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It is that time of the year again when pupils and students of primary and secondary schools are going on their third term holiday. Every end-of-term, right before the holidays, these pupils are handed out results that rate them according to their academic performance. You hear parents saying that “Tunji is more intelligent than Tolu” just by glancing at their report sheets and still, we find that Tolu is quicker and better than Tunji when it comes to confronting and addressing real life problems. Hence, we are faced with a paradox that raises questions.

What is intelligence? What does it mean to be intelligent? Can intelligence improve an individual’s chances to succeed? These and more questions will we try to answer in the following articles

The concept of intelligence has triggered debates in scientific circles. With increasing interest with the understanding and defining intelligence comes the unfolding of the very complex nature of intelligence; thus, comprehending the true nature of intelligence has been difficult, but several theories have been formulated around this complex concept.

Intelligence can be defined as “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge”.  This definition however explains the paradox in our opening example: Is the ability to memorize facts and patterns like we do in school intelligence? Or is it the ability to understand the effect of what we learn in real life.

Charles Spearman stated that the ability to memorize patterns and facts is correlated with the ability to apply one’s knowledge in real life and even the emotional intelligence of the individual. He stated that every individual has an intelligence factor- he called the g-factor – and that is responsible for the individual’s cognition.

Also Robert Stenberg stated that there is no general factor of intelligence but there are subsets of intelligence. An individual he stated can be analytically intelligent. This could make him a good problem solver, comfortable with math and other things that require analysis while another individual can be creatively intelligent making him good at the arts and anything that requires creativity. He further defined a third type of intelligence which he called the practical intelligence which make people good at dissembling and assembling things and learning by practice.

These two definitions have been accepted in scientific fields to define intelligence as good as possible. Moreover, this series of articles will help you improve your IQ irrespective of the definition of intelligence that you are comfortable with.

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