If you have ever done an intelligence test, be it a quick online one or an institutionalized one, the results may have left you confused or, at least, in wonder. How can human intelligence be measured, anyway?
It is but a question that has been troubling the most genius psychologists and philosophers and all others interested in the matter of human intelligence since old time. We usually identify intelligence with our intellect, which could be seen a mental capacity characteristic to all humans.
On the other hand, there are other forms of life that have been argued to be intelligent.
Animals, such as dolphins, crows, chimpanzees and some others have been discovered to possess unusual level of intelligence, compared to other animals. This is a sensitive and fragile field of thinking and exploring the world. Measuring intelligence has always been a controversial subject.
Questions of race and gender and even nationality have been proposed as factors that play some role in the level of intelligence, but these are, indeed, things no one should take lightly and dwell upon them breeding eventual misunderstandings and potential discriminations.
Such things did take place in the past. Use of Army intelligence tests out of military service, upon the end of the First World war is a good example on how IQ test could be used for bad purposes or, at least, with bad consequences.
To define intelligence is not an easy task. It is the best to start from simplistic, yet very fitting and understandable ideas. Genius minds often come with easiest solutions.
Stephen Hawking, a renowned genius of our age, said that our intelligence represents our mean of adapting to changes we experience. It is entirely true, if you take it simply as that. We operate by using our intellect, in order to understand the world and somehow fit into it.
In addition, we are capable of changing the conditions ourselves, at least to some degree.
That said, our intellect and our intelligence do not serve us only to passively adapt, but actively to create environment that would satisfy our needs. It is just so amazing thing!
Intelligence is about learning, for its greatest part, but not necessarily in the academic sense. Our intellect makes us learn from experience.
It does not mean you have to be perfectly smart, if you are intelligent; all of us are intelligent, in the basic sense. Making mistakes is not something intellect should prevent, but it makes us aware of mistakes and turns those into lessons that we could later use to our advantage.
That saying, human intelligence is all in the service of progress. It is a very optimistic view on the intelligence, as such.
However, this tells about practical side of our intellect and not exactly about the nature of intelligence. Intelligence is a complex of many different aspects, claim those who support the theory of multifold intelligence.
In this regard, IQ tests are highly disputable; they cannot tell about all aspects and, therefore, about full capacities one possess.
The Complexity and Aspects of Intelligence
Human intelligence is multifold and complex. People usually talk about being intelligent as it being the same with being well educated or simply being smart. These are not the same things.
According to multifold approach, human intelligence actually consists of different aspects of intelligence, of types of intelligence that all have something in common.
They all share universal intellectual capacity people have, but they could be analyzed and even evaluated separately. Let us give an example. You may have a person that is an incredibly eloquent scholar, brilliant with words.
On the other side, you may have a talented artist, who is not exactly a spokesperson nor does he or she write perfectly. Each of those individuals may present with less ‘gift’ in another’s’ area of brilliance.
At the same time, both are intellectual beings. This only means that their intelligences may be seen as different; this does not mean that one is more intelligent as a whole.
In multiple intelligence theory, it is said that each one of us possesses the same types of intelligence, but those are not equally developed. For one part, it could be associated with the idea of inherited intelligence.
Studies have proved that people usually present with similar type and/or level of intelligence as their biological parents, even if they were separated since birth. Other factors would also affect the further presentation of one’s intelligence.
We could see this as having advantages and disadvantages in certain areas. What are those types of intelligence we talk about? Here they are.
They include verbal and linguistic intelligence, visual and spatial intelligence, mathematical and logical intelligence, physical and kinesthetic intelligence, musical and rhythmic intelligence, natural and naturalistic intelligence, spiritual and existential intelligence and moral intelligence, later added.
This approach could challenge the reliability of IQ tests. IQ tests do not take into consideration all of these types of intelligence.
For example, no IQ test would reveal if you were a talented painter or a singer, if you are very agile or handy person et cetera. They do not tell anything about person’s additional skills and talents.
Sure thing is that IQ test could tell about one’s potentials in terms of educational development and academic achievements.
Factors that have also been discussed much are those of emotional intelligence and of social intelligence. Emotional intelligence, otherwise presented as EQ, is, by some, considered crucial, even more important than IQ.
Emotional and social response definitely affect how one’s IQ would manifest in reality. To speak solely about the IQ score as a guarantee of life success does not stand firm ground.
IQ Tests and High Results
This leads us to IQ tests. The first IQ test was developed more than a century ago, by the French psychologists Alfred Binet.
This test proposed the mental age category, instead of physical age category, which was a major breakthrough into understanding the intelligence development, to some degree.
However, Binet himself was aware that his test did take into consideration only some parameters and that it cannot be a measure of human intelligence as a whole.
The most widely used IQ tests are WIS tests, Wechsler Intelligence Scale group of tests. The current edition of WAIS (Wechsler’s Adult Intelligence Scale) is the fourth one, while the next one is planned for 2020. All IQ tests offer a classification ranges.
Most of them set an average score to be around 100, with standard deviation of 15 points.
According to WAIS scale, these are the ranges. Below 50 is severe retardation; we cannot speak not nearly about normal intellectual functioning. Such individuals are dependable of others and, sadly, this range often presents with visible physical disabilities and short life expectancy.
The next range is from 50 to 70 and it stands for moderate retardation. Range from 71 to 80 is for borderline deficient, while 80 to89 is below average. Average scores, as in many other scales are from 90 to 109.
Scores above these, 110 to 119 are ‘high average’, while 120 to 129 are those of ‘superior intelligence’.
Scores above are high and on some scales; score of 130 and up stands for ‘gifted’. Scores from 140 and above are, on old scales, ‘genius’ or ‘near genius’.
Much and nothing has been said about actual life functioning of high IQ scorers. IQ score of 143 is amongst very high scores, if not amongst genius scores. People like to ask and surf the internet about whether theirs is a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ score.
A score of 143 is by all means good, while it is difficult to mark any score as definitely ‘bad’. It is just a wrongly used terminology.
IQ 143 Score meaning
What does it mean to have IQ 143? It qualifies one for Mensa membership, except if Cattell’s scale was used as a criterion. According to the scale and this scale only, IQ of 148 is a starting point.
On WAIS scales, scores above 130 qualify one for Mensa. Mensa is, as you probably know, the widest and the largest international organization gathering highly intelligent people.
There are literally no specific requirements, except for having an IQ score that corresponds the criteria for admission.
If you wonder about what does such an IQ score means in reality, let us point out how IQ standards alone cannot tell much about that.
The very fact that one can fall under one category on one scale and in another on the other scale, even though most of those are similar, considering that each category is described as of these or those capabilities, tells that you cannot rely solely on the number.
It does definitely mean that you are an individual of a higher score than many in your surroundings.
This is where other factors step in. A person with a high score, such as 143, could become a real loner and to feel alone and unsatisfied. People with higher IQ tend to think more about too many things and worry overly.
However, this is not set in the stone; you may be a highly visionary and optimistic individual who will do the best to use this given intelligence. It depends on a person and that could be taken as the only real explanation.
In addition, different people with high IQs of the similar score could perform in a completely different manner. One could be a quick thinker, brilliant logician, very executive and practical.
The other one may think slower, since they tend to dwell on other details and analyze things in a completely different manner. One could be extremely eloquent, another very quiet. And yet, both could have the same score.
Emotional intelligence, personality traits, sensibilities outer factors and given, inborn talents and passions will all play a role in real life manifestation of any score, definitely including a score high as 143.
The best advice is to find your interests and focus and invest your time and your passions into doing the.
That is, indeed, a recipe for a happy life, especially for a high scorer who definitely expresses certain potentials in the area of intellectual abilities and at least certain aspects of our intelligent being.