(1) Intelligence is a general mental capability that involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. While the definition and importance of intelligence is an issue of some controversy, especially in the popular press, a consensus opinion exists among intelligence researchers on many issues. When considering animal intelligence, a more general definition of intelligence might be applied: the "ability to adapt effectively to the environment, either by making a change in oneself or by changing the environment or finding a new one" (Encyclopędia Britannica). Intelligence tests are often used to quantify human intelligence. This is not without controversy; see below for more information.

Some thinkers have explored the idea of collective intelligence, arising from the coordination of many people. Computer science has developed the field of artificial intelligence, which seeks to make computers act in increasingly intelligent ways. Many people have also speculated about the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence.

Table of contents
1 Intelligence tests
2 Controversies
3 References
4 External Links

Intelligence tests

Intelligence, narrowly defined, can be measured by intelligence tests (see IQ). They are among the most accurate (reliable and valid) psychological tests, but they are not intended to measure creativity, personality, character, or wisdom. Intelligence tests take many forms, but they all measure the same intelligence. The general factor measured by each intelligence test is known as g (see g theory).

Some researchers have proposed that intelligence is not a single quantity or concept, but really consists of a set of relatively independent abilities. Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, for example, breaks intelligence down into the seven different components: logical, linguistic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, intra-personal and inter-personal intelligences. Daniel Goleman and several other researchers have developed the concept of emotional intelligence and claim it is at least as important as more traditional sorts of intelligence.

Proponents of multiple-intelligence theories often claim that g is, at best, a measure of academic ability. Other types of intelligence, they claim, might be just as important outside of a school setting.

In response, g theorists have argued that multiple intelligences have not been borne out when actually tested (Hunt 2001) and that g actually has a substantial impact on personal affairs, including job performance (Campbell 1990).


Researchers in the field of human intelligence have encountered a considerable amount of public concern and criticism; much more than many scientists would be accustomed to or comfortable with. Some of the controversial topics include:


  • Campbell, J. P. (1990). The role of theory in industrial and organizational psychology. In M. D. Dunnette & L.M Hough (Eds.). Handbook of industrial-organizational psychology 2nd ed.), Vol. 1 (pp. 39-74). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
  • Hunt, E. (2001). Multiple views of multiple intelligence. [Review of Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligence in the 21st century.] Contemporary Psychology, 46, 5-7.

External Links

(2) Intelligence is the process and the result of gathering and analysing difficult to obtain or altogether secret information. See espionage, intelligence agencies.

  • Business intelligence denotes the public or secret information that an organization obtains about its competitors and market.
  • Military intelligence is an element of warfare which covers the aspects of gaining information over the enemy forces. It involves spying, look-outs, high-tech survaillance equipement and also secret agents.