Intelligence - More Than IQ
Three Dimensions of Intelligence
Individuals differ in their levels of overall intelligence, and their specific cognitive abilities. The American Psychological Society gives the following definition for this:
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 by taking thought.
David Wechsler, originator of WAIS IQ tests, defined intelligence simply as:
A global concept that involves an individual’s ability to act purposefully, think rationally, and deal effectively with the environment.
There are three aspects of intelligence that can be picked out from these definitions. In scientific research, each tends to be studied independently, but all three are critical to living a intelligent life.
IQ. General intelligence as measured by IQ tests, also called ‘psychometric G’ or simply ‘G’. This involves abstract thinking and reasoning skills, ability with language, general knowledge, and information processing efficiency.
Strategy. Skill in flexible managing and planning to attain long-term ends. This is the ability to adapt flexibly to circumstances, responding to opportunities, while moving effectively towards long-range goals and objectives in a purposeful way. Being strategic in life means you are not simply ‘coasting’ on automatic pilot, but are living purposefully with long-range vision.
Expertise. Skill, knowledge & mastery in particular areas or domains. Expertise is acquired slowly, through experience and deliberate practice, over many years. It accounts for many of the extraordinary feats that humans are capable of – whether an intellectual or artistic masterpiece or a phenomenal pitch of performance.
Critical thinking: ‘Mindhack’ resistance
In addition to these there is another another aspect of being intelligent, not directly investigated by scientific research: the ability to resist being ‘mindhacked’. Mindhacking occurs where other agents (individuals, groups, organisations, etc) bypass your critical faculties, and make you an intrument of their purposes. Advertisers, governments, PR agencies, and professional agencies may induce preferences, beliefs, attitudes and ideologies without a person’s awareness and critical judgment playing a role in the process. İt is known that humans are naturally impressed by power, and susceptible to the influence of authority and the pressure of conformity.
An intelligent individual, compared to a less intelligent person, is not as susceptible to mind hacking. Intelligent minds are ‘strong’ minds, alert and independent, and able to judge for themselves.
This site is aimed to help develop this kind of alertness and independence from the effects of mind hacking.
Mindfulness & Wisdom?
Scientific research shows that people can be highly intelligent in sense above but egoistic and biased in their attitude to life. We know that ‘myside bias’ is as likely among those with very high IQs as though with low IQs. Machiavellians with little regard for interests other than their own can be highly intelligent according to traditional scientific definitions. Similarly, ambitious individuals who have never reflected on the meaning of what they do, but unthinkingly adopt conventional goals and values, becoming agents and mouthpieces for their ‘interest group’ (perhaps a religious group, or professional group, or political group), can be highly intelligent.
But lifelong reflection on and scrutiny of, the ‘ends’ shaping one’s life is also essential to a truly intelligent life. Cultivating self-awareness, openness to other perspectives, and awareness of the ‘bigger picture’ of life’s meaning and value, is critical to living intelligently. These are aspects of mindfulness. Mindfulness cultivates wisdom and wisdom is an aspect of intelligence.
5 dimension summary
So this site is for those who are interested in learning more about, and also strengthening, the five dimensions of human intelligence:
IQ and ‘G’
Strategy and purposefulness
Expertise and mastery
Independence of mind: Critical thinking
Mindfulness and wisdom.
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