IQ Scores: Do They Really Matter?

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What is intelligence?

According to psychology, intelligence refers to the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge.

It also includes an individual’s ability to benefit from previous experiences, for problem-solving and adapting to new situations.

However, according to the psychologist Howard Gardner, intelligence doesn’t attribute to one but eight skills including-

  1. Linguistic (spoken & written language skills)
  2. Logical/mathematical(number skills)
  3. Musical (performance/composing skills)
  4. Spatial Skills (being able to evaluate & analyze the visual world)
  5. Bodily-kinesthetic (dance/athletic skills)
  6. Interpersonal (ability to understand and relate to others)
  7. Intrapersonal (ability to understand oneself)
  8. Nature (ability to understand the natural world)


Although there is no single definition for the word, intelligence refers to mental powers and general cognitive, problem-solving skills.

It is the mental ability which is involved in reasoning, calculating, learning, understanding relationships, etc.

The Latin word ‘Intelligo’ stands for ‘to choose between various options’.

One simple definition is “Intelligence is what you do when you do not know what to do”.


What does human intelligence mean?

Human Intelligence aka HUMINT, stands for the intelligence gathered by means of interpersonal contacts.

Per NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), HUMINT is a category of intelligence obtained from data collected and provided by human sources.


What are the theories of intelligence?

There are four different theories of intelligence which include psychometric, cognitive, cognitive-contextual and biological theories.

  • Psychometric theories are based on learning individual differences in performing cognitive tests.
  • Cognitive theories are derived from learning all the processes pertaining to intelligent performance.
  • Cognitive-contextual stresses describe the processes that demonstrate one’s intelligence within a particular context.
  • Biological theories stress the relationship between intelligence, the brain & its functions.


What are the types of intelligence?

Robert J. Sternberg’s triarchic theory on intelligence emphasizes three types of intelligence namely- Practical, Creative and Analytical intelligence.

The theory takes a cognitive approach and is the first to go against the psychometric approach to intelligence.

  • Practical intelligence includes one’s ability to deal with every day tasks in the real world. It shows how well you relate to the external environment.
  • Creative intelligence is how people think creatively and adjust efficiently to new situations and this is also responsible for gaining new insights and synthesizing information.
  • Analytical intelligence is measured by IQ tests and determines one’s overall intelligence as they focus only on the analytical side. This kind of intelligence is invoked when one needs to analyze anything or solve problems.


What is the most important type of intelligence?

The three important types of intelligence that matter at workgroups and organizations and for effective leadership include:

  1. Academic/verbal intelligence (Having a high IQ, strong academic knowledge  and being smart- one can figure out effectively about how to do any job efficiently)
  2. Emotional Intelligence (the ability to build relationships at, monitoring and controlling emotional displays and to appropriately express one’s feelings). Lack of emotional intelligence is what derails leaders who fail to control their feelings, throw tantrums, etc.
  3. Social Intelligence (being able to understand social situations, relationships and getting to know what needs to be done at any given situation.) Though this kind isn’t given much importance, research shows that it is the most important one for successful leadership.


Can intelligence be improved?

Ever since Alfred Binet devised the first IQ test, it has been believed that intelligence can be calibrated and has opened new avenues to figure out how it can be improved.

Psychologists have also been trying to modify intelligence. Some areas of intelligence being malleable is hoped to undergo improvements.

Intelligence can be divided into two categories:

Fluid intelligence and Crystallized intelligence

Fluid intelligence includes reasoning and problem-solving, and the latter is demonstrating creative ways for a common solution.

Crystallized intelligence can be improved with age, as one reads and comprehends whereas fluid intelligence tends to diminish with age.

  • Researchers believe that cognitive training and pharmacological interventions can improve intelligence.
  • Computerized cognitive training has shown enormous promise in improving attention, memory and performances, especially one’s fluid intelligence.
  • Although intelligence cannot be improved by just popping a pill, there are steps that can be followed to see a gradual improvement. There are certain stimulants that can enhance basic reaction and processing time but not memory or difficult tasks.
  • Certain herbs like Ginko Biloba, Ginseng and Brhami have demonstrated its ability to improve people’s working memory.


How can practical intelligence be improved?

Here are some of the activities that can help you sharpen your practical intelligence:

  • Learning: Coding isn’t just for the computer geeks, but for anyone who would like to understand how a computer works. It also teaches you how to think, how to learn and creates new synapses in your brain by deconstructing and analyzing problems.
  • Start sketching: Even if you are not an artist, sketching can make you learn how to free-hand and helps you notice shapes, angles, patterns, and shadows. You will be absorbing more details and will make your brain more alert.
  • Play escape room: One that requires solving puzzles and clues to get out. These games enhance your learning process and teach you how to use limited resources, relying on a team and improves problem-solving capacities.
  • Learn to build something: Take up classes like carpentry or other DIY classes of your interest and work with your own hands to build something. This will not only push your limitations but also empower you to look at supplies and resources in creative ways.
  • Get to Gaming: Playing video games can improve your motor and cognitive skills and help improve your overall intelligence. Pick a game that interests you and get gaming!
  • Go Hiking: Nature can help you tap into creativity- be it the beaches or the mountains, it can put you in a relaxed pace and empower your brain to unleash newer levels of thoughts and creativity. There is an unlimited opportunity for exploration in this gigantic world.
  • Start Inventing: Be it any simple device or an organizer, anything that can be of use to your daily life. Get inventive by figuring out how to use your resources efficiently and create new values by yourself. By using your brain in an inventive way can improve your brain power.


What are the characteristics of intelligence?

  • The power capacity of humans which helps in reasoning, interpreting and judging efficiently.
  • All-rounded mental efficiency by including all the qualities pertaining to mental development.
  • Ability to adapt and adjust to new situations
  • Ability to think abstractly and the capacity to learn from previous experiences.


Is intelligence inherited or learned?

Intelligence is inherited.

A recent study conducted on >6000 pairs of twins has identified that genetic variants are linked to brain structure and IQ.

The researchers have also found a whole range of genetic variants which can aid the understanding of how these genes work.

The study reports that there is a genetic basis upon which children find learning enjoyable or easy.

There is a genetic basis for why individuals differ in not only their intelligence but also in their drive to learn.


What is the importance of intelligence?

Although intelligence cannot be trained, an intellectually stimulating environment can let you make the most of your talents.

Intelligence improves an individual’s test-taking skills and helps raise one’s scores on these tests.

Intelligence includes learning abilities, ability to adapt to new situations and handle abstract concepts.

The development of a child’s intelligence depends on an appropriate environment and adequate stimulation.

Children with this opportunity make the most of their intelligence and perform better in academics.


What do IQ scores predict?

IQ tests predict the following:

  1. Learning abilities, especially future learning
  2. Performance
  3. Ability to engage in abstract reasoning
  4. Visual-spatial processing
  5. Auditory processing
  6. Short-term memory
  7. Processing speed


What is the IQ formula?

The formula is as follows:

IQ = Mental age/ Physical age * 100


A person whose mental age and chronological age are the same gets an IQ of 100.

Mental age is a concept pertaining to intelligence which looks at how you perform intellectually compared to average intellectual performance meant for your age.

Your intellectual performance is based on your performance in assessments and tests given by a psychologist.


What are the IQ levels?

Lewis Terman developed the original idea of IQ and proposed this scale for classifying IQ scores such as:

  • 140- Genius or near genius
  • 120-140- Very superior intelligence
  • 110 – 119 – Superior intelligence
  • 90 – 109 – Normal or average intelligence
  • 80 – 89 – Dullness
  • 70 – 79 – Borderline deficiency
  • Under 70 – Definite feeble-mindedness


Does a high IQ score reflect intelligence?

On one hand, intelligence success accounts for one of the greatest successes of psychology. The IQ test has proven to be a very useful tool in predicting many real-world phenomena. But is an IQ test a fair predictor of an individual’s all-round intelligence? Are all people with a good IQ score smart? Well, not really! These tests are indeed good at measuring certain mental faculties like logic, abstract reasoning, learning ability, etc. But the test falls short when it comes to measuring the abilities that you need to make good judgemental calls in real life. A higher IQ does indicate a greater cognitive ability, but where that is applied is what’s really important. Let’s take a flashlight for example. IQ indicates the brightness of the light. But what matters here the most? The brightness or where we point the flashlight to?

What is the multiple intelligence theory?

Dr. Howard Gardner, Ph.D. is the father of the ‘multiple intelligence‘ theory.

Developed in the year 1983, the theory suggests that the traditional idea of intelligence based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited.

He proposes eight different types of intelligence that account for a broader range of human potential namely:

  • Linguistic
  • Logical-mathematical
  • Spatial, Bodily-kinesthetic
  • Musical
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal
  • Naturalistic Intelligence


Is intelligence general or specific?

General Intelligence or the general mental ability is a variable summarizing the positive correlations among various cognitive tasks, reflecting that a person’s performance on one type of such task tends to be comparable to his/her own performance on other kinds of cognitive tasks.

People with higher general intelligence tend to learn faster than others.

There is also evidence for ‘specific intelligence’ which is a measure of skills in narrow domains.

It is an individual’s aptitude in separate modalities or abilities, rather than the more general understanding of intelligence.


What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to interpret and manage emotions.

It starts with self and social awarenesses; being able to recognize emotions and its impact on both oneself as well as others.

It comprises of three skills namely emotional awareness, the ability to harness emotions and applying them to tasks and the ability to manage emotions.

An individual high in emotional intelligence would make a better coworker or an effective leader.


What does EQ measure?

EQ aka Emotional Quotient measures the capacity of individuals to recognize one’s own emotions as well as that of others, comprehend between various kinds of feelings, label them appropriately and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to the environment.


What is the Wechsler Intelligence Scale?

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale is a psychological assessment which measures various aspects of intelligence designed especially for children between the ages 6-16.

The test has gone through several updates and current test version (the fifth edition) got released in 2014.

Despite being used as a children’s IQ test, it is also used as a clinical tool that measures individual cognitive abilities.

It is also sometimes used to access and identify the cognitive function and ability ranges that identify giftedness, general strengths, and weaknesses.


Who was Jaco Pastorius?

Jaco Pastorius was the world’s greatest bass player who had the most tragic end to a brief career which drew superlatives and praises from his peers.

He was also the man who revolutionized the bass guitar and the most influential bass guitarist ever, who started as a drummer.

He was diagnosed as a manic depressive who also took drugs to a level where his behavior would even risk him to lose his spark.

He went into a coma for his final nine days before passing away.


Xcode Life’s Personality Report provides information on openness, extraversion, intelligence,  entrepreneurship potential, and more than 25 such traits.


2 replies on “IQ Scores: Do They Really Matter?

    • James Watson

      Hello Rose! The average turn-around time for the reports is 24 hours if the correct raw data file is uploaded.

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