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Intelligence : Meaning And Definitions | Types of Intelligence

• Meaning and Definitions of Intelligence

intelligence means - Intelligence refers to ability of a person to work, ability to adjust himself in every situation and ability to adapt with environment, etc.

 To clarify what is intelligence, psychologists have given definitions from their own point of view. In general, classification of intelligence can be divided into following four categories.

1. Adjustment of Ability : The more quickly a person has ability to adjust himself to new environment, the more intelligent that person is considered. Intelligence is general ability to adapt to new problems of life.

According to Calvin, “A person possesses intelligence in proportion to proportion in which he has learned or can learn to adjust to a new environment.”

According to Stern, “Intelligence is ability to adjust well to new and different situations.”

2. Ability to Learn : Some psychologists have defined intelligence as ability to learn. A person who has ability to profit efficiently in future from his past experience is the more intelligent. definitions of scholars of this class are as follows -

Buckingham, "Intelligence is ability to learn."

Woodworth, "Intelligence is ability to acquire knowledge."

Dearborn, "Intelligence is capacity to learn or to profit by experience."

Pittner, "Intelligence is ability to adjust to new situations."

3. Ability to Abstract Thinking : According to some psychologists, intelligence is ability to think abstractly. Following are some of definitions related to it-

Terman, "Intelligence is the ability to think in terms of abstract ideas."

Spearman, "Intelligence is relational thinking." 

Binet, "Understanding (knowledge), invention, direction and critical intelligence are contained in these four words."

4. Ability to Problem Solving : Some psychologists define intelligence as the ability to solve problems. main ones are-

Burt, "Intelligence is ability to judge, understand and reason well."

Ryburn, "Intelligence is power that gives us ability to solve problems and achieve our goals."

Some other definitions of intelligence are as follows :

McDougall, "Intelligence is ability to refine innate tendencies in light of past experience."

Woodworth, "Intelligence is a way of acting."

Henman, "Intelligence consists of two elements - the capacity for knowledge and inherent knowledge."

Most psychologists are of view that intelligence is innate power of a person and is sum and integral part of all his mental abilities. This is meaning of intelligence in modern education. Which we can see in this definition-

Kolesnik, "Intelligence is not a single power or ability that works equally in all circumstances, but a sum of many different abilities."

Rex & Knight, "Intelligence is that element which is common to all mental abilities. This definition establishes one of the most important discoveries of this century."

Based on the above definitions of intelligence, the following are the characteristics of intelligence :

• Characteristics of Intelligence

1. Intelligence is a mental ability to learn based on experience.

2. Intelligence helps in finding solutions to problems.

3. Intelligence is mental ability to be in harmony with environment.

4. Intelligence is the ability of abstract thinking.

5. Intelligence is ability to use learned and acquired knowledge in other situations.

6. Ability to benefit from experience

7. Ability to understand relationships.

8. Intelligence is innate power of a person.

9. Intelligence simplifies a person's difficult situations and complex problems.

10. There is an effect of heredity and environment on intelligence.

11. Intelligence gives a person ability to distinguish between good and bad, true and false, moral and immoral actions.

12. According to Pittner, development of intelligence occurs from birth to about middle of adolescence.

13. According to Call and Brush, there is very little difference between boys and girls due to gender differences.

• Types of Intelligence

Intelligence is such an ability that helps us to solve problems and it is used by a person in different situations. On this basis Thorndike has classified intelligence on following basis :

1. Abstract Intelligence

What is Abstract Intelligence - The mental capacity that is used in ideas, symbols, concepts and abstract imaginations. That is, abstract intelligence is used in form of knowledge acquisition and problem solving.

 Abstract intelligence expresses itself through propensity for acquiring knowledge, reading and writing, solving problems in form of words and symbols. A person skilled in this intelligence can be a good philosopher, litterateur, poet, painter and lawyer.

2. Concrete Intelligence

Concrete intelligence is such a mental ability that is used in physical or visible objects. That is, this intelligence is used to understand the mutual relations of objects and to build their organization. It is also called mechanical or motor intelligence. It is also called common sense.

 Children who have more concrete intelligence, they have more ability in handcrafts and they later become successful in making a successful engineer or skilled artisan.

3. Social Intelligence

Social intelligence is used in adjustment with society. Thorndike considered it to be a mental ability that helps a person to work successfully in social situations and with other people.

 The basis of this intelligence is behavioral skill of person. A person with this intelligence can be a good leader, social worker, manager, administrative officer and counselor.

4. Emotional Intelligence

The credit for bringing this intellect to light goes to Goleman. According to him, ability to display appropriate amount of emotion according to need in different situations comes under emotional intelligence.

 Apart from this, a person with this type of intelligence can easily control unnecessary emotions. A person possessing this intelligence can be a good leader, actor, artist and administrator.

Read More - Emotional Intelligence By Denial Goleman

5. Spiritual Intelligence

The knowledge or philosophy of spirituality is very deep and subtle. intelligence which is needed to understand and explain this is called spiritual intelligence. A person skilled in this intelligence can become a good philosopher, religious preacher and guide.

• Transition of Intelligence

Transition of intelligence refers to the transmission of intelligence from one generation to next. It has been proved by many studies that intelligence is infected. As stated in correlation method, if father is gifted, then child must also be at least of high intellectual ability. A retarded father gives birth to a retarded child.

 Similarly, intellectual levels of twin brothers, siblings, cousins, etc. were also ascertained, it was found that closer the blood relation, the higher correlation of intelligence. This correlation is highest in twin brothers.

 To study problem of transition, psychologists have resorted to methods like correlation method, family history method, yamjack control method, Dhatreya child study etc.

It is known from these studies that there is a transition of intelligence, but inheritance alone is not enough to influence intelligence. Modern psychology literature suggests that environment also has a significant impact on intellectual development. Therefore, intelligence quotient (IQ) are not stable, they change depending on suitability of environment.

Intelligence meaning and definition, types of intelligence, characteristics of intelligence

• Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Q. 01. What is the best definition of intelligence?

Ans : Kolesnik, "Intelligence is not a single power or ability that works equally in all circumstances, but a sum of many different abilities."

Rex & Knight, "Intelligence is that element which is common to all mental abilities. This definition establishes one of the most important discoveries of this century."

Q. 02. What do you mean by intelligence?

Ans : intelligence means : Intelligence refers to ability of a person to work, ability to adjust himself in every situation and ability to adapt with environment, etc.

Q. 03. What are the 5 types of intelligence?

Ans : 1. Abstract Intelligence

2. Concrete Intelligence

3. Social Intelligence

4. Emotional Intelligence

5. Spiritual Intelligence

Q. 04. What is transition of intelligence?

Ans : Transition of intelligence refers to the transmission of intelligence from one generation to next. It has been proved by many studies that intelligence is infected.

Also Read :

1. Intelligence Measurements : Intelligence Quotient And Mental Age

2. Types of Intelligence Test : Individual And Group

3. 8 Theories of Intelligence