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

January 9, 2009

What’s Your PQ – Persistence Quotent?

Filed under: character, Christianity, education, parenting — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:03 pm

mark-batterson-profile-110D.C. Pastor of National Community Church (NCC) and author of In A Pit With A Lion on a Snowy Day, and Wild Goose Chase, Mark Batterson (pictured) blogs at Evotional (tag line: Spirit Fuel) and posted the following this morning:

I came across a fascinating study this week. Can’t stop thinking about it. Priscilla Blinco did a study involving Japanese and American first graders. She gave them a very difficult puzzle to solve. The American children lasted, on average, 9.47 minutes. The Japanese children lasted 13.93 minutes or 40% longer.

Any one want to guess who has higher scores on standardized math tests?

Fascinating study with interesting implication. The argument is that we might give IQ more credit than it deserves. Persistence quotient might be a better predictor of success! How long are you willing to try something before giving up? Successful people, in every arena, aren’t just smarter. They try harder and try longer.

By the way, just got an email from an NCCer that has been trying to get a job with U.S. State Department for 12 years! Every application had been denied, that is, until a couple weeks ago. They were interviewing 1200 applicants for 24 positions. This NCCer was the second person selected.

Listen, that is good old-fashioned persistence. Don’t take no for an answer! Try, Try again. It’s not over till the fat lady sings. I don’t care what aphorism you quote. It’s all about persistence. Keep trying! Then try some more!

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