Tuesday, 19 February 2008

How I understand the mind


What is intelligence. In the beginning of 1900 they started to measure intelligence to identify children with a learning problems. They tested children of different ages and looked how the average child scored. Over the year it changed a little bit but nowadays an IQ of 100 is still the score for how the average child performs. A score of 85 is better than 16% of the same age and a score of 115 is a score better than 84 % of the same age.

We have to take in mind however that these tests are test of a persons ability not of aptitude. Not every person's aptitude is developed because of for example their circumstances. Different opportunities can make a great difference.

First of all if you are born into a family were you have access to knowledge , books , computers and can join sports and clubs, this hugely affects your IQ. When you have access to excellent nutrition, love and encouragement it positively effects your IQ enormously. You are very likely to reach your potential.

Secondly about 20 % of the population have some form of learning disability. Even if their potential is above average they can perform extremely below that because they learn differently and process slowly. I think that intelligence is not fast processing as often is the general believe. These children get blocked and can't access the curriculum because they are slow in reading and writing and processing the language for example. But some children with learning disabilities understand their matter better than average.

Furthermore have you heard about the Pygmalion effect. This means that teachers influence the performance of students. Teacher tend to give more positive feedback, they relate more positively to high expectancy students. They relate better to the child they were once. they challenge them more and these students get more change to show their abilities as opposed to low expectancy students.

Luckily academic ability is not the only source of success later in life. Things as motivation, perseverance, emotional intelligence and even luck are sometimes even more important. A good start can however make an enormous difference.

I believe like Howard Gardner says that there are different form of intelligence which are
spatial intelligence
Bodily-kinesthetic (sports)
Interpersonal intelligence (social skills)
Intrapersonal intelligence (understand yourself)
I think everybody has a strength in one of these areas

If you achieve in your area depends however on your opportunities, your background etc. My son was written of by the system but made an enormous progress and he will prove everybody wrong . He is in a fabulous school so he will get there. So many don't


  1. interesting interesting Marja, I cannot repeat ever your words (too difficult for me)

    Have you ever hearded about the "Peter's principle" ? thats an interesting idea too. "Going way too high for your own intelligance ( in work) , and digging your own 'grave' with that"

    Love your blog, and where did you got that pretty header? Its fantastic!

    Thanks for commenting and have a great week!

    JoAnn from Holland

  2. I never understood these IQ tests, I am not really sure if one can measure intelligence.
    I totally agree with the teachers part they do influence a lot as to how we learn, and how good we learn it.

  3. Very interesting. I have never seen it explained like this.

  4. My son was given so many tests for ADD (therapists said yes, no, maybe) that I think he began to feel that something was wrong with him and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. He finally adapted, but it was rough going.

  5. Come inside my mind......It will knock ya socks off!

  6. I like that Peter principle Joan, and it is not to difficult for you Joan. I learned the language in that area. You speak aDutch every day. I looked at these words in the beginning just like you.
    I like the Peters principle.

    Rambler they only can measure to some degree academic ability, like your understanding and knowledge of math and english. These are school tests Than there are tests for problemsolving I will give you an example of this in a post and there are many others.

    Thanks LGS

    The problem is Billy that the labels are made up by people. People don't fit into labels. They are all different. He may have had some slight sensory integration problems. The general underlying problem. And indeed sometimes the consequences of all the testing is worse than the problem. That's why I have never let my other child test. Her problems didn't affect her learning badly.

    I like my socks though Steve

  7. Hi Marja. I am fascinated by this whole subject and in fact majored in psychometry at university.

    I just delivered a workshop on EQ...emotional intelligence and touched on both IQ and the other mult-intelligence theories that Gardner espouses. Emotional intelligence to me is very interesting because it covers everything from our ability to reason to our ability to interact with others. It's also a lot more accessible in that we can TEACH people some of these skills, whereas IQ is more or less static (though we CAN impact our IQ scores more than the original theorists believe.....)

    I'm not a believer in IQ testing on it's own, but I do believe that it can be used in conjunction with other assessment tool and techniques to help identify the unique issues an individual may have in their learning so that an individual learning plan can be developed to help them find their way in the structure of our school systems.

    Our systems are very faulty......our way of teaching is archaic and disrepectful of individuals who learn in their own manner. But, anything that can help clarify somewhat has to be considered. The problem is that these tests are used in the wrong way........

    What always should come first is the beautiful human being who is behind a bunch of test results.

  8. Oh I wish You lived here. I searched everything for ages to find something for my girl to teach her emotional, social skill
    There was nothing. She is very academic but lacks skills in this area. Luckily she is doing reasonable at the moment. I think it should be one of the subjects at school. For sure in this time. Dana you are a wealth of information. Wow

  9. I think for a long time I was quite discombobulated in the various areas of my intelligence and I think that in my emotional IQ I was lacking behind quite a bit until even just recently and I think some of my social skills were not all that well developed either. I am getting all caught up now and seem to be adequate in these areas now, but I am still not good in logical-mathematical skills and never will be and I have no musical skills. I don't know how much spatial intelligence I have, I think I am okay there.

    It's a very interesting field of study and I put much value into it, because I know there is a lot of truth in it, in my case especially in the emotional IQ. People mistake acting grown up for being emotionally grown up and well rounded, when that isn't necessarily so. You can act very grown up and mature without actually being it. Then you are just being very well behaved, like I was.

    The knowledge of self, is the greatest knowledge to have and I am coming by it now, fairly late in life, while I have been searching for it for a long time, alas, in the wrong places and under the wrong guidance and direction. There are many gurus, but the best guru is the one called "science."

    I now know that I am manic depressive and this knowledge has explained a lot of my behavior to me and a lot of my emotional life. I can now read books and recognize behaviors that I have in descriptions of other people. I can also take medication that is designed for my condition and learn strategies that are designed to help me and other people like me in life. That is all due to science.

    Well, I just wanted to put my 2 cents worth in, so I did.

  10. Hi Irene, Thank you for your response. I too got so many questions answered by science. Often things we do are often mistaken as characterfolds or as in your case a mix up from being mature with being emotionally grown up.
    When you recognise yourself and in my case me and my children in the books than you understand that you perceive the world different or they perceive you different because you are wired differently.
    and you know that you are not crazy but there is a reason for everything.
    Hope this all makes sense
    Anyway I have experienced depression and know how hard that is so I hope that your medication
    and strategies help you a bit with it. Wish you all the best.

  11. This is all very interesting Marja.
    I am glad your children are in a school with understanding, & they seem to be getting the help they need to progress well.

  12. I liked reading your careful and well done explanation, but not pretty sure if all those IQ tests are that good.
    But please don't get me wrong. I'm not a full believer, but I guess they also have something right down there.

  13. Marja,
    Very true, we all have different abilitites and many develop at different times. Much of this is influenced by enviroment, opportunities and expectations. So many are written off, when there really is so much opportunity. Great post!
    Our education system and our measurement of one's intellingence is broken in many ways.

  14. Hi Marja, I was one of those that never got anywhere. Not being academic, I was taken out of school at the first possible moment and put to work to earn money.

    But I was always interested in reading and writing and even in that field I haven't got anywhere yet. But we live in hope.

    Good luck to your son. Children have much more opportunities now.

  15. Meggie yes we were very lucky
    this school only exist for for years and it is very hard to get in. They have to reject many peole because there were only so many places.

    I agree quintarantino It is not a good on its own. It measures only a small part of intelligence and is not always reliable.

    Mark thanks but there are not many oppertunities. We were lucky to get into this one only school. I could afford to stay home and spent heaps of time on going to therapies and lessons, go to conferences (paid by the support group) educate professionals. etc etc We spent all our savings on
    extra lessons and other professionals. Not everybody is able to do that. But if you go for it you get there. That's what you mean isn't it.

    Monique I know that happened in the past. These they it is a bit better but stil to many children here and in holland as well drop out of school because of these problems. England is actualy pretty good.

  16. Wow, Marja, this is fascinating! I really enjoyed reading it and totally agree with what you wrote. People process things so differently and see things from unique perspectives -- I've always been frustrated with the testing and teaching approaches in schools. I'm glad you wrote about this!

  17. Marja, I love the mind series you have going here...the fact that intelligence can be influenced is a new concept for me...but as I read your post it makes so much more sense. I would love to see these separate out into it's own sequence,,,

  18. Clare the ones who process things different from mainstream are often the most creative and they are the thinkers

    Thanks UL Not sure what you mean by "separarate these out in it's own sequence"

  19. I found this article very interesting Marja. Love the new pic too.

  20. This is fabulous info! Where did you get it all?
    you are right...so many don't. Your son will! He has mom thats willing to do all this research for him! That's dedication!

  21. Great article but don't try to understand the mind or your brains because there is so much what even the greatest proffessors can't explain.

    Interessant artikel Marja!

  22. Marja,
    You are quite correct. This thing we label as intelligence is perverted in many ways. We box people in with IQ tests and antiquated school systems that no longer work in today's environment. Your son is blessed to have a Mum who understands that intelligence comes in many forms and in many ways.


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