Redefining Intelligence

I am going to talk to you about a prejudice many of us are unaware exists, in fact some of you may actually support it. If I am to be bluntly honest, most, if not all of you probably do. This prejudice is widely accepted by society, but never really discussed. You may consider yourself an open-minded and unjudgemental person and still discriminate against this group. Or you may not even consider it a prejudice. But it can be dangerous, especially for young people.

You’re probably all dying to know what it is now, aren’t you?

It’s prejudice against people who are considered of less-than-average intelligence. Think about it. How many times have you heard that phrase: “it’s not cool to be dumb”? That phrase to me is only as acceptable as saying “it’s not cool to be black/white/Asian/male/female/fat/ Muslim/Christian/Jewish/smart”

But what do we mean by dumb anyway? There are actually many different forms of intelligence.

So why is this prejudice so prevalent?

It’s because our society values particular types of intelligence over others.

Intelligence is a complex mixture of genetics and upbringing. We do not yet have a reliable way to measure it, and there is a chance we never will. Those infamous IQ tests do not come close to “measuring” one’s intelligence. How much brainpower constitutes one IQ point anyway.

A man by the name of Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University, believes that “multiple intelligences” exist. What does this mean? It means everyone’s brain has a unique way of functioning, which can roughly be divided into eight categories of intelligence. Most people relate to more than one.

  • Linguistic (verbal intelligence) – good with words and enjoys reading and writing. Journalists are usually linguistically intelligent
  • Spatial (visual intelligence) – artistic, creative and interprets artwork naturally
  • Bodily (movement/kinesthetic intelligence) – athletic and/or physically co-ordinated
  • Logical/mathematical (number intelligence) – good with numbers and solving problems, the extreme example of this is a “human calculator”
  • Musical (musical intelligence) -someone with a good “ear”, who enjoys making, writing and/or listening to music
  • Interpersonal (social intelligence)- understands and relates well with other people
  • Intrapersonal (self intelligence)- someone with a strong understanding and analysis of their own personal thoughts, intuition and feelings
  • Naturalist (nature intelligence)- is interested in life and nature, such as a botanist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *