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Brief Notes on Intelligence

This is perhaps the most difficult question over posed to psychologists. This question has not been so far satisfactorily answered in spite of various seminars and conferences. Nobody knows what intelligence is. The nature of intelligence is compared with the electricity.

Znevýhodňují testy inteligence (IQ) určité skupiny lidí ...

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Everybody knows about the utility of electricity, but nobody knows about its nature. In the same way people know about the importance of intelligence, but they are unknown to its real meaning. Different psychologists have given different definitions to clarify the concept of intelligence. We can divide these definitions in three groups:

(1) Ability to Adjust

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It means that intelligence is not to adjust but it is ability or capacity to adjust. This definition has been given recognition by following psychologists:

View of Burt “It is the capacity of flexible adjustment.”

View of Ross “Conscious adaptation to new situation is Intelligence.”

View of Stern “Intelligence is the ability to adjust oneself into a new situation.”

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View of Woodworth “Intelligence is an acquiring ability, it is capacity to acquire capacity.”

(2) Ability to Learn

It means that intelligence is not to learn capacity or ability to learn. In this regard views of various

Supporters of this definition are as follows:

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Buckingham’s View “Intelligence is ability to learn.”

Woodro’s View “Intelligence is an acquiring capacity.”

Dearborn’s View

“It is the capacity to learn or profit by experiences.”

Thorndike’s View “Intelligence is the ability to make profitable use of past experiences.”

(3) Ability to Carry on Abstract Thinking

It means intelligence is the capacity to carry on abstract thinking. This definition has been recognized by the following psychologists.

Spearman’s View “Intelligence is rational thinking.”

Terman’s View “Intelligence is the ability to think in terms of abstract ideas.”

Binet’s View “Intelligence is the capacity to think well, to judge well and to be self-critical.”

It is very difficult to separate all these definitions into three separate categories. Wechsler’s definition seems to combine and extend the above these groups of definitions. He says, “Intelligence is aggregate or global capacity of individual to act purposefully, to think rationally and to deal effectively with the environment.”

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