Intelligence as relates to psychology deals with a number of mental capabilities, which includes planning, reasoning and problem solving. This is one of the widest areas of psychology. There are several theories, which relate to psychology. For instance, Charles Spearman came up with the concept of general intelligence. He argued that, by use of factor analysis, people who perform well in one cognitive test tend to do well in the other areas/ tests. On the other hand, those who did badly in one test also scored badly in the others.
Therefore, he arrived at the conclusion that intelligence is that general cognitive potential which can be numerically expressed and measured. As for psychologist Louis Thurston, he argued that there are seven different types of mental abilities. During the semester, I underwent several experiences, which required me to use some of these categories of primary mental ability. For instance, verbal comprehension, reasoning and word fluency came in handy both in class and during various exams.
In other instances, I found myself subconsciously engaging in Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences. For example, during group projects or co-curriculum abilities where one has to cooperate with other people, interpersonal intelligence came in handy. This helped me to understand and interact with other people productively. I realized that those with poor skills in assessing the motivations, intentions, desires and emotions of other group members were likely to lead to downfall of the entire group endeavors.
The Triarchic theory of intelligence as proposed by Robert Sternberg was also manifest in most of the experiences I underwent either as an individual or with other students. This is especially in regard to ‘successful intelligence’ which is made up of three different factors. These factors are creative intelligence, analytical intelligence and practical intelligence.
For example, having been brought up in a family where competition among siblings was encouraged, I could use my creative ability to help solve group problems using both my current skills and past experiences. By use of creative ability, one can for instance gives the most problematic group member the option of coming up with a group time table. Afterwards, the whole group can discuss the time table and then amend it to include the views of all the members. At the end of the day, all the members are satisfied, and the problematic group member feels in control.
For instance, there were times when I realized that some areas of study I had at first considered easy were really hard. As a result, I had to adapt to the changing environment either through increased hours of study or more discussion sessions with my friends. There were times when family dynamics interfered with my academic endeavors. Happenings in the family front could lead me to feel like I had let my relatives down. A case in point was when my aunt was so sick and I had exams to tackle.
I knew that this was likely to lead either to depression incase anything happened to my aunt or a repeated module; therefore, I used contextual intelligence and decided to leave everything to her discretion. I called the hospital and informed her that I was taking a short break from classes to be with her. However, she was adamant that her joy was that I graduate and that I should not leave my studies at whatever cost. This eased my conscience. This shows that I have the capability to function practically in everyday situations.