Intelligence is considered to be one of the most desirable personality qualities in today's society. Expectant parents are told to read and play music to the fetus, in order to stimulate its brain. Being bright is often thought of one the keys to success in life, and highly intelligent people such as Albert Einstein are celebrated. However, despite all the tests and criteria that measure intelligence, the question still remains: what is intelligence? How can it be measured? Is there only one kind of intelligence, or do humans possess several? These seemingly simple questions have proved to be some of the most perplexing and contentious topics in both public and scientific circles.
Everyone differs in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt to the environment, to learn from experience, and to engage in various forms of reasoning. A person's intellectual performance can vary on depending on the occasions, environment, or criteria used to judge it. No current theory has been able to sufficiently answer all the critical questions or establish a consensus. The recognized method of measuring intelligence is the psychometric approach. It is the basis of I.Q. tests and other modern intelligence tests. However, a new theory called emotional intelligence has gained prominence with its more fluid and encompassing definition of intelligence. This has only added fuel to the debate over understanding and measuring intelligence.
The psychometric approach was developed by Alfred Binet in 1904 to identify mentally retarded students who would benefit from special education. He designed the test to be an indicator of school performance and measured skills such as vocabulary, comprehe...
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...act that all humans possess all these intelligences, everyone has different profiles of intelligences (6). Originally comprised of seven intelligences, its author, Howard Gardner, is considering adding naturalist and existential, because he feels it is necessary. One can only hope that others will see the necessity of a broader definition of intelligence.
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