Intelligence – Nature or Nurture?


My EDS103 Module 2 e-Journal

What is intelligence? I thought it is the ability to learn, to answer questions, identify problems and find solutions, create something out of nothing and the ability to know the why, when, where, what and how of things.

Some say intelligence is in the “genes”.  Maybe? I met people who were “fast learners” or “quick thinkers” while some may be a little slower grasping new ideas. A friend also told me that she had a classmate who did well in school but does not accept that she is intelligent but rather attributes her good academic standing as a result of hard work e.g. advance reading, practicing and a lot of time spent studying. So it could be both nature and nurture after all.

Is intelligence measurable? An attempt to measure intelligence is by computing the mental age or I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient).

IQ represents abilities such as:

  • Visual and spatial processing
  • Knowledge of the world
  • Fluid reasoning
  • Working memory and short-term memory
  • Quantitative reasoning

While having a high IQ helps in a lot of ways especially academically, it does not guarantee success. Some argue that EQ or Emotional Quotient might be more important than IQ.

EQ is centered on abilities such as:

  • Identifying emotions
  • Evaluating how others feel
  • Controlling one’s own emotions
  • Perceiving how others feel
  • Using emotions to facilitate social communication
  • Relating to others

In my opinion, a balance of both can be very useful in life’s success.

I also learned that an individual can have multiple intelligence as Gardner proposed. One can excel in music, or math or physical activities etc. I also learned that one’s abilities can be enhanced thru experience, education, social interaction and our environment. That intelligence is learnable.


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