Determining whether a person is intelligent or not presents a complex scenario. Numerous intelligence tests have been taken as ultimate in determining this. Well, an IQ test is still not good enough to estimate the brain ability of a person. Which is confirmed by modern scientists. Therefore, you cannot rely on an IQ test to state whether someone is smart or not. It is must involve a consideration of many other aspects, as we are about to see here!

For instance, the iconic 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy had an IQ of about 60. Mike Tyson despite having a low IQ was a great boxer. A perfect homework done performance at school doesn’t predict a successful future, just as a low IQ result doesn’t show how smart a person is. Other people like Paul Allen with a 160 -170 IQ, who ended up working at Microsoft and became billionaires, didn’t achieve this because of their IQ alone. Your level of emotional intelligence is more important now than your IQ level. Here are some things to consider:

Multiple Intelligences Theory

This theory was founded by Howard Gardner to help form communities of self-directed learners who are reflective, in order to pursue a deeper understanding inside and across disciplines and to enhance creative and critical thinking. Multiple Intelligence Theory suggests that every person has at minimum eight areas of intelligence that work at different levels for each individual. These are: logical-mathematical, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, musical, spatial, intra-personal and natural intelligence. However, natural intelligence was initially not contained in Gardner’s theory but became part of it in 1996 to include those who did well in the world of natural science. It means someone could lose their linguistic intelligence and yet be in a position to sing because we have other areas of intelligence to draw from. Though considered to have had a high IQ, Albert Einstein wasn’t successful in the world of physics because of that alone. In fact, researchers had to estimate his IQ score based on the body of work he wrote.

IQ and Job Performance

The relationship between IQ and job performance has received enormous support from those who value IQ tests. However, looking at the results closely paint a different picture. Earlier studies in the 1970s were inconsistent in matching IQ with job performance. Whereas recent studies have not been able to prove the relationship between job performance and IQ, especially where the complexity of the job increases. Realistically, it is not certain whether job performance is the primary measure of IQ. Therefore, caution should be exercised when using the IQ test’s validity to assess potential job performance. Muhammad Ali, the boxing great, didn’t even qualify for a high school diploma but was rather given a certificate of attendance. Despite that, he had a very successful boxing career and his intelligence in that area was not based on IQ.

Intelligence and Genetics

The question of intelligence has attracted many definitions, such as: the ability to extract meaning from life encounters and adapt to environments as they change. Important elements include the ability to plan, reason, solve issues, comprehend difficult matters and think abstractly. Research on how genes impact on intelligence has widely been done, mainly focusing on the differences and similarities in IQ inside families for twins and adopted children. Some studies have established a correlation between genetics and the varying intelligence between individuals. Looking at the various studies, it appears that genes do contribute to the intelligence quotient measure but that they have a very small influence on a person’s overall intelligence. Therefore, intelligence is not entirely determined by genetics. On the other hand a person’s environment — living conditions, surroundings, education, parenting and nutrition — is a significant factor of their potential intelligence level.

Smart People Also Act Stupid

You can be smart and still do stupid things. Intelligent individuals sometimes make dumb mistakes, particularly on matters that need common sense. Simple matters can get swallowed up in the intelligent mind of a smart person. Overconfidence is another problem. Smart people may not realise when they need help. They also tend to push other people very hard, expecting the same level of performance from them as they are able to produce. But worst of all, they can be terrible at accepting their own mistakes and feel that you are attacking them when you try and address their faults. Quite typically, smart people can lack emotional intelligence which can at times render them unproductive. When they fail, they can easily give up. This is because they are used to things coming quickly and relatively effortlessly to them, and when they don’t they simply don’t have the grit to put in the hard work and endure.


To measure intelligence only through IQ is unreliable and frankly overrated. There are different types of intelligent people out there, many who have practical intelligence as opposed to IQ-based criteria. Even with high intelligence, hard work is important. Scoring a low IQ doesn’t mean you are doomed, neither is it a guarantee for success. There are always other factors that can and do determine intelligence. IQ primarily measures a narrow aspect of your abilities; testing your abstract thinking and reasoning. But there are many types of intelligence and productive people successfully combine these with hard work to achieve success.


By Amanda Wilson: Amanda Wilson is a professional researcher and blogger. She is keen on self-development and everything that concerns social life. She is a part-time editor at Writingjobz and reads tones in the interesting literature about Eastern Philosophy, Psychology and Managment.