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Can intelligence be measured Does an IQ test actually measure a persons intelligence Does a high score indicate a genius Does a low score indicate stupidity or merely ignorance These questions have been asked over and over again by psychiatrists and scientists alike but to date there are no clear answers These questions cannot be answered without first defining what is meant by the term intelligence Once intelligence has been defined then it should be easy to answer these questions however multiple definitions of the word tend to lead to further confusion In a 1921 symposium entitled Intelligence and Its Measurement psychiatrists were asked to define intelligence and their answers varied greatly One described intelligence as equivalent to the capacity to learn Other definitions included the ability to adapt adequately to relatively new situations the capacity to learn or profit from experience and the knowledge that an individual possesses And one stated that there was no simple definition to the word because intelligence involves two factors- the capacity for knowledge and knowledge possessed Sternberg Detterman 1986 p39-40 Dictionaries add still more definitions Funk Wagnalls defines intelligence as The faculty of perceiving and comprehending meaning mental quickness active intellect understanding while Websters defines it as the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations the skilled use of reason While some of these definitions are similar none of them are exactly the same The definition of intelligence becomes even more complicated when one considers the work of Howard Gardner Gardner claims that intelligence can not be defined with one definition because intelligence is not one thing Gardner purports that there are eight different categories of intelligence musical bodily-kinesthetic logical-mathematical linguistic spatial interpersonal intrapersonal and naturalist He is currently considering adding a ninth category of intelligence existential Carvin Gardner believes that all people excel in at least one category of intelligence However he cautions teachers using the multiple
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