Never stop learning with Curiosity Learning Paths!

  • Get inspired with the web’s best bite-sized learning content, curated for learners like you.
  • Learn more—quickly and easily—by exploring our dynamic Learning Paths.
  • Spread quick knowledge to friends with our original Smart Memes!

What is Human Intelligence?

Scroll down to explore a learning path based on this topic.
Playlist Description

What are factors that affect human intelligence? This may sound like a stupid question, but intelligence isn’t an easy thing to explain or summarize. It may not even be one single thing. One intelligent person might be able to explain the nature and behavior of atoms, another might understand the complexities of the situation in the Middle East, and a third might be able to reason their way out of a tight situation when they’re in trouble.

Which of those is true intelligence? Is intelligence something we are born with, or something we develop through education? Is being smart the same thing as being intelligent, and are people as smart as we think we are? Intelligence can mean many things to many people, and we’ve been clever enough to gather some of those explanations in this playlist.

05:29
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Dr. Michio Kaku returns to Big Think studios to discuss his latest book, The Future of the Mind (http://goo.gl/1mcGeb). Here he explains the evolution of human intelligence. Don't miss new Big Think videos!  Subscribe by clicking here: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5 Transcipt - Some people think that intelligence is the crowning achievement of evolution. Well if that's true there should be more intelligent creatures on the planet Earth. But to the best of our knowledge we're the only ones. The dinosaurs were on the Earth for roughly 200 million years and to the best of our knowledge not a single dinosaur became intelligent. We humans, modern humans, had been on the Earth for roughly a hundred thousand years. Only a tiny fraction of the 4.5 billion years that the Earth has been around. So you come to the rather astounding conclusion that intelligence is not really necessary. That Mother Nature has done perfectly well with non-intelligent creatures for millions of years and that we as intelligent creatures are the new kid on the block. And so then you begin to wonder how did we become intelligent? What separated us from the animals? Well there are basically three ingredients -- at least three that help to propel us to become intelligent. One is the opposable thumb. You need a tentacle, a claw, an opposable thumb in order to manipulate the environment. So that's one of the ingredients of intelligence -- to be able to change the world around you. Second is eyesight. But the eyesight of a predator. We have eyes to the front of our face, not to the side of our face and why? Animals with eyes to the front of their face are predators -- lions, tigers and foxes. Animals with eyes to the side of their face are prey and they are not as intelligent -- like a rabbit. We say dumb bunny and smart as a fox. And there's a reason for that. Because the fox is a predator. It has to learn how to ambush. It has to learn how to have stealth, camouflage. It has to psych out the enemy and anticipate the motion of the enemy that is its prey. If you're a dumb bunny all you have to do is run. And the third basic ingredient is language because you have to be able to communicate your knowledge to the next generation. And to the best of our knowledge animals do not communicate knowledge to their offspring other than by simply communicating certain primitive motions. There's no book. There's no language. There's no culture by which animals can communicate their knowledge to the next generation. And so we think that's how the brain evolved. We have an opposable thumb, we have a language of maybe five to ten thousand words. And we have eyesight that is stereo eyesight -- the eyesight of a predator. And predators seem to be smarter than prey. Then you ask another question. How many animals on the Earth satisfy these three basic ingredients. And then you come to the astounding conclusion -- the answer is almost none. So perhaps there's a reason why we became intelligent and the other animals did not. They did not have the basic ingredients that would one day propel us to become intelligent. Then the next question asked in Planet of the Apes and asked in any number of science fiction movies is can you accentuate intelligence. Can you take an ape and make the ape intelligent. Well, believe it or not the answer could be yes. We are 98.5 percent genetically equivalent to a chimpanzee. Only a handful of genes separate us from the chimps and yet we live twice as long and we have thousands of words in our vocabulary. Chimps can have maybe just a few hundred. And we've isolated many of those genes that separate us from the chimpanzees. For example the ASP gene governs the size of the crane, cranial capacity so that by monkeying with just one gene you can literally double the size of the brain case and the brain itself. And so in the future -- not today but in the future we may use gene therapy to begin the process of making perhaps a chimpanzee intelligent. We know the genes that'll increase the size of the brain. We've isolated now the genes that give you manual dexterity by which you can make tools. We have found the genes which give you the ability to articulate thousands of words. And so it may be possible to tinker with the genome of a chimpanzee so that they have a larger brain case, they have better manual dexterity and they have the ability to articulate a larger vocabulary. But then what do you get? You get a primate that looks very similar to a human. And so my personal attitude is why bother. We already have humans, just look outside the door. So why bother to manipulate a chimpanzee because as you make a chimpanzee more and more intelligent it becomes more and more humanlike with a vocabulary, with vocal chords, with manual dexterity, with a larger brain case and a spine to support a larger brain case. That's called a human. Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Dillon Fitton
01:06:31
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Google Tech Talk (more info below) August 18, 2011 Presented by Steve Hsu. How do genes affect cognitive ability? I begin with a brief review of psychometric measurements of intelligence, introducing the idea of a "general factor" or IQ score. The main results concern the stability, validity (predictive power), and heritability of adult IQ. Next, I discuss ongoing Genome Wide Association Studies which investigate the genetic basis of intelligence. Due mainly to the rapidly decreasing cost of sequencing, it is likely that within the next 5-10 years we will identify genes which account for a significant fraction of total IQ variation. We are currently seeking volunteers for a study of high cognitive ability. Participants will receive free genotyping. Speaker Info: Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Oregon and Director of its Institute of Theoretical Science. Educated at Caltech and Berkeley, he was a Harvard Junior Fellow and Assistant Professor at Yale before moving to Oregon in 1998. He is also the founder of two Silicon Valley software startups in the area of information security. He serves as Scientific Advisor to the Cognitive Genomics Lab of BGI (formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute), one of the leading genomics research centers in the world.
03:10
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Are we able to make genius babies? FOLLOW us to Vsauce3: http://bit.ly/1h8QwaD Subscribe! It's free: http://bit.ly/10kWnZ7 FOLLOW US! Instagram and Twitter: @whalewatchmeplz and @mitchellmoffit Clickable: http://bit.ly/16F1jeC and http://bit.ly/15J7ube Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1fjWszw Twitter: http://bit.ly/1d84R71 Tumblr: http://bit.ly/1amIPjF Vine: Search "AsapSCIENCE" on vine! Written and created by Mitchell Moffit (twitter @mitchellmoffit) and Gregory Brown (twitter @whalewatchmeplz). Further Reading-- The Gene Factory (Fantastic New Yorker Article overview): http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/01/06/140106fa_fact_specter Vice and BGI: http://www.vice.com/read/chinas-taking-over-the-world-with-a-massive-genetic-engineering-program More background on BGI: http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/511051/inside-chinas-genome-factory/
02:47
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
You might look at someone's face and determine whether you think this person is smart or not. Is it wrong to judge someone's intelligence based on their looks? Trace reports on a new study examining the relationship between one's IQ their appearance. Read More: What Do IQ Tests Test?: Interview with Psychologist W. Joel Schneider http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/2014/02/03/what-do-iq-tests-test-interview-with-psychologist-w-joel-schneider/ "W. Joel Schneider is a psychologist at Illinois State University, dividing his time equally between the Clinical-Counseling program and the Quantitative Psychology program." People Can Predict A Man's Intelligence Just By Looking At His Face http://www.businessinsider.com/perceived-intelligence-and-measured-iq-2014-4 "Can you tell whether someone is smart just be looking at them? It sounds preposterous, but new research from the Czech Republic suggests you can—if the subject in question is a man." If He Looks Stupid, He Probably Is http://www.realclearscience.com/journal_club/2014/04/11/if_he_looks_stupid_he_probably_is_108592.html "In a new study, both male and female subjects were able to accurately evaluate the intelligence of men simply by viewing photographs of their faces." Watch More: Is Your Face Racist? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hius2OHxVR4 TestTube Wild Card http://testtube.com/dnews/dnews-114-why-do-we-blush?utm_campaign=DNWC&utm_medium=DNews&utm_source=YT Even Children Judge Your Looks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfHdYidooqk ____________________ DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won't find anywhere else! New videos twice daily. Watch More DNews on TestTube http://testtube.com/dnews Subscribe now! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=dnewschannel DNews on Twitter http://twitter.com/dnews Trace Dominguez on Twitter https://twitter.com/tracedominguez Tara Long on Twitter https://twitter.com/TaraLongest Laci Green on Twitter http://twitter.com/gogreen18 DNews on Facebook https://facebook.com/DiscoveryNews DNews on Google+ http://gplus.to/dnews Discovery News http://discoverynews.com Download the TestTube App: http://testu.be/1ndmmMq
01:14
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Fwitter brings you Big Ideas in bite-sized morsels! Now you've got the time to get smart.
02:47
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
There's IQ, so what's EQ? It's a measure of emotional intelligence and it might be playing a much larger role in your life than you realize. Laci explains what exactly it is and why you should care about it. Read More: EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE TEST http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/ei_quiz/ The relation between emotional intelligence and job performance: A meta-analysis http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/job.714/abstract "This meta-analysis builds upon a previous meta-analysis by (1) including 65 per cent more studies that have over twice the sample size to estimate the relationships between emotional intelligence (EI) and job performance..." EQ-nomics: Understanding the relationship between individual differences in Trait Emotional Intelligence and entrepreneurship http://www.drtomascp.com/uploads/EQNomics_PAID_2011.pdf "Trait Emotional Intelligence (EI) (Petrides & Furnham, 2001) has increasingly been argued to be a highly useful concept in career success..." Emotional Intelligence and Transformational and Transactional Leadership: A Meta-Analysis http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1013&context=leadershipfacpub What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)? http://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-emotional-intelligence-eq/0001037 "For most people, emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important than one's intelligence (IQ) in attaining success in their lives and careers." Watch More: Does IQ Matter? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXKWkwBWpXw TestTube Wild Card http://testtube.com/dnews/dnews-462-cool-sound-waves?utm_campaign=DNWC&utm_medium=DNews&utm_source=YT Are Women Without Kids Smarter? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OSgxU6MHQk ____________________ DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won't find anywhere else! New videos twice daily. Watch More DNews on TestTube http://testtube.com/dnews Subscribe now! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=dnewschannel DNews on Twitter http://twitter.com/dnews Anthony Carboni on Twitter http://twitter.com/acarboni Laci Green on Twitter http://twitter.com/gogreen18 Trace Dominguez on Twitter http://twitter.com/trace501 DNews on Facebook http://facebook.com/dnews DNews on Google+ http://gplus.to/dnews Discovery News http://discoverynews.com
02:08
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Watch more How to Improve Your Communication Skills videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/218107-How-to-Be-a-Good-Listener Whether you're on a job interview or a first date, follow these simple steps to give the impression that you're quite intelligent – even if you're quite average. Step 1: Speak deliberately Speak slowly and deliberately. People who do are seen as more informed on the subject they're expounding on than fast talkers. Step 2: Smile Smile more. In one study, participants who were asked to guess a person's intelligence simply by looking at their picture rated those who were smiling as smarter than those who weren't smiling. Step 3: Use simpler words Don't use an unusual word if a simpler one will suffice. People who use long words unnecessarily can be perceived as less intelligent because it makes them look like they're trying too hard to sound smart. Tip If you speak a foreign language, let it be known. Research indicates that people link being multilingual with intelligence. Step 4: Wear navy blue Wear navy blue. One study indicated that people in dark blue are assumed to be more knowledgeable, successful, and dependable than those wearing other colors. Tip Women should dress conservatively at work. Even marginally revealing clothing can make people perceive female employees as less intelligent and competent, according to one study. Step 5: Listen up Do more listening than talking. People who do are perceived as being intelligent and interesting by the people who are blathering to them. Remember this proverb: Better to keep quiet and be suspected a fool than to open your mouth and confirm the suspicion. Did You Know? Did you know?The average American IQ has increased every year for the past 100 years; one expert claims half the population in 1917 would be considered mentally challenged by today's standards!
01:14
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
A scientist claims humans are potentially getting dumber as a species. Are humans getting dumber as a species? Stanford University professor Gerald Crabtree's research into human kind's intelligence suggests that due to the low level of competition for basic necessities in the modern world, the best and brightest aren't the only ones naturally selected for survival and procreation anymore. Civilization and modern medicine allow for even the dumbest and most physically unfit to survive and pass their genes on to the next generation. In the distant past, survival wasn't so easy. The Darwinian concept of evolution dictates that only the people who could navigate the complexities of life on earth would be able to live on and provide for their offspring. Crabtree says: "New developments in genetics, anthropology, and neurobiology... make a clear prediction that our intellectual and emotional abilities are genetically surprisingly fragile." When comparing genomes of parents and their children, it turns out that there are somewhere between 25 and 65 DNA mutations between each generation. Other scientists oppose Crabtree's ideas saying that there is no real way to test his theory. What do you think? Are humans getting dumber due to the conveniences of modern life?
12:39
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Key Facts
  • Actions
  • About This Video
  • 1 1:47

    The "G-Factor" is a theoretical explanation of what defines intelligence.

    Share Fact
  • 2 6:48

    Emotional intelligence is just one of many factors influencing a person's overall intelligence.

    Share Fact
  • 3 9:13

    The original formula for figuring out a person's IQ was their mental age divided by their chronological age, then multiplied by 100.

    Share Fact
You can directly support Crash Course at http://www.subbable.com/crashcourse Subscribe for as little as $0 to keep up with everything we're doing. Also, if you can afford to pay a little every month, it really helps us to continue producing great content. So, how many different kinds of intelligence are there? And what is the G-Factor? Eugenics? Have you ever taken an IQ Test? All of these things play into the fascinating and sometimes icky history of Intelligence Testing. In this episode of Crash Course Psychology, Hank talks us through some of the important aspects of that history... as well as Nazis. Hey, I said some of it was icky. -- Table of Contents Defining Intelligence 00:00:00 Types of Intelligence 01:22:09 G-Factor 01:37:05 Sherlock Holmes 04:44:12 Intelligence Testing 02:26:23 IQ Scores 08:00:21 Eugenics 07:47:05 Intelligence Controversy 09:05:17 -- Want to find Crash Course elsewhere on the internet? Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/YouTubeCrashCourse Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/TheCrashCourse Tumblr - http://thecrashcourse.tumblr.com Support CrashCourse on Subbable: http://subbable.com/crashcourse

Keep Learning With More Smart Memes