Now, let’s get into higher level
of intellectual functioning.
So intelligence is something
that is really hard to define.
So there are different
theories of intelligence.
Intelligence may be subjective in nature
and is a concept created by humans.
So a lot of times we say, “This
individual is very intelligent,”
or “This individual
is not intelligent.”
Well, how are we deciding that somebody
is more intelligent than the other?
Is it in the recall of facts?
Is it the ability to problem-solve?
How do we define that?
So the ability to learn from experience,
solve problems, and use knowledge and
adapt to new situations, we tend to say is
a positive affirmation of intelligence.
So, general intelligence
is a foundational ability
that underlies more
So if you have a base of
that means you’re really
good at a lot of the basics,
but then, you can specialize
So, for example,
understanding the basics of society, of
culture or understanding simple arithmetic.
Things like that, reading, writing.
That would be general
But then you go on and
you specialize and you
write the MCAT and you
get into medical school
and you specialize in a
special area of intelligence
now you’re increasing your
level of intelligence.
other theories classify intelligence
into two broad categories;
we have crystallized intelligence
and we have fluid intelligence.
Crystallized intelligence is
accumulated knowledge of facts.
So, like I said, you just keep stacking
up knowledge, keep stacking up knowledge.
This is somebody who you might
say is extremely book-smart.
Then, you have
and this is the ability to reason
abstractly in novel situations.
This is when I want to see
how you can implement the
knowledge that I’ve been
parted through the books.
So a lot of times when you’re writing
an exam, you’ll have straight recall.
You know, so on a list, name the
five structures found in the brain.
Boom, boom, boom, boom.
That’s pretty straightforward.
Then you have a question that’s testing
your problem-solving abilities.
So little Timmy was skateboarding
and he fell and banged his head
pretty hard on a pile of rocks and
he no longer can remember his name.
What structure was damaged?
Okay. So now I need to know what
are the structures of the brain
and what is the functional
role of each, and I damage
which one, what’s going to
happen to the behavior?
Okay. You know what? It’s
probably the hippocampus.
And boom. That’s your answer.
So now, you’ve actually taken some of
that accrued, accumulated knowledge
and you’ve tried to use it to reason to a
problem that I’ve put in front of you;
So, is intelligence in your genes or
is it a product of your environment?
That’s a great question.
So, are you a smarty pants because
your parents are smarty pants
or are you a smarty pants because
you’ve just hustled your way
and read books and gone to school and done
your thing, and done your due diligence?
Well, it’s kind of a mixed bag.
So we know that
research within families looking
at siblings versus twins
versus adopted children shows
So in English, what we’re saying
is there is this genetic link.
So, if your brother’s a genius and if
your parents are really, really smart,
there’s a higher likelihood that you
will be of higher intelligence as well.
Partly because of that
information that is
gained from your family,
from immediate family.
And then you can look at,
say if somebody’s adopted,
do you see that same
level of intelligence?
And it’s kind of a -
this is kind of a semi -
I don’t want to say trick part,
but this is an overlapping point,
and that adopted children have a lower
level of heritability of intelligence.
So if you’re - I’ll say
this in English then.
If you’re adopted,
you might not be as smart as your
non-adopted siblings and your parents
because they have a
stronger genetic link.
You don’t share genetics
with your adopted parents.
Now, that being said,
we know that environment and life
experience also has a direct impact.
So if you are an adopted child and you’re
in a family that is highly intelligent,
reads a lot of books, and
supports higher education,
and you’re in that environment, that
will impact your level of intelligence.
So with the adopted children,
it’s a combination of
lack of heritability but being
in that common environment.
So environment and life experience has a
direct impact on level of intelligence.
So those that are lower
on the SES scale,
we now have lower
and we know that is a
combination of a lot of things.
But those that are lower on the SES
scale tend to have less education,
tend to have lower quality
of life, more health issues,
and have less access to social resources
like libraries and good schools,
and so that will obviously have a direct
impact on your intelligence scores.
Now, early intervention and education can
increase intelligence scores dramatically.
So, if you - even if you’re in this
environment of being in a low SES environment,
you can still over time accrue a lot of
knowledge and become quite intelligent,
which is, you know, so we’re not
saying that just because you
were born in a less affluent
area, you’re doomed to be dumb.
That’s not what we’re
saying at all.
We’re just saying that looking
at raw population trends,
if you are to take the average
of a low SES versus high SES,
intelligence scores tend to be lower in
those that are low on the SES scale.
Now, differences in scores have
been seen between race and culture,
and this is also kind
of muddy water here.
So this is not to say that one
specific race is smarter than another,
a lot of that is tied
into race and culture.
So high-scoring individuals
have been shown
to have high levels of
education and income,
and so how was that happening?
Well, like I’ve
mentioned a moment ago,
if you are higher on the SES
scale, you have more education,
you tend to have a better job,
you’re going to live up a more
engaged, privileged life.
You might have -- you
should have a higher score
versus somebody who’s
having to work very hard,
doesn’t have access to
education, great schools, great
teachers, and all the
different social support.
They’re going to fall
a little bit lower.
Standardized testing can quantify
intelligence scores and you
get a quotient, so an IQ quotient
or intelligence quotient.
And here you can see a
figure that kind of
maps out what we call a
And so, you have the bulk of the
population falling in the middle
with 100 being, you know, your
standard average point of IQ,
and then you have one standard deviation,
which is one population segment,
and then you have those that are
below one standard deviation which
anybody below 70 would say is
quite low on the IQ scale.
And then you have those
that are all to the point
where they’re labeled
and then we have those that are above
130 as being intellectually gifted.
So, you know, we have people like Albert
Einstein that scored exceptionally high.
I think I believe his IQ is 167,
so you can kind of see where he
fell in terms of average IQ score.
So you could try.
If you’re really interested, go ahead and
write an IQ test and see where you fall.
And maybe do that after you write
the MCAT because you don’t want
to freak yourself out when you
realize you have an IQ of 70.
But this shows where you fall
in relation to the population
and it is an indirect
measure of intelligence.