Friday, May 11, 2007

Are You Clever Enough?

How clever are you? Through what way can we best describe a person's brightness or intelligence? Are those traditional IQ tests good enough in evaluating a man's intelligence status? Can we make some further steps in the judgement of human capability in a more precise manner? By watching this episode of BBC horizon - Battle of the Brains - I 've certainly learned more on how psychologists and educationalists try to reshape our understanding of those basic questions on human intelligence evaluation.

Traditional view often goes like this, if you are good at one thing, then you tend to good at many things; if you present poor capabilities in one section, then you will probably do poor in most parts. But things are different when we look at some far broader dimensions on human capability. Seven distinctive individuals who have vastly different backgrounds and professions have joined in a series of experiments conducted by BBC, by which professional scholars would judge their intelligence status through a more integrated framework, which is in contrast to those traditional measures such as IQ score.

A controversial theory, namely Multiple Intelligence theory, initiated by Howard Gardner, a Harvard educationalist, audaciously put those previous theories in a danger position. He categorizes human intelligence dimensions into 8 different and separate parts, linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic intelligence. Some main conclusions and insights are quite astonishing, especially when comparing them with the traditional view. The new theory argues that high performance in one area simply DOES NOT NECESSARILY imply high performance in other disrelated areas.

Another implication is much more stunning, there is some connection, according to some deep researches, between intelligence status (both in early and late years of one's life) and health conditions or even life expectancy. If we want to know more about the interior nature of our "brains", that how does the intelligence come from and why it differs among people, Further explorations and debates are indispensable in this large and mysterious field.

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