Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan
Psychiatrist

Intelligence

Zekâ

There is no widely-accepted definition for it. In this article, I will consider it a piece of mental device that is measured by intelligence tests.

When subjected to a test consisting of the same questions, the society demonstrates an IQ (Intelligence Quotient) of 68%: 90 to 110. Of the areas on both ends, the lower scores on the left-hand side refer to mental retardation, while the high area on the right-hand side refers to superior intelligence.

Superior intelligence and creative power

Those with superior intelligence and those with high creative powers share common traits.

  1. They respond to stimuli much faster.
  2. They show almost the same reaction to the same stimulus. (Low ERP variability)
  3. Their brains weigh more.
  4. They have high neural transmission speeds.
  5. They have a low metabolic speed while doing mental functions. Thus, they don’t consume too much energy for mental processes.
  6. They make fast decisions.
  7. They are highly motivated.
  8. They are willing to learn.
  9. They show cognitive disinhibition. Therefore, they simultaneously recognize multiple stimuli.
  10. They possess increased intra-brain connections. (Increased interconnectivity)
  11. They seek for innovation.
  12. They have high cognitive flexibilities. Thus, they are highly skilled in focusing their attention from one stimulus to another.
  13. They have a high capacity of working memory; therefore, the memory component, in which processes are temporarily kept and changes are made as needed, has a high capacity.
  14. Creative power stands for discovering a new and effective way for the solution of a problem.
  15. While alcoholism, bipolarity and Schizophrenia are associated with creative power, autism is associated with high IQ.

Intelligence, genetic structure and environmental factors

Intelligence is affected both by natural (genetic) and environmental factors.

Hippocampal memory functions increase with learning in association with education and the opportunities during childhood, while other areas seem to be genetic-weighted.

Broadly speaking, intelligence is affected by genetic factors at the rate of 60% and by environmental factors at the rate of 40%.

Intelligence and stigmatization

In addition to all these factors, another historic anecdote on the association of intelligence with social environment is also striking. Sir Cyril Burt, an English psychologist, claimed that IQ is transferred completely through genetic means, and to prove this claim, he stated that 16 fraternal twins had the same levels of intelligence. The fact that the English national education system was designed under the light of these information caused students with similar levels of intelligence to be educated in common classrooms, therefore giving rise to discrimination. Opposing this discriminatory situation, a journalist revealed that this study was not real, as a result of the research they conducted.

Intelligence in psychoanalytic theory

Freud did not show much of an interest in this subject matter, except for a couple of words regarding the association of superior intelligence with discovering sexual identity at early ages.

However, he has a number of writings on creative power, especially on art and artists.

Conclusion:

Apparently, human beings should be taken into consideration as a biopsychosocial whole. Intelligence is only one of the countless factors that define an individual.

As stated by philosophers, the background of an individual is probably more important than intelligence itself as the factor that defines the individual.

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