Create your own definition of intelligence without consulting your book or other articles.
Intelligence is culturally relative, what is termed as intelligence in one culture may not necessarily be termed as intelligence in another culture. Intelligence, to me, is mastery of your own environment and being able to control your own reaction towards it. Let us take a look at the differences in intelligence in different cultures;
In America, children are taken to school and taught how to read and write, to do calculations and understand basic literature. After reading and doing class work students are given exams. The measure of intelligent is first of all based on the performance in the exams. There is also the use of an IQ test which determines whether you are average of above average (Neisser, 1996).
The advantages of the tests are that first of all they focus on both the academic and social questions. There are also trick questions that make one to think critically. The major limitations are base on the American culture on marriage and cousins. The other limitation is that it is for someone who is literate, illiterate people cannot answer it.
In Africa, in most of their traditional communities intelligence is measured by how skilled of a hunter one is, the more skilful one is the more they are intelligent. Intelligence to them is not the use of the brain alone but also muscles, the social environment demands for a physically strong person (Sternberg, 1982). A traditional African man was known to have over a hundred herds of cattle and if on went missing he would know, this was not by counting them that we would know but by understanding his animals, this to me is intelligence.
During the 17th and 16th century, man was known to travel for long distances in the sea by the use of a boat. He would successfully move from one place to an island in the middle of the sea that could not be seen while at the coastline. This he would do by looking at the moon and the wind directions and know where exactly to direct his boat towards. The most amazing thing is that he had no compass to direct him, yet he would do this as an everyday activity. The environment forces people to understand the language of wind and moon. This to me is intelligence.
- Neisser, U; Boodoo G, et al, (1996), Intelligence; Known’s and Unknowns, America Psychologist, Orthodox University Press, New York
- Sternberg RJ, Salter W. (1982), Handbook on Human Intelligence, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Uk