Intelligence has been defined in many different ways such as in terms of one’s capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, learning, emotional knowledge, memory, planning, creativity and problem solving. In the popular sense, intelligence is often defined as the general mental ability to learn and apply knowledge to manipulate your environment, as well as the ability to reason and have abstract thought.
The measurement of intelligence is dogged by controversy and disagreement. While there are a number of different methods for measuring intelligence, the standard and most widely accepted method is by measuring a person’s ‘intelligence quotient’ or IQ. Based on a series of tests which assess various types of abilities such a mathematical, spatial, verbal, logic and memory. The results from such tests done on a group that is representative of the wider popular shows the classic ‘bell-shape’ distribution, meaning that most people are of average intelligence with a few at the extreme ends of the scale.
Successfully intelligent people discern their strengths and weaknesses, and then figure out how to capitalize on their strengths, and to compensate for or remediate their weaknesses. Successfully intelligent individuals succeed in part because they achieve a functional balance among a “triarchy” of abilities:
Within the discipline of psychology, various approaches to human intelligence have been adopted. The psychometric approach is especially familiar to the general public, as well as being the most researched and by far the most widely used in practical settings. Intelligence is most widely studied in humans, but has also been observed in animals and in plants. Artificial intelligence is the simulation of intelligence in machines.