Does Intelligence Predict Life Success?

Does Intelligence Predict Life Success?

A big emphasis is placed on a child’s intelligence. Despite our interest in how “smart” a child might be, we also know that intelligence does not always ensure success in school and life. Numerous personal, social, family, and economic factors contribute to how well a child does over the span of a lifetime.

French psychologist Alfred Binet devised the first measure of intelligence in 1904. Binet came up with the intelligence quotient—or IQ—as way to determine which French children were likely to need special help in school. The average French child would have an IQ of 100.

Binet’s work contributed to the idea that intelligence is a single quality and that “smart” people would do well in many learning situations, according to Robert E. Slavin, author of Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice.

However, educational researchers like Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., now theorize that intelligence is not a fixed property, established at birth. Instead, Dr. Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, considers people’s mental abilities to be malleable and capable of growth. She encourages people to take on a growth mindset that is based on the belief that one’s basic qualities can be cultivated and improved through effort.

Dr. Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, writes, “Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments—everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”

In her book, Dr. Dweck explains that she actually started her educational career believing that intellectual skills were carved in stone, but then she got interested in the kids who naturally knew how to turn failures into opportunities to learn and succeed. Hard work is emphasized by Dr. Dweck. She sees how students thrive, even though they don’t have top scores. These are the students who like what they’re doing and know how to work hard. Of course, these students benefit from teachers and adults who know how to encourage hard work and persistence.

Do you want to learn more about promoting a growth mindset in young people? Join us for Mindset and Intelligence: Improving Student Success through Persistence, a free webinar presented by Kent Pekel, Ed.D., President and CEO of Search Institute, on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 12PM - 1PM, CST.

Register for the free webinar now >>

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

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2 Comments

Hard work and success

A great brain is like a diamond. It has potential but without a lot of polish it does not shine. So, hard work in preparing for life by studying and developing life long habits is the polish to make that potential shine through.

Intelligence isn't everything

I definitely believe that being more intelligent is a great asset to achieve success - and luckily it isn't set in stone! However being intelligent isn't enough. People need so many other things, a certain emotional maturity, passion, etc. in order to get there. I talk a lot about all these things in my own blog How to Become Smarter if you want to check it out, and let me know what you think :)