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Thread: What is the definition of intelligence and stupidity?

  1. #1 What is the definition of intelligence and stupidity? 
    Forum Freshman HB3l1's Avatar
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    I found this rather difficult to answer precisely. What does intelligence means? To have a high IQ, and what a high IQ means? To be able to make rational decisions, logic assumptions, to easier learn anything you're interested to .. ? Are IQ tests valid pointers of one person 'intelligence'? Could the tests be skewed and invalid, and on what principles and rules are those tests created?
    What is the difference between being smart and being intelligent or is it one the same? And could intelligence be associated with education, or intelligence is about using your education in a smart way?

    And how would one define stupidity, is it a lack of intelligence, wit, logic reasoning, understanding..?


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    I found this rather difficult to answer precisely. What does intelligence means?
    Difficult to answer because there is no universally agreed definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    To have a high IQ, and what a high IQ means?
    The cynical view is that a high IQ indicates a skill at getting correct answers in an IQ test.

    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    To be able to make rational decisions, logic assumptions, to easier learn anything you're interested to .. ?
    These abilities appear to have some correlation with good scores in IQ tests.

    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    Are IQ tests valid pointers of one person 'intelligence'?
    Well, back to your first question. What do you mean by intelligence?

    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    Could the tests be skewed and invalid, and on what principles and rules are those tests created?
    Of course they could be skewed and biased. There is probably a substantial cultural aspect to the tests. Experts argue the extent of bias with great passion. I wouldn't hold my breath to get a definitive answer here.

    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    and on what principles and rules are those tests created?
    This link will give you something of a feel for that. GIQTest.com :: Realistic Web Based IQ Test

    What is the difference between being smart and being intelligent or is it one the same?
    Depends, again, on definitions. Hwoever smart tends to relate to practical application of intelligence rather than raw intelligence.

    And could intelligence be associated with education, or intelligence is about using your education in a smart way?
    Yes.

    And how would one define stupidity, is it a lack of intelligence, wit, logic reasoning, understanding..?
    I'm not sure, but if you hang around long enough you'll see a lot of it on this forum.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree LuciDreaming's Avatar
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    As humans, binaries such as intelligence and stupidity seem intuitively correct however I think it is wrong to consider stupidity the opposite of intelligence. Humans can and frequently do possess both in abundance; take a person a millimetre outside their speciality and usually they are flailing around like anyone else.

    I don't think we can define intelligence as a single construct and I think aptitudes would be a much better word for it. Aptitude allows people to be considered intelligent because of the skill they have rather than being considered unintelligent for not being book smart (which I think is what we generally define intelligence as).
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    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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  5. #4  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Intelligence and stupidity can co-exist in all human beings, in different levels in their lives.

    IQ or book or even street smarts people are capable of being stupid.
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  6. #5  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    To me, intelligence is simply being reasonably aware of reality, and being able and willing to learn about reality in such a way that they can interact with it with more success than failure and the ability to learn from failures.

    Stupidity is the inability or unwillingness to learn from failure and the unwillingness or inability to acknowledge reality.

    But that's just my opinion. JG was absolutely correct in that there is no clear definition that has been agreed upon by any worthy authority.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman HB3l1's Avatar
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    So there is not an absolute definition of intelligence? Or there was but in the meantime people unconsciously expanded the idea about what it means.
    If we look back at the origins of word 'intelligence' it comes from a Latin word ''intelegere'' which means to understand ( and only that ), while word ''smart" means (able to adapt to one's environment), or being "clever" (able to creatively adapt).

    Now my question is ,is it our mistake that we are usually interpreting words wrongly g , word intelligence has a different meaning by different individuals, or is it a normal process of evolution? Words and their meanings evolve parallel with people?
    I have a lot of troubles lately trying to grasp what everyone is trying to say, people are often giving themselves a
    freedom to use words out of its original context and meaning. Everything is way to subjective ...


    Last edited by HB3l1; August 8th, 2013 at 10:15 AM.
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  8. #7  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    So there is not an absolute definition of intelligence? Or there was but in the meantime people unconsciously expanded the idea about what it means.
    If we look at back at the origins of word 'intelligence' it comes from a Latin word ''intelegere'' which means to understand ( and only that ), while word ''smart" means (able to adapt to one's environment), or being "clever" (able to creatively adapt).

    Now my question is ,is it our mistake that we are usually interpreting words wrongly g , word intelligence has a different meaning by different individuals, or is it a normal process of evolution? Words and their meanings evolve parallel with people?
    I have a lot of troubles lately trying to grasp what everyone is trying to say, people are often giving themselves a
    freedom to use words out of its original context and meaning. Everything is way to subjective ...

    You make a good point, though I wouldn't recommend using fancy colors to do so. There is an unwritten etiquette rule on the forum that using fancy colors to make a point, unless you are a moderator taking some moderator action, is considered the behavior of those who wish to pervert accepted scientific axioms to support their own belief systems and fantasies.

    But back to your point. Yes spoken language evolves with the culture and it is rare that any given word retains it's original meaning forever. Words have different meanings depending on the context of the conversation that it is used in.

    For instance if you hear the word "memory" in a conversation about computers, people are probably speaking of the computer hardware formally known as RAM. If you hear it in a conversation about psychology, they are probably referring to the brain's ability to record events. If you hear it in casual conversation about life, people may be referring to specific events that have been remembered or some pseudo-scientific belief in past life regression.

    If you talk about intelligence in reference to military applications, they are referring to information obtained through spying, investigation, or rumors. If they are speaking about biology, it is probably a reference to brain capacity of an organism. If you are talking about people, they will likely be referring to how much information a person has stored in their memory.

    I tried to give a general definition of how I would describe what intelligence is in reference to human intelligence.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  9. #8  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    So there is not an absolute definition of intelligence?
    I don't think so. It seems to be one of those "you know it when you see it, but is impossible to define" things. People have tried to extend the concept to talk about different "types" of intelligence. I don't know if doing that clarifies or confuses.

    If we look at back at the origins of word 'intelligence' it comes from a Latin word ''intelegere'' which means to understand (and only that)
    That is the etymological fallacy. The origin of the word doesn't tell you what the word means.

    Now my question is ,is it our mistake that we are usually interpreting words wrongly g , word intelligence has a different meaning by different individuals, or is it a normal process of evolution? Words and their meanings evolve parallel with people?
    This is perfectly normal. The meanings of words change over time. (They are, after all, just arbitrary symbols.)
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  10. #9  
    Forum Freshman HB3l1's Avatar
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    Though I wouldn't recommend using fancy colors to do so. There is an unwritten etiquette rule on the forum that using fancy colors to make a point, unless you are a moderator taking some moderator action, is considered the behavior of those who wish to pervert accepted scientific axioms to support their own belief systems and fantasies.
    Okey, I changed it back to the ''normal''. :'( It was to good to be true.

    If you are talking about people, they will likely be referring to how much information a person has stored in their memory.
    This is your personal definition of intelligence (but isn't that rather called education instead of intelligence?), and like I said it is different among the people..

    But back to your point. Yes spoken language evolves with the culture and it is rare that any given word retains it's original meaning forever. Words have different meanings depending on the context of the conversation that it is used i
    I completely agree on this one.

    I don't think so. It seems to be one of those "you know it when you see it, but is impossible to define" things. People have tried to extend the concept to talk about different "types" of intelligence. I don't know if doing that clarifies or confuses.
    If we aren't able to define it how can we be sure that we know what is it about? Isn't that a paradox?

    This is perfectly normal. The meanings of words change over time. (They are, after all, just arbitrary symbols.)
    So basically almost everything is subjective?
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  11. #10  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    My own personal definition of intelligence is not how much or what kind of information you have, but how you utilize it. Stupid and intelligent are just the ends of the spectrum.

    I know personal defitition hold water like cheese cloth, but sometimes it's the only way I can keep things straight.
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  12. #11  
    who sees through things
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    Multiple intelligences

    Who's more intelligent:

    1. Someone who scores 180 on an IQ test
    2. Someone who can glance at a sheet of complicated music and sing it back in perfect pitch
    3. Someone who can build an engine from discarded parts
    4. Someone who can write a poem that makes people cry
    5. Someone who can convince a person who is desperately trying to save money to buy an item they don't really need
    6. Someone who can survive alone in the woods for a week without a supply of food, matches, a lighter or a compass?
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  13. #12  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Bing View Post
    1. Someone who scores 180 on an IQ test
    Intelligent

    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Bing View Post
    2. Someone who can glance at a sheet of complicated music and sing it back in perfect pitch
    Gifted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Bing View Post
    3. Someone who can build an engine from discarded parts
    Skilled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Bing View Post
    4. Someone who can write a poem that makes people cry
    Talented.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Bing View Post
    5. Someone who can convince a person who is desperately trying to save money to buy an item they don't really need
    Charismatic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Bing View Post
    6. Someone who can survive alone in the woods for a week without a supply of food, matches, a lighter or a compass?
    Resourceful.

    In the end, they're all just words used subjectively.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Masters Degree LuciDreaming's Avatar
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    True FM but in order to study or measure it there needs to be an agreed on definition and obviously if we take your definition at face value that means large swathes of the population are unintelligent. Its quite a bone of contention in psychology with critical social psychologists taking the pragmatic view and experimental psychologists trying to enforce a strict definition that doesn't work frankly.
    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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  15. #14  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    if we take your definition at face value that means large swathes of the population are unintelligent
    Isn't that demonstrably true anyway?
    Regardless of what definition is used.

    Although I do think Flick meant "intelligent" in that particular case in the sense of highly so.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  16. #15  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    if we take your definition at face value that means large swathes of the population are unintelligent.
    Do you have any evidence to support the counter view?
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  17. #16  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    if we take your definition at face value that means large swathes of the population are unintelligent
    Isn't that demonstrably true anyway?
    Regardless of what definition is used.

    Although I do think Flick meant "intelligent" in that particular case in the sense of highly so.
    Yes. It would also mean that those of us who cannot survive naked in the woods are unresourceful (probably not a word).

    My point was just that we are often pigeonholed by our language. Sometimes, when we use one word, we imply the antithesis of that word to everyone else. Many of our words overlap and sometimes it's probably best to use more than one descriptor.

    The written language is, at least to me, the greatest accomplishment of mankind. Like most of our great works, it ain't perfect.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  18. #17  
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    In my opinion, stupidity is making illogical decisions that other people look down upon. I think that intelligence is being able to look at something in many ways and proceed with educated decisions. I don't think that these terms are antonyms of each other because of different people's views of behaviors.
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  19. #18  
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    I would argue that stupidity is evident in the need some people have to "look down" on other people.
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    But is this behavior not looked down upon and seen as illogical? Thus my definition still stands.
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  21. #20  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    indeed
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  22. #21  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNewEinstein View Post
    In my opinion, stupidity is making illogical decisions that other people look down upon. I think that intelligence is being able to look at something in many ways and proceed with educated decisions. I don't think that these terms are antonyms of each other because of different people's views of behaviors.
    Why in the world would you care if others look down on your decision, because THEY thought it illogical?
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  23. #22  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    I would argue that stupidity is evident in the need some people have to "look down" on other people.

    Absolutely.

    Do not judge till you walk in THEIR SHOES!!

    If you can't wear their SLIPPERS than maybe you don't comprehend their LOGIC!!!
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  24. #23  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheNewEinstein View Post
    In my opinion, stupidity is making illogical decisions that other people look down upon. I think that intelligence is being able to look at something in many ways and proceed with educated decisions. I don't think that these terms are antonyms of each other because of different people's views of behaviors.
    Why in the world would you care if others look down on your decision, because THEY thought it illogical?
    I think (hope) that New Einstein meant something more along the lines of peer review: other people, carefully considering a situation, assessing it from many perspectives conclude that there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that an individual's decisions is just palin dumb. If he meant something else then your observation applies.
    Last edited by John Galt; August 11th, 2013 at 06:36 AM. Reason: Edit:Meant pain not palin.I am leaving the original mistake since palin and dumb have a certain resonance.
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  25. #24  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheNewEinstein View Post
    In my opinion, stupidity is making illogical decisions that other people look down upon. I think that intelligence is being able to look at something in many ways and proceed with educated decisions. I don't think that these terms are antonyms of each other because of different people's views of behaviors.
    Why in the world would you care if others look down on your decision, because THEY thought it illogical?
    I think (hope) that New Einstein meant something more along the lines of peer review: other people, carefully considering a situation, assessing it from many perspectives conclude that there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that an individual's decisions is just palin dumb. If he meant something else then your observation applies.
    Well since I am incapable of osmosis, though I do try, on a regular basis with some individuals.....will we ever know?

    and *chuckle* caught the palin dumb.......
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    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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