How does intelligence relate to genius?

Many educators and researchers believe that, generally, standardized IQ tests accurately predict how well a child will perform in school. Schools often use such tests to determine the makeup of gifted or special education classes, while colleges and some employers also employ standardized tests.

But they're not foolproof. In general, some minorities and people with lower income levels tend to score lower than people from other racial and economic groups. In addition, some researchers and theorists argue that intelligence is a combination of many factors beyond what's tested.

Two theories have been developed in an attempt to provide a more complete view of intelligence.

Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences supposes seven types of intelligence: linguistic, logical-mathematic, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Many parents and educators believe these categories more accurately express different children's strengths, while critics allege that Gardner's definitions are so broad and inclusive that they make intelligence meaningless.

According to Robert J. Sternberg's triarchic theory, intelligence comprises:

Creative intelligence, the ability to generate new, interesting ideas.Analytical intelligence, the ability to examine facts and draw conclusions.

Practical intelligence, the ability to fit into one's environment.

Sternberg views a person's total intelligence as a combination of those abilities. Critics argue that practical intelligence is not intelligence at all, or that other theories can explain it.

Criticism aside, the triarchic and MI theories may be better able to explain the concept of genius than can traditional IQ tests. Mozart, for example, combined musical genius with an inborn understanding of math and patterns. Einstein's genius spanned the disciplines of logic, math and spatial relationships.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.