Wednesday 15 February 2017

What is Intelligence?

What is Intelligence?

What is Intelligence
What is Intelligence?
The word intelligence derives from the Latin word “interlegere” which means to pick out or discern. It is it is an individual’s capacity to act purposefully, think rationally and deal effectively with his/her environment.Intelligence is an innate cognitive ability. In other words, intelligence is a general mental capability that involves the ability to reason, plan solve problems, comprehend complex ideas, and learn quickly; it is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. It is not merely book learning or gaining academic skills. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—catching on, making sense of things or figuring out what to do.
According to Woodworth and Marquis, “Intelligence means intellect put to use. It is the use of intellectual abilities for handling a situation or accomplishing any task”. Intelligence may be regarded as a sort of mental energy in the form of mental (cognitive) abilities available with an individual to enable him to handle his environment in terms of adaptation and facing new situations as effectively as possible.
Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles, and so on. Though, these individual differences can be substantial, they are never entirely consistent, a given person’s intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains as judged by different criteria.

Approaches of Intelligence:

There are different approaches with the help of which different groups of psychologists investigated intelligence. These are the following:
  • Psychometric Approach
  • Information Processing Approach

Psychometric Approach: This approach focuses on measuring differences in intellectual abilities. According to this approach, intelligence is the ability to learn in an abstract manner or to think or adapt to his/her environment.
The theories of intelligence like the two factor theory and the multifactor theory is related to this approach. The two factor theory of intelligence states that all human intellectual abilities have a common and a general factor. Spearman’s theory is an example and he calls the general factor the “g” factor and describes it as mental energy that is involved in all mental activities. There is also a specific factor “s” in intelligence which is specific to a task. The multifactor theory of intelligence describes intelligence in terms of separate factor or underlying specific abilities.

Information Processing Approach: The information processing group goes one step further by focusing on cognitive processes underlying the intellectual abilities. Cognitive processes include all processes of the mind such as memory, reasoning, visualization, problem solving, and so on. The theory which uses this information processing approach is Robert Stenberg’s Triarchic theory.

Theories of Intelligence:

Theories of Intelligence
Theories of Intelligence
Intelligence is one of the most popular psychological terms used in everyday life. The expression of intelligence is not limited to any particular activity, domain or context; rather it is manifested in every human activity. For long, the study of intelligence was confined to the cognitive domain. Now, it is believed that intelligence is not a single entity (or having single dimension), rather it has multiple dimensions or aspects.

Factor Theories of Intelligence: In making decisions about intelligence, many have used a statistical technique known as factory analysis. The technique is a way of identifying groups of abilities or behavior or traits that are related to one another. In the area of intelligence testing, the technique is usually applied to several specific sub-tests; each designed to measure one specific cognitive ability. Factor analysis poses several problems for the investigator, for example, different methods of factors analysis can yield different factors and it is often hard to judge which factors are the best. Examples of factor theories of intelligence are G factor theory, multifactor theories and hierarchical theory.

Process Oriented Theories of Intelligence: each of the preceding theories is an attempt to unravel intelligence to find its component parts and describe how those parts fit together. This is not the only path to an understanding of intelligence. An alternate approach taken by several influential theorists is to focus on intellectual processes the patterns of thinking that people use whey they reason and solve problems. Also, they are often more interested in how people go about solving problems and figuring out answers than in how many right answers people get finally, the process oriented theorists tend to focus on the development of intellectual processes.