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Date: 2012-12-31 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The best available definition for "intelligence" is "intelligence is the quality measured by intelligence tests", and since intelligence tests measure a combination of problem-solving ability; memory retrieval speed and agility; and cultural background, these tests aren't exactly the most precise instruments.

What's worse is that what they mean by problem-solving on IQ tests is tasks such as identifying the order of three pictures in a story, finding the missing item in a visual field, or looking at and rebuilding a pattern with blocks. I mean, you could practice those things, but they're not particularly useful life skills. The assumption is that being good at those tasks will make you better at more concrete real-world tasks. The problem is that if you actually test real-life tasks, then your actual level of skill will matter - whereas IQ is supposed to be an inherent quality that doesn't vary over one's lifetime. Indeed, I had three professionally done IQ tests in my life and the results were always the same. But does that mean we've figured out the basis of intelligence? Or just found some characteristics of someone's ability that happen to be fixed over time?
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