Psycholinguistics & Neurolinguistics

Intelligence Types and Functions with detail


Intelligence is the ability of the human being (and to a lesser extent of some higher animals) to construct useful information to solve a problem, based on the conditions of the environment and what has been learned previously. In fewer words: intelligence is the ability to solve a problem using creativity, memory, and deductive ability. Intelligence Types and Functions

Intelligence must be distinguished from encyclopedic knowledge and even from the general culture, as well as from a mental speed of calculation or verbal skill, although all of this is usually linked in some way to certain types of intelligence. An intelligent person is not necessarily cultured or fast but has an intrinsic ability to understand situations and deduce or imagine solutions.

Traditionally, humans are distinguished from the rest of the higher animals in that they reach (although sometimes it may not seem like it) the highest known degrees of intelligence, which has been key in their evolutionary process and has allowed them to understand reality at deep levels. , invent a complex series of expressive tools and media, and shape the environment at will.

Etymology of intelligence

The word “intelligence” comes from two Latin words: inter (“between”) and leggere (read, choose), so in its primary meaning it implied the ability to “read between the lines”, that is, to interpret, deduce, beyond the obvious.

Hence, during the Middle Ages, it became intelligentsia, to refer to understanding and eventually ” intelligentsia ” to name the social class made up of intellectuals and cultural personalities.

Intelligence definitions

There is no single definition for intelligence but it will depend on the specific approach and the factors that are taken into account: attempts to establish what exactly intelligence is have always generated debate.

Thus, for example, Ch. Spearman considered it a unitary capacity to solve problems and create new content, while for LG Humphreys it was a set of abilities that allow the living being to better adapt to its environment. Intelligence Types and Functions

For Alfred Bienet, intelligence was common sense or a practical sense, that is, the adaptive capacity to solve a problem, and for Reuven Feuerstein the human capacity to modify the structure of its cognitive functioning to adapt to changes in a situation throughout life.

Intelligence types

Just as there is no single definition of intelligence, there are numerous forms of intelligence that allow it to be studied separately, according to the specific field of perceptions, reasoning or perceptions that they involve:

  • Linguistic-verbal. They are intelligence models that are based on the formulation of thought through verbal language, be it written or oral, as well as its transmission and recovery through reading.
  • Numerical. The one that has to do with formal logical processes and that finds its maximum expression in mathematics and numbers.
  • Space. It aims at the deep perception of the environment, of the forms that underlie what is seen, and the relationships between them.
  • Physical or motor. It is an intelligence model related to the actions of the body, that is, its movements, its skills, its capabilities. It is not usually considered a form of intelligence since it is often mistakenly associated only with mental or intellectual processes.
  • Emotional. Emotional intelligence has to do with the effective and efficient management of one’s own emotionality, initially proposed by Daniel Coleman in his book Emotional intelligence.
  • Social. It applies to the field of interpersonal relationships and uses charisma, leadership, even manipulation, and other talents of a social nature. Intelligence Types and Functions

Intelligence functions

Intelligence is in charge of dealing with the outer and inner world in such a way that we can adapt to situations successfully. Its main functions are:

  • Anticipate. Based on what we have learned and the variables of the environment, intelligence seeks to anticipate what could happen and take the pertinent measures to protect ourselves, insure ourselves, or give us the advantage in any situation.
  • Build. Intelligence builds the structures of thought that memory will store, in such a way that it allows us to return to those experiences to react to future situations.
  • To mean. Intelligence is also in charge of the communicative area, forming its own symbols and languages, which allow us to represent the real world in its absence.
  • Establish relations. Causality, consequence, the various types of relationships that we can establish between one reality and another, are the field of action of intelligence.

Importance of intelligence

Intelligence plays a particularly central role in humanity as it is our great evolutionary tool. Unlike other animal species, which developed physical capacities to adapt to the environment, the human being increasingly developed their capacity for learning and deduction, thus being able to modify the elements and even the environment to adapt it to their needs, and not the other way around.

This represents the triumph of intelligence in the evolutionary race.

Intelligence measurement

There are numerous attempts to measure intelligence through different scales and procedures.

Psychometrics, the discipline in charge of psychological measurements, pursues a unique measure of intelligence called the “general intelligence factor” or G Factor that compares the performance of a subject with respect to his social group of reference.

Other measurement proposals are those that determine the intellectual coefficient (IQ), which compares the performance of a subject in an intelligence test with the expected measurements for their age.

Intelligence development

The development of human intelligence is studied by pedagogy based on various determining factors of its progressive growth, such as:

  • Genetic factors. Hereditary propensities and innate facilities towards some kind of intelligence.
  • Environmental factors. Vital elements in the growth of the individual, especially in its early stages such as nutrition, the appropriate family environment, access to formal education, and motivation towards learning.

Animal intelligence

It is commonly spoken of as “animal intelligence” to refer to the degree of learning and deductive reasoning of animals, although it is impossible to determine for sure how intelligent they really are. This discipline studies, for example, if they have the capacity for language and symbolization.

At the moment, everything indicates that these characteristics are unique to humans: for example, a parrot that repeats a word can articulate the sounds, and even associate them with some reward or punishment, but not understand the abstract meaning that they entail. Intelligence Types and Functions

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