In common talk, people usually identify being intelligent with being smart. A highly intelligent person is usually considered an intellectual, a person involved with academic work, someone who studies, someone with high education et cetera.
However, intelligence is possibly much more than that and, at the same time, something less than that. This might sound a bit confusing, so let us try to explain it.
Human intelligence, taken the most simplified way, comes in place of our instincts, as compared to ‘natural’ instincts animals use in order to survive.
Of course, we are not deprived of instincts on behalf of our intelligence, but some authors argue our intelligence does come at the cost of our instincts. Simply speaking, we could even take intelligence as our original instinct, our survival mechanism.
If you think about it, you will easy realize that we use our intellectual capacities in order to survive. In addition, we use it for much more than mere survival; we will come to that later on.
One famous scientist has said that our intelligence represents our specific ability to adapt to changes. That is very correct; we use our mental ability in order to adapt to various circumstances.
Through perceptional reasoning, learning, processing information we adapt to the world around. We do not make the same mistake all over again (on a greater plan) and in general, we progress, because we adapt and survive.
However, there is one peculiar thing about our mental capacities. They present with imaginative, creative and inventive potential. It makes us not only those who adapt, but creator of changes.
This specific ability of human mind is something more than pure reason, something nineteenth century poets and authors greatly admired and praised in their works, after the age of the Reason, the Enlightenment.
Both aspects of our mind and its capabilities are amazing. We do not only adapt, but we adjust circumstances to our own needs. The more intelligent mind, the greater chance there was for some extraordinary inventions.
Of course, things would never be this dynamic and exciting, if we were all of the same intelligence, if we were all exquisite in everything. We would never talk about this, if it had been so. Well, it is not.
Exceptionally intelligent people are but a few and it is the way it perhaps should be. Their ideas change the world on a bigger plan, while ideas of people of lower levels also change it in its own way.
What Constitutes Human Intelligence?
In common talk, people would label very intelligent people they consider smart, quick minded, people who learn with easy and have no difficulties obtaining high degrees in terms of education and generally those who are interested in academic career.
However, one would ask if those were, indeed, good parameters to decide on whether a person was intelligent or not. To some authors, this approach seems too narrow.
Does human intelligence consist of more than parameters commonly taken in IQ testing? Was there a difference between one’s inborn intelligence and acquired? Could we ever talk about something as acquired intelligence?
To be sure, intelligence is inherited, as studies have proved. It turns out that people, adult ones, who grew up separately from their biological parents usually present with the same or very similar level of intelligence, although they have never been in touch with their mother and father.
This evidence proves intelligence is for a great part inherited. We could talk about it as being genetic. Is there a part of intelligence that is acquired through experience, learning and experiment?
What is acquired is knowledge and information, that is for certain. One’s intellectual capacities are, probably, not acquired, rather developed under specific circumstances.
What we propose is that an individual has an inborn potential for specific IQ, while the course and the level of its development would depend on many factors.
For example, one’s socio cultural background would affect the degree of that person’s employment of intellectual capacities. It also does not mean that if you do not use it, your IQ degrades. It simply remains unused.
Intelligence is one’s mental capacity and potential for perceptual reasoning, verbal comprehension, logical thinking, for solving problems et cetera. Most IQ tests rely on these parameters.
Dictionaries simply define human intelligence as mental ability of gathering and using knowledge. There is truth in both of the approaches. Some authors, however, propose additional parameters, criteria and even types of intelligences.
The Complexity of Human Intelligence
Human intelligence also represents our ability to adapt to different conditioned. We use intelligence along or even in place of instincts, as instincts in animals. Our intelligence is our survival equipment, but it is also much more.
We do not only adapt to (natural) changes, but we make new conditions. Our mind is creative. We remodel conditions given and create our own.
This is, by all means, an incredible potential of the human mind. Our creations do not fit into the typical survival frame. We create things and ideas not only to survive, but also to satisfy our inner needs, our emotional and our intellectual needs.
Perhaps all that we could consider things that represent progress as a whole, though some things are not intended for basic survival.
It is here, then, that we could ask one of the most frequently asked questions on the complexity of the intelligence.
Could it be more than rational thinking, logic, perceptual reasoning alone? Could different skills and additional capacities of individuals be enlisted amongst constitutive elements of intelligence? What could be said about elements and aspects that common IQ tests do not take into account?
According to theorists and authors who propose the idea of multiple intelligences, parameters IQ tests use are all together limiting, especially if we look at IQ scores in light of life success, progress and achievements.
First, the category of success is complex in itself, but it commonly refers to academic and career success as related to one another.
Second, what about talents and skills that do not necessarily fall under the ‘being smart’ category? For example, what if someone was an original painter or sings beautifully’ What about individuals who master sports or are very handy or else?
Of course, general intelligence or that ‘smart’ intelligence is associated even with these, but could these be considered essential element of intelligence, seen as a complex?
The theorists of multiple intelligences suggest eighth types of intelligences, amongst which those ‘logical’ and additional ones, usually labeled as talents or specific capabilities unrelated to intelligence as a whole.
However, this approach argues each person must have potentials for each of the types. It depends on individual case which ones would be the best developed and which not.
Each of the types could be independently observed, though all are interconnected through something one could call general intelligence. Those who stand behind the conventional IQ testing disapprove such an approach, claiming it was too broad and too loose.
Adherents of multiple intelligences theory claim IQ tests are too narrow. The combination of the two would probably answer the question of the intelligence the best way.
High and Genius IQ Scores
While the theory of multiple intelligences does not allow strict scales of intelligence levels, IQ tests does, focusing on several parameters, considered essential to understanding the intelligence.
In IQ tests, an average score is around 100 points on the scales and there is a standard deviation to 15 points. One of the most widely used IQ test is WAIS test; currently, WAIS-IV.
A common designation on IQ scale divides scores above the average range into following categories. Scores from 115 to 124 are above average, scores from 125 to 134 are ‘gifted’, scores from 135 to 144 are ‘very gifted’, while those from 145 to 164 are ‘genius’.
Scores from 165 to 179 are ‘high genius’ and those from 180 to 200 are ‘highest genius’ scores. There are variations in scales, but this is a good example that would serve our purposes.
The old Lewis Terman scale would label anyone with a score above 140 as a genius. Bout a century back into past, it was very common that anyone who presents with intelligence above the average was considered a genius.
What about these exceptionally high IQ scores and what does a score of a genius mean? Is it only numbers. Certainly not.
Authors usually take Albert Einstein as a good example of a true genius. His score was around 160. Some other notable thinkers presented with exceptionally high scores (René Descartes, Darwin, Goethe are only few).
However, Einstein was one labeled real genius, because, as some authors suggest, his intelligence was a combination of great intellect and incredible imagination, but also intuition.
Therefore, we cannot say only number on an IQ scale would make one true genius. Nevertheless, a very high score would most definitely make a person one in a million, to say.
High scorers are people of exceptional perceptual reasoning capable not only of drawing conclusions from materials given, but capable of coming up to completely original and new solutions.
One of the things that make one a genius, beside his or hers score is the fact that such a person would never stop asking questions and searching for answers. Indeed, curiosity is a typical characteristic of people with very high scores.
They need to satisfy their thirst for knowledge and they are interested into delving deep into complex and crucial questions humanity still has no answers to.
It is highly intelligent people who would dwell on questions such as origins of human existence, the purpose of our existence, the purpose of our intelligence and generally all such ‘big’ questions considering humanity as a whole.
IQ 142 Score Meaning
Let us talk about this exceptional score. Score of 142 is, according to Lewis Terman, a ‘genius’ or ‘near genius score’. On the scale given above, it is near genius score, labeled as ‘very gifted’.
However, we have seen from the Einstein example that genius means more than just a score. In any case, IQ score 142 definitely stands out and makes you a rarely intelligent individual. How would such a high score affect your life?
Does high score affect personality? Of course it does. Exceptionally high scores raise thousands of questions regarding humanity, the world, society, progress, deal with all sorts of abstract ideas, come up to original answers and solutions.
Such a high IQ is in need of constant intellectual stimulation and it is very likely an individual with IQ 142 would pursue an academic career. Not only they would eagerly pursue it, but also they would easily attain high degrees.
IQ 142 corresponds with PhD degree. People with such a high IQ present with exceptional capability of abstract linguistic and logical thinking. They would easily go through complex theoretical materials and propose completely new ideas.
Their view on life is wide and deep. However, many would emphasize the downside of such a high IQ, but it depends on an individual’s case.
People of exceptional IQs, especially this high, are by definition loners. They are loners mostly because they, in fact, do not need that much interaction, considering their deep and rich inner life.
They should not be mistaken for some misanthropes or so. They could be greatly interested in humanity, but their ways are different from those of average population.
High IQ makes one stand out and such a person would not find any satisfaction in common talk; it could not excite them enough.
Perhaps more important thing is their overall attitude towards life, not the factor of the interaction. Imagine the difference between a highly intelligent pessimist and a highly intelligent optimist, for example.