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Types of Intelligence

Have you ever wondered why, whilst in school, a particular student solved all the difficult maths questions effortlessly? Have you also wondered why on the tracking field, a particular athlete appears to have been born with two hearts? On the job market, have you also wondered why some salesmen almost always exceed their target while you struggle to sign just a single client? In the face of adversity, how come he gets to keep a cool head while you are almost losing it? The answers to these are in their genetics, personalities, and intelligence.

It could seem pointless to describe a term so basic. After all, we have all heard this word countless times and are likely familiar with its overall meaning. However, the idea of intelligence has been a hotly contested subject among psychologists for many years. The study of human intelligence, by way of history date back to the late 1880s. Since then, many psychologists have attempted to capture in essence through theories due to their fluidity. 

Thus, while some argue that, intelligence is a general ability, others believe it comprises specific skills and talents. See for instance; Spearman’s General Intelligence (g) theory. Spearman set out his theory in 1909, based on a technique called factor analysis.  The conclusion at the end of Spearman’s General intelligence theory was that; there is a single g-factor that describes a person’s overall intelligence across different abilities, and that a second component, s, describes a person’s specific competence in one particular field (Spearman, as cited in Thomson, 1947). After Spearman, several theorists have gone on to challenge the view of Spearman. For instance, Howard Gardner in his Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory, Robert Sternberg in his proposed Triarchic Theory of Intelligence, and many others have all gone ahead to argue that there are different, independent multiple intelligences instead of a single intelligence, each of which represents special abilities and skills applicable to a certain category. This intelligence includes; spatial, musical, Practical, bodily-kinesthetic, linguistic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligence. 

That said, presently, intelligence is commonly considered as the capacity to comprehend and adjust to one’s surroundings using innate skills and acquired information. Likewise, numerous new intelligence assessments have emerged, including the University of California Matrix Reasoning Task (Pahor et al., 2019), which can be completed quickly and online. Additionally, new approaches to rating these assessments have also been developed (Sansone et al., 2014). Specific aptitude and accomplishment exams, like the SAT, ACT, and LSAT, are required for admission to universities and graduate programs. These tests have ingrained themselves deeply into our life.

Regrettably, and by convention, these above tests and our entire educational system have generally focused on just one type of intelligence [the Intelligent Quotient (IQ)], even when modern-day psychologists make us believe there are four types of intelligence. They are; Intelligence Quotient (IQ),          Emotional Quotient (EQ), Social Quotient (SQ) and Adversity Quotient (AQ). What do these different types of intelligence mean? How are they expressed and how many can a person have?

To start with, the term “IQ” is derived from the German term Intelligent-Quotient, which was coined by psychologist William Stern. The intelligence quotient, or IQ, is a score obtained from one of several standardized tests meant to determine relative intelligence. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale are two popular standardized examinations (WAIS) (Oommen, 2014). Thus, IQ is the measure of one’s cognitive ability to comprehend a problem, hereditary and non-genetic. Even though hereditary variables play the most important role in determining IQ, a variety of other changeable environmental effects can influence an individual’s IQ. Thus, Science has had difficulty identifying the precise genetic and environmental elements that influence IQ, but a number of environmental factors, such as socioeconomic level and educational attainment, are associated with IQ, and it has been demonstrated that starvation can lower IQ.  Regardless, the following studies suggest proof that IQ is influenced by genetics

In another context, Budrina, (2017) set out to identify gender-specific characteristics of intelligence and academic achievement in early school age. The results demonstrated no such influence of gender on IQ. The differences in grade (girls tend to perform more than boys) are due to other factors such as interest and ability to obey the instruction, other than their IQ. Again, previous research has also shown that high IQs are reasonably reliable predictors of academic success, job performance, career potential, and creativity. That notwithstanding, a wealth of evidence demonstrates that IQ alone is not sufficient for success. Psychological research has shown that having crucial personality traits like confidence, openness to new experiences, and organization can help you succeed in life. That is to say if you seek to develop your best qualities and skills, having a lower IQ does not necessarily mean you will have a miserable or unsuccessful life.

Moving on, let now turn our attention to another type of intelligence: Emotional Quotient (EQ). The ability to notice, utilise, and regulate your own feelings/emotions in order to lower stress, clearly communicate, convey sympathy, defeat obstacles and diffuse conflicting situations is known as emotional intelligence (EQ). It is possible to grow more robust relationships, achieve higher at school and at work, and to actualise your personal and professional aspirations when you use your emotional intelligence. Additionally, it can assist you in establishing a connection with your emotions, putting your intentions into practice, and choosing what is most important to you.

According to Singh (2001), emotional intelligence (EI) enables managers and staff members in professional contexts to recognize and control their emotions. This demonstrates how crucial EI is to manage the job well. Goleman (1995) identified four aspects of emotional intelligence, including

  • Self-management: to have the capacity to restrain impulsive thoughts, feelings, and actions, to regulate your emotions in healthy ways, to take the initiative, to keep your word, and to adjust to changing circumstances.
  • Self-awareness: to be aware of your feelings and how they influence your actions and thinking. To be confident in yourself and are aware of your talents and flaws (Shahzad et al., 2011).
  • Social awareness: To be able to discern emotional indicators, comprehend the needs and worries of others, feel at ease in social situations, and comprehend the power relationships in a team or organization (Goleman, 1998). 
  • Relationship management: to have the ability to create and sustain positive relationships, communicate effectively, motivate and influence people, collaborate effectively with others, and handle conflict.

Thus far, Hanzaee, & Mirvaisi, (2013) in their study set out to determine the association between employee emotional intelligence and client satisfaction. The result revealed that, in especially, a hotel context, which is a work environment and frontline, employee EQ has a significant role in customer satisfaction and retention. Subsequently, a high level of emotional intelligence can help you lead and inspire people, negotiate the social difficulties of the workplace, and succeed in your job. Many businesses now prioritize emotional intelligence above technical competence when evaluating key job prospects and conducting EQ tests prior to hiring.

Away from this, the third type of intelligence identified in this paper is the Social Quotient (SQ). This type of intelligence can be simply defined as, the ability to get along well with others and get them to cooperate with you. SQ according to Albrecht (2006), goes beyond the typical “social courtesies” of saying “please” and “thank you,” as well as the so-called “people skills” that are apparently valuable in the workplace. Not at all, SQ implies a depth and breadth of life knowledge, a deep knowledge of one’s culture and possibly other cultures, and the accumulated wisdom that comes from constantly observing and learning what works and what does not work in human situations.

 Traditional classroom settings do not support complex social behaviour interaction. In contrast, students in conventional settings are viewed as learners who need to be exposed to progressively more complicated types of information. Few of these abilities, which are essential for survival in the world, can be developed in the way that schools are set up today. Traditional schools severely restrict the development of “natural psychological” skills, thus graduates leave with severe disabilities that prevent them from being able to support themselves. In contrast, pupils who have had the chance to hone their abilities in mixed-age classes and democratic environments outperform their less socially adept peers. 

Lastly, AQ refers to a person’s capacity to strive against and overcome challenges, issues, or difficulties while also transforming them into chances for greater success. A new paradigm called AQ is extremely helpful when facing adversity, which can occur in all spheres of life. The majority of people are likewise relatively new to the AQ variable. The ability to overcome challenges in life and turn them into opportunities for achievement is referred to as AQ. The puzzle of why two people with similar IQs and EQs respond to challenges in life so differently led to the development of AQ. Basically, AQ may be used to improve the efficacy of teams, relationships, families, communities, cultures, societies, and organizations. It can also be used to forecast a person’s resilience and perseverance.

To conclude, Intelligence is frequently defined as our intellectual potential; it is something we are born with, something that can be tested, and a tough capacity to modify. There are several types of intelligence but the Intelligent Quotient appears to be the most talked about. In this paper, we identified the other types of intelligence to include; Emotional Quotient (EQ), Social Quotient (SQ) and Adversity Quotient (AQ). While a person might be particularly strong in a specific type, such as IQ, he or she most likely possesses a range of abilities. Thus, every individual represents a continuum of all types of intelligence. To this end, IQ represents a person’s ability to solve logical problems, EQ refers to his ability to understand his and others’ feelings, SQ represents a person’s ability to coexist in a human setting and AQ represents a person’s tolerance level in the face of difficulties.

I hope you enjoyed the read. Hit me up, and let’s keep the conversation going! I read all the feedback you send. Also, feel free to throw at me topics you’d like to read or hear my thoughts on. You can always head to my Calendly at calendly.com/maxwellampong or connect with me your own way through my Linktree: https://linktr.ee/themax.

Have a blessed week!

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