The Many Types of Intelligence


What is intelligence? How do we measure it? Why does it matter? Do we have enough intelligence? Most of us have these questions running through our heads. Some find the answers while some don’t. It’s interesting and important to know what makes our intelligence. What are the components of intelligence? Of course, for the longest time, IQ used to be the only measurement of intelligence. We all like to be referred to as intelligent people. About one-third of an average person’s life is spent on learning to gain intelligence. But is it something that can only be learned? To begin the discussion, we can start with IQ as it’s the most widely known and widely used measurement of intelligence.

 Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

Intelligence Quotient or IQ is a measure of your ability to reason and solve problems. It essentially reflects how well you did on a specific test as compared to other people of your age group. The average score of IQ is 100. There are numerous psychological tests that can indicate your level of IQ. For the longest time, IQ was used as the only measure in evaluating individuals. The method is quite popular in job recruitments where applicants or candidates are tested for their IQ using popular IQ tests.

 Emotional Quotient (EQ)

The highest scorers of IQ also fail in their jobs. Even though IQ indicates the level of intelligence of a person, it merely gives an indication of their ability to solve mathematical problems, comprehend something, or make logical decisions. However, in any given context, be it in business, politics, education and so forth individuals need to go through a series of emotions in performing their tasks. One of the main reasons for this is that society comprises people from all walks of life who are bestowed with different capacities, endowed with different abilities, different qualities, and qualifications. Hence, it’s evident that all individuals are not going to be performing the same.

However, there is an acceptable level of performance that needs to be expected at any given level. Be it education, work, or any other establishment, dealing with people is a must to get things done. One’s ability to control emotions or get the best out of emotions is an art. EQ indicates one’s ability to work with different individuals at different levels without an issue. When it comes to happiness and success in life, EQ matters just as much as IQ. Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as Emotional Quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at school and work, and achieve your career and personal goals. It can also help you to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you.

 Social Quotient (SQ)

After relying on IQ and EQ both in the recent past the scholars identified another indicator of an individual’s intelligence. It’s known as SQ or Social Quotient. Social intelligence is the ability of a person to tune into other people’s emotions and read the subtle behavioural cues to choose the most effective response in a given situation. And Social Intelligence will be the future! The reason is simple. Every interpersonal interaction has an emotional subtext to it. And most of that emotional undertone gets manifested less through words and more through non-verbal behaviours like gestures, expressions, postures, vocal cues, or for that matter, the way one has shaped one’s personal environment.

Now, to excel in various roles that we play – be it that of a beloved, spouse, parent, friend, manager, marketer, teacher, leader and so forth it is important to first have an insight into how emotions work and the skill to observe someone’s nonverbal behaviour to understand the counterpart emotions in people we are relating to. It is not some talent you are born with. It is a skill that can be learned, practiced, and mastered.

 Adversity Quotient (AQ)

People often judge an individual on his or her intellectual capacity and cognitive abilities. We are misguided by the assumption that someone’s success is determined by their smartness. Intelligence is indeed an integral part of excellence. But success is not only determined by one’s achievements but is also dependent upon how capable an individual is to persevere in times of adversity. Life is unprecedented at times, and we may encounter several challenges in our journey towards triumph. Thus, it is necessary to develop skills that enable us to overcome these challenges and grow out of them. This ability of individuals’ to overcome hardships is labelled as the Adversity Quotient.

Adversity Quotient (AQ) is defined as the ability of an individual to think, manage, direct, and endure challenges and difficulties in life.

In our next article will dig deeper into each component.

By D. I. Perera