Intelligence, Meaning, definition and its important kinds


Intelligence is a term that has been defined in different ways. Even before psychology came into being philosophers dealt with intelligence and gave their about it. There is a good deal of controversy about the definitions opinions of intelligence. Intelligence is not knowledge though it is related to it in the sense that the amount of knowledge one can acquire is limited by his intelligence. Intelligence is not the same as talent. It is different from memory. Most often persons with low intelligence have very good memory. Intelligence is the capacity to develop adjusted reactions but is not adjustment.



Definition of intelligence

  1. Intelligence is defined as an ability to judge well, comprehend well and reason well. – Alferd Binet
  2. Intelligence is defined as the mental adaptability to new conditions and problems of life. –Stren
  3. Intelligence is defined as the ability to learn to adjust to one’s environment. –Colvin
  4. which are Intelligence is defined as the ability to undertake activities difficult, complex and abstract. –Stoddard

These definitions differ from one another but there are some common points :

  1. Intelligence deals with abstract concepts
  2. It is the capacity for acting and not merely a mechanism for establishing reaction?
  3. It involves multiple abilities.
  4. It is inherited.
  5. The capacity grows with age, during childhood and adolescence and age of 16 to 20 years the maximum is reached. It remains by the constant thereafter and in old age it starts declining

Catel (1957) defines intelligence as a “general relation reducing capacity”. He holds that general ability or intelligence is one of the sixteen source factors of personality. Indeed, he feels that many other source traits may contribute to intelligence as traditionally conceptualized. On the other hand, g contributes to a number of purely personality manifestations, such as breadth of interests, conscientiousness, memory, wit, general information etc.

Cattel (1963-1987) held that general intelligence or g is of two major type-fluid and crystallized. Note that both are types of general ability. Fluid capacity, symbolized that it is “general relation perceiving capacity which operates in all fields.” Crystallized ability, symbolized gc is a “sum of specific relation perceiving skills acquired in specific fields”. Fluid intelligence is a common volume to obtain new knowledge and resolve new issues, crystallized reflects the ability to try and use previously obtain awareness. In fact, intelligence results from the application of fluid intelligence.

Kinds of Intelligence

Thorndike in 1920 described three kinds of intelligence. These are:


Abstract Intelligence or Verbal Intelligence:

The capacity to manipulate and deal with symbols. This is possible in languages and math’s.

Concrete Intelligence:

Mechanical Intelligence: The capacity to manipulate and deal with things which are mechanical in nature.

Social Intelligence:

This is the capacity to deal with people. Social Much of what is included in it deals with personality.

The maximum amount of work in the field of INTELLIGENCE has been done Burt in 1911. He did a lot of work at Liverpool and came to 3 important conclusions.

  1. All mental activity seems by to be influenced more or less by a simple fundamental capacity identified as general intelligence.
  2. There is evidence show that unlike the school to: exams. Which measure acquired capacity, these tests measure something born a definition of intelligence as “inborn all round mental efficiency.” So intelligence in inherited, inborn and not acquired?
  3. Burt found that higher the mental level involved and the more complex the mental process involved, the more completely do experimental results agree with the empirical estimation of intelligence. So reasoning and abstract thinking would be the most complete measures of intelligence.
    Burt said that any definition of intelligence must relate itself to higher mental process whether the ability to understand well, judge well and ability for abstract thinking.

1 thought on “Intelligence, Meaning, definition and its important kinds”

  1. Pingback: Theories of Intelligence - PSYCHOFACTOR

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top