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  • Writer's pictureRussell Cornhill


Updated: Mar 23

The Thinking Process 1

Like most people, I learnt of the different aspects of ‘being human’ many years ago. I never really questioned them much at the time. The aspects were the physical, the emotional, the intellectual, the spiritual (or soul), and there may have even been a fifth that I’ve forgotten. Personally, these days, I only believe in the physical and the emotional.

While many people will argue about the idea of not including the spiritual, I think the most contentious omission might be that of intelligence. I simply don’t believe that intelligence is an innate part of the human brain but is best used as a group name for the cognitive (intellectual, if you like) skills that we have developed over many, many years as the human race evolved.

The concept of intelligence itself would have been many years in the making, and perhaps came about for a number of different reasons. I believe that one of the main reasons it was accepted as an innate part of ‘being human’ was to distinguish humans from other animals. For me, that would mean it was based on an incorrect assumption. In other words, I believe all animals (with brains) have at least some potential to learn these skills, but we humans have a greater memory capacity and a far greater desire to learn and improve.

Of course, we measure this thing called intelligence. If, and only if, IQ tests concentrate entirely on measuring those cognitive skills, they could still be regarded as ‘accurate’ in what they are trying to measure. Memory is essential but isn’t one of the cognitive skills and should be tested separately. Knowledge isn’t part of ‘intelligence’. It’s simply what our ‘intelligence’ helps us learn. Often these tests have a time limit, which means speed is being used as part of the test. Thinking of answers more quickly may be wonderful, but trying to be faster can also be a detriment to clear thinking. We already know that cultural factors can influence the validity of an IQ test. Could simple experience also be a factor?

For me, the major problem could be the lingering idea that we are testing intelligence rather than different skills. Should all skills be tested for the result to be accurate? Should the test give equal value to each skill, or should it give different values to different skills? In any event, we are testing a number of different skills and giving an overall result. That’s a little like choosing the best overall competitor at the Olympic Games.

Or do we do that too?

Yep, Just my thoughts. Nope, not much research.

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