Thinking Out Loud

August 12, 2018

I’m Proof That IQ Tests Alone are Not a Descriptor of Intelligence

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:57 am

I’m one of those kids who skipped a grade in elementary school. Well, I effectively skipped, doing grades 3, 4 and 5 in two years. To use the term in use at the time, I was accelerated.

As early as High School I found myself questioning that process. It wasn’t just that I was surrounded by students a year older, but I was beginning to realize that IQ testing alone doesn’t prove overall intelligence. A gifted student is one thing and one thing only: Gifted at test-writing. And a certain type of test-writing at that.

As I get older, there are times I feel downright stupid, for lack of a better word. For example:

  • Organization: I can back-time things so that I get places in a timely manner, but putting the actual schedule together necessary to create those time deadlines is another matter entirely.
  • Adaptation: I am realizing that I have a tremendous capacity to be overwhelmed. Especially in unfamiliar situations.
  • Mechanics: You’ve heard of people who can take things apart, but can’t put them back together again? Well, I can’t take them apart. My made up word for my condition (which uses the 2nd word incorrectly) is “mechanical derisions.”
  • Spatial Perception: If we’re going on a long trip, it’s a given that my wife will pack the trunk of the car. I’m not avoiding work; I will do all the unpacking and carrying-in of everything; I just find placing the puzzle pieces together daunting.
  • General Perception: I can stare right at something and not see it. Maybe it’s because I was working next door to a pet food store, but the word I came up with for this was “visual dysplasia.”
  • Communication: This one, I know will astound you, given that I am writer, but perhaps in my penchant for making up words as in the two examples above, it becomes clear that at times, I have a bit of a contempt for language instead of utilizing it properly.
  • Memorization: This is an age thing, but my ability to commit things to memory is definitely on the decline. Especially peoples’ names.

So what do I get right?

People who find themselves weak in certain areas will often go out of their way to compensate. I feel that what I bring to the table are:

  • Connectivity: The ability to network people, resources and organizations, to create instant analogies which help people understand.
  • Humor: A good sense of humor will save you in all types of situations.
  • Compassion: I was advised not to go into pastoral ministry because I’m “not thick-skinned enough.” I took that as a bit of a compliment.
  • Creativity: Not everyone you meet will write a book (or start a blog), or compose a song, or paint an abstract landscape, or prepare an amazing meal.
  • Quick Thinking: The ability of think on your feet will also save you in various circumstances.
  • Faithfulness: I see this as a spiritual value above all, but sticking it out will earn you the respect of people.
  • Faith: Distinct from the above, even misplaced faith is at the very least a recognition that there are powers and forces which are transcendent, which I would argue leads to…
  • Humility: I think a humble spirit will get you further in life than arrogance.

The point is…

…we’re all not the same. Even so-called smart people can be smart in different areas, hence the idea of multiple intelligences, which I can’t mention without sharing the graphic below. But because this is long already, and it’s the weekend, we’ll leave it there!

Image: Source

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