definition of intelligence

Intelligence is the ability to choose, among several possibilities, the most appropriate option for solving a problem. In this sense, it can be distinguished from wisdom, since the latter is only an accumulation of knowledge, while intelligence implies making the best use of prior knowledge. However, how to identify the quality of being intelligent has been greatly debated.

Intelligence is a quality that all human beings possess, although not all of us can have it in the same stimulated and developed way. For this reason, the early stimulation of children, between their first year of life and five years of age, is crucial so that they can then face the learning stage that begins in basic school from the age of six.

Intelligence is not just “knowing a lot” (we have already differentiated it in relation to wisdom), but it is about putting our knowledge and skills at stake in all the actions of our daily lives, and that is why we beings are capable humans to challenge obstacles that can be from solving a mathematical problem, speaking correctly in public or carrying out successful economic operations.

A widely used criterion is the so-called "IQ". It consists of a test carried out to measure the cognitive abilities of a person based on their age. Over the years, the results obtained have shown increases, so it has been necessary to modify the forms of scoring. It should be noted that the first test of this type published was due to the need to identify students with difficulties to meet school demands, although as is known, it was later used to find out those students who stood out and deviated from the average. The "ICQ" (IQ acronym) is a very popular test, although it also tends to have criticism regarding its rating scale. In any case, educational institutions, for example, can use it as a method to select or assess the intellectual capacity of their students (or aspiring students) without having to access other methods such as basic education cycles or leveling of knowledge.

As a new alternative to these evaluations is that of Howard Gardner, who distinguishes different types of intelligences: logical and mathematical intelligence, which implies a use of skills related to arithmetic and logic; linguistic and verbal intelligence, which consists of the correct use of language; naturalistic intelligence, which is the ability to observe the natural environment scientifically; intrapersonal intelligence, which is our ability to weigh our actions; interpersonal intelligence, which consists of relating socially; visual and spatial intelligence, which is linked to imagination and creation through images; bodily intelligence, which consists of the ability for sports and physical dexterity; and finally, musical intelligence, which is the ability to express feelings through music.

Many of these intelligences of the human being are put to the test by psychologists and other professionals at the time of, for example, analyzing an applicant for a job. For this, it is not enough only with a vast Curriculum of studies and work experiences, but also the performance of teamwork, control of emotions, the ability to speak in public and express ideas, and the ability to overcome problems or conflicts. Through covert tests, such as drawings, songs or reading texts, the attitudes and abilities of the person in relation to emotions, verbal, actions and mental abilities can be evaluated.

Undoubtedly, the new perspectives regarding the evaluation of the intellect are much more comprehensive and complete, avoiding being limited to the logical and mathematical plane; in fact, emotional intelligence can be considered as or more important, insofar as it relates to us, our peers, and ultimately, to our well-being. With the pressing problems of stress, family and couple relationships, teamwork and other situations of today's life, emotional intelligence has become a discipline promoted by psychologists and therapists, insofar as it allows to identify, manage and control emotions and attitudes that avoid conflict, and then allow the overcoming of traumas and personal problems, also in relation to the family environment, work, or any social environment in general.