A Conversation for Intelligence project index


Post 1

Witty Ditty


I saw that you wanted someone to come and have a look over the Intelligence project so far.... I'll have a look at it and come back to you on it!

Stay smiley - cool,


Post 2

Witty Ditty


Do you mind if I take it one entry at a time? This post is going to be long...

Intelligence tests

It is a nice description of IQ, its genesis and problems with the test procedure. I can't see anything wrong with that. Possibly a mention of how to work it out (IQ=mental age/chronological age x 100), so-called 'normal IQ' (100 points), both developed by Lewis Terman of Stanford Uni, USA (this was called the Stanford-Binet Test).

A mention of another test which is commonly used:

Wechsler Intelligence Scales; IQ was divided into two types, verbal (symbolic thought and language), and perfomance (symbolic non-verbal thought and processing speed).

An example of a verbal-type question would be; a boy runs 50 yards in 10 seconds. How far does he run in 1 second?

And for a performance-type test; there are 3 pictures which, if placed in the correct order, show someone doing something - put them in the right order as quickly as you can.

Specific Intelligences

Good description of all the types (nice use of brevity; to the point yet detailed enough).

Intelligence and Learning

Nice and brief; perhaps too brief? Maybe a mention of Fluid and Crystalline Intelligence here would be worth it, as they vary over lifetime, and in an increasingly ageing population, this may need a mention. Fluid intelligence involves things like reaction times, quick thinking, reasoning, approaching new problems etc, whereas crystalline intelligence is the accumulation of facts, figures etc. Over time, the level of fluid intelligence declines, hence why older people's reaction times or speed of thought is not was it used to be. However, crystalline intelligence increases over time, reaching a plateau in middle age, so that older people still remember their Geography, or their times table. This was developed be Cattell in 1957.

Perhaps some mention of how intelligence beween the genders differs too - males cannot 'multi-task', ie have several things going on at once, whereas females can - males can only deal with one aspect at a time. This has lead to the difference in exam performance; the ability to multi-task and think of several things is well suited to modern-day exam questions, whereas males find it more demanding; except in traditionally male subjects such as the sciences (but it may be worth noting that this has since changed - females do better in the sciences, except for Physics - and the difference is not entirely due to how you think, but also motivation to study). This has been put down to the increased verbal ability of females (hence why they do so well in the arts and languages), and the increased spatial skills of males (hence why thay don't do so well in languages or the arts, but do very well in maths and the sciences).

Intellegence and Learning Difficulties

Good overview. No problems there; it seems to touch on everything smiley - ok

Animal Intelligence

Fantastic - learned a lot here! You do tend to concentrate on the great apes; would it be worth mentioning that Grey Amazon (I think that's right) Parrots, Macaws and Parrakeets have the intelligence of a 3 year old child? I think I saw that on a very amusing Horizon episode...

Theories of Intelligence

Good overview. Nowt to say about that smiley - ok

General Intelligence

Brief; good.

Machine Intelligence

Good - Worth a link to the film AI at all?

Intelligence and Genius

As you say, the title needs a re-think, but I am not sure how to improve it; perhaps Society and Genius?

I am not sure about the examples of personalities given as geniuses (or is it geniui?). Although they are certainly brilliant, the word 'genius' is very subjective. One man's genius may be another man's equal. This may be worth mentioning here.

It also seems to concentrate on the 'intellectual genius'; which seems to mean from the entry 'academically gifted'. This is held in sharp contrast to the previous entry on Specific Intelligence. Also, I'm not sure that the last paragraph is wholly relevant to the subject. Although I agree that certainly the people who are named did have difficulties in carrying out their normal lives, and were ostracised for socially uncomfortable reasoning (at the time), it could be said that many others who were homosexual, had relationships out of wedlock etc but who were not in the public eye, or even, as intelligent, would have suffered the same fate as those who are mentioned. Only, of course, we would not hear about them. If it was me who was writing the Uni project, I would probably drop the last paragraph - although interesting, as I have said, it is not relevant.

It could be worth mentioning that those who are regarded as 'stupid' academically, could be in fact genius in other ways. I'm thinking of David Beckham here - great footballer, fantastic free-kick deliverer, generally held to be a bit thick, as he did come out with this; 'I want to christen my son [Brooklyn Beckham], but we're not sure what religion to christen him into yet...' Again, those in sport who may not be the, how can I put this, the brightest sparks, are undoubtably talented, if not genius at their sport.

It could be worth mentioning grammar/selective schooling or indeed, 'fast-tracking' which enable schools to, stream brighter pupils into groups of increasing difficulty.

Also those who are dyslexic often turn out to be the most revered geniuses of our time - often after their death, as hindsight is always 20:20. Leonado da Vinci, Einstein, actually, even Richard Branson (ok, I might be stretching the description of genius a little far, but to be so successful, requires some kind of business acumen which is unsurpassed. His headmaster did say to him, 'You'll either end up in prison, or become a millionaire.' He did both...). So genius surpasses learning difficulties; no more so in the 'idiot savants'. That may be probably worth a mention here, or in learning difficulties.

The one thing I think is a definite problem with society and genius, and definitely needs a mention, is the age old problem of jealousy. If anyone does really well, and seems to do absolutely no work, then others may see this as 'unfair', because they would have to work so much harder to attain what the other person seems to acquire so easily. In children, and even in the workplace, peers will then bully the person beyond belief - the intention is to 'bring them back down to earth' or punish them for doing so well. The best example of this is the British tabloid press and anyone in sport. Let's take the example of the new England manager - Sven Goran Eriksson. His side completely demolished Germany, 5-1, away. Genius or not, he is certainly talented in his post, and turned around a failing England team to be a world beater. And amid all the praise, there were still the critics, who declared that even though he trained them up so well, he should not be England manager. Because he is not English, but Swedish. This is not the best example of genius and discrimination, but I'm sure you can think of a better one smiley - smiley However, in one IQ test which did compare the different races (a bit dodgy I know.... I will say that the results are, smiley - erm suspect...) it does seem to suggest that Jewish and Oriental races seem to outperform their Caucasian counterparts; this may be one of the reasons for racism in that aspect - but, as I have said, the results I would not trust too much... smiley - erm

Musical genius also seems to be totally independent of verbal ability - probably due to the musical 'centre' of the brain being in a completely different place to the verbal 'centre' - hence why Mozart could read and write music before he would read or write words.

Evoked Potential

Short and sweet; good.

Intelligence Amplification

Concise, good.

Right; here's some stuff that I think might need a mention:

Improving Intelligence

Possibly some mention of the 'Mozart Effect' and also child/parent interaction. Maybe also a brief mention of the effect of nutrition on intelligence (I'm thinking of the IQ Vitamins controversy here...)

Genetics and Intelligence

The search for an 'intelligence gene'.

Left/Right Handedness

Although many more geniuses are left handed - there is the old adage that there is a fine line between genius and madness; 20% of the mentally retarded are lefties; most lefties are completely normal though.


I think I may have been a bit harsh... feel free to discard if you think I'm taking out of my smiley - bleep

Stay smiley - cool,


Post 3


phew! that will take a while to integrate.

some of this stuff I hadn't heard of before, while some of the rest I had heard of, but didn't know enough to be able to find out the rest.

revisions will be forthcomming. please be patient.

and thanks for the comments, it will help to make these entries better.

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