“On IQ, EI/EQ, and Multiple Intelligences” in this week’s issue of the MANILA MAIL (August 13-19, 2014)

Pilipinasblitz Forever

A column by Bles Carmona

For the week of August 13-19, 2014


A week ago, I saw something on my Facebook wall: an invite to take a free IQ test from memorado.com. The lure to take the exam was impossible to ignore, and so take the exam I did. Apparently this brief IQ quiz has been going the rounds among my Manila Science High School batch mates. After you take the quiz, you’re given the option to post your score and invite your other friends to take the quiz.

According to that quiz, my IQ was 132 and that I belong to the top 2% of people in terms of IQ. A long time ago, when I was first diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, I took a formal and lengthy pen-and-paper IQ test and my result was 127. This morning, I took a timed 20-item IQ test online at freeiqtest.info and my result was 114. The average IQ is 100. Depending on which test I took, it was either I am 2 standard deviations above the mean or well within average. But what does IQ really measure?

The Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is the standard measure of human intelligence in terms of these abilities: visual, verbal, abstract reasoning, arithmetic, spatial imagery, reading, vocabulary, memory, and general knowledge. IQ has been used as a predictor of educational achievement, job performance, special needs, and income. As such, many institutions, especially educational, have used IQ scores to predict the academic potential of students beginning at the pre-K level. A person’s IQ is useful because it may indicate how well he solves problems in real life and uses his practical judgment to sensibly approach everyday challenges. Sure, IQ is important. I’m all for measuring it. If your IQ is between 70-130, you are part of 95% of the population (a majority of us) whose IQ is within 2 standard deviations of the mean. However, I think that undue emphasis on IQ to the exclusion of other considerations like Emotional Intelligence (EI/EQ) and multiple intelligences will be completely missing the point of a more holistic appraisal of one’s mental and emotional capabilities.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) has also entered the lexicon as EQ after K. Beasley wrote an article, “The Emotional Quotient” for Mensa Magazine in May 1987. Daniel Goleman wrote the book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” in 1996 and in his article for the Harvard Business Review in 1998, he enumerates some EI qualities: self-awareness, self-regulation, social skill, empathy, and motivation. In the Dictionary of Psychology, emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.”

Like I posted on my Facebook page when I posted my IQ 132 (memorado.com score), I say now that IQ does not matter as much as EQ, which make people act like grown-ups, taking responsibility for their own actions and acting out of love and respect for one another. IQ may describe someone being book-smart, but like I told my friend Ms. La Bella Dulce, what we need is to be street-smart: a tough hide for these tough times but still with a good heart.

To complement our discussion on IQ and EQ, let us now tackle Howard Gardner’s seminal contribution to the discussion on intelligence. In his groundbreaking 1983 book, “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences,” Gardner proposed a seven-item criteria for behavior to be considered an intelligence. (There have been a couple of additions since then.) These intelligence modalities are

  1. Musical-rhythmic
  2. Visual-spatial
  3. Verbal-linguistic
  4. Logical-mathematical
  5. Bodily-kinesthetic
  6. Interpersonal – the ability to relate to others
  7. Intrapersonal – awareness of oneself
  8. Naturalistic – ecological awareness
  9. Existential – spiritual consciousness

Children are being evaluated for the multiple intelligences as early as pre-K to Kinder. The California Department of Education has an official form called the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) which the teachers use to report on the progress of each young student using 31 key points under 6 domains:

  1. Self and social development – self-esteem, impulse control, etc.
  2. Health – safety, personal care routines, etc.
  3. Language and literacy development
  4. Cognitive development – comprehension and expression of oral language, writing, etc.
  5. Mathematical development – number sense, time, etc.
  6. Physical development – gross motor movement, fine motor skills

We see in the foregoing that we are all potentially multi-faceted individuals who can name one, a couple, or more intelligences under our belt. Based on our combination of abilities and behaviors, we can go through life and use our ever-evolving intelligence to make sense of the world around us, interact with others, and possibly make contributions to our society. I hope that we won’t be snobs about other people’s IQ scores because that’s just not cool. It’s just the starting point of an interesting discussion, but we also need our EQ and multiple intelligences to move purposefully into action.


Find advisor Blesilda44 at KEEN.com, 1-800-ASK-KEEN (1-800-275-5336), extension 05226567 either by phone or chat: Mon-Fri 7-10 pm, Sat-Sun 7-11 pm Pacific. I speak English, Tagalog, and some Spanish. For personal readings, email me here: pilipinasblitz@gmail.com



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