I believe there are many ways to define intelligence besides using an IQ test. I have a relative who has an IQ off the charts, yet he cannot remember to tie his shoes before he goes out the door. Common sense, something that appears to be not so common in some of us, tops the list when trying to define intelligence. A majority of the population that inhabit this earth don’t even come close to being MENSA material but they have enough know-how to function in their jobs, family life and in social situations. The common sense type of person can remember that shoes need to be tied before leaving the house, which is much more useful than tripping over your shoelaces while attending your MENSA meeting.
People who have emotional intelligence tend to have a large circle of friends, not just acquaintances, but true friends. They have a strong personal relationship with their spouse, children and other family members. They take pride in their families, friends and their jobs. People with strong emotional intelligence are compassionate and confident in most everything they do in their lives. Realistically, most people will not have everything perfected in their lives, but those who have their emotions under control seem to have better well-being. That tells me that being “book smart” does not necessarily make for a happy, well-adjusted life.
Another way to define intelligence in human beings is social skills. Social skills are a trait that anyone can learn to a certain extent. I have known older people who have never finished high school yet can place themselves in a social setting and carry on a conversation with the grace of royalty. Consequently, being intelligent means more than being able to figure out the theory of relativity.
Cultural intelligence is something almost everyone has. One good example of this is kids growing up in the inner cities. Kids growing up in the inner cities need to know street smarts to survive. They do not need to know history, but they do need to know how to read facial expressions and body language for their own safety. My husband, who is of the MENSA mentality, took a wrong turn when he was visiting New York City and found himself in Harlem. He felt helpless and a little scared being in a cultural environment that threatened his very life. Think about it. People who did not grow up in this environment would not have the faintest idea what were the safest streets to drive or walk down, yet the person who lives there knows where and when to walk or drive. That makes people who live in the inner cities intelligent because they have the smarts and the expertise to make the right choices in order to stay safe and alive in a hostile environment. I could have an IQ of 180 but if I am from Iowa and I walk or drive through Harlem at midnight, that would make me pretty stupid.
Overall, intelligence is based not only on how high your IQ is, but also on how you interact with your fellow human beings on a social and personal level. Albert Einstein was a great mathematician but could he survive walking down the streets of Harlem at midnight, I doubt it.
Artificial intelligence Photo
By geralt from Pixabay