Is IQ the same as intelligence?
April 8, by Marissa Edinger

Around me, a lot of people confuse IQ with intelligence and vice versa. The truth is that they are quite different from each other. I’d say that if IQ and intelligence were to be defined in single words, they’d fit well for ’quantity’ and ’quality’.

In simple words, IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is a way to measure intelligence by conducting IQ tests, measuring the amount of knowledge, hence quantity. While Intelligence is a much more vast term which involves the ability of a person to adapt to a specific situation and grasp skills, hence the quality. However, still, there is a fine connection between the two.

Let’s dive into the details now.

A reference tool for the evaluation of intellectual potential in 2018

Here is a free IQ test consisting in 40 questions of increasing difficulty level. The candidate must choose from a range of symbols to find the one which completes the set. The challenge is to grasp the relevance of the symbols without context and to understand the relationship between them.

Start a Free IQ test now

Disclaimer: this IQ test is particularly challenging because it assesses the top 25% of the cognitive capacity range. Don't give up!

What Is IQ?

Developed in 1916 by the American psychologist Lewis Madison Terman, IQ is a way to measure intelligence of a person. It is a verifying trait and every person has a different IQ level with the average being 100.

Here’s how IQ levels are perceived in the society:

  • More than 140 – you are a genius, or close to genius.
  • Between 120 – 140 – you have a very superior intelligence.
  • Between 110 – 119 – you have a superior intelligence.
  • Between 90 – 109 – you have a normal or average intelligence.
  • Between 80 – 89 – you have a kind of dullness.
  • Between 70 – 79 – you may have a borderline deficiency.
  • Below 70 – you may have a definite feeble-mindedness.

Can we say that a person having the highest IQ is the smartest person on the earth? Sure, the answer to that is a yes.

So is it Einstein or is Hawking? Who’s the smartest? None of them is. Both Einstein and Hawking has (had) an IQ of 160 but there existed many individuals who had IQ levels exceeding that of Einstein’s and Hawking’s. For instance, William J. Sidis who was said to have an IQ between 250-300.

So does it mean that a person with a high IQ can do it all? No.

Here’s we step on the wrong road.

While a high IQ level does imply that the person is smart, but he or she may not excel in all fields. William J. Sidis, who was probably the smartest man on earth, was capable of uttering words when he was only a few months old. He could read a newspaper when he was one and a half years of age, and he went on to pass the Harvard entrance exam at age 9.

The man moved to teaching Maths but eventually got enrolled in a law degree, however, he couldn’t understand it and hence did not excel in law as it was not his cup of tea.

Even the smartest man on earth cannot be good at everything.

What Is Intelligence?

Intelligence is the ability to adapt different skills and knowledge and then implementing these knowledge and skills in the real world. We have always believed that our IQ levels decide how intelligent we are but a recent research says otherwise.

This research proposes that a person’s intelligence can’t be measured using IQ only, there are 3 different parts that need to be tested to get the outcome.

During this research, some tests were conducted on volunteers that involved reasoning, memory test, planning and attention span abilities.

The results showed that you need at least 3 components to be tested to find out how intelligent you are. You can’t judge intelligence based on just one component. Actually, Howard Gardner, an American developmental psychologist, broken down intelligence into 9 categories in a book called Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

The verdict

IQ is not the same as intelligent. Intelligence is a vast sea of linguistics, art, creativity, memory, planning etc., while IQ is just a method to measure intelligence to a degree.