Individuals differ from one another in both physical and psychological characteristics. Each man is unique. Men differ from one another in their color, height, weight, size, strength, hairstyle, and even in their mode of social interaction. Varied are also their mental abilities and behavior, i.e., some me are found to be very alert, witty, sensitive, and quick to react, whereas others are average and even are found to be dull.
There are outgoing extroverts as well as quiet, shy, withdrawn, and very passive individuals. Many are social and friendly, whereas others are exclusively self-centered and inhibited. These are reflections of their differences- in mental abilities.
In a classroom set up, a teacher comes across very bright, intelligent, and creative student as well as students who are just average or dull or even very dull. The intelligence is synonymous with several other concepts such as talent brilliance, sharpness, clear-sightedness, smartness, reasoning, judiciousness rationality, adeptness, prodigy and man of mark etc.
In our Indian culture, the term intelligence has been conceived an expressed in various terms such as “Budhi”, “Manisha”, “Dhi”, “Mati”, “Sambit “Medha”, “Chetana”, “Chaitanya”, “Upalabdhi”, “Pranidhana”, “Prekhya’ “Jnapti”, and “Prajna”. These terms denote various mental functions associate with the manifold demonstrations of intelligent understanding and behavior.
What then is intelligence? In one survey, made by Robert J. Sternber (1981), a group of people was asked to define what they meant by intelligence. Their answers indicated three major components of intelligence. First was the problem-solving ability. People who reason logically and identify more solutions to problems were seen as intelligent. Second, verbal abilities were thought to exemplify intelligence. And finally social competence, that is the ability to show interest in others and interact effectively with people, was viewed as indication of intelligence.
Intelligence has been explained in various ways. It is conceived as a complex universal ability to understand the world, to profit from past experience training, to imagine various possibilities, to surmount difficulties, to protect self when life is physically and psychologically endangered, to be engaged in abstract and innovative thinking using concepts, symbols, and logical reasoning.
Intelligence is an abstract concept. Individual’s intelligence is expressed through his intellectual activities, which can be measured formally or informally. Informal assessment of one’s intellectual activities can be made though some acts, such as simple puzzle solution, filling up of a gap, answering correctly short but problem-questions, simple numerical abilities, explaining a concept, and adaptation to a novel situation.