Very long time ago people noticed the difference in mental capacities between different individuals. Still, the idea of somehow measuring the mental capacity of humans wasn’t realized until the beginning of the 20th century.
That happened when the French psychologist Alfred Binet was commissioned to create a test which could measure the mental capacity of children. He created the test with the aid of his assistant Theodor Simon.
The test was aiming to determine which children had lower mental capacities than the ones who were considered to have normal mental capacity. These tests were mainly created to test the person’s general cognitive abilities and skills.
In time, many different intelligence tests were created as well as many new types of intelligence.
Psychologists realized that it was impossible to define intelligence as just a set of cognitive skills and abilities and some general knowledge in certain areas.
They realized that intelligence was much more complex than that and they created many types of intelligence because they wanted to include skills and talents which individuals possess in various areas.
Still, most of the tests measure our general intelligence. General intelligence mostly refers to our cognitive skills, like reasoning, collecting information and learning from them, solving problems, etc. It can be considered a combination of different cognitive skills and general knowledge the person possesses.
Intelligence tests are used to determine the person’s IQ score or their intelligence quotient. They consist of different conceptual, quantitative, verbal, and perceptual tasks. Mostly, they are used to test the mental age of children by comparing it to the average age of children of the same age.
These tests are used by psychologists during recruitment processes when they want to determine whether their candidates possess the skills required for the job they are applying.
IQ scores are sometimes inaccurate. The reasons can be various and mostly they are related to the current psychical and physical state of the person who is doing the test. If the person isn’t able to concentrate and focus on the test the results cannot be accurate; that is why, IQ tests have tolerance scores which allow deviation of up to 20 points.
Another thing about IQ tests and IQ scores is that people can score differently on different IQ tests.
The majority of people (estimated 50% of the population) on the planet have average intelligence. According to the currently used Wechsler IQ scale, Average intelligence falls between IQ 90 and 109. Scores above 109 are above average and those below 90 are below average.
The Wechsler IQ scale ranges IQ scores in the following way:
- Above IQ 130 – is a category of Very Superior intelligence
- Between IQ 120 and 120 – is a category of Superior intelligence
- Between IQ 109 and 119 – is a category of High Average intelligence
- Between IQ 90 and 109 – is a category of Average intelligence
- Between IQ 80 and 90 – is a category of Low Average intelligence
- Between IQ 70 and 79 – is a category of Borderline intelligence
- Below IQ 69 – is a category of Extremely Low intelligence
IQ scores are not something to be discouraged or disappointed about if they don’t correspond to your expectations and beliefs about your mental capacity.
One test cannot be the ultimate proof of your abilities, especially because intelligence is such a complex category that cannot be easily comprised and placed in one test.
Regardless of that, intelligence isn’t a stagnant trait, and can be raised significantly, through education and other activities which stimulate your brain and increase its capacity, as well as activities which help you keep your body and brain in excellent condition to be able to perform in their fullest capacity.
Types of intelligence
We already said how intelligence is a concept that is very hard to define which is why there are many definitions and types of intelligence to cover all the possible traits and aspects, which can be an expression of the person’s intelligence.
General intelligence is the first defined and tested type of intelligence. It consists of cognitive abilities and general knowledge of the person. Most tests are still conceptualized to measure this type of intelligence. This intelligence type includes the person’s ability to adapt, reason, learn from experience, gain knowledge in general, etc.
Multiple intelligences or specific intelligences are types of intelligences which belong to the concept that intelligence cannot be defined as one type because it has various aspects which different people exhibit. Because of that many different types of intelligence were created:
Intrapersonal intelligence or self-smart
Interpersonal intelligence or people smart
Logical – mathematical intelligence or number/reasoning smart;
Musical intelligence or music smart
Verbal – linguistic intelligence or word smart
Visual – spatial intelligence or picture smart
Bodily – kinesthetic intelligence or bodily smart
Naturalist intelligence or nature smart
Crystalized intelligence is a type of intelligence that is created as a result of the person’s lifetime experiences. This type increases as the person ages because their wisdom and experience grow as they get older.
Fluid intelligence is a type of intelligence that represents the ability of an individual to quickly solve problems and find their way out of difficult situations in no time. This type decreases as the person grows older.
Emotional intelligence is a type of intelligence important for the person’s social interactions. It is the ability to understand and accept other people’s emotions, desires, motives, etc.
Creative intelligence is a type of intelligence that represents the person’s creative abilities, especially the ability to create new things and creatively solve problems.
Practical intelligence is a type of intelligences which represents the ability to practically deal with problems and issues of everyday life.
Intelligence quotient (IQ)
We mentioned that intelligence level is measured in IQ-s or intelligence quotients. IQ is determined through IQ tests.
IQ tests are made to determine the mental age of a person and compare it to the average age of a person who is the same age. That is how IQ is calculated. As we said, most IQ tests measure the level of general intelligence.
Because intelligence rises as the person gets older, there are different tests for each age group.
The tests should be regularly standardized and adjusted to the current level of intelligence on a generational scale because it is noted that with every new generation the level of intelligence rises, most likely due to the availability of information.
IQ formula is: mental age ÷ chronological age x 100 = IQ score. If a child or a person does an IQ test from an age group higher than theirs, and it does it as good as the average child of that group, that child is above average intelligent.
IQ tests aim to determine the person’s level of intelligence but these results cannot reveal the person’s intelligence 100% accurately. The main reason is the fact that they cannot encompass all aspects of intelligence.
For example if a person who doesn’t have the skills and abilities which are being tested through a certain test that person won’t have good scores on the test.
If the same person does a test which has tasks that suit better to this person’s skills and abilities, the results will be much higher.
Intelligence is not a score, although IQ score tells much about the person’s mental capacities.
Of course, it takes a lot more than mental ability to make great accomplishments, which is why intelligence without traits such as ambition, motivation, determination, persistence, and so on, doesn’t mean much.
Intelligence is also a trait that constantly changes and it is something that needs nurturing and care. If we don’t respect it and become stagnant, stop educating ourselves, etc. our intelligence will inevitably begin to stagnate and even decrease.
Genetics is very important for the development and level of person’s intelligence. We inherit many traits from our parents and ancestors and intelligence is one of these traits. Parents and children usually have similar level of intelligence.
When it comes to the developing of intelligence we shouldn’t neglect the importance of the person’s environment and living conditions.
If a child is raised in poor living conditions, is poorly educated, mistreated and neglected, it is certain that this child’s intelligence will be undeveloped and in some cases it will decrease even more beyond its natural potential.
If this child grows to be an adult and nothing changes in their living conditions and education it is certain that this person won’t ever be able to reach their full intellectual potential even in cases when that potential is high.
On the other side, children who don’t have much intellectual potential, but are raised in excellent living conditions with proper education and care, tend to increase their mental abilities beyond their natural potential.
If living conditions and environment changes that has an impact to the person’s mental ability and it can either raise it or make it stagnant or even decrease it.
The most important fact about intelligence is the fact that it can be raised and it only takes some effort and persistence.
Through reading, education, doing some activities to stimulate the brain and increase its capacity, it is certain that the person will increase the level of their intelligence in some cases for up to 20 points.
Possible causes of a bad IQ score
IQ scores can sometimes be wrong. There are various reasons for that. Mostly it happens that the person is emotionally disturbed while doing the test and the results don’t reveal the true state of their intelligence.
Many people have a pressure and fear from results and that affects their performance on the IQ test. That is why these tests have deviation of up to 20 points.
IQ 156 score meaning
An IQ of 156 is a great IQ score. If you scored this score on the test, congratulations, you are in the 2% of human population with Very Superior intelligence. That is something to be proud about, but it is not a reason for you to be self-consumed or brag about it.
This score gives you a responsibility to use your mental capacities wisely.
You could think of a way of using your skills and talents to improve the world in some way or at least help those who are less fortunate than you are.
Your IQ is a blessing but you need to be appreciative and grateful for such a blessing from the Universe.
Don’t let it get wasted because you are lazy, or not ambitious enough. Maybe you don’t consider yourself special but think about all the people who struggle daily because they don’t have enough capacities to make something better from their lives.
You have more than enough capacity which is why it is essential to use your uniqueness to help those less fortunate and intelligent than you are.