Is intelligence just memory?

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ihateusernames
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#1
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#1
what is intelligence? if its based on exams then surely passing exams is all about memorising the syllabus and regurgitating it? The only exception i can really think of is perhaps english but even then you can memorise essays are other people interpretation of something.
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Caedus
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#2
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Not the least. Intelligence is the speed at which you can work things out - it has nothing to do with memory.
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human_13
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#3
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#3
Intelligence is not memory, it's understanding. Giving an example to your reference of an exam, you could memorize the principles of, let's say, physics but if you don't understand it you wont be able to apply it in an exam. Example in general life, if you have been betrayed by somebody, they ask for forgiveness, you will remember what they did but if you are not cautious, then whats the use of memory?

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Kamakazi145
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#4
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#4
The education system is based on that view of intelligence. I think of intelligence more as understanding concepts. Also, as a poster on TSR said a few days ago, 'talent is being able to hit a target faster than others, genius is being able to hit a target that no one else knew existed'.
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ihateusernames
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#5
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but surely most of intelligence is based on memory- you can understand a concept but not remember it and so you cant apply it to real life?
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Mike_123
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#6
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#6
Is memory just intelligence?
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PTMalewski
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#7
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#7
Memory has nothing to do with intelligence, you can be an idiot and have a good memory. In fact, many uninteligent people who cannot understand something, use learning by heart to pass some sort of exam.
Intelligence can solve problems or rebuild something that is not known entirely. Eg. in philosophy it is not necesary to remember the whole system. If you know the basic system rules, you can recreate it with intelligence. Same with maths. It's a logical science, you don't have to memorize everithing. It's logical, so you can just have a look and some part and find that If here something is "a" then there must be "b".

(Original post by Caedus)
Not the least. Intelligence is the speed at which you can work things out - it has nothing to do with memory.
Not only the speed. Slow and fast computer will do the same job well, just in different time, because they have different power but the same logic construction. Unintelligent man can solve the same problem slower than intelligent, but in many cases he will not be able to solve the problem at all, because he has different mind constrution. There is not enough neurons and connection beetwen them, or the connections are wrong.
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Captain Jack
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#8
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(Original post by Caedus)
Not the least. Intelligence is the speed at which you can work things out - it has nothing to do with memory.
And comes in many different forms too, for instance, some people are very emotionally intelligent, others have more common sense, some analytical etc.
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bertstare
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#9
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#9
It is surely a component of intelligence - Someone who is able to retain a vast amount of useful and practical knowledge and apply it seamlessly every time; could someone like that really be considered not intelligent, at least in a specific capacity?
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llys
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#10
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(Original post by ihateusernames)
but surely most of intelligence is based on memory- you can understand a concept but not remember it and so you cant apply it to real life?
Yes. I think that also applies in the opposite direction: it is actually very difficult to memorise something you have not understood / reasoned out to yourself successfully at least once. I think anyone who has used flashcards will probably have had some experiences with that.
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viddy9
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#11
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#11
I see three different components in this debate: intelligence, 'smartness' and knowledge.

Intelligence is the largely genetically inherited potential of the individual - measured by one's IQ/g factor, which demonstrates one's ability to understand. Smartness is the ability to use this intelligence and apply it. Knowledge is the raw material that can be understood better by people with higher IQs, but if these people don't apply it, then it counts for nothing. Moreover, the link between intelligence and memory is very mild - one can have an excellent memory without a high intelligence. But, because knowledge is usually used to a better extent by people with more intelligence, knowledge has become synonymous with intelligence. In other words, people who can just spit out facts are automatically perceived to be intelligent - while this could be the case, it's not necessarily true in all cases.

An interesting analogy I've found is this: intelligence is the size of the bucket, knowledge is how much water is in the bucket, smartness is how much of the water you've poured out into the pond: the whole world. People may have smaller buckets, but they might have more in them due to memorisation, and they might pour more of it out and apply it more than people with larger buckets.
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interstitial
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#12
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#12
If someone could remember 100 pages of a textbook and regurgitate them whenever they wanted, they would certainly seem intelligent, but ultimately they're just repeating what other people have said instead of thinking for themselves. Whether you can tell the difference or not is another matter

IMO intelligence is how creatively you think and how you approach problems.
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Viva Emptiness
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#13
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#13
(Original post by ihateusernames)
but surely most of intelligence is based on memory- you can understand a concept but not remember it and so you cant apply it to real life?
If you understand a concept you don't have to remember it. You can work it through to it's logical solution each time because you understand the process.
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Stony Owner
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#14
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#14
Exams don't 'measure' intelligence AT ALL. Exams tend to measure: specifically applied logical/analytical skills, grasp of English language (or other language for foreign exams), memory recall (all in certain specific contexts). Very narrow, very specific.

Intelligence in the real world is a very complicated concept. Is playing the violin using a form of intelligence? Is feeling empathy using a form of intelligence?
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locomotive99
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#15
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
Memory has nothing to do with intelligence, you can be an idiot and have a good memory. In fact, many uninteligent people who cannot understand something, use learning by heart to pass some sort of exam.
Intelligence can solve problems or rebuild something that is not known entirely. Eg. in philosophy it is not necesary to remember the whole system. If you know the basic system rules, you can recreate it with intelligence. Same with maths. It's a logical science, you don't have to memorize everithing. It's logical, so you can just have a look and some part and find that If here something is "a" then there must be "b".



Not only the speed. Slow and fast computer will do the same job well, just in different time, because they have different power but the same logic construction. Unintelligent man can solve the same problem slower than intelligent, but in many cases he will not be able to solve the problem at all, because he has different mind constrution. There is not enough neurons and connection beetwen them, or the connections are wrong.

But grades are probably 90% due to memory. Grades = recognition of achievement.

Thus, in order to be 'intelligent' by societal standards, you can be so with just good memory.
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Mathbomb
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#16
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#16
Working memory facilitates intelligence, so memory is important but not the whole picture. It would be quite hard to come up with intelligent insights or solutions to problems if you could only store 1 or 2 pieces of information in your working memory. On the other hand, if you aren't intelligent enough to come up with those insights in the first place having a large working memory won't be as useful.
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Urban Ace
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#17
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#17
The concept of intelligence is subjective.
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ChaoticButterfly
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#18
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#18
(Original post by ihateusernames)
but surely most of intelligence is based on memory- you can understand a concept but not remember it and so you cant apply it to real life?
I would describe as being able to memories some base principles that underpin an idea. Once you grasp these you can use them to solve problems you haven't seen before based on your understanding and reasoning.

It is the abilty to use what you know (memory) to solve new problems you haven't seen before.
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PTMalewski
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#19
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#19
(Original post by locomotive99)
But grades are probably 90% due to memory. Grades = recognition of achievement.
That is why I'm against present European teaching standards. We should be mainly focused on logic and other analytical skills, such as methodology, critical evaluation of information, and knowledge about how different languages work and differ.

(Original post by locomotive99)
Thus, in order to be 'intelligent' by societal standards, you can be so with just good memory.
I quite disagree. I is possible to recognize an idiot, even if he has wide knowlegde, because the one would be unable to sort a new problem on his own, or claim things that are illogical and then his low intelligence can be spotted. This is a typical problem with many historians, (at least in my country where I live). However some sort of wide knowledge is necessary to exercise one's mind with and to work on while processing a basic direction of thinking.

(Original post by locomotive99)
societal standards
Personally I don't care much about how am I received by society, since society may consist of people who cannot make a proper estimation on me, due to lack of intelligence or education (Socrates was sentenced to death due to such problem). Many times I've found myself in a situation in which I was badly treated because I had proved to someone that his thinking had a significant failture or he suffers from lack of knowledge. Not a rare problem in a world I suppose. Argument of force is usually used when someone has no strong argument and cannot make it up that he was wrong.
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tmw25
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#20
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#20
Clearly not just memory. You could have a smart goldfish... ;-)
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