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The Explicit and Implicit Theories of Intelligence

            Intelligence, the quickness to understand, is explained by two theories according to Ruzgis and Grigorenko (1994), the explicit theories that determine the developmental patterns of intellectual abilities and the implicit theories of intelligence which are the perceptions of people about what intelligence is. Intelligent is someone who is knowledgeable in different things or field. A person who knows the capital of almost all country and won many trivia and quiz contests is I think an intelligent person.

There are people whom we describe as gifted. Gifted for me is someone that knows a lot of things, who has so many talents and can do things that not so many people are not able to do and with this abilities, have achieved so many great things, received awards or may have brought pride to a country. I think that being gifted pertains to a person’s ability to excel in a particular field. Bea Lucero, a known gymnast, is someone I consider a gifted person due to the fact that she had shown greatness in gymnastics and won 2 gold and 1 bronze medals in Olympics and SEA games, respectively.

 Skills that I associated with an intelligent person are: reasons logically; take another’s point of view; identifies connections among ideas; modest; knowledgeable in a particular field of study; and admits mistakes in good grace. The total score for each of the subscales, Practical Problem Solving, Verbal Ability, Positive Social Competence, Receptive Social Competence, and Task Efficiency, are 2, 1, 0, 3, and 0, respectively.

Two of the subscales in the skills of an intelligent person are the positive and receptive social competence. Positive social competence is a characteristic that enable someone to manage himself in a crowd of strangers. It is associated with individualism because individual desires are promoted and are not after morality. New transferee students that can make new friends on his first day in school, is able to mingle and get along with them possess positive social competence and this satisfies their need to have companion. Receptive social competence, on the other hand, corresponds to characteristics that show obedience, humility, admitting your fault, and respect for others as a whole. It is associated with collectivism because human relationships and community goals are given priority and morality plays a role here. This social competence is I think an intelligent person should possess. A person can only have friends and get along well with them if he respects other people. Possessing receptive social competence will eventually lead to obtain positive social competence. Laypersons include Social Competence in the concept of intelligence due to social considerations may not be separated with intelligence. The ability to socialize and respect people truly reflects intelligence. On the other hand, experts do not include social competence maybe because their focus is on the mental ability and the knowledge that corresponds to intelligence.

From my own description of an intelligent person, it all fits the Verbal Ability subscale particularly on being knowledgeable in a topic or subject. In the five subscales, the receptive social competence is the one most culture-bound. Morality and human relationships are dictated by the culture and community plays a role in one’s behavior.

Giftedness is being able to excel in a certain field/s by having unique abilities and with these be able to achieve great things. Individualist values mostly reflect my definition of giftedness rather than collectivist. Giftedness reflects individualism when someone learns unique abilities for self satisfaction or desire while it reflects collectivism when it is for society goal, like in the case of Olympic players bringing pride to one’s country.

Understanding the cultural diversity in the concept of intelligence is necessary and not just nice. People may have a good relationship whenever they have that degree of knowing and understanding others. With this, we may be able to bridge the gap of cultural differences and allow better knowledge of one’s culture.


Oe, M., Allard J., & Fujinaga, T. (2001). A cross-cultural study of the concept “intelligent person”-Comparison between “atamagayoi” “rikona” and “kashikoi” (From Abstract, 2001). Retrieved May 24, 2008, from

Ruzgis, P., & Sternberg R. (1994). Personality and intelligence. New York, NY : Cambridge University Press.

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