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Maddad
2005-Nov-07, 07:43 PM
This is just a fast review first of the previously posted means by which you personally might use to assess someone else's intelligence, or factors that you might use to enhance another person's estimation of your own:

Sense of humor
Active eyes without losing track of conversation
Fast information processing
Frequency of logically related conclusions
Asking questions
Creativity
Efficient and original problem solving
Sensitivity to surroundings
Vocabulary has larger words
Novel associations and relationships
A desire to learn
The depth and degree you analyze you own thought process
frequency of posting on-topic
Choice of recreational down-time activities
Ability to absorb and retain new information
Will to utilize and share this information
Effective communication
Acceptance of personal error
Reorganization of ideas when you are shown to be wrong
Untimid
Speak when it is really important
Answer a lot of question in class
Help on homework
Use spell checkers, dictionaries, and thesaurus

________________________________
The question now is, can any changes here actually change your intelligence, either to improve it or degrade it?

Fram
2005-Nov-07, 07:55 PM
I don't think timidity and intelligence have anything to do with one another. Some others seem strange to me as well (help on homework?).

Maddad
2005-Nov-07, 09:08 PM
The quesiton for you would be, "Do any of these have the capability to altering your intelligence?" These or any others that you choose to associate with being a smart person.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-08, 02:55 AM
Okay, I'm not going to go into personal belief.

First of all, there was a sociological study dealing with how one's raised. A person raised under the care of someone who doesn't give them attention could actually gain 10 to 20 IQ points when under the care of someone that's more loving and gives more attention. I forget what time period this was; I think it was between the ages of 6 and 10, where the study took place. I'll have to double-check it anyways.

Now onto my personal opinion:

Sense of humor
No effect. An intelligent person could easily not smile or laugh at a joke he doesn't really find funny.

Active eyes without losing track of conversation
No effect.

Also, according to studies, women actually have better eye contact than men. This doesn't mean that women are more intelligent than men. (Though I suppose some women would disagree with that viewpoint)

Fast information processing
No effect. This seems more like Eidetic Memory than outright intelligence. SOmeone can train Eidetic Memory -- good bodyguards and spies learn to do such (as do some detectives, I believe).

Frequency of logically related conclusions
You'd be surprised how many otherwise intelligent people suddenly come to erroneous conclusions in some issues, but logical conclusions in others. This seems to be more a lack of critical thinking (which is learned and practiced, I might add) than intelligence.

Asking questions
Asking questions lead to knowledge, but not necessarily to intelligence. Someone just might plain not be interested in the material, so doesn't ask questions (I didn't ask questions through the majority of school, because I simply was not interested nor did I care about school. I HATED school, mainly because I was beaten and hated by everyone else).

Creativity
Not sure on this. I have a friend that's incredibly knowledgable AND intelligent. Yet, I'm more creative than he is. Still, I'd call him more intelligent than I am, based on a few things.

Efficient and original problem solving
Maybe.

Sensitivity to surroundings
I do hear that there is evidence that the more intelligent you are, the more perceptive you can be. However, I haven't seen this evidence myself, so I can't say.

Vocabulary has larger words
No. A good vocabulary has to do with knowledge, NOT intelligence. For instance, Malcolm X went from a gangster that used slang and pretty "poor" vocabulary, to a Muslim leader that used almost any word you can find in the dictionary. This has to do with what he learned, not how intelligent he was - he didn't suddenly "become" more intelligent, he just put his mind into memorizing the dictionary.

Novel associations and relationships
No. This can affect knowledge and what you learn, but not base intelligence.

A desire to learn
No.

The depth and degree you analyze you own thought process
No.

frequency of posting on-topic
Uhm, definitely not o.O. This seems rather arbitrary to me.

Choice of recreational down-time activities
No.

Ability to absorb and retain new information
This is part of intelligence, in my view, yes. Sometimes people are able to pick up on things faster than others - they are often regarded as more intelligent and "smarter".

Will to utilize and share this information
No. Just because you decide not to be a teacher, does not automatically make you an idjit or less intelligent.

Effective communication
I dunno, Leonardo Da Vinci seemed to have problems expressing his ideas in writing. Does this mean that he was an idiot?

Acceptance of personal error
This can help someone learn, but does not automatically mean intelligence.

Reorganization of ideas when you are shown to be wrong
See above.

Untimid
This has nothing to do with intelligence whatsoever. I was pretty timid throughout a lot of my life, and I've seen MANY "untimid" jocks that would have fallen under the heading of "unintelligent" by many people. Lack of timidness has to do with getting over shyness, and I've seen a lot of shy intelligent people. In fact, the STEREOTYPE of the "intelligent bookworm" is a shy man/woman, so I really don't understand where "untimid" came from. Again, seems arbitrary.

Speak when it is really important
No.

Answer a lot of question in class
Not necessarily, no.

Help on homework
Not necessarily, no.

Use spell checkers, dictionaries, and thesaurus
You know, I haven't used a spell checker for a very long time. I plain just think that I don't need one. Most of the spelling errors I make have to do with putting down the wrong word, not spelling the right word wrong.

Also, I have a friend that finds it very difficult to spell words, yet I respect her intelligence myself. She has a form of dyslexia, which makes it hard for her to remember certain things and effects her spelling.


I find this list arbitrary, insulting, and also a form of why stereotypes decide intelligence far more than reality for "Joe Public".

Maddad
2005-Nov-08, 06:52 PM
Lonewulf
I appreciate that you took considerable time to respond to the many inputs of other members here. I will add your suggestion of loving care in the early years to my list. What I would now like from you is your impression of whether anything in the environment can alter intelligence. I realize that you have rejected some of the many suggestions offered by others, but will any of them work, or will anything not mentioned so far work?

Fram
2005-Nov-08, 08:34 PM
Food (or nutrition, if you prefer). A lack of oxygen or another brain accident can alter your intelligence as well, though only (I think) in a negative way.

Maddad
2005-Nov-08, 08:41 PM
Ok. I'll take your position as saying that long term excellent nutrition might improve intelligence. Good suggestion.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-08, 08:46 PM
The problem is, it's very difficult for me to truly define and say what intelligence is. I'm still divided on that. However, I WILL take this apart piece by piece from what I personally know.

There are various steps towards being "smart" in the eyes of Joe Public.

Knowledge, Perception, Memory.

Knowledge can be enhanced by learning, asking questions, going into college, etc. This imparts skills (I disagree with it imparting "intelligence", but these skills and knowledge do help with overall thinking processes, knowing how to handle situations, and gaining a better understanding of Life, the Universe, and Everything).

Perception can be trained - just trying to notice things that are oft unnoticed is a step in the right direction for perception.

Memory can be trained as well -- many people train their memory to retain as much information as possible. However, this mainly revolves around the short-term memory (being able to glance around a room and know what you saw in that time).

That pretty much had to do with stereotypes.

Negatively affecting intelligence is easy. Drugs, lack of oxygen, lack of nutrition (the latter two which were brought up by Fram, of course), lack of sleep can inhibit the thought process, brain injury, etc.

As for what can help "enhance" intelligence in the environment, that depends. Certain drugs are said to broaden one's mind and such, but then, that might just be hippies that idealize their "high" trips. The fact that many people claim to have gained sudden insight into the Universe, and then forget about it as soon as they come down off of their high, makes me suspicious :)

The loving environment is a factor because it helps socialization. A high amount of socialization enhances your IQ and knowledge. Also, self-esteem (not necessarily whether you're timid or not) can affect test scores -- studies showed that African-Americans, when told that they would most likely fail because they were black, actually failed in their tests far more often. This implies that self-esteem can affect test scores (but that doesn't imply actual intelligence).

That's pretty much all I can think up off the top of my head.

Gillianren
2005-Nov-08, 10:03 PM
There's research that suggests that keeping your brain active can, at least, prolong its usefulness (ie, it may help Alzheimer's patients). Reading, crossword puzzles, and such are suggested methods.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-08, 10:08 PM
Darn. Gillian got something I forgot to put in there. Darnit.

*Hits himself*.

Maddad
2005-Nov-09, 08:24 PM
Mice given cages with lots of toys developed brains with up to 50% more mass than mice raised in empty cages.