence.
Some of those we usually consider talents and not actually intellectually based. However, these all have in common some general intelligence.
The thing with this approach is that it is more flexible than IQ test in evaluating someone’s capacities. It rather allows one to be high above average in one field, while average or even slightly below in the other.
For example, a singer with an angelic voice must be on top in the musical sphere, while the same person could lack mathematical or even logical comprehension.
It would be ‘unfair’ to say that person was of average intelligence, if they score average on some conventional IQ test. Better to say, it would be very wrong to label such an individual as an average person, which people tend to do, if they rely solely on IQ test results.
IQ tests are not about being average or non-average personality, but they evaluate only certain aspects that constitute one as a whole person.
IQ Scores and Real Life
In reality, the actual manifestation of any score would depend on several factors, from IQ score as it is to outer factors, such as social background, living conditions et cetera, and, of course, emotional intelligence, personality traits and so on.
The attitude towards life matters a lot. You could be super intelligent, but lacking ambition, or average intelligent, but super ambitious.
The case is that, as with everything else, people are different. There have never been two same persons with the same IQ score. Score ranges are more or less similarly divided and described on IQ scales.
If you fall under the certain range, it could tell about your potentials regarding education and profession that requires academic education.
It is all fine, but no IQ test would reveal or confirm all of your capacities. It would not show your talents, which might play an important role in your life as a whole.
However, certain scores are associated with certain basic intellectual capacities. They could in fact help you even invest in those talents IQ tests do not reveal.
For example, if you have a high score (and today we are talking about high scores, such as 123), you could find more efficient and impressive way of employing your talents. Therefore, high score would help you ‘profit’ from your talents.
The question of IQ scores as predictors of life success is disputable. It is true that high scores open many opportunities in terms of academic life and career.
However, the question is what an individual wants, what excites him or her, is he or she ambitious and wants to pursue high places or not.
Personal attitude towards the world, the people and, more than anything else, towards one’s own needs and desires would eventually decide the life path and not the IQ alone.
IQ 123 Score Meaning
IQ score this high falls under the category of ‘superior intelligence’ according to WAIS-IV scale. Just to mention, WIS tests (Wechsler Intelligence Scale) are the most widespread IQ tests’ family.
WAIS-IV is the active fourth edition of the test, while the next version is expected in 2020. According to some other scales, IQ 123 is ‘above average’. In any case, it is considered a high score, within the range from 120 to 129.
What does this range mean? In terms of success and academic life, this high score corresponds with MA degree.
It means that a person with such a high score is capable of extensive, complex theoretical approaches and scientific research. He or she may come up with some original conclusions and very well comprehend complicated theories.
They could pursue high education and higher positions related to their academic successes. However, IQ score 123 does not qualify one for Mensa, if it was what you wanted to know. People often ask if their score was ‘good’.
Well, IQ score 123 is a good score, in terms of one’s capacities for intellectual development and progress in life, in terms of academic circles and career related.
Whether it would be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in one’s particular case, depends solely on one’s personal experience. There are people who claim high score has brought them only worries and boredom, while others pursued high goals and achieved what they wanted, eager to employ their intelligence.
It is advised one with score of 123 should employ their intellectual capacities to the fullest.
You do not have to aspire to be a notable scientist or whatever of the sort, if it was not in your nature.
However, the thing is that people with higher scores really do think more than an average intelligent person. Therefore, occupy you brilliant mind with things that interest you and exercise your talents.