Intelligence theories I will aim to describe the relationship

Intelligence is the ability
to acquire knowledge, to think and reason effectively, and to deal adaptively
with the environment (Holt
et al, n.d. 2015). Whereas creativity can be defined as ‘the kind that goes off to different directions’ (Guilford 1959 p381). Many
people believe that there is in fact a relationship between intelligence and
creativity where some people would say there they are entirely different to
each other. It is a very controversial topic however, it is clear that both
have a place in the brain that can process information to form solutions or
provide answers to something. It can be said that intelligence and creativity
are different aspects that can contribute to one another. Looking at the
present evidence and theories I will aim to describe the relationship between
the two and if so how are they related to one another. In addition, I will
demonstrate two sides of the topic, why they could be related and why not.


One of the most influential theories
on intelligence would probably be Charles Spearman’s theory on the concept of
‘g’ factor. This was the core theory to form all other theories which most but
not all supported the ‘g’ factor theory. Spearmen believes that a general
intelligence factor (‘g’) is common in every individual and it can form the
base of all mental abilities. According to Spearman an individual who does well
on a verbal examination would do well in other tests such as reading. Individuals
with this view believe that intelligence can be measured to a single number like
an IQ score. Spearmen was one of the researchers that supported to develop a
statistical technique called factor analysis. Factor analysis measure common
mental abilities in people using various mental tests. To support his theory Spearman
used factor analsys on statistics from school children and has found a positive
relationship of the results. Following he has also used the same technique to
analyse data from intelligence tests and has found similar results. (Maltby, Day & Macaskill, 2010).
Spearman argued that there is in fact a general factor and it results in our
mental abilities and skills.

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Of course, measuring
intelligence and putting it down to a single number was and still is
controversial. As a result, some psychologists would argue with Spearman and
one of them was L.L Thurstone. Instead Thurstone believed that individuals have
primary mental abilities. Supporting Thurstone, Howard Gardner also did not
agree with the notion that a general factor can form all abilities and argued
that humans in fact have multiple intelligences. However, Spearman did not
claim that intelligence was a single trait, it was just the assumption that
everyone has a general intelligence factor underlying all of other
intelligences. Therefore, other theories on intelligence come back to the fact
that there could be a general factor.


Where does creativity come in
part when considering a general factor, multiple intelligences and many other
theories on intelligence. Well, whether or not it is controversial,
intelligence can still be measured using various tests mainly IQ tests and it
does determine individuals academic level in jobs or schools. However, IQ does
not measure creativity, we would think that it would as often people who are
creative i.e. create things that are novel like a scientific invention would be
considered to have high IQ’s. So, just alike intelligence can creativity also
be measured? Well, there are some tests that can actually do. An example would
be the Unusual Uses Test, where individuals are asked to think of different
uses to an object, an example would be to think of multiple uses of a brick.
People are considered creative if they can think of large number of uses of an


Although IQ does not measure
creativity the belief that high IQ is a compulsory for high creativity is a
favourable notion in the threshold hypothesis. The idea of the threshold
hypothesis is that individuals with high IQ levels also have high creativity
levels. However, it only predicts high creativity levels in low to average IQ,
120 or higher to be exact. A study conducted by Louis Terman in 1921, used
children with high IQ and followed them throughout their lifespan. It was a
longitudinal influential study that found, children who had high IQ, higher
than 135 were rather successful in life but were not creative. This study
supported the notion that IQ is a trait that is useful in academic lifestyle
however creativity is a different trait that supports individuals to create
something novel.


There is no particular reason
as to why high creativity in relation to high intelligence should be fixed and
IQ of 120. However, a study examining the threshold hypothesis, used a sample
of 297 participants found measures of creative potential relating to
intelligence however not for creative achievement. Therefore, creative
achievement which is everyday creative activities and accomplishments such as
drawing or singing, can benefit from higher intelligence even at higher rates
of 120. The threshold hypothesis is said to be broad, however, it is clear that
high intelligence and creative achievement are related in some ways. However,
does that necessarily mean that a person has to be intelligent to think creatively?
Well, no it does not. A study published by Arya & Maurya 2016 has found that people
with high intelligence and low creativity had the same academic success along
with people with high creativity and low IQ scores. This suggests that high IQ
is not always what determines your intelligence or creative ability.



Although the threshold
hypothesis can make sense, many other studies have also found that both
intelligence and creativity are simply related to each other. Study conducted
in 2013 published by the journal of intelligence, has found that unique
intelligence thresholds can be related to different types of creative thinking.
According to the study, while an IQ score of 120 was compulsory for having
original ideas, IQ scores low as 85 were linked to creative potential. In
addition, personality traits such as openness to new experiences has had an
impact in the relationship between high intelligence and creative achievement.
In this case intelligence is crucial however there are also other factors to be
taken into consideration.


Furthermore, some people
would argue that creativity and intelligence are very different things. Creativity
is assumed to be something that requires talent, for instance an artist is
gifted and can create drawings that others necessarily cannot. Where this statement
may be true in terms of art, creating something technical or scientific may be
a different case. As Bill Gates quoted ‘you need to understand things in order
to invent beyond them’.


In conclusion, intelligence
and creativity can be single traits as well as linked together. Where an artist
can be creative and draw they might not necessarily be intelligent. As
suggested in the threshold hypothesis if you are intelligent you can also be
creative as the knowledge an individual may have can be converted into
something novel. However, the notion that creativity does not come together
with intelligence at an IQ higher than 120 is still a debatable concept as well
as the question if intelligence and creativity are actually linked.