You probably think you are pretty smart. To get some idea of how smart you are relative to the population, a psychologist would have you take the 90 minute Wechsler test. I know you don't have that kind of time now, so how about a 5 minute version?
So these questions are a bit tricky but do they measure everything we consider to make up intelligence?
Think of the smartest person you know. What characteristics can you describe that make this person intelligent?
Is it just one thing or many things? Are those abilities related or distinct. Did that person become intelligent from living in an environment that supported education, did they inherit intelligent genes or did they get that way through hard work and constant study?
These are important questions that psychologists still don't have clear answers for. You may think the 5 minute test above is not exactly a valid test of intelligence but what is?
Some researchers have tried to boil down all of the different types of intelligence tests into a set of 12 that describes the broadest range of cognitive abilities with the fewest amount of tests.
Even after scholars examine decades of intelligence research I still wonder if this captures why some people seem smarter than others and why higher levels of intelligence lead to better life outcomes.
In class we discussed a recent study that demonstrated self-control was another important aspect separate from intelligence that accounted for success in life. Others have suggested that motivation may play a role as well.
Finally, no matter how smart a person is, if they can't relate to other people their intelligence might be wasted. Many scholars have theorized about emotional intelligence as being essential to communicating ideas to others, gathering the support needed to accomplish goals and leadership to guide the process.
Do you think you could describe what characteristics are involved with emotional or interpersonal intelligence? Complete the activity and then think about how this ability fits with the more traditional view of intelligence as measured by the tests in the 12 Pillars article.