His situations’. It is general mental adaptability

His definition emphasized 3 phases of beha­viour: (i) The ability to take and maintain a given mental test.

(ii) The capacity to make adaptations for the purpose of attaining a desirous end. (iii) The power of auto-criticism. The numerous definitions can be classified into four groups: I. Biological II. Educational III. Faculty IV. Empirical.

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Biological Definitions:

Here the emphasis is upon adjustment or adaptations of the organism and its environment. Stern: ‘Intelligence is a general capacity of an individual consciously to adjust his thinking to new requirements’. The famous writer H.G. Wells defines it as ‘acting in novel situations’. It is general mental adaptability to new problems and condition of life.



The emphasis is on learning ability. Buckingham: Intelligence is the ability to learn. Here also learning may be regarded as adjustment or adaptation to various situations.

III. Faculty:

The attempt is generally to delimit or restrict intelligence and set it off from other powers or faculties of the mind.

Binet’s: Various definitions belong mainly here e.g., Intelligence as common sense.

Huggarty says “It is a practical concept connoting a group of complex mental processes traditionally defined in systematic psychologies as sensation, perception, association, memory, imagination, discrimination, judgements and reasoning.

IV. Empirical:

Here the emphasis is on practical results in intelligence. Thorndike: Power of good responses from the point of view of truth. Ballard: Relative general efficiency of minds measured under similar conditions of knowledge, interest etc. Freeman: Degrees of intelligence seem to depend on the facility with which the subject- matter of experience can be organised into new patterns.


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