Why Didn’t I Think of That?
Flora M. Brown, Ph.D.
Intelligence tests were introduced in 1905 in France by Alfred Binet. He was asked to create a test that would distinguish between mentally retarded youngsters and those with behavior problems. When Professors Terman and Goddard brought the tests to the United States, many came to believe that intelligence scores represented a quantity that exists in people. Until the Sixties, intelligence tests were used widely to categorize students in public schools, often relegating the unlucky low-scoring students to classes for the educably mentally retarded. Fortunately, when nonconformists of the Sixties began to question the fairness of intelligence tests and even question the existence of intelligence, the IQ tests of the early 20th century had lessand less influence on student placement.
All rights reserved
When a friend suggests a solution to a dilemma, do you ever wonder why you didn’t think
of it yourself? Do you believe that some people are just smarter than others? Is
intelligence really an uncomplicated ability that we’re stuck with from birth and can
be measured by a few simple tests?
After many decades of debate over the existence and testing of intelligence, there
seems to be some consensus that intelligence is not a single unity. In 1983 when Howard
Gardner published his book, Frames of Mind, many people began to agree that we have
multiple intelligences. Gardner sees intelligence as “the capacity to solve problems or
fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings.” He believes that we
all have as many as seven different intelligences.
While we are all born with a certain amount of ability, it’s what we do with it during
our lives that makes a difference. Successful people are not good at everything. They
find something they are good at and stick to it. They risk defeat to get to victory.
They risk criticism to pursue their goals. Whether intelligence is a real quantity or just a hypothetical concept, it still fascinates us all to explore the way we think. The more we learn about our own way of thinking and use it to achieve our goals, the more successful we can become. We all have native ability whether you call it intelligence or the ability to think.
There are some things we can do to enhance this native ability. To become more
creative, daydream, tell jokes and doodle. To increase your social intelligence, show
appreciation for people and listen. To increase your spiritual intellligence, spend
time with and in nature. To increase your verbal intelligence add to your vocabulary
daily, read widely and learn another language.
For fun, discover how you score in these areas by visiting these websites.